Art in the Redwoods Festival 2017

Gualala Arts

Fine Art Exhibit

Fine Art Exhibit Remains through Sept 3...Hats Off Dinner, Thursday August 10, 6 pm; Champagne Preview, Friday, August 11, 4 pm - 7 pm; Festival, Saturday August 12, 10 am-5 pm; Sunday, August 13, 10 am - 4 pm

Arts Center

Fine Art Exhibit is Free! Admission to the festival is $6; youth 17 and under are free.

Gualala Arts Presents

the 56th Annual

 Art in the Redwoods Festival


The 56th Annual Art in the Redwoods Festival,  the most popular and largest north coast art show in California, will take place Thursday, August 10, through Sunday, August 13.

More than 300 pieces of art have been entered into the Fine Arts Exhibit that opens on Thursday, August 10, at 6 pm with the Hat’s Off Dinner (see below). Hat’s Off Dinner guests receive the first opportunity to view and purchase art before it has been judged. Friday, August 11, 4 to 7 pm, the Champagne Preview opens to the general public. Judging of the art takes place at 6 pm (see below for information about this year’s judges).  The art will be judged in 15 categories with $5,000 worth of prize money awarded.  The Fine Art exhibit runs through Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, August 12, and Sunday, August 13, festival gates open at 10 am. Enjoy live music, more than 25 vendors located throughout the grounds, open Clay Studio, great BBQ, and fun for the entire family!

Important Festival Dates

Schedule of Events and Entertainment



Surf Market is proud to support Gualala Arts.  Owner Steve May says, “It is our mission to be a benefit to our community, and supporting the arts is an
important part of doing that.”



Mary Sue Ittner & Bob Rutemoeller

Andrea A. Lunsford



Bedrock, Inc.

Elizabeth Lane

Miriam and Buzz Owen

Vacasa Vacation Rentals

 Whale Watch Inn

Woodenhead Vintners


vacasa logo



~ Anchor Bay Thai Kitchen ~ Gualala Supermarket ~ Lagunitas ~ Lawrence & Brennie Brackett ~ Sophia & Bob Mitchell ~

Lagunitas Brewing Company



~Black Oak Catering ~ Breakers Inn ~ Cafe Selkie ~ George & Kathryn Anderson ~ Georgia & David Nelson ~ Flowers Vineyards & Winery ~ Gualala Country InnGualala Lions Club ~ Gualala Redwoods, Inc. ~ Handley Cellars ~ Husch Vineyards ~ Ignacio Health Insurance Services ~ Independent Coast Observor ~ Mirka Knaster & Larry Jacobs ~ Oz Farm ~ Pazzo Marco Creamery ~ Rams Head Realty ~Rotary Club of Gualala ~ Sea Ranch – Gualala Real Estate Co. ~ Solid Waste of Willits ~ Westamerica Bank ~


Fine Arts Exhibit

2016 First Place winning sculpture.

With more than 300 art items entered in the Fine Arts Exhibit that is the heart of the Art in the Redwoods Festival, this event is one of the largest of its kind in Northern California. Artists from throughout California enter in 15 categories and $5,000 is awarded in cash prizes. Categories include Best of Show, Best Local Work, Most Popular, Clay & Mosaic, Collage & Mixed Media, Digital Art, Fiber, Textiles & Soft Sculpture, Glass Art, Oil & Acrylics, Jewelry & Ornamentation, Pastels & Drawing, Monochromatic Photography, Color Photography, Prints & Graphics, Quilts, Sculpture, Water Media, Woodworking, Jacquetta Nisbet Weaving Prize, Beading Excellence, Figure Drawing Excellence, Mendonoma Sightings Emerging Artists (Under 18), and Environmental Awards.  There are first through third place awards in each category. Awards are sponsored by local businesses and individuals.

 Fine Arts Exhibit Judges

Art in the Redwoods 2017 Judges:

Connie Nartonis Thompson, movie producer

Connie Nartonis Thompson is a movie producer from Los Angeles.  Connie began her 25-year career working in the entertainment industry on Beavis & Butthead (1992) and The Ren & Stimpy Show (1993). In 1997 she started at the Walt Disney Studios where she worked on animated feature films including Fantastia 2000 (1999), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), Chicken Little (2005), The Princess and the Frog (2009), and Tangled (2010) as well as the award-winning shorts The Little Matchgirl (2006), Lorenzo (2004), and Destino (2003). In 2007, she joined veteran producer Don Hahn at Disney’s live-action studio to associate produce the Disneynature documentaries Earth (2009), Oceans (2010), African Cats (2011), and Chimpanzee (2012). Hahn and Thompson also produced three documentaries – Waking Sleeping Beauty (2010), Hand Held (2010), and High Ground (2012). Connie then went on to associate produce the Oscar and Golden Globe nominated Frankenweenie (2012) directed by Tim Burton.  Connie left Disney for Illumination Entertainment to work on Despicable Me 2 (2013) and Minions (2015), two of the top-grossing animated films of all time.  Connie has a BFA in Studio Art and Art History from Principia College and has had a life-long love of art and design.  In her free time, she paints landscapes in Los Angeles and New Mexico.  She lives in Hollywood with her husband of 28 years.

Margot H. Knight, Executive Director, Djerassi Resident Artists Program

In November of 2011, Margot H. Knight became Executive Director of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, her seventh job in the arts and humanities in 39 years. Each position has incorporated the things she loves–history, challenges, artists, scholars, education, and access. She has the privilege to guide one of the foremost artist communities on the planet AND is encouraged to pursue her own literary pursuits. Her play, Funnel of Love was published in Characters Magazine

Previous positions include the presidencies of United Arts of Central Florida and United Arts of Raleigh & Wake County, executive director of the Idaho Commission of the Arts and Washington State University’s Oral History Office and staff positions with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and Washington Commission for the Humanities. She served two terms on the Private Sector Council for Americans for the Arts and is a proud recipient of the Michael Newton Award. A frequent consultant, speaker, and grants panelist, she has also served on over 25 chamber of commerce, tourism, regional planning and cultural boards, including the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Visit Orlando, and Florida Cultural Alliance. Margot lives on-site at the Djerassi Program with her husband, Nick, and two cats. She can be reached at or via Facebook (MargotHalidayKnight) or Twitter @artsmargot.


Hats Off Dinner

Thursday, August 10, 6 pm,

$150 per person ($100 tax deduction)

Reservations at Gualala Arts Center through August 3



Cape Fear Café will serve their award winning Whale & Jazz Festival chowder.


Hats Off Dinner guests get a preview of the fine arts competition entries.

This special evening of fine food, wine and art was originally held on Friday night for many years but since its 2007 moved to Thursday and has become the opening event of the annual Festival. After being closed since August 1st to prepare the building, take in and hang the art, the Arts Center will open its doors to the public for the first time to the Hats Off Dinner guests, who will be the first people to view the fine art exhibit and purchase the art before it is judged on Friday.

Tim Mueller and Chris Doering will provide entertainment at the 2017 Hat’s Off Dinner.

Hats Off Dinner celebrants will get a sneak peek preview of the Fine Art Exhibit and have the opportunity to purchase art before it is judged, and receive VIP Festival Passes that will admit them to the Friday Champagne Preview and the Festival itself.

Tickets to the Hats Off Dinner are by reservation only, and are $150 per person which includes a $100 donation and VIP Festival entry to the Champagne Preview on Friday, August 10 from 4 pm to 7 pm and the weekend festival activities on Saturday or Sunday.

The 2017 Hat’s Off Dinner menu will feature First Place Chowder Challenge winner Cape Fear

Bronze Sponsor Pazzo Marco Creamery will be serving up their gelato delights at the Hat’s Off Dinner.

Cafe of Duncans Mills. In addition to their award winning chowder, they will serve shrimp and grits. Also on the menu is Chicken Marbella and Beef Tenderloin with Green Peppercorn Port, Ham with Apricot Cherry Chutney & Mustards, Corn Pudding and Potato Smashers, all expertly prepared by Sherry Kirby and JoAnn Aiken of the Gualala Arts Culinary Guild. JoAnn and Sherry will also prepare appetizers, including a Watermelon basket, Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto, Deviled Eggs, Goat Cheese & Fig Crostini, Chicken Meatballs, Salmon Canapé, Stuffed Tomatoes, Pulled Pork Sliders and Croque au Fromage.  Anchor Bay Thai Kitchen will serve Tom Kha soup and Pad Thai with tofu, Oz Farm will serve a garden salad and crudité platter with Heirloom Bean Hummus. Black Oak catering will provide additional sides, and, finally, DESSERT!  Leave it to the guys from Pazzo Marco Creamery to tempt us beyond our wildest dreams with Banana Rum Gelato, Gianduia Gelato, and Summer Melon Sorbetto. Complimenting the cold treats is newcomer Café Selkie with a Raspberry Fig Cobbler, Lavender Stone Fruit Pie, Caramel Apple Pie, and Rose Apple Frangipane Tarts.  It is safe to say, no one will leave hungry! Wines from Woodenhead Vintners, Handley Cellars and Husch Vineyards will be served.

Reservations can be made by visiting the Gualala Arts Center or calling 707.884.1138.

Gualala Arts will proudly serve wines from Woodenhead Vineyards, Silver Sponsor, and  Husch Vineyards, Bronze Sponsor, at the 2017 Hat’s Off Dinner.






Champagne Preview

Friday, August 11, 4 to 7 pm

Entry is $10

The Champagne Preview is on Friday evening August 11, from 4 pm to 7 pm (admission $10). Champagne will be served until 6 pm when the judges’ award presentation and critique begins.

Outdoor artist booths will be open for a sneak preview from 4 – 6 p.m. The Fine Art exhibit sneak preview is from 4:30 – 7 pm. Award presentations and judge’s critique will take place Friday at 6 pm in the outdoor amphitheater. Artists should be present to receive awards but are not required.

Vendors Share A Variety of Wares

Forge and Fountain is one of 25 vendor booths that will grace the grounds of Gualala Arts Center during Art in the Redwoods.

More than 25 artists will showcase their wares at the Art in the Redwoods Festival starting on Friday, Aug. 11 for the Champagne Preview at 4 pm and again from 10 am Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12 and 13.

“Jewelry always tops the list with the largest number of artists,” says Walt Rush, whose Rogue Wave Studio creations will be on display. Rush says he is influenced by the coastal surroundings and the metals and stones with which he works.

Pt. Arena artist Ling-Yen Jones finely handcrafted pieces will once again be on display. Jones works mainly in silver, semi-precious stones and pearls. The Ling-Yen Designs style ranges from the traditional to the modern.

Another coast resident and regular artist to Art in the Redwoods is Rhoda Teplow, who makes jewelry from beads she has collected from her travels to China and Africa, each with its own story and history.

Porcelain teapot by Debra Haber.

Ellen Athens of Mendocino enjoys experimenting with her jewelry and likes to work with glass bead mosaic, cloisonné enamel and kumihimo braiding, process that she says foster the marriage of color with structure.

Oakland artist Carol Bernau, of “Adornable”, uses bead-weaving techniques from all over the world to create each piece that employs stitches such as Ndebele, square, African helix, brick, pyote, right-angle, and Russian spiral.

Other jewelry artists include Holly Defount of Forge and Fountain, Kentfield, Calif., Shelli Kahl from Big Bear, Calif., Shelley Rae, and Hillary Schneider.

At least a half dozen ceramic and pottery fine arts vendors will offer shoppers their creations, including returning artist Alexis Moyer of The Pot Shop in Philo.

Joann Cassady will be sharing her whimsical Raku designs and pit fired pottery, a unique process that produces patterns and colors created by the random action of the fire and the influence of the surrounding materials.

Ceramicist Debra Haber, of Mendocino, creates porcelain functional ware, often with a twist. She says she works with intention, taking “my inspiration from the world around me. Nature, man-made objects, antiquities and my fellow potters.”

Fine Art painter Karen Legault, of Oakland, is a watercolor artist whose fusion style of Asian and Western techniques and concepts expresses life, movement and energy in rich and colorful nature-filled compositions of flowers, still lifes, ponds and landscapes. Her motto is “Serenity that energizes.”

“There are times when it seems that nothing is going on, but truly everything is going on. Making art is a constant, it feeds my spirit, dares me to open to the unknown, tunes me in and then all the “other” falls away,” says artist Emily Whittlesey from Comptche. Whittlesey paints in oils and has designed a line of screen printed baby clothing.

“Butterflies with Thistle” by Stuart Ratliff.

Berkeley artist Stuart Ratfliff’s striking graphic prints and designs conjure an other-worldly feel, losing viewers in their colorful serenity. Ratliff graduated from St. John’s College in New Mexico. With little formal training, he has a passion for utter immersion in life and this exuberance is transferred in his philosophical and mindful art.

Finally, festival visitors will love Fritzie Seidler’s intricately crafted birdhouses and wind chimes.

Returning for another year, Community Lane will be featured in the vendors area. Intended to support the Go Local movement, this special area showcases local service organizations and clubs such as Action Network, the Redwood Coast Humane Society, Go Local Mendocino Coast, North Coast Artists’ Guild, Gualala Arts Basket Guild, Life Drawings Group, Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild, Voter Registration, and others. Also along Community Row will be the Seedling Art Grove for display of silent auction items (see below).

As David “Sus” Susalla, Executive Director of Gualala Arts says, “There is something for everyone!”

Festival weekend

Saturday, August 12, 10 am to 5 pm

and Sunday, August 13, 10 am to 4 pm

Entry is $6, Youth 7-17 are free

Good food, great music, and fine art! AND the annual Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild quilt raffle AND, new this year, the Seedling Art Grove, where donated silent auction items are planted to grow the Arts Center! So much to do, so little time… it’s a FULL two days of activities and festivities! Come out and enjoy the FUN!

The annual quilt raffle happens at 3 pm the last day of the festival, Sunday, August 13.  Raffle tickets are $5 each, 3 for $10, or 7 for $20 at the Arts Center. Winner needs not be present to win.

This year’s quilt “Labyrinth” is made from a design by Christopher Florence and is based on two mosaic floor tiles in Italy. It was constructed by PPQG members Barbara Dunsmoor, Sylvia Edwards, Cheryl Faconti, Carole Garcia, Dee Goodrich, and Kaylynn Oleson and expertly quilted by Sharon Malachowski.


The Seedling Art Grove

The Seedling Art Grove is a new addition to the Art in the Redwoods displays along Community Row. Here, you can peruse and bid on items that have been donated in order to grow Gualala Arts! The Silent Auction items will be called at 3 pm, Sunday, August 13, along with the Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild raffle.

Bill Vellutini has generously donated his late wife Peggy Zink Vellutini’s pastels and art supplies as well as a 16-foot wooden kayak and 14-foot wooden stand up paddleboard he built himself. “It is the right thing to do,” Bill said, about the donations. “Peggy would have like this… her three sisters will appreciate seeing the plaque at Gualala Arts (in the Donor Grove).”  Peggy Zink Vellutini was well known for her pastel works.

The 1953 original Phil Paradise watercolor painting was generously donated by artist Bruce Jones. The piece is matted and framed and certificated by Starry Sheets, Irvine Calif., and is estimated to be worth more than $1,500.

Bill Vellutini’s handcrafted wooden vessels will be up for Silent Auction through Sunday, August 13, 3 pm.

The 1953 original Phil Paradise watercolor painting was generously donated by artist Bruce Jones. The piece is matted and framed and certificated by Starry Sheets, Irvine Calif., and is estimated to be worth more than $1,500.

Phil Paradise 1953 original watercolor painting.



BAKU Jafro-Fusion Band will play their “Jambient Soundscape” on the JAMI Amphitheater stage on Saturday from 3 to 5 pm.

Music never fails to provide soothing notes for the artistic soul.  Throughout the four days of events,             from the Hat’s Off Dinner on Thursday, August 10, to the last day of the festival, Sunday, August 13, there is a little bit of something for everyone.

In the Redwood Grove on Saturday from 11:30 am to 2 pm, Barbara Johannes will play accordion in teh Redwood Grove. She can also be heard at the Champagne Preview, Thursday, August 11.

On the JAMI Amphitheater stage, enjoy Renaissance Madrigals and classical music by the Fort Ross Chorus on Saturday, August 12 at 12:15 pm.

The Ernest Bloch Bell Ringers will play in Coleman Hall on Saturday at 1:15 pm and Sunday at noon.

BAKU Jafro Fusion Band’s “Jambient Soundscapes” can be heard on the JAMI stage on Saturday 3 to 5 pm.  BAKU is comprised of Chris Doering, Nancy Feehan, Harrison Goldberg, David French and Tim Mueller.

Upstairs on the mezzanine on Sunday, John Micka returns with his classical acoustic guitar in the main Arts Center building.

Festival Map

Art in the Redwoods Festival Map

Vendor Information

A fifteen-minute booth sitting service will be available to artists who are alone. Additionally, artists with booths will receive complimentary food tickets. Vendor publicity materials (Festival postcard front)  (Festival postcard back)  (Festival postcard back 2) (poster)

Vendor questions, please contact Scott Chieffo at (707)884-1138 ext. 13.

For more information please call (707) 884-1138 or email

Tourists and families alike flock to Art in the Redwoods every year at Gualala Arts Center.

Visitors enjoy lunch in the Redwood Grove during Art in the Redwoods.


A tiny dancer enjoys the Redwood Grove venue during Art in the Redwoods.

Lisa Scola Prosek of Timber Cove directs The Fort Ross Choir.
The Ernest Bloch Bell Ringers, conducted by Jeanne Jackson, will play both days at this year’s Art in the Redwoods Festival.
Barbara Johannes will entertain with her accordion in the Redwood Grove on Saturday and Sunday afternoons throughout the festival. Also catch her at the Champagne Preview on Thursday evening.













The Festival is open to the public on Saturday, August 12, from 10 am to 5 pm and on Sunday, August 13, from 10 am to 4 pm for the indoor fine art exhibition and outdoor festival activities. Admission is $6.00 for adults, and youth 17 and under are free.

More details on this event are coming soon,

in the meantime here is a link to past Art in the Redwoods festivals