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Made in the shade

Templeton art show contains all kinds of goodness

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- FLOWERS AND JAZZ :  Tony Stuart’s acrylic artwork pops out of the frame. He heaps on the paint with his hands and a knife, abstaining from boring old brushes. -  - PHOTO BY NICK POWELL
  • PHOTO BY NICK POWELL
  • FLOWERS AND JAZZ : Tony Stuart’s acrylic artwork pops out of the frame. He heaps on the paint with his hands and a knife, abstaining from boring old brushes.

The office of substitute art basher comes with a lot of responsibility, a little drinking, and some serious power, including the ability to declare, now and forever, that Templeton folk are officially the finest folk on the face of the Earth. Suck on that, San Luis Obispo. Where’s your precious Oprah now?

As a recent transplant to the area, I’ve definitely noticed increased levels of friendliness, approachability, and all-around-awesomeness among people everywhere in this county, but when I discovered tiny Templeton a few months back, everyone was so sweet I lost a foot to diabetes. They make the happy people of SLO city (whom I adore) look like that blond jerk burger from Youth in Revolt. (If you haven’t seen it, you probably ought to, unless you find mustachioed Michael Cera on mushrooms not funny for some odd reason.)

When I heard these peeps were hosting an annual “Day in Shade” art show during my stint as art basher, I was like, “What? Art, wine, and funk? You’ve got to be kidding me.” But they weren’t kidding me. They were for realsies.

I arrived at the idyllic park, with its tall, twisting oaks and old-fashioned gazebo, to find the place filled with art vendors, food trucks, and wine-tasting tables. The playground was teeming with kids, and after a quick ride on the tire swing, my daughter and I were ready to scope mad art.

There was a lot of homemade jewelry and small sculptures, but my eye was immediately drawn to Tony Stuart’s table and his big, brightly colored paintings. The subject matter focused almost entirely on flowers and jazz musicians, and the paint was thick enough to give the work a sense of 3D.

- GLASS HALF FULL? :  Despite a recent, high profile run-in with Narcotics Task Force agents over medical marijuana, glass artist Rachel Tamagni and husband Chip continue doing what they love. -  - PHOTO BY NICK POWELL
  • PHOTO BY NICK POWELL
  • GLASS HALF FULL? : Despite a recent, high profile run-in with Narcotics Task Force agents over medical marijuana, glass artist Rachel Tamagni and husband Chip continue doing what they love.

“I try to be fresh and new, do stuff that’s out of the ordinary,” said Stuart, who recently had to close his gallery and is looking for new places to hang his art. “This doesn’t really pay the bills, but, really, who pays bills anymore?”

As soon as I mentioned I was with New Times, his buddies launched into the medical marijuana controversies our Wonder Boy, Matt Fountain, has been covering lately. I don’t know what connection there is between artists and herb, but it wasn’t the only time it happened that day.

The next booth I visited featured glass work by Rachel Tamagni, who was arrested in a medical marijuana raid by the Narcotics Task Force in January, along with her husband Chip and 10 others. Though their charges were dropped, the Tamagnis still haven’t had their seized property returned. But life goes on, so they were out having fun with friends in the park and showing off sculptures Rachel makes with recycled wine, beer, and soda bottles. She also uses old window frames and dyed glass to make stunning mosaics.

“I love working with glass, and I’ve always collected it,” she said. “I just let the glass speak to me.”

Talking glass? I wonder what she’s been smoking! I kid, I kid. Rachel and Chip were nice and down to earth and not at all people who could in any way be considered dangerous drug pushers. Seriously, let’s grow up and get over this whole pot thing already.

- ARTSY OUTING :  Cassandra and Creig P. Sherburne took daughter Jaylyn to the Templeton park for a little local culture and some Mother’s Day shopping. -  - PHOTO BY NICK POWELL
  • PHOTO BY NICK POWELL
  • ARTSY OUTING : Cassandra and Creig P. Sherburne took daughter Jaylyn to the Templeton park for a little local culture and some Mother’s Day shopping.

I ran into Creig P. Sherburne, an old buddy from J school at Cuesta, who was out for a sunny afternoon with the family.

“This is world-class art, and we don’t have to go far to get it,” he said.

“Are you actually buying anything here on a reporter’s salary?” I asked, as a hard-hitting journalist should.

“I’ve got expensive tastes, so I can’t really afford the stuff I like,” he said.

Nailed him. That’s how the big dogs do it, Creig.

“But wait,” he said. “I did get a cool metal flower for my wife’s Mother’s Day present.”

D’oh! Actually that’s pretty sweet. Enjoy, Cassandra!

It was time for a drink, so I went over to the wine area and bought a wrist band and a glass for $20, which got me free rein over about a dozen of Templeton’s best wineries, for as long as I wanted. I sampled some lovely vintages and talked to lovely people while grooving to the nearby sounds of Funk 30.

Mary Morwood Hart of AmByth Estates told me about her operation’s dedication to sustainable farming. They don’t water with anything but rain, and their vineyard is certified bio-dynamic, which apparently stomps organic farming right into the mud.

- A FUNKIN’ GOOD TIME :  Who doesn’t love funk? Squares? Stodgy puritans? Terrorists, maybe? Funk 30 will show them all who’s boss. -  - PHOTO BY NICK POWELL
  • PHOTO BY NICK POWELL
  • A FUNKIN’ GOOD TIME : Who doesn’t love funk? Squares? Stodgy puritans? Terrorists, maybe? Funk 30 will show them all who’s boss.

Some people were bummed about this year’s newly implemented segregation of wine and art. In years past, the different booths stood side by side, but new regulations force wine into its own roped-off corner.

“It’s disrespectful in a way,” said Karen Lindsay of Castoro Cellars. “They’re treating us as if we don’t know any better. It’s not like people are here to drink as much as they can.”

The only downside to Templeton is that it’s a 40-mile drive from my house, so I agreed with Karen and only sampled a few sips as if I were some kind of responsible adult.

Contributor Nick Powell is considering a move to Templeton. Post your apartment listings to npowell@newtimesslo.com.

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