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Arts collide at Finn Hall

Studio tour treks across Placer County Nov. 9-11
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Placer Herald and Press Tribune editor
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If you’re looking for a variety of art and interesting artists, Finn Hall is the place to be this weekend. And if that’s not’s enough, the rest of Placer County will also be buzzing with creativity for the 19th annual Autumn Art Studios Tour Nov. 9-11.

Finn Hall is once again the site of a group display for the tour, during which 55 artists will show in more than 30 personal studios and three group venues. Filling Finn Hall each day of the tour are Gayle Rappaport-Weiland, mixed media; Craig Johnson, photographer; Andrew Martin, watercolor and oil; Connie McLennan, artist and illustrator; Connie Omans, jewelry and mixed media; and Tara Beaton, Omans’ granddaughter and a newcomer to the tour.
 
“I think that’s what our success is at Finn Hall,” said Rappaport-Weiland, who’s been with the tour since its inception. “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team.’ It’s not about us individually – it’s about us working together.”
 
Martin participated in the tour when she lived in Granite Bay, and now that she lives in Rocklin she looks forward to participating with the group at Finn Hall.
 
“It’s a good opportunity to share what you do with the community,” she said. “You get a lot of people in, so it’s exposure that is not easy to get unless you’re in a gallery.”
 
The art is for sale, and the artists will demonstrate their works in progress. Even Johnson will do a demonstration of sorts, which isn’t always easy for a photographer.
 
“I have a few panels that I’ll show that shows the making of a photograph, from taking it to final presentation,” said Johnson, whose portfolio features numerous photographs from his many travels around the world.
 
Rappaport-Weiland will share her newest coffee-table book art book and instructional DVD, along with showing her paintings and gift items.
 
“I feel that my art is my energy, and my energy changes,” she said of her eclectic, colorful art. “And so, depending on what’s going on with everything around me, I give off energy through my environment, and I think my art reflects that.”
 
Finn Hall support system
The team aspect of the Finn Hall artists is especially present this year, as all are rallying to help one of their own through a particularly tough time.
 
Omans, who moved to Walnut Creek, lost her daughter, Jessica Kingsley, three years ago.  Then her grandson-in-law passed away, and now she is going through chemo-therapy to battle breast cancer.
 
“But, like Gayle says, every day is a good day,” said Omans, as her fellow artists surrounded her in Rappaport-Weiland’s Rocklin home. “If it really wasn’t for art and the people who I know, I would never make it. But it goes on – and there are good things that happen.”
 
Omans, who has been an artist for 70 years, is now teaching her granddaughter how to make jewelry. Educating the public about local arts, Omans said, is an important aspect of the tour.
 
“It’s to meet people and let them see what you do, and to encourage them to do these things, too,” she said.
 
“The purpose of demonstrating on the tour is, one, educating the public about the arts locally,” Rapport-Weiland added. “Two, the art is for sale. It’s a great place to do gift shopping and to support local business and keep your local dollars here, because we have the best art in Placer County.  “You don’t have to go to Carmel and San Francisco.”
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Autumn Art Studios Tour
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 9-11
Where: Studios and venues throughout Placer County; six artists show at Finn Hall, 4090 Rocklin Road
Cost: $10 adults all three days; students K-12 free
Tickets and info: www.placer
arts.org; Finn Hall show free, with tickets available for rest of tour