By Pamela Dozois

Contributing Writer

The 11th annual SLOPOKE Art Exhibition and Sale will once again be held at Flag Is Up Farms in Solvang on Sept. 24-26.

SLOPOKE is a Western-themed fine art show with between 25-30 juried artists. Its mission is to bring back a high-end art show to the Santa Ynez Valley and to exhibit on the Central Coast the quality of art and artists normally seen in large art shows in the big cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. The art includes abstracts to photography of landscapes, seascapes, urbanscapes, wildlife, virtually anything that captures the spirit of the West from the 1850s until the present day.

“Each year, artists from around the western states come to exhibit their work and compete for the coveted silver SLOPOKE belt buckle awards for Best Painting, Best Sculpture, and Best of Show,” said Tom Burgher, creator of SLOPOKE. 

New this year will be a live “Dueling Sculptors” demonstration with the renowned sculptor Christopher Slatoff, best known for monumental sculptures, most recently at USC, Pepperdine University, Our Lady of the Angels cathedral in Los Angeles, the Port District of San Diego, and more. He is also the guest artist and jurist for this year’s show. His studio assistant, Elisabeth Pollnow, and Slatoff will sculpt each other, at 11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.  

“Flag Is Up Farms is the perfect spot to host SLOPOKE,” Burgher said. “This venue is the thoroughbred horse ranch owned and operated by Monty Roberts and his equine sculptor and equestrian wife, Pat Roberts. The art show is set up in a roofed, 25,000 square foot riding arena open on three sides providing lots of space critical today to maintaining social distancing and natural air flow. Further, to make people safe and comfortable while visiting SLOPOKE this year, each visitor and all artists will be provided with a 100% cotton SLOPOKE cowboy bandana similar to the SLOPOKE Logo to be used as a face mask and to keep as a souvenir.”

“Flag Is Up Farms is an authentic venue with great atmosphere. It has an open floor plan, with white walls, color-corrected LED lighting to perfectly display the artwork. Art collectors can interact with all of the artists in this open-air arena,” explained Burgher.

Participating artists are: Chris Slatoff, jurist and guest artist, Elizabeth Pollnow, guest artist, Naomi Brown, Tom Burgher, Alexi Fine, Kristen Freeborn, Arsenio Frontela, Errol Gordon, Michael Hansen, Carol Hartman, Kelly Hine, Patty Hughes, Doreen Irwin, Teresa Lynn Johnson, Kasia Kaznocha, Sheryl Knight, Chuck Kovavcic, Dino Mehaffie, Linda Nelson, Amy Rattner, Sharlene Rayl, Pat Roberts, Janice Schultz, Dottie Stanley, Tara Rose Toner, Ami Lynn Usrey, Phyllis Waltman, Sarah Webber and Jody Wiggins. 

“I hope to have two new sculptures to exhibit there along with some others done in the past,” said Pat Roberts, sculptress and owner of Flag Is Up Farms. 

Tickets to the show are $25 each on Eventbrite or at the door. The ticket holder is entitled to come to the opening reception, scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24. Guests will receive a quality keep-sake SLOPOKE Art Book presenting a profile and some of the art of each artist exhibiting as well as the souvenir bandana. Parking on the ranch is free and viewing the horses is an added attraction.

The art show is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, and from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26. Tickets are available at and at

Flag Is Up Farms is at 901 East Highway 246, Solvang. For more information, visit  call 805-570-8088 or email