By Raiza Giorgi

Syd McCutcheon didn’t realize more than 28 years ago that when she started a small art show in her home in Ballard, it would become one of the best displays of local art in the Santa Ynez Valley.

“I just wanted to sell some of my art and my daughter’s art. It’s amazing what it has grown into, and I’m so thankful that it came back after a brief hiatus,” she said.

She knew the show had outgrown her home when she was moving her own furniture outside and someone’s dog peed on her couch.

queen of arts

Irina Malkmus creates textured artwork with pebbles.

“I am so grateful to the Elverhoj for hosting and taking it over from me, and now to Diana Paul and her team for organizing it this year,” she added.

This year the show moved from its longtime home at the Elverhoj Museum of Art and History to the Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall, where several hundred visitors browsed the work of more than 30 local artists and artisans on Nov. 2 and 3.

“My pottery takes many hours to complete, and I use several mediums like crocheted lace and leaf imprinting for texture into my work,” said Shelley Nakano of Goleta.
Work for sale included fine art paintings, ceramics, handmade jewelry, hand painted scarves, fine art photographs, handmade objets d’art, whimsical figurines and dolls, and artisan food products.

Local artist Irina Malkmus works with rocks to create her pebble art. Another local artist, Kris Bates, displayed her acrylic pour paintings in which acrylic paints are mixed and manipulated to create blended images.

“I love when people realize that all my products are made from the bark of a cork tree,” said Paula Parisotto, a local designer who recently launched a line of cork accessories.

For more information on attending next year’s event, email