Trying a New Tack to Cultivate Art Patrons

Artist Mia Moore with a work in progress.
Artist Mia Moore with a work in progress.

A dozen individual exhibitors at the Festival of Arts cooperatively are marketing themselves to the public and their collectors for the first time in an off-season studio tour, hoping to share a bit of themselves with people they see summer after summer.

From brain storming sessions between painter Paul Bond, mixed media artists Mia Moore and Carolyn Machado and glass artist Sherry Salito-Forsen emerged Art Along the Coast, a home and studio tour that also serves as a preview of what’s in store for festival visitors in summer.

“The idea was to give people a chance to make personal connections and offer them a glimpse of how creative people live and work,” said Bond.

The tour of 12 artists’ homes or studios spans territory between San Clemente and Laguna Beach, and will take place on Saturday, April 26, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 27, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Studio/home addresses along with a detailed map can be found at

Four artists live and work in San Clemente and Dana Point and the rest are scattered throughout Laguna on Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road.

“It’s nothing big like the monthly canyon tours,” said Moore, referring to city-sponsored tours of artist studios. “We would rather have something more intimate like a home and garden tour since every space is very unique.”

She will open her small, well-lit North Laguna studio both days, welcoming visitors to a single room lined with pull-out drawers filled with myriad materials used in her Asian-inspired collages.

In another example, Machado works out of her garage and takes great pride in her garden where she exhibits her multi-media mosaic works. “I am a collector. I have so many interesting things to show and would love to share them,” she said.

Visitors to any one of the 12 studios will each receive a raffle ticket to win works of art by the participants, tickets to the Pageant of the Masters, or a two-day workshop conducted by Machado.

David Milton’s home and studio are almost one and the same, and the space including his patio will be filled with his water colors of past and present Americana. “A lot of communities have open studios but the concept of showing also how we live is out the box and that’s what appeals to me,” said Milton, who also exhibits at the Sawdust Festival.

The organizers plan to make this an annual event, depending on the success of their inaugural tour.

Moore said that the artists increasingly want to keep closer ties to the public and collectors and are getting more savvy marketing themselves and their work. “When I started exhibiting at the festival 21 years ago, I just stood there and let people look at my work until my husband pointed out that it might be a good idea if I talked to them about it,” she recalled with a laugh. “Now I enjoy the camaraderie between the artists and meeting visitors every year.”

Participating artists: Paul Bond, Oils, Michael Ezzell, Sculpture, Lance Heck, Jewelry, Nancy Holly, Photography, Susan Jarecky, Oils, Carolyn Machado, Mixed Media, David Milton, Watercolors, Mia Moore, Mixed Media,Troy Poeschl, Mixed Media, Sherry Salito-Forsen, Glass, Fabrice Spies, Acrylics, Gary Zuercher, Photography.

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