Three Rivers Artists' Biennial Studio Tour
Photo © Elsah Cort
Event Dates: March 21, 2014 - March 23, 2014
The small village of Three Rivers has been known as an "artists' colony" for over 60 years. It is home to many artists who open their artist studios every other year during the springtime wildflower bloom in March. Each of the 25-30 studios on the tour have a unique connection to the land, showing how the artist has combined home and creative space into a personal niche for art-making. This Studio Tour is very intimate, and showcases both art and place as visitors treasure hunt along country roads following the South Fork, North Fork and Middle Fork of the Kaweah River in the Sierra foothills.
Visitors start the Studio Tour at the Three Rivers Historical Museum, where they pick up a map and pocket sized guidebook. Each artist is described on a page in the guidebook. The visitor creates their own personal itinerary, visiting the artists and studios that pique their interest.
The Studio Tour was started in 1994 with only eight artists. Studio Tour 11 coming up in 2014, will be expanding to almost 30 Sierra Nevada artist studios. Two of these artists have participated in all of the Studio Tours. One is Mona Fox Selph, an accomplished and versatile artist who lives along the road that leads to Mineral King. Mona is a retired art teacher from the College of the Sequoias in Visalia and the Three Rivers Union Elementary School. She is the founder of the Three Rivers Environmental Weekend and finds her inspiration for her beautiful landscapes from the local Sierra Nevada foothills.
James Entz is another original artist of the Three Rivers Artists' Biennial Studio Tour, who creates topographical sculptural paintings by adding numerous layers of acrylic paint, which he cuts through when dry, to expose the layers. His studio window frames Blossom Peak, while the South Fork of the Kaweah River flows below. James says, "My studio is near the former site of HOTNU’ NYU, a mixed Wukchumne and Patwisha village between blue oak woodland and foothill riparian habitat in the canyon of the Kaweah River at the base of 12,000 foot peaks of the Great Western Divide in the Southern Sierra Nevada range below glacial stairways and cirque lakes and above the former delta of the Kaweah River, which before the dam, fed the former Tulare Lake--once the largest lake west of the Mississippi in the great Central Valley: California’s former Serengetti plains."
Another Three Rivers Artists' Biennial Studio Tour artist is master furniture maker, Rick Badgley, who built his studio literally into the earth. Wildflowers bloom on the roof of the studio every year. His wife, Martha Widmann, is also an accomplished artist featured on the tour, painting in her compact, natural studio on the banks of Salt Creek. Martha is also an avid horsewoman who has participated in the annual Chief Joseph Ride, sponsored by the Appaloosa Horse Association, and tiny horses often appear in her stunning paintings.
The variety of art media seen on the Three Rivers Artists' Biennial Studio Tour includes handweaving with naturally hand-dyed fiber, lathe-turned bowls from local wood, clay sculpture, handmade paper, wildflower photography, sculptural lamps made from twigs and natural fibers, oil paintings that include the local mountain natural landscapes, and much, much more.
Admission Fee (if any): $20/ per person (see website for details on how to purchase earlybird tickets for $15)
Ages Festival is Appropriate For: Adults and older children
Some studios are not handicapped accessible.
Please, do not bring your pets on the Studio Tour.