Scene on the Strait

The art festival that helps kids and the environment

Category: CREEC

Scene on the Strait closes down after 20 successful years, raising $500,000 for environment and youth programs

Dave Hicks, the director of Scene on the Strait, and the Board of Directors have announced that this year’s art festival was its last. Here is Dave’s statement on why the event will be no more:

“Following its disappointing 20th anniversary show and sale, the CREEC Board elected to allow the Scene On The Strait to permanently retire. Not an easy decision, but a necessary one. For the first time in 20 years the show lost significant money, a death knell to a small nonprofit. Whether it was the simple lack of sales, the absence of major patrons, the unnecessary restrictions placed by the Park District, the drop in the median pricepoint of paintings, the higher cost of mounting the show or a couple of unfortunate technical glitches, who knows—all or any combination of factors But maybe, just maybe it was the onset of plain old event fatigue.

However, let’s not start hanging crepe. The Scene On The Strait was. by all measures, a successful if risky undertaking. In its 20 years of existence it raised over a half million dollars of which 97 percent went directly to employment of over 225 underserved youth who restored over 7 acres of wildlife habitat on public lands. No small feat that. Those numbers, not this year’s failure, will remain the SOS legacy.

So, here’s a major shoutout to the artists, volunteers, CREEC directors and art patrons who for all or part of 20 years contributed mightily to a worthy cause and one helleva good art show. Farewell…”

It’s a wrap! 2016 Scene on the Strait is a fabulous day

Great art, great people, a fabulous day! That is the headline for the 2016 Scene on the Strait art festival, which took place Saturday, August 13 and attracted hundreds of art patrons who enjoyed wonderful art, met and chatted with the 20 artists who were on site, listened to live music, and helped raise money for the CREEC environmental organization. Here are a few scenes from the event. See you next year!

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Scene on the Strait 2016: All the facts you need to know

Scene on the Strait is one of the best art festivals in the Bay Area and California, showcasing the work of some of the finest plein air or landscape painters anywhere. About 20 artists will be at the festival to chat with people in a relaxed, friendly and informal atmosphere.

We welcome you to join us at the event, and here’s what you need to know when you come:

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Martinez Regional Shoreline, Martinez. It’s a beautiful parkland setting on the shores of the Carquinez Strait.

DIRECTIONS: If you’re coming from the south (Walnut Creek area), take I-680 to Martinez and the Marina Vista exit. Turn left on Marina Vista and follow it to Ferry Street in downtown Martinez. Turn right on Ferry Street into Martinez Regional Shoreline and watch for our signs. If you’re coming from the north (Benicia area), take the Marina Vista exit and follow the same directions to the shoreline.

ADMISSION: Free

PARKING: Free

"Dancer," by Robert Sandige, this year's signature painting for Scene on the Strait.

“Dancer,” by Robert Sandige, this year’s signature painting for Scene on the Strait.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS WHO ARE PLANNING TO BE ON SITE THAT DAY: Rolando Barrero, Loralee Chapleau, David Casterson, Catherine Erickson, Mary Fassbinder, Philippe Gandiol, Jack Garasky, Geri Keary, Susan Kendall, Micaela Marsden, Chris Newhard, Teresa Onoda, Sandy Ostrau, Nancy Roberts, Wendy Rogers, Robert Sandidge, Joanne Uomini, Gregory Vasgerdsian, and Norma Webb.

ARTISTS WHO CANNOT BE THERE IN PERSON BUT WHO WILL BE SHOWING THEIR WORK: Mary Lou Correia, Kevin Courter and Mamie Walters.

SPECIAL FEATURES: In addition to the presence of the artists themselves, some will be painting on site and there may be a live model for them to paint. Special auctions offer fantastic prices on art. There will also be a special section devoted to “miniatures”—paintings that are no bigger than 64-inches square. All the artists listed above, including those who will not be there in person, will be showing their miniatures. These can sometimes be purchased for excellent prices too.

FOOD AND DRINKS: Yes! A Mexican food truck will be on hand. Bottled water and soft drinks will be sold. There will be no beer or wine sold at the event. Live music will be provided by the popular audience favorite, One Mile Band.

A WORD ABOUT THE WEATHER: It’s usually sunny and warm on the day of the event, so wear a hat and dress in light summer clothing. There are tent canopies that provide shade and many shade trees in the area, and plenty of benches and places to sit. It’s a comfortable place to stroll, look at art, and talk to people.

A scene from a past Scene on the Strait.

A scene from a past Scene on the Strait.

OUR MISSION: The sale of paintings at Scene on the Strait supports the Carquinez Regional Environmental Education Center (CREEC), a nonprofit environmental group that employs underserved young people to work at its greenhouse in Crockett and restore habitat and raise Monarch butterflies for release into the Carquinez Strait area. Since the first Scene on the Strait in 1996, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised to help these young people and to help butterflies flourish again in what was once a huge butterfly area. Art purchases are partly tax deductible.

FACEBOOK: For more information on Scene on the Strait, please visit us on Facebook. Click here to go to this page and see more pictures and learn more about the participating artists.

A HUGE THANK YOU: Many thanks to our sponsors: Shell Oil and C&H Sugar Crockett. Without their generous contributions, Scene on the Strait would not be possible.

ANOTHER HUGE THANK YOU: To our incredible volunteers. Our volunteers make all of this possible.

GUARANTEED: A good time. Come on out Aug. 13 and support the arts and the environment in a gorgeous parkland setting near the water.

Working together: Kids, CREEC and Scene on the Strait

Scene on the Strait is the art festival that helps kids help the environment. The kids work for CREEC—Carquinez Regional Environmental Education Center—learning work skills and work habits while doing planting and other jobs at the CREEC greenhouse in Crockett. The work they do includes growing milkweed, which is a native California plant that Monarch butterflies love. By cultivating and later planting the milkweed along the Carquinez Strait, one of CREEC’s goals is to encourage the return of butterflies to the area.

The proceeds of Scene on the Strait go to support these kids, who are mainly teenagers, and help them learn valuable pre-employment job skills. Everybody wins, including the butterflies, because of the work of these kids. Here are some recent pictures of scenes around the CREEC greenhouse:

Raking out the weeds along one side of the CREEC greenhouse.

Raking out the weeds along one side of the CREEC greenhouse.

One of the jobs the kids do is weeding the pots so the milkweed and other plants will grow better.

One of the jobs the kids do is weeding the pots so the milkweed and other plants will grow better.

Trees and plants inside the greenhouse.

Trees and plants inside the greenhouse.

A piece of milkweed that Monarch butterflies adore.

A piece of milkweed that Monarch butterflies adore.

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