Artists help save farm and ranch land
Annual art sale in Nicasio to benefit Marin Agricultural Land Trust
by Shari Faye Dell (West Marin Citizen May 19, 2011)
One of the Bay Area's truly unique art events, Ranches & Rolling Hills, an art show and sale to benefit Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), returns for its 14th annual appearance on Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22, 2011, at Druid's Hall in Nicasio, California. The show features more than 250 original paintings and prints of the natural and working landscapes of West Marin, including many of the family farms and ranches that have been permanently protected by MALT. The public is invited free of charge.
Forty-five artists from Marin County and from Santa Barbara's Oak Group are participating in the Ranches & Rolling Hills art show this year, including two Marin artists whose work will be featured for the first time: woodcut artist Tom Killion and painter Carol Peek. Other participating artists include Marin painters Thomas Wood, Susan Hall and Timothy Horn, along with Oak Group artists Arturo Tello, Richard Schloss and Chris Chapman.
Proceeds from art sales benefit MALT's farmland preservation program, which has permanently protected nearly half of the agricultural land in Marin over the past 30 years. Many of the prized dairy products, meats and organic crops enjoyed by local food enthusiasts at Bay Area farmers' markets and restaurants are produced on family farms and ranches protected by MALT, including milk and ice cream from Straus Family Creamery; cheeses from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company and Cowgirl Creamery; grass-fed meats from Fallon Hills Ranch and Stemple Creek Ranch; vegetables from County Line Harvest; and wines from Stubbs Vineyard.
Like other Ranches & Rolling Hills artists, Marin woodcut master Tom Killion feels good knowing his work is supporting MALT. "As a child growing up in Marin, I watched the dairy farms and ranchland disappear to suburban development all across the south and east of the county — and it left a big hole in my heart," Tom explains. "So when MALT was founded, I was overjoyed. But the work is not yet finished, and the pressures on family farms are greater than ever. That's why I'm so happy to help out by participating in the Ranches & Rolling Hills Art Show this year. Viva the open green hills covered with cattle and wildflowers! Viva MALT!"
Ranches & Rolling Hills was celebrated in a 2008 book of the same name that showcases the art and provides a historical record of protected farmland in Marin. The book can be purchased at www.malt.org.
The Ranches & Rolling Hills Landscape Art Show & Sale is open to the public at no charge from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. on Saturday, May 21, and from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. on Sunday, May 22.
For those who want the first opportunity to purchase art, the Ranches & Rolling Hills Exclusive Preview Sale & Champagne Brunch takes place on Saturday, May 21, from 10 A.M. to 12 P.M. Advance reservations are required, and admission is $125 per person.
For more information and preview tickets, visit www.malt.org or call 415-663-1158.