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With over so many artists to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide where to go during the Art at the Source open studios tour. Over 100 studios are open, free to the public from 10am-5PM, May 31st & June 1, and again on June 7 & 8. You can download a catalogue here. This is the first of my recommended routes.
Best of West County – artistic variety, scenery, and sumptuous dining
From Sebastopol, get onto Bodega Highway heading west. About a mile out of town, keep your eyes peeled for Studio #50, 9400 Spring Hill School Road. All the studios are numbered, and everyone has big yellow signs pointing to their place, so they aren’t difficult to find. This is Takayuki Zoshi’s wood carving studio. He carves beautiful, whimsical and spiritual statues using traditional Japanese hand tools.
It’s only about 14 minutes to the next stop, our place. Continue on Bodega Highway. Make a right on Grandview Road (it is a grand view!) A left on Cherry Ridge Road, a sharp right on Occidental Road, left on Green Hill Road, left on Graton Road. Go 1.75 mi. Turn right on Tanuda Road, a small, short street going up hill. You’ll see signs for studio # 39. You are so almost there! Take the next right onto Harrison Grade Road. Turn left at Morelli Lane. Go about a third of a mile, past the purple mailbox on the right. At the next cluster of mailboxes on the right hand side you will turn left onto Heather Lane for Leland and Stacey Dennick‘s fused glass, with guest artist Jane Kelly of J.K.Mosaics. 4200 Heather Lane, Sebastopol. Refreshments, garden tours, relaxation on the deck and art! Demos at noon, 1 and 2PM daily.
Head down Harrison Grade and turn right on Graton Road, turn right onto Bohemian Hwy to adorable downtown Occidental. Grab a sandwich at the Bohemian Market, or lunch at Howard’s Station Cafe (best breakfast in five counties). Continue through town on Bo ho Hwy. Just past the big hotel on the right, turn onto Bittner Road. Two miles up, make a left onto Joy Road. Stop at studio #42, AKA the Enchanted Barn, for paintings and cards by Theresa Joyce and clay sculpture by Rebecca Love. Four properties up the road, visit the historic red schoolhouse, studio # 43, where Susan St. Thomas will exhibit her mixed media paintings and watercolors.
Take a stroll through old growth redwoods
Stretch your legs among the most fragrant trees on the planet. To get there from studio 43, backtrack on Joy Road, past Buettner Road, and make a left onto Fitzpatrick Lane Road. Look for 17400. See the link above for detailed directions.
A Few more Favorites
A few of the best nearby wineries (in the Russian River Valley)
What’s a wine country tour without wine? These are highly recommended.
Iron Horse Vineyards – sparkling wines
Merry Edwards Winery – pinot noir and sauvignon blanc
Lynmar Estate Winery, Taft Street Winery – chadonnay and pinot noir
Whew, what a great day!