Art Works Gallery celebrates its fifth anniversary on August 8

THE ART MARKET IS HOT, FROM NEW York auction houses to the internet to Main Street galleries. Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’ Alger” sold for a record $179 million this spring. Etsy, an e-commerce website focused on local art, jewelry and vintage items, also went public this spring and now is worth $1.5 billion.

Our local art scene also is booming. The foothills and Tahoe-Truckee have more artists per capita than most places in the West. Artists are drawn to our region for its laid-back lifestyle and world-famous beauty, inspiring settings for photographers and painters.

In Truckee, Art Obsessions moved to an historic building on West River Street, where it will hold more showings. In Grass Valley, Artists’ Studio in the Foothills is launching a new visiting artists program.

And Old Town Auburn Gallery is adding new artists while others are “on sabbatical,” teaching art classes in Europe this summer.

The Art Works Gallery in downtown Grass Valley has been a leader in invigorating the local art scene.

The artwork of 31 juried visual artists is showcased in a restored Gold Rush-era building at 113 Mill Street. Their work includes ceramic, glass, jewelry, painting, woodturning, furniture, fiber art, metal, mosaic, mixed media, photography and sculpture.

Visitors can arrange to meet one-on-one with the artists to discuss their artwork, a benefit compared with e-commerce sites. The artists also are local “art ambassadors,” visiting the U.S. East Coast, South America and Mexico to sell art and teach art classes.

Art Works Gallery celebrates its fifth anniversary with a “Block Party” on Saturday, August 8, from 2-6 p.m.

It has invited locals to create their own masterpieces from various sized blocks, with paint, photos, metal, collage, ceramic or other mediums. The blocks are pieced together to form a growing, interlocking mural in the window. Finished blocks are sold and proceeds go to the NEO Youth Center.

(Photo: David Wong)

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