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Autumn has arrived, alongside a cornucopia of original, exciting, and innovative artistic events

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Ah, autumn. Wrap that cozy, cashmere scarf around your neck, and breathe in that brisk, misty air. Welcome to the best season. The calico foliage, crisp apple cider, Guy Fawkes Night, and Ben Stein’s birthday—it’s a great time to be alive. It also just so happens to be a rich and excellent time for the arts. This is why we editors and our intern minions have spent hours, days, and weeks scouring the deepest corners of the Central Coast to bring you the best in what the visual, performing, and scarecrow-related arts have to offer between now and the time in between holiday food hangovers. So stretch out and stick on your business socks, my fellow fall friends, because it’s business time.

That’s right. We’ve gone corporate (you saw the suit!). We here at New Times have swapped in our cache of blueberry cheese for Blackberry phones, and exchanged our ironic T-shirts for ironclad contracts. Well, not really. Who would give up blueberry cheese? We would never sell out, but the question of the relationship between businesses, art, and government does serve as the crux of this year’s issue. How does the government make creative decisions? How do they work with artists? How do galleries and artists manage themselves within an ever-changing market? What can the world of business learn from the world of art?

We’re not the only ones asking these questions. On Oct. 31, Arts Obispo and the Performing Arts Center are holding the first ever Central Coast Creative Economy—an entire forum devoted to fostering innovative relationships between artists, businesses, government, software developers, heffalumps, orcs, and whoever else might be interested in creative collaborations with other members of the community. It’s the grand finale to a month filled with arts events sponsored by Arts Obispo that includes their annual Open Studios Tour, a giant event that allows visitors to take an up-close-and-personal peek into the process of roughly 200 artists scattered across SLO County.

But wait, that’s not all! Oh no, this fall sees the opening of several, exciting and diverse exhibits, plays, and events. In October, the annual Cambria Scarecrow Festival returns, and once again, hundreds of strange, original, and creative sculptures will haunt the streets of that cozy, coastal town. A few days later, and a few miles south, Picasso will grace the stage of the SLO Little Theatre, along with Einstein in the premiere of Steve Martin’s play about art and genius, Picasso at the Lapin Agile. It’s an auspicious season for the Little Theatre that also includes the popular musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and, in December, the theatrical adaptation of A Christmas Story.

In the galleries and cafés this fall, you can also see a variety of engaging and imaginative exhibits. In November, the embroidered art of motorcycle enthusiast Heather Johnson will be featured at the Cal Poly Art Gallery, and, starting in October, the weird, wonderful, and surreal art of local artist Mark Bryan can be seen at the Steynberg Gallery. These are only a small taste, too, of the many, many paintings, sculptures, plays, lectures, readings, and creative ventures occurring this autumn. So, I say again, welcome to the best season. Let’s get down to business!

 

Arts Editor Jessica Peña can be reached at jpena@newtimesslo.com.

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