Photos Contributed

By Pamela Dozois

The much-anticipated SLOPOKE Art Exhibition and Sale will once again be held at Flag Is Up Farms in Solvang on Sept. 27-29.

This year SLOPOKE has partnered with the Wildling Museum of Art and Nature in Solvang to highlight and share their mutual efforts in displaying Western art.

The current exhibition at the Wildling, “Celebrating the National Lands of California,” is on view through Jan. 20.

 “We are excited to be a new partner in SLOPOKE and helping to bring quality Western and wildlife art to the Santa Ynez Valley through this event. It’s a great extension of our mission to expose audiences to the great outdoors through art and hopefully awaken a desire to preserve these landscapes and animal species for the future,” said Stacey Otte-Demangate, executive director of the Wildling.

“SLOPOKE presents contemporary art of the West, not just cowboys and Indians, often thought of as Western art, but also representational and abstract wildlife, nature, and urban viewscapes that depict our Western heritage. SLOPOKE continues to be the highest-quality regional art show along California’s Central Coast,” said Tom Burgher, founder of SLOPOKE.

He and his wife, Sherie, own Enterprise LLC, an entrepreneurial art enterprise that includes Seaside Fine Art Gallery in Pismo Beach.

Organizers Tom and Sherie Burgher pose at last year’s art show and sale.

Although many artists are invited, only 25 to 30 are accepted through a jurying process. This year the jurist will be Thomas Blackshear II, a painter and an award recipient for 2018-19 at the Autry Museum’s Masters of the American West.

“We have a full complement of artists for this year’s show, but artists are invited to sign up early for next year’s SLOPOKE 2020,” Burgher noted.

“Flag Is Up Farms is the perfect spot to host SLOPOKE,” Burgher added. “It 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.”

Flag Is Up Farms has an open floor plan with white walls and color-corrected LED lighting to perfectly display the artwork.

“The SLOPOKE Art Show … is something artists have dreamed of holding in the Santa Ynez Valley since the Peppertree Art Show was discontinued 11 years ago. Peppertree was the premier West Coast art show that was attended by hundreds of art collectors and was written up in all the art magazines, giving the show the highest of praise,” explained Pat Roberts, a sculptor and co-owner of Flag Is Up Farms.

Three awards for Best Painting, Best Sculpture, and Best of Show will be presented at the artists reception on Friday evening, Sept. 27. Art of the West Magazine is also sponsoring an award for the best wildlife art, which will be judged and awarded by the Wildling Museum. Western Art and Architecture magazine is sponsoring the Artist’s Choice Award.

A portion of the proceeds from the exhibit and sale will support the nonprofit Join-Up International, which funds Horse Sense and Healing Workshops at Flag Is Up Farms for veterans and first responders with post-traumatic stress injuries.

The artists reception is scheduled from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, and is open to all the artists and their families and any ticketed visitors, collectors, or dignitaries. The art show is open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept.28, and from 10 a.m-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29.

Tickets are $35 per person and include lunch, parking, wine or beer tastings and music by composer and performer Jon Stephen on both weekend days.

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