What: Art in the Orchard
Who: Rainbow Orchards, the Apple Hill Growers Association and the El Dorado Arts Council
Where: Fudge Factory Farm, Jack Russell Farm Brewery, Kids Inc., Lava Cap Winery, Madroña Vineyards, Rainbow Orchards and Woffard Acres Vineyards
When: Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8 and 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day
Cost: No admission charge
Information: eldoradoartscouncil.org or call 530-295-3496
Residents and visitors are welcome to Art in the Orchard on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8 and 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The family-friendly weekend of art, culture, music and fun is presented by a coalition of art supporters.
Seven ranches in the Camino area and members of Apple Hill — Fudge Factory Farm, Jack Russell Farm Brewery, Kids Inc., Lava Cap Winery, Madroña Vineyards, Rainbow Orchards and Woffard Acres Vineyards — will offer different musical performances, art displays, food and special discounts during the event.
Art in the Orchard originated about 15 years ago, sparked by an idea from Christa Campbell, owner of Rainbow Orchards. She is still one of the main organizers of the day devoted to the arts.
“It started off with the thought of, ‘Let’s come out on a Saturday and set our art in the orchard,’” Campbell said.
The first Art in the Orchard was very informal, with friends, family members and neighbors of Apple Hill growers simply gathering in the orchard to look at art and have picnics.
However, as the years went by, the basic idea evolved into a more elaborate event complete with musical performances, a greater number of participating artists and special activities for children.
As the event became more complex, the Apple Hill Growers Association decided to partner with the El Dorado Arts Council about four years ago.
Currently, the three organizations that sponsor this weekend are Rainbow Orchards, the Apple Hill Growers Association and the El Dorado Arts Council.
Campbell explained that this event has become important for people in the area. It exposes them to art that they may not see on a regular basis, she said.
“It’s accessible art for our community,” Campbell said. “Kids in this area rarely go to art museums because they are not accessible. This event allows all people to interact with art and artists, and fosters art access for our citizens.”
This year’s extravaganza will feature emerging and experienced musicians alike.
Folk, country and bluegrass band “Left of Cool” will be back with a performance at Rainbow Orchards, while folk guitarist Joaquin Fiorese will also make a return to Wofford Acres Vineyards. Nine-year-old Flamenco guitarist and harp player Alaina Rose will add a new flavor to the mix with her performance at Fudge Factory Farm.
This weekend will also showcase the work of 46 local artists. During the span of both days, there will be 39 artists at Rainbow Orchards, two at Madroña Vineyards and five at Kids Inc. Paintings, jewelry, ceramics, glass and sculptures will all be available for sale.
Local artist Joey Cattone was in charge of coordinating the artists that will participate this year.
Cattone’s job began in early February, when she started soliciting artist submissions through Facebook, word-of-mouth and other forms of social media.
Once the artists submitted their work, the pieces were reviewed by a selection committee to determine who could participate in the event.
Pieces were judged on whether they were considered “fine art” or “craft.” Criteria was also based on quality of presentation, and both visual and functional art pieces (such as jewelry) were accepted.
“We make it so artists that show an above-average skill are presented,” Cattone said when describing the selection process.
Cattone’s duties also include preparing artists on the logistics of selling their work. She has to make sure that they have the appropriate permits that are required for art sales.
“This event is also important because it educates artists on the business of selling art,” Cattone said.
Aside from organizing the logistics of art submissions, Cattone will have her work for sale as well. Cattone works with acrylics and commonly produces “wine-themed art.”
Art in the Orchard will not only feature art and musical performances — there will also be activities for children and special food offerings and discounts from different ranches.
There will be a petting zoo, coloring book wall, face painting and “ice cream in a bag” for children at Rainbow Orchards for both days. Additionally, there will be free samples of blackberry sour cream pie, apple crisp and peach and apple butter empanadas at Kids Inc.
For the more adult crowd, attendants can head over to Jack Russell Farm Brewery for the release of the new Pumpkin Ale. Free reserve wine tasting will also be available at Madroña Vineyards and Wofford Acres Vineyards.
The theme of this year’s event is “Discover the Backroads” because the organizers wanted to show that there is more to the Camino area than meets the eye.
“So many people don’t get to see the beauty in the back,” said Ann Woffard, executive director of the Apple Hill Growers Association. “This is their chance to see what’s there and start enjoying the early harvest.”
The event coordinators hope to create another weekend that fosters a strong sense of community, history, art and service.
“Apple Hill already has so much to offer,” said Emogene Haller, El Dorado Arts Council program administrator and coordinator of the event’s musicians, performers and marketing. “We just add art and music and help make it so much fun.”
For more information on Art in the Orchard visit eldoradoartscouncil.org or call 530-295-3496.