Tahoe Art League hosts Studio Tour Debuts renovated Art Center

Sunset Reflections Courtesy Ellen Nunes

Tahoe Art League (TAL) has new and exciting happenings going on; it is celebrating the newly renovated Art Center and getting ready to launch its 13th annual Studio Tour.

Download the Artist Studio Tour booklet.

“The gallery is one of the biggest improvements I’ve seen since I’ve been here. We took everything out, cleaned it, made it bright and white,” says League board vice-president and gallery director LoRita Ungar.

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The League is ramping up its programming at the Art Center with art demonstrations and movie nights; the center also provides community meeting space. The gallery will feature rotating art shows with specific themes. The inaugural summer show will highlight the work of local artists in an exhibit on display now until Aug. 30.

Artist Studio Tour
July 26-28 & Aug. 2-4 | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | South Shore venues

Ungar, one of these artists, has lived in South Lake Tahoe and been a League member for 3½  years and enjoys being around other artists. She is into painting, printmaking, woodworking and more recently gold and silversmithing.

“LoRita has all of her beautiful jewelry there, all handmade sterling silver that just blows people away. It’s hard to leave without buying something of hers,” says League board president Scott Forrest. He also owns Scott Forrest Fine Art Studio in South Lake Tahoe.

A few of the other artists in this first showcase include David Foster, a sculptor, who started Tahoe Art League, as well as the art program at Lake Tahoe Community College, and Ellen Nunes, who adds salt crystals to her paints and places them in the snow to create a unique texture.

Courtesy Scott Forrest

Forrest guarantees the remodeled space has never looked better. The Art Center now features big, bright windows in front with art that’s meant to grab passersby, giving the artists more exposure and art collectors accessibility with what they favor.

According to him, this recent remodel breathes much-needed new life into the nonprofit; its membership base has nearly doubled since January, largely in part to the offering of more benefits for new and seasoned artists. He is committed to raising the bar on how to produce and promote local artists in Tahoe.

“As a professional gallery owner and artist, I wanted to take people from just joining to a professional level of hanging, wiring, marketing and presentation,” Forrest says.

According to Forrest, members have also noticed an increased interest from a younger generation of artists, perhaps due to its solid alliance with local schools and colleges. The League recently gave out two $1,000 scholarships to Lake Tahoe Community College art students and one $500 scholarship to South Tahoe High School student this year.

“It all comes from donations and memberships. [The scholarships] all come through the 501c3 and then goes right back out; we never hold onto the funds for very long,” he says.

The League collaborates with Tahoe Arts Alliance, which recently hosted its inaugural ArtFest featuring a variety of different artists on Ski Run Boulevard, and works closely with the City of South Lake Tahoe.

The annual Studio Tour will be held over two weekends from July 26 to 28 and Aug. 2 to 4. It will be a great time to meet the participating artists and check out the new art center. Many members also live or have studios along Lake Tahoe Boulevard or are clustered in certain areas, which makes it convenient to visit many on one trip. Scott Forrest Fine Art Studio and the Art Center are on that strip, as well; the newly constructed sidewalks and clean streets will make getting around easier.

Some new studios on the tour this year include: Compass Clay Studio, featuring abstract and figurative clay sculptures; Connie Clark’s home studio that will host a few artists and the studio of oil painter Yvonne McGrath, Forrest’s mother.

Forrest says that the League’s initiatives to build confidence in members to sell their art is finally coming to fruition.

“The goal of the art center is to provide the best experience for everybody; please come to the new gallery,” he says. | www.talart.org