By Pamela Dozois

Scandia Court on Alisal Road will be lit up in full Christmas spirit for the opening of “The Arts Collection,” a pop-up gallery filled with unique arts and crafts from local artisans.

The store will be open for six weeks only, from Nov. 13 through Dec. 31, with a grand opening scheduled for Nov. 16.

The brainchild of three friends, Christine Lester-Deats, Donna Andersen Ineman and Cherie Virden, the store promises to have something to offer everyone for the Christmas season and beyond.

“I’ve been doing photography for 38 years in the valley and one day, as I was driving by my friend Donna’s store ‘Home Connection’ I remembered her telling me about how she would love to have local art displayed in the Scandia Court,” Deats said. “It was a lightbulb moment for me – that we should get together with Donna, an entrepreneur; Cherie, the artist; and myself, a photographer, and put together a pop-up holiday collection which would feature the work of artisans and crafts persons from a variety of mediums – photography, fused class, ceramics, jewelry, woodworking, fiber artists, water colorists, illustrators, artist and more. The idea took hold and we began to put it all together.”

Virden said her life-long passion for creative arts has led her in many directions.

“I am blessed, in that my career as an advertising creative director and graphic designer has allowed me to pursue my love of hands-on creation, initially in ceramics and now in fused glass,” said Virden. “There is a wealth of talented artisans and craftsmen in our valley, and we wanted to offer them a venue in which to display their work.”

“By combining a lot of artists and bringing together a wide array of unique talents and mediums we hope to create a successful space where the works of these artists can be seen in a marketing venue by locals, tourists and visitors to the valley,” Deats continued.

The three women have been friends and neighbors for many years, Ineman said. Their children have grown up together, all attending Ballard School, so she considered that working together on this project a perfect idea.

“We are looking forward to a fun, cooperative venture and to keep Solvang as the ‘Christmassy Town in the US’, said Ineman. “We will only be open for six weeks, but during those six weeks we will also be holding a variety of other fun and interesting activities at the pop-up and in the courtyard as well, all in a festive atmosphere.”

Some of the participating artists are Adeina Cookenour / Jewelry; Ann Fryslie / Fiber & Textiles; Ben Stein / Woodworking; Cherie Virden / Fused Glass; Diana Paul / Jewelry; Christine Deats / Photographer; Edward Jorgenson / Woodworking; Heather Stephen / Watercolor Illustrator; Karen Greenberg / Jewelry; Logan Deats / Photography; Leilani Rose / Jewelry; Mark Infanti / Woodworking; Natalie Groves / Watercolor Illustrator; and Scott Bruhn / Woodworking.

The Arts Connection is at 425 Alisal Road in Solvang. Central Coast artists and crafts people who want to have their art considered for participation should email