RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild is looking for its 100th member. To join this vibrant group a prospective member does not have to be an artist at all.
“You just have to love art,” said guild President Carol Curtis.
The mission of the guild is “to embrace the visual arts, provide exhibit space, enhance community awareness and foster artistic skills.”
The exhibits are changed every two months at the gallery tucked in behind Union Bank of California, which provides the space for a very nominal fee.
The work is gorgeous and rivals any exhibit of fine art in much larger exhibit spaces, probably because its members are serious, fine artists who constantly work at their skills.
Artist Cindy Klong has recently returned from two weeks in France where she took oil painting classes.
“It was a fantasy dream come true,” Klong said.
She said she learned a lot, including how to travel internationally with paints and flammable liquids, which can be tricky. Still, she was able to get home with several pieces, including a stunning sunflower painting.
The group calls Pat Beck, “Our most famous member.”
Beck is renowned for her paintings of cats, which have appeared on the cover of “All Cats,” magazine and on the inside and outside of several books. She regularly brings home awards for her work.
Marileigh Schulte, a nationally award-winning artist in her own right, was recently invited to be a jury member in a national show, the kind that it is an honor just to be chosen as a juror.
“It’s bigger than big,” Curtis said. “It’s huge.”
The Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild was founded 13 years ago with a mission to encourage the visual arts in Rancho Santa Fe. It is comprised of artists in all fine art mediums including painting, sculpture, photography and art jewelry. Here artists can exhibit and sell their work and work at perfecting their craft.
“We are all here to get better,” Curtis said.
“An artist never gets there,” Klong added.
The group is currently preparing for its annual Children’s Art Show. As items were brought in by Raye Anne Marks, who is heading the show, the group “oohed” and “ahed” over the pieces.
The artwork from R. Roger Rowe School included papier-mâché figures, oil paintings and clay and ceramic work.
The show opened Nov. 2 and runs through 1 p.m. Nov. 6.
During the upcoming year, the group plans a series of monthly workshops, geared for beginners or advanced students, for members and the public, which will cover figure painting, portraits, water color and landscape painting.
They also go on field trips and in the past have visited and painted at Leo Carrillo State Park, the Osuna Adobe and Torrey Pines.
“Come join us, we have a lot of fun while doing something constructive,” Beck said.
The board of directors are Carol Curtis, president; Judianne Shannon, first vice president; Cindy Klong, second vice president; Anne von Benckendorff, co-secretary; Ruth Todd Evans, co-secretary; Teresa White, treasurer; Suzy Schaefer, co-publicity director; Laurenn Barker, co-publicity director; Connie McCoy, parliamentarian; and Adam Styborski, newsletter director. Co-gallery directors are Pat Beck, Pat Marci and Marileigh Schulte.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is the Union Bank building on the corner of Paseo Delicias and Avenida De Acacias.
To learn more about the guild or gallery call (858) 759-3545 or visit www.ranchosantafeartguild.org.