520 Paul Bond artThree years ago, amid all the buzzy arts and culture events we have in this town, one small movement was born – the Art Along the Coast Studio Tour.

Founded by four artists – Paul Bond, Carolyn Machado, Mia Moore and Sherry Salito-Forsen – this particular studio tour took the self-guided walking tour to a whole new level.

This coming weekend, on Saturday, April 23rd (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and April 24th (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), print your map (artalongthecoast.com) and mosey between San Clemente and Laguna Beach to the personal art studios of sculptors, photographers, glass and jewelry artists and more.

Choose to do the entire free tour, or pick and choose from the list of artists who are participating this year. Whatever your route, you’re going to discover a whole new world behind some of the most talented and respected artists around. The route, itself, might cover a total of 33 miles, but the artists you find at the 12 stops in between are vaunted talents nationally and internationally.

As participating artist Paul Bond explained to me, it just seemed a great way to give people a peek into how artists live and work in their homes and studios. “And, it allows people to see works in progress, or discover a recently completed work that the rest of the world hasn’t found yet,” he says.


This Year’s Artists Clearly at the Top of Their Game

The Art Along the Coast Studio Tour typically selects artists each year who are past or current exhibitors of the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts. Artists are invited into initial application rounds, and then are selected by the Tour’s four founders. Always looking to offer a well-rounded, multi-media experience, the founders added four new artists this year, including one of my latest favorites, ocean and landscape photographer Sean Hunter Brown, sculpturist Belle Tuckerman, oils master April Raber and my ever-and-always perennial favorite, glass designer John Barber.

These new Studio Tour artists join returning gifted artists Paul Bond (oils – individual to each work of art, his stories bring tears to my eyes), Mary Aslin (pastels), Shelley Rapp Evans (fibers), Sherry Salito-Forsen (glass sculpture), Carolyn Machado and Mia Moore (both in mixed media), Fabrice Spies (acrylics) and sculpturist Rachel Young.

Given that the Art Along the Coast Studio Tour has truly been a grass roots project, it has still found a way to resonate beautifully with art fans and aficionados. To date, at least 75 – 125 people visit each artist each day of the 2-day tour … and that’s a lot of people in an artist’s studio! Somehow, though, the crowd is never too marauding, and the artists are always able to chat in one-on-one fashion. What a perfect way to raise one’s senses and make lasting friends along the way.

For maps and details of the free tour, go to ArtAlongtheCoast.com

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