Even the Bard of Avon would have been enchanted meandering amongst the redwoods and sculptures of the Triton Museum of Art gardens last Saturday. But instead of Oberon and Titania, Shakespeare’s fairy king and queen, the Bard would have come upon women in sundresses and men in shorts or jeans browsing fine art for sale and listening to decidedly un-Elizabethan music while sitting under the canopy of a huge pine tree. It was the Triton Museum’s Midsummer Art Celebration on June 18.
“There’s a fun, lyrical look and feel to the day,” says artist Jeff Bramshreiber, wearing a swash-buckling costume perhaps more Medieval than Renaissance. Bramshreiber, who serves on the museum Board of Directors, is the founder of the Midsummer Art Celebration.
“I’m grateful to Jeff for thinking of this event and taking it to new levels by adding food by the Santa Clara Sister Cities Association and entertainment arranged by Orchard Valley Fine Arts Foundation,” says George Rivera, Museum Executive Director.
It was tempting just to sit all day and listen to the music: big band music, Gilbert and Sullivan, the Lyricats singing “Big City Swing” acapella, classical guitar, Broadway tunes, country, rock, and Mission City Opera divas piercing your heart with arias from “Madama Butterfly” and “La Boheme.” The Santa Clara Players performed one-act plays.
Breaking away from the entertainment, you couldn’t help but notice artist Jaya King (www.jayasart.com) in her Tinkerbelle fairy attire—flitting barefoot in the sunshine, posing with her whimsical acrylic “Hamsterdam,” and writing up sales of her “Art of a Ridiculous Nature.”
Just a few of the many other attention grabbers: Xuan My Ho’s 15-pound mosaic tile guitar (www.swanmosaic.com); Lance A. Glasser’s bronze sculpture “First Assent” (www.exxothermic.com); Mei-Ying Dell’Aquila’s “Liberty” series (as in Statue of Liberty) paintings of strong, bold women (www.meiyingdellaquila.com); and Yvonne Newhouse’s hand-painted silk scarves (www.yvonnenewhousedesigns.com).
“This is a great chance to gain exposure, meet other artists, make contacts, and get more familiar with the Triton Museum,” says Carol Bower, programs chair for the Los Gatos Art Association, with twelve artists at the show. “Doing this as a group makes it easier for everyone.”
There is no cost to artists to participate in the juried show. However, the museum receives 30 percent of sales, which Bramshreiber estimates to be about $3,000 this year.
“Though we always appreciate more money in the coffers, fundraising is not the big impact of this day,” says Preston Metcalf, chief curator of the Triton Museum.
The great impact is how we are able to work with the local art community. More than 100 artists—six regional art clubs as well as individual artists—area able to show and share their works. I know of no other museum in the region that gives so many artists an opportunity to share their works in such a beautiful setting.”
“Those artists turn around and provide the greatest support the museum can have. To have the devotion of the artists is unique. Their attitude is ‘How can we participate and help promote the museum?'” continues Metcalf. “People who love art come to events, and artists become ambassadors, promoting art in our lives.”
The magical third Midsummer Art Celebration ended at 6 p.m. as the artists packed up and departed the sculpture garden behind the Triton Museum of Art, 1505 Warburton Avenue. Shakespeare really should have been there. You, too. You would have loved it.