By Peter Tyner
Two of the numerous delights you’ll discover at Placerville’s Art and Wine Festival this year are the, uh, art and the wine. Seriously. This is in addition to the lively music, tasty hors d’oeuvres and wholesome, rip-roarin’ celebration that Hangtown always delivers.
The Placerville Downtown Association hosts this 16th annual Art and Wine Festival on the evening of Oct. 19 from 6 to 9.
Festival favorite Brad Wilson will wail with his classic blues-rock musical stylings. The Brad Wilson Band plays high-octane Americana and is featured in more than 100 venues annually.
The gala will once again include more than 30 local wineries, whose award-winning delectables will be professionally poured in the town’s Main Street shops. Look for fresh labels and a few intriguing new blends from the fruitful microclimates of this unique region. Souvenir wine tasting glasses can be purchased, allowing sampling of all the wines in all locations.
The goblet and tasting privileges costs $30. There are a finite number of wine tickets available, they usually sell out, so buy online at Placervilledowntown.com or visit River City Bank, Kelsey’s Needle Krafts, The Wine Smith, Cuppa Coffee or It’s Personal.
Festival guests with or without wine glasses are encouraged to roam the pantheon of antique centers, jewelry and gift stores, curio cottages and smart clothing shops. Visitors can interact with Placerville’s amazing art galleries and acquaint themselves with neighborhood merchants and their specialty wares.
One of the town treasures not to miss is the Pop Art Gallery, a hole-in-the-wall framing shop at 254 Main St. You may decide you need them after you know what they do.
That nicked and fading Grateful Dead poster in your closet is crying out for display, but maybe you’re skittish about soliciting chain-store framing ideas. Elite shadow-box designers are out there if you have the money, but at day’s end it’s not their memory being aggrandized, it’s yours.
You wonder — has immortality given way to styling clichés in the cash-and-dash world of framed memorabilia? Does there yet remain a connoisseur of the craft who really digs your vision and will actually sit down with you to capture it in a custom casement? And on your budget? Rock on, bro.
Pop Art Gallery preserves the bond between you and those original impressions you gained while in a different place in time and maturity. Connectivity is the key to Pop Art’s enduring success.
Dan and Angela Anderson opened the place three years ago as the latest iteration in their life-long affair with selling high-image art. The walls are lined with rock’s most iconic images, sharing the air with hundreds of cool frame samples in a working studio which adjoins a stunning natural light gallery, all in a space smaller than Ozzy Osbourne’s walk-in closet.
The couple knows these snapshots of the heart are irreplaceable and on the rise. From Beatles ticket stubs to Jefferson Airplane flyers, from Little League jerseys to wartime remnants, regular folks increasingly enshrine life’s special moments on living room walls. But the displays must first be designed for durability, their fragile treasures mounted securely and protected from harsh handling. The engineering must be invisible to the overall design.
A cross between Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Dan was himself a singer-songwriter “a million years ago.” In 1968 the designer briefly worked for Bill Graham, legendary rock impresario in San Francisco, and discovered the world of concert poster art. “We would post promotional flyers on phone poles,” he remembers, “then grab them up after the event.” The powerful images remained.
Forty-five years later he still cherishes the art and its framing possibilities. Dan blends an engineering eye with artistic sense, a mingler of math and soul whose designs have stood the test of stress and time.
“I love consultation with customers who need to make choices, but aren’t sure about the right direction,” mused the 62-year-old, looking over his work in progress. “They’ll bring the piece to me, and together we’ll find the truth of its proper display. It could take awhile. Time doesn’t matter as much as clarity.”
“His passion for his work is showing,” explained Angela. “He makes the beautiful sturdy, and vice versa.”
A mid-50s force of energy, compassion and common sense, Angie is all about the teamwork in a business of deadlines. “Dan doesn’t run the meter when helping customers find and approve a concept. There is no labor component to our price.” She exchanges waves with a friendly browser. “You know, we’ve been at this for a long time. The trick is to love what you do,” she said. “And we both do!”
The pair has been together for nearly 25 years. Both reflect spiritual character, and both strive for a family friendly environment. They stay alert to cultural shifts, and note how their products and services have morphed over the years. Angie reminisced, “We used to handle fine art, in addition to pop art on posters, T-shirts and coffee mugs. About 15 years ago we became a full-service framing company, and that is by far the largest part of our business today. You name it; we frame it.”
The Pop Art proprietors know that framing costs are often a major consideration. No problem here. Angela explained, “Of course expenses are crucial in this economy, so I survey prices continuously.” She leaned forward and confided, “We are always 40 to 50 percent under the big box art supply and hobby type stores, including all their coupons and discount programs.”
Checking out Pop Art on the internet should make the duo feel good. Reviews are wildly positive, with testifiers happy to tote work from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Placerville to be shadow-boxed or framed. Dan is modest but sanguine about his little shop of wonders. “It’s funny, we’ve seen real prosperity when we were much bigger, and we’ve worked out of the back of a van when there was nothing. You want to know the absolute best moments we’ve ever experienced?” He said, smiling. “Right here, right now.”
Pop Art’s commercial clients include Marshall Hospital, Cameron Park Country Club, Shakespeare Club,and a litany of civic and private organizations. Business hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call Angela or Dan Anderson at (530) 622-1235.
Community art projects, including the 2013 Banners on Parade will be on display and will be auctioned for sale at the Art and Wine Festival with the help of Soroptimist International of Placerville. This popular event features brightly painted flags that have beautified the light poles on Main Street the past four months. Co-sponsoring the project again this year are Placerville’s Gold Country Artists Gallery and ECO Signs.
Also featured at this year’s festival will be the Images of Hope project. This is an all-volunteer group that seeks to provide exceptional cultural and artistic events in our community to fund cancer-related services. Visit the show at Placerville Flowers on Main during the event, and be aware of the Painting the Town Pink Window Decorating Contest they will be promoting in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Proceeds from this fund-raising event go toward the promotion of numerous community events and activities. She can be reached at [email protected] or (530) 672-3436.