Art, Verse & Vines
● By Wendy Sipple
Photo by Dante Fontana
The pioneers that settled Placer County brought a rich heritage and culture to the beautiful valley and mountains that make up the area we call home.
The passions and hard work of cowboys, winemakers and artists crafted our region into one of the most desirable places to live and visit in California.
In keeping with these long loved traditions, three individual events joined together a few years ago to bring Art, Verse & Vines to Placer County. The second weekend of November 12-15 explodes with opportunities to explore, discover, and learn more about our community. “I’m excited to have more events in the fall,” says Laurel Hinerman, Placer Valley Tourism’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “We get to show off the different and diverse activities in our region.”
Autumn Art Studios Tour has been a local happening for sixteen years. The tour showcases more than 80 artists and craftspeople from Roseville to Colfax with nearly every artistic medium featured. “There are many fine artists in Placer County,” Rosie Stilwell, tour coordinator for Placer Arts says. “Our area just breeds creativity and brings out [the artists] best work,” she says. Group shows and artist studio tours welcome everyone to come and view local art throughout the Placer County hills and valley. Detailed maps and artists profiles are available to help plan your cultural experience.
Cowboy lore aficionado, Bret Braun, fell in love with cowboy poetry years ago and wanted to share his passion with his Placer neighbors. “It is important to let folks know about their western heritage,” Braun explains. He and wife Carol founded the Cowpoke Fall Gathering in 1995, and they have been lassoing droves of folks to the shows ever since. All proceeds from the poetry/music performances goes directly to South Placer Heritage Foundation. This nonprofit is responsible for renovating The Blue Goose Fruit Shed in Loomis. The cowpokes first joined to create Art, Verse & Vines to promote all of the wonders of our beautiful area. “We want to make Placer County a destination for this fun-filled weekend,” Braun says. And, nationally-known cowboy poet Baxter Black is this year’s headliner!
A “Gold Crush” is happening in “them thar hills.” The year of 1848 brought the first gold miners and grape vines to the region. Winemaking gave way to other agricultural pursuits due to Prohibition...but 50 years later, grapes made a big come back. The heat, rocky terrain, and the hardworking winemakers of Placer County have all helped to produce award-winning wines. Local vintners started a wine tour just a few years ago and joined forces with the artists and cowpokes to make November 12-15 even more fun. Fifteen wineries participate in this tempting tasting tour. “This annual event knits together the people of the Sierra Foothills,” explains Karen McGillvary of Dono dal Cielo Vineyards. “Each offering touches of every aspect of our human creativity.”
Discover what talent, tastes and “Old West” fun is tucked away in our local neighborhoods, and you’ll see why Placer Valley’s motto is “The Fun Starts Here.”
For more information on the 2009 ‘Art, Verse & Wines’ events, visit placerarts.org.