South Valley Art Tour sets up shop in Exeter

Exeter Museum and Art Gallery displays live showings, exhibits of local artwork for 2023 South Valley Art Tour

EXETER – For this year’s art tour of the southern valley, Exeter’s local art center will be promoting its gallery with live performances from local artists.

The Exeter Art Gallery will be hosting art showings, with four to five local artists from Three Rivers, Visalia and Exeter demonstrating their techniques live on the gallery’s patio. The live showings are set for March 25 and 26. On March 26, the gallery is also holding an artist reception for its “locals only” exhibit, which features artists only from the small town of its home origin.

“We’re all kind of just part of the art family, so we want to do whatever we can to promote that,” vice president of the Exeter Museum and Art Gallery’s board Robyn Stearns said. 

The South Valley Art Tour is an annual event put on by the Visalia Arts Consortium that invites county locals and visitors to celebrate and enjoy the arts of Tulare County. Set for the end of March, this year’s showing features art studios from the half of the county located south of Highway 198. Additionally, according to the Visalia Arts Consortium website, the tickets for this year’s tour are free of charge for the first time ever.

“Get to know the faces and places behind Tulare County’s best artwork,” the website states. “Broaden your art horizons and make personal connections with creative minds in your community!”

According to Stearns, the Exeter Art Gallery’s live demonstration is being promoted by the arts consortium as a part of the tour. Chuck Purdomme, a former resident of Exeter, will be one of the artists featured at the live showing. Known to create oil paintings, Stearns said Purdomme has plans to paint a piece live, sell raffle tickets and award a person with the lucky raffle ticket with his painting. 

Although the center’s “locals only” exhibit starts on the March 4 weekend, the artist reception is being held on March 26 to fall in line with the art tour. The exhibit will feature paintings, photography and woven baskets from Exeter natives with a passion for artistic pursuits. So far, Stearns said 15 locals have already expressed interest in participating in the exhibit.

“We just thought it would be fun to showcase artists that are from Exeter, or have roots in Exeter,” Stearns said. “We have a lot of very talented artists that are from here.”

Stearns said the art gallery thought it would be nice to offer this opportunity to Exeter residents, since it is something of an art community and often referred to as the “town of murals.”

“We have 32 murals, so this is just another way of piggybacking on all of that and giving people in the area something else to come visit,” Stearns said.

At the art reception, Stearns said the gallery will likely be decorated in a springtime fashion to fit the theme of the season. In addition to the artwork, refreshments will be available for participants at the reception. The final day to catch a look of the exhibit is April 29.

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