Skip to main content

This week we’re featuring community projects, new products, upcoming classes, and call for artists. Stay tuned till the end to stay up to date on the latest and greatest at Art Central and around the county!

Two Weeks Left to View SLOPE Exhibit

San Luis Outdoor Painters for the Environment (SLOPE) is proud to celebrate the local beauty of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary with this art exhibit “SLOPE Honors Pristine Coastal Visions,” April 1-May 30, 2022.  It’s a tribute showing & sale of inspired paintings dedicated to the SLO County coastline of this Marine Sanctuary, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Northern Chumash Tribal Council.

The May Flower Initiative

Launched in 2020 during the COVID-19 shutdown, the May Flower Initiative brings artists, businesses, and property owners together again this month to brighten downtown San Luis Obispo with beautiful and colorful florals. This year, 50+ storefronts were paired with local artists, who have collaborated to create beautiful artwork in their windows.

Enjoy a stroll downtown and follow the map on a trail of beautiful blossoms. Light poles around downtown will also be decked out in floral garlands. A map and list of all participating businesses and artists will be available in Mission Plaza.

NEW! Plein Air Pochade Boxes

NewWaves’ U.GO pochade boxes are designed for travel from sea to summit and anywhere in between. Ultra slim and lightweight, these beautifully constructed boxes are crafted from Baltic Birch wood with stainless steel and aluminum accents to provide strength where most needed. They also feature an innovative magnet system which serves to secure all the adjustable components as well as the main closure.  All hardware is non-corrosive. 

Looking for a group to paint En Plein Air with? Art Center Morro Bay offers a self-directed fun group of dynamic artists who enjoy painting and sketching outdoors. The event is facilitated by Kirsti Wothe, Adult Art Education Director from Art Center Morro Bay.

They meet at a pre-determined location every week.

For more information and to be added to the email list, please contact Kirsti Wothe at

Are your children drawing with carbon-neutral products?

Since 2014, Faber-Castell has proudly achieved carbon-neutral production. Their reforestation project in Brazil absorbs 900,000 tons of CO2 annually, offsetting their internal production processes. Now, they’re offering carbon-neutral products

Through cooperation with an internationally certified climate protection project by Climate Partner, the emissions created during material extraction and the production process of all individual parts, (e.g. purchased parts) as well as transportation to production are now offset.

Look for the “carbon-neutral production” and “carbon-neutral product” labels on products as well as for labels indicating components made from recycled materials and reforested wood. Shown below are some of their products we currently carry.

And – if all the above isn’t enough of a reason to try these pencils, they are great quality, too! Bright colors to encourage your children to create beautiful vivid drawings and paintings!

Color Grip Pencils

Made from certifiable sustainable forestry. Environmentally friendly water-based varnish. Cardboard packaging. Carbon neutral production. Triangular shape and grip dots to give better control.

Available in sets of 12 or 24.

Watercolor EcoPencils

Made from certifiable sustainable forestry. Environmentally friendly water-based varnish. Cardboard packaging. Carbon neutral production. Triangular shape and grip dots to give better control.

Available in sets of 12 or 24.

Triangular EcoPencils

Made from certifiable sustainable forestry. Cardboard packaging. Carbon neutral production. Triangular shape won’t roll off desk. 3.3 mm leads.

Available in a set of 12.

Workshops and classes at Art Central

Don’t Miss Out!

Enroll via @mcrobbinsstudios on Instagram or text:
(209) 347-7295

Class Fee:
$25 per class (Cash, Check or Venmo)

Ages: 5+

Class limited to 12 students

Join the “Golden Poppies” class at Art Central where children will learn to paint our state’s favorite flower with a soft pink background. This is the first of many courses Meagan Robbins will be offering throughout June and July. Meagan specializes in the arts, especially working with young artists and providing space for children who are interested in learning art or expanding their creative outlets. 

Email Spencer to Enroll

Class Fee:
$25 for one child – $40 for two

Ages: 5-11

Class limited to 10 students

Materials Included

Upcoming Sunday classes also taught by Spencer include Abstract Collage on June 5th and Pinch Pots on June 12th!

Drawing classes with Spencer begin in July – stay tuned for more info!

Join local artist and Art Central Staff Spencer Collins in an hour-long children’s art class, with new lessons each week! Supplies included in class fee, check our events calendar for specific lessons and required materials lists, all supplies available at Art Central!

Weekly Classes

Email Virginia Mack to Enroll:  

Class Fee:
$35 per class

Limited to 12 spaces

This is a watercolor class designed to let you jump in and try out this engaging medium through experimentation. As we progress, we will experience and develop the basic techniques of watercolor painting and realize the characteristics of the medium.

This class is designed for beginners, as well as those with watercolor experience who wish to expand their knowledge of painting in watercolors.

Email Virginia Mack to Enroll:  
Class Fee:
$35 per class
3rd Wednesday session will be held around the county “En Plein Aire”

Limited to 12 spaces

This is a class for those who love imagining ways to further their visual expressions. We are mostly watercolor-based but branch out into other media. We discuss all elements but mostly color and its interactions, and we explore composition, intention, and process.

Email Rachel to Enroll

Class Fee:
$30 per class (Cash or Venmo)

Ages: 10+

Class limited to 12 students

Only 1 more class:

June 2nd

This is an explorative acrylic painting workshop, meant to expose the ideas in your mind and express them on canvas. Artists of any skill level are welcome to join. We will find patterns in our mark-making, and explore our creativity as we slowly recognize images in our creations.
Required supplies: canvas or gesso board and your favorite big and small brushes. 
-Rachel will supply primary colors and black/ white. If you have a favorite color you’d like to paint with, please bring it! All other supplies can be purchased from Art Central. 

Email Rachel to Enroll

Class Fee:
$15 per class (Cash or Venmo)

Ages 16+

Class limited to 12 students

THURSDAYS from 10:30 – 12:30 PM

Only 1 more class:

June 2nd

Want to better understand every body? Come draw with Rachel and work on style, proportions, and loosening the fixed perspectives we have on art and ourselves. A live, clothed model will pose from 1-20 minutes over a 2 hour period. Bring your mark-making tools, sketchbooks and your friends!  Veteran figure drawer? Pick up some toned paper and white conte or charcoal from Art Central.


Email Ardella to Enroll

Class Fee:
$40 per class

Ages: 16+

Class limited to 12 students

NEW! Ardella Swanberg’s specialty is watercolor but she is interested in how other media interact with it. So in this class, she proposes to MIX IT UP! explore using watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and any other water-soluble media. Each media has unique characteristics. Some play well with others and some don’t. Let’s find out what they do. We can paint watercolor over gouache, add pastel or charcoal, or even acrylic. We will work small on different surfaces to find out what works best. Bring your favorite media and she will supply the rest.

Only Two Spots Left! Woodblock Printing – starting June 14th!

Email Tricia Reichert to Enroll:

Class Fee: $210 for a 6 part workshop series
(some supplies included)

2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, 1 – 4:30 pm
June 14th, 28th, Jul 12th, 26th, Aug 9th, 23rd

Limited to 10 spaces
*(Full vaccination and masking will be required )*

-Join The Central Coast Printmakers in exploring the very interesting and varied world of hand-made prints. In this series, you will be learning the process of carving and executing the ancient art of woodblock printing. All ages are welcome and no prior experience is necessary to attend these workshops.
-Some members will also be attending each of these workshops to join in and help you along the way. If you enjoy the workshops and printmaking, we’d like to invite you to become a member of the printmakers.
-Maryanne Nucci and Tricia Reichert will be teaching these workshops.

Enroll via @mcrobbinsstudios on Instagram or text:

(209) 347-7295

Class Fee:
$25 per class, or $60 for the 3 June classes (cash, check or Venmo)

Ages: 5+

Class limited to 12 students

Meagan is offering 3 classes – all will use 8×10″ canvas and acrylic paints. Each painting will include some type of sparkle/glitter at the end. “The reason I like to incorporate glitter is to give students the freedom to create designs with glue before bringing them to me. We add glitter, shake off the extra, and reveal their very own sparkly design and individuality.”  All paintings work on strengthening a steady hand, along with learning the correct techniques of layering and mixing colors. 




This exhibit runs from August 5th through October 3rd, 2022

For this open exhibit, we are accepting all mediums! Give us the best of your west! Our region has a rich history of cowboys and grit – We want to see what you think of when you imagine the gold seekers, shantytowns, bucking broncos, golden hills and Chaparral. Find more details in the contract below. If you are interested in participating, please send us an image of your artwork to by July 15th.

To participate, please download and fill out this artist contract and bring it in with your artwork on Aug 3rd between 10am-4pm

Local Workshops, Events, & Calls for Artists

Discovering Italic Calligraphy with Mary Lou Johnson

Email or Text Mary Lou Johnson to Enroll:
(805) 441-3246 or

When: Saturday, June 25th 12-4pm

Fee: $35, a Parallel pen and $5 material fee

Class Limited to 6 Students

Learn the basics of Italic Script using a Pilot Parallel Pen. (2.4 mm suggested size, available at Art Central) Upper and lower case letters will be reviewed and demonstrated. Italic letters are fun to write and are a great choice for many creative projects. We will explore the versatility of the Pilot Pens featuring a broad edge. Bring your favorite short quotation suitable for lettering a weathergram.

Casual Pointed Pen with Mary Lou Johnson

Email or Text Mary Lou Johnson to Enroll:
(805) 441-3246 or

When: Saturday, July 16th 12-4pm

Fee: $35 plus a $5 material fee

Class Limited to 6 Students

An easy introduction to cursive style lettering with a pointed pen. Practical guide to lettering capitals and minuscules will be the focus of the class. Suitable for those new to a pointed pen and great review for those who are experienced with Copperplate and pointed pen. 

Bring a few blank envelopes for tips and tricks on envelope addressing.

In-person and online classes with Tricia Reichert:

Printmaking Workshop with Artists Rosey and Barbara Rosenthal

The Central Coast Printmakers will be leading a workshop in printmaking. You will learn the difference between relief and intaglio as you work on a linoleum plate. You will use cutting tools in a way that you can print in relief by hand (as you could continue at home).

You will also be taught to ink your plate in the intaglio method (think etching and engraving) and print it with an etching press. In this way you will have a good introduction to two common printmaking techniques without the use of acid on a metal plate. Experienced printmakers will enjoy experimenting with this process as well.

For more information about the instructors: Here

COST: $100 Members; $135 Non-Members
***Materials fee is included with the 2-day class
WHERE: Art Center Morro Bay, 835 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA
WHEN: June 11-12, 2022
TIME: 10am – 3pm with an hour lunch break. Bring your own lunch or enjoy the local restaurants


Materials: linoleum plates, papers, inks, and use of tools and other materials are all Included.

Bring your own notebook, apron, and personal gloves are optional. We have disposable gloves in a rather large size for inking and cleanup.

Contact: Kirsti Wothe (805) 996-0937

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Expressive Collage and The Art of Drawing with Chantelle Goldthwaite have been cancelled.

Annual Winning Images Photo Contest

New Times Media Group invites local photographers to show us the moments they’ve captured in our 27th annual Winning Images photography contest and exhibition.

There are eight categories: AnimalsFloraLand/SeascapesPeopleTravelOpenIn Motion (which can include any interpretation of action or motion), and Youth (under 18).

The entry period is open NOW through Tuesday, May 31, 2022 – at 5 p.m.

We are only accepting ONLINE ENTRIES.

Photographs must have been taken within the boundaries of San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara Counties (except submissions to the Open and Travel categories). The entry fee is $10 per photo. See the complete rules on our website.

Winning photographs will be published in the Thursday, June 16, 2022 issues of New Times and Sun; and will appear in an online gallery.

Art Center Morro Bay – “BROKEN NATURE”

There are two main approaches to take:
– Tackle the critical state of the environment due to the impact of human presence. Think locally and globally. Confront global warming, drought, wildfires, climate change, extinction of species, pollution, ocean plastic garbage patch, polluted air, etc. If you are a landscape artist, question the truth beyond the beauty or the present visions for the future. Mixed media artists are challenged to use the plastic waste directly or find visual ways to expose the truth beneath the glossy illusion of objects that are embedded with underpaid labor and utter waste of natural resources. 
2) HUMAN CONDITION – Let us dare to confront our broken nature. Figurative, representational and abstract artists exposing our psyche. Defy monstrous Big Pharma practices ensnaring humans into opioid addictions, the broken health care system, the fragile and neglected brothers and sisters and the divide in the nation. This exhibit is a challenge to dare. To pose raw questions, expose current states of matter and to envision the solutions. Let us address the consequences of our choices and urgent need to live sustainably within Earth’s resources and within our own psyche.

This call to artists is for depicting extraordinary true beauty and/or the devastation of nature.

TAKE-IN: Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 10am – 2pm
WHEN: Exhibition, May 26 through June 27, 2022
RECEPTION: June 5, 2022, 2-4pm
WHERE: Art Center Morro Bay, 835 Main St, Morro Bay, CA 93442 CONTACT: 805-772-2504 or

BROKEN NATURE will be on display in the main gallery concurrent with UNDER PRESSURE, which will be on display in the Main Gallery downstairs from May 26 through June 27, 2022.

Space is limited to MBAA members only in the Virginia Russell Gallery (upstairs). Members may submit up to (2) wall hung art pieces, 10 note cards, 5 print bin items, (3) sculptures (depending on size) and jewelry.  (One large wall hung artwork is OK) Please submit artwork with entry forms and wire tags, in person on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 10am – 2pm. 3D FORMS 2D FORMS WIRE TAGS

Art Center Morro Bay – “ON AND OFF THE WALL”

It’s time to submit your paintings to The Painters Group’s upcoming exhibition, On and Off the Wall. The deadline is June 15th. This juried, unthemed exhibition takes place August 11th to September 19th, 2022 at Art Center Morro Bay. Painters have the walls in the upstairs gallery, while Central Coast Sculptors show in the gallery’s interior space. Entry is open to artists in California, though please note: no shipping is allowed. All painting mediums, including digital, are welcome. Jurors are Flo Bartell, Julie Dunn, and Tracy Paz. Submission is through EntryThingy. Please read the full Call for Entry at

Enter sooner rather than later!

Want to be featured in our next Virtual Gallery?
Send images of your artwork to with the subject “Virtual Gallery”. Please attach your image as a jpeg. Include your name, along with the title, medium & size of the artwork. And although not required, we’d love a few words about your artwork or inspiring thoughts for our viewers! Works can be finished, unfinished, or simply artistic experiments! Once there are enough submissions, we’ll update the gallery.

We will be closed Sunday, May 29th & Monday, May 30th for Memorial Day.