Yosemite is Open. Click here for any current Travel Alerts.
Visitor Guide
Get Our Newsletter
Blog Celebrating ARTober In Oakhurst In 2020
Alex Silgalis | 10/01/2020Arts & Entertainment, Family Friendly, Road Trip, Shopping, Shopping & Other Services |   

Hints of fall are beginning to sneak in. The sun is setting earlier. Mornings are a bit crisper. The stream of visitors to Yosemite is reducing to a trickle. It’s also THE season for festivals in the Yosemite region. But as we all know, 2020 is a bit different. Instead of the typical 31 days of art celebrations to spark inspiration in your soul as part of ARTober in Oakhurst, the events this year are a bit more intimate and personal. On the fence? Here’s a few ideas why you should come this year.

Why You Should Go to Yosemite's Southern Gateway to Explore Art This Year

If you’re still on the fence on about ARTober in Oakhurst, here’s a few reasons to consider for checking out an art festival:

  1. Get healed: Art has been scientifically proven to have healing AND calming properties. So, if you’re feeling a bit stuck in a rut, there’s nothing better than to take in some art.
  2. Spark Some Romance: Many of our lives are the most stressed they've ever been which can cause a lot of friction in relationships. Tour some of the local artist’s shops and take in the art. Instead of talking about the daily to-do list, you can chat about the artist’s expression or ruminate on what you see in an abstract painting.
  3. Learn from the pros: How often do you get a chance to talk the actual artist themselves? Hear about their process. Learn how they crafted it.
  4. Get Ideas: Paintings, music, and other creative outlets help us think in different ways. Mulling over a problem? At a minimum, the time outside will give your brain a break.

More Artists then Anywhere Else

Did you know Oakhurst has the highest number of artists per capita not just in California but the United States? Despite being a great gateway to Yosemite, that’s not the reason for it being home to so many creative geniuses. The story of why is just as unique as the art found in Oakhurst.

Sierra On-Line – The Incubator for Art

Back in 1982, a small fledgling company by the name of On-Line Systems moved to Oakhurst. Using their newfound headquarters located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, they changed the name to Sierra On-Line. This wasn’t any normal computer company either. They made video games for computers. Over the course of the 1980’s and 90’s, they produced legendary titles such as Leisure Suit Larry, King’s Quest, and Space Quest. While now defunct, many of these individuals who worked for Sierra stayed in Oakhurst becoming artists via different outlets.

Explore the Yosemite Gateway Art Center

Artists Faith Rumm, Jon Bock, and Jon Kifer swapping stories at the Art Center GalleryArtists Faith Rumm, Jon Bock and John Kifer swapping stories at the Art Center Gallery 

The Yosemite Gateway Art Center has been the prominent focal point of artists in the region for decades. Originally called the Yosemite Gateway Gallery Row, the group of artists and visionaries have re-christened it the Yosemite Gateway Art Center. The reason being, it’s become more than just a collection of galleries. For starters, new this year they’ve added a performing art space for musical events, lectures, and performances. It’s also become a space where artists, musicians, writers, and other creative people can come together to support one other and the vibrant creative culture in the area.

Take In the Intimate Events – Virtual and In-Person

Although many of the major events have been cancelled such as the Sierra Art Trails, there’s still fun going-ons happening. For starters, you can Find Art The Bear, which are little chainsaw carved bears made by Nate’s Kustom Karving. Go to the Facebook page to get clues on where to find and keep your own bear. The Yosemite Renaissance 35 traveling exhibit which has been on display in places like Carnegie Arts Center is opening on October 17th, and the celebration is tentatively planned for the 30th. Can’t make it to Oakhurst? You can still get in the spirit by joining the Facebook live presentation Wild Things on October 11th. The performance will combine poetry, storytelling, music, and art.

This is only a small taste of the fun happening throughout the month. With a full set of reasons to come to ARTober in Oakhurst, don’t just “veg” out on the couch binge-watching Netflix. Get outside, enjoy the fall air, and most of all get inspired! For more on what's happening, check out the ARTober homepage.

Alex Silgalis

Alex founded localfreshies.com® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.

Our annual Visit Yosemite | Madera County Visitors Guide can answer all your questions about visiting California's Gateway to Yosemite. From the park itself to the museums, wineries, art galleries and more throughout Madera County, our guide can help you plan the perfect vacation. Please note that we mail to the USA only, but anyone can download the guide.
Visit Yosemite - Madera County
Oakhurst Visitor Center, 40343 Highway 41, Oakhurst, CA 93644
(559) 683-4636
Email us!

Summer Hours - 7 days a week: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Winter Hours - Monday thru Saturday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Developed by Drozian Webworks | ©2023 Southern Yosemite Visitors Bureau. All Rights Reserved.