More to see for second weekend of Open Studios Art Tour |

More to see for second weekend of Open Studios Art Tour

Artists working in a broad range of media will open their studios to the public this Saturday and Sunday, the second of two Open Studios Art Tour weekends. The preview exhibit of participating artists’ work will be on view at The Center for The Arts through Sunday.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to visit, explore and understand the working life of an artist,” comments Tour producer Carol Herschleb. “It’s not the dreamy, easy life that many people might expect, but hard work, risk taking, and full of tedious chores such as bookkeeping.” It’s often a solitary and sometimes lonely pursuit.

Stuart Gold, printmaker, painter, sculptor

Stuart Gold, new this year to the Open Studios Art Tour, has a remarkable and varied background that has brought him from science studies in college to his present work, based on a fascination with fossils. It is no exaggeration to say that his path to this current point has been all over the map.

Beginning at an early age in Los Angeles he expressed an interest in painting, but did not enjoy the encouragement of his parents. He chose instead a pre-veterinary course of study at UC Davis, then graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Primate Biology. Following a stint in the Peace Corps as a smallpox eradication officer in Ethiopia, he returned to Davis, worked at the Davis Free Clinic and took art classes at the university. With no undergraduate credentials, he was accepted in the graduate printmaking program at San Francisco State on the basis of his portfolio alone. He received a Masters Degree in Printmaking.

Gold also created a body of powerful paintings based on the distorted and jagged images caused by a lousy signal on an old-fashioned television set. He also produced a video with this technique, using a familiar iconic and disturbing image from the Vietnam war.

The lure of the early age of computers drew him into a self-taught career in computer animation. “This is when one computer took up an entire room, using a strange language we had to learn from scratch,” Gold recalls, “it was the mid ’80’s, very exciting stuff.” He formed Shadow and Light Productions, creating computer-animated features for broadcast TV, educational, industrial and forensic purposes. His animations were used to explain plane crashes, auto accidents, and disaster-related cases such as the collapse of the Bay Bridge during the 1989 earthquake.

Pressures of technology and the changing nature of the digital age caused Gold to turn away from his animation career, and with the support of his wife, he resumed painting. Nothing clicked for him. He turned to his long-held interest in fossils, developing techniques for making large realistic as well as imaginary ancient creatures in a stone-like material. The coelacanth, a fish long thought to have become extinct millions of years ago, is a favorite subject, along with Gold’s own fossil inventions, which he calls “fauxlithica.”

His many years of printmaking, painting and sculpture will be on display in his studio on the eastern side of Alta Sierra both weekends of Open Studios. For a glimpse of his body of work, visit

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