by Mike Rosso
Since 2009, art fans have had an opportunity to meet Salida artists and craftspersons in their working studios, thanks to the Salida Studio Tour.
Every other year, artists open their doors to the public for a chance to watch the artists at work, discuss techniques and view private displays of art.
Among the many participants in this year’s event is painter Gilmore Van Stone, Jr. A native of California, Van Stone moved to Salida in 1989 to take care of his aging mother and never left.
His educational background in the Bay Area included the University of California at Berkeley, the San Francisco Art Institute and the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
He was actually in Berkeley during the tempestuous days of the People’s Park protests in the late 1960s but didn’t participate in the protests, thus avoiding getting his head beaten in by county sheriffs and National Guard troops. Before moving to Colorado, he taught art for the Oakland School District.
Originally a ceramic artist, he began focusing on painting after his move to Salida. His current primary mediums are watercolors and oil on paper, and he considers himself a plein air/studio artist.
His work is influenced by Lucian Freud and John Singer Sargent, “my two idols,” he explains. Van Stone was the first artist to display at the Salida SteamPlant, along with Fred Hubicki, and continues to participate in watercolor shows nationally.
One of his current watercolors, “Electric Pole,” has been selected for inclusion in the National Watercolor Society Annual International Exhibition in San Pedro, California this coming fall.
Gilmore’s studio is located at 307 W. 12th St. in Salida. The tour will be held Saturday, Aug. 8, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.