..........A little blog about the little things in life..........

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Paso Robles Art Festival

Today we went to the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts held in the town park. It was a lovely day for an outdoor festival, sunny, but cool. This was the first time the festival has been held - it replaced a vintage car gathering which was held every year on Memorial Day weekend, but was cancelled a couple of years ago because it grew a little "rowdy". (Meaning, it was costing the city more to hire extra police to take care of all the drunk and disorderly participants.) This new event was very well mannered and calm! No liquor was sold, so people had to get intoxicated by the art!

It coincided with the opening of a new art center, housed in a previous auto parts building. It will be studios where artists will have their workshops, and will have classrooms and exhibits. I was really impressed with the studio. It's large and airy, and will have 15 or so studios where artists will be creating their art. I loved the "desk" in the entry - the front part of an old car, keeping with the original use of the building. I think this will be a real asset to Paso.

Downtown Paso is looking very chic.....The two building destroyed in the 03 San Simeon earthquake have been rebuilt. One of the them is the "signature" building - the old clock tower building. They did a good job of making the new building look very similar to the original.
And the original Carneige Library, which was used by the historical museum, has finally been repaired and retrofitted after the earthquake. It's good to see the construction fences removed from around the building
This building is right across the street from the park. It was originally a hot springs spa....Paso Robles was famous for it's mineral hot springs. The 03 earthquake cracked open the parking lot of the present library and opened up another hot springs there! They haven't quite decided what to do with it, so it's in the middle of the parking lot, fenced off. Some days you can smell the sulphur when you go into the library. This building now has a lovely quilt shop, and a wonderful candy store.
I couldn't resist taking a photo of these lovely ladies, who were performing with a Ballet Folklorico. Their dresses were spectacular.

There were many wonderful paintings - most of them landscapes . I hope the artists had a good day and sold many of their paintings. I thought the following artist's work was most unusual - she calls it "Aerial Landscapes" - very abstract. This painting was of the Salinas river going through Paso Robles.

Anyway, I was impressed with how vibrant Paso is looking nowadays. There is a new boutique hotel just a block away from the park, and many wine tasting shops have opened downtown. Paso is surely trying to live up to being the "Next Napa"! Last weekend was the Paso Robles Wine Festival - one of the largest outdoor wine events in California. There are many excellent restaurants (we do our best to try them all out!) Anyway, it's becoming quite a charming little town.


Kath said...

Lovely photos! I love the colourful costumes, I can just imagine those dancers swirling and twirling their flouncy skirts! Kath in England

DAnna said...

The costumes are definitely a big part of the dances, and usually they make their own dresses (or their mothers' do!) They use yards and yards of ribbon trim and rickrack. Very lovely. They remind me of the "squaw dresses" (excuse the term, but that's what they were called) that ladies in the 40's and 50's used to make for square dancing. My mom and aunt made lots of them, as they were in a square dancing group. Now that's a fun way to get your exercise!