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Celebration of arts and culture in Yosemite begins

For The Madera Tribune

Art the Bear Carvings for 31 Days of ARTober.


OAKHURST — Visit Yosemite Madera County once again partners with the art community of Oakhurst to present ‘ARTober in Oakhurst,’ (October) a month dedicated to celebrating arts and culture throughout the area. ARTober encourages collaboration and participation from artists, musicians, writers, venues, foodies, etc. to showcase all things arts and culture. The events are designed to encourage people to explore and appreciate arts in Oakhurst; Oakhurst, located in the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park, is a vibrant small town of arts and among the largest artist communities, per capita, in California.

ARTober kicks off with one of our region’s premier art events, the Sierra Art Trails Open Studio Tour on Friday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. In its 17th year, Sierra Art Trails provides a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to see fine art and fine crafts in the making, and to meet and purchase works directly from the people who create them. The show takes place in homes, studios, galleries, and businesses in more than a dozen communities in Eastern Madera County, California’s gateway to Yosemite and Mariposa County. The exhibits feature artists and artisans working in a wide range of media including painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture, fiber arts, woodcarving, ceramics, glass, and more.

Jon Bock, president of Sierra Art Trails said, “I am very excited to be involved in the third annual ARTober, a month-long celebration of the arts in Oakhurst! In the Yosemite foothills, art is entwined with history. As artists, we work hard to share our skills and our passion, to promote the arts as an important cultural resource! We want to carry on this creative tradition, to share our talent, and to invite the public to celebrate with us!”

Scroll through the events calendar and you will find a wide array of activities to enjoy, some of which are noted below:

31 Days of ARTober: Each day “Art the Bear”, a unique chainsaw-carved bear, will be hidden at a local business somewhere in Oakhurst. Follow @ARToberOakhurst on Facebook and Instagram for daily clues.

Crossing Borders – Travel Photography by Michael J Costa exhibit at Gallery 5 in Oakhurst’s Gallery Row, runs September 11 through October 10. This special exhibit features images from Costa’s travels across the globe including Nepal, Bolivia, Peru, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Vietnam.

Oakhurst Fall Festival: Don’t miss Oakhurst’s annual signature event held on Friday, Oct. 11 (3 to 8 p.m.), Saturday, Oct. 12 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and Sunday, Oct. 13 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in the Oakhurst Community Park. The festival offers everything from carnival rides, children’s activities, vendor booths, a variety of food, lots of vendor booths, live music and local wine and beer tastings (Saturday only from noon to 7 p.m.). This year’s main attractions include Jedi training (Friday at 7 p.m.) and Mana Fire Dancers (Saturday at 7 p.m.). The many live music performances along with the ARTober Artist Pavillion round out the art offerings throughout the festival. Go to for more information.

“Peter Pan” opens October 4 and runs through October 27 at the Golden Chain Theater in Oakhurst. Don’t miss this live theatre performance with Captain Hook and his band of Pirates, the Lost Boys, the Darling Family and our favorite boy who just won’t grow up.

Plein Air at Fresno Flats: Yosemite Western Artists (YWA) will be inviting the public to join them for an afternoon of art at Fresno Flats Historical Park on Saturday, Oct. 19. The park’s grounds with its many historic buildings provides a unique environment to practice this style of art. You can come just to watch or better yet, learn side-by-side with several of our local artists. Plein Air will start around 1:00pm, right after the YWA monthly potluck and art demonstration. More Yosemite Western Artist info can be found at

Yosemite Renaissance 33 Exhibit at Galley 5, Saturday Oct. 14 through Sunday, Nov. 17. Yosemite Renaissance is an annual traveling exhibit that presents diverse artistic interpretations of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada with participants from across the county. A special reception will be held on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Rhonda Salisbury, CEO, Visit Yosemite Madera County said, “With this annual event, we really want to showcase Oakhurst as an art community. We are extremely lucky to have world-class galleries, unique music venues and the historic Golden Chain Theatre…right here in Oakhurst!”

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