The Art Scene of Old Town Tustin
When people think about Old Town Tustin, most people think about the Chili Cook Off (which we’ll be serving at again this year!) and Tustin Tiller days. Some folks may have also heard about the art walk that happens annually. My husband is a sculptor and had a booth at the art walk in 2010. Sitting there with him, we got to meet a lot of Tustin residents. We learned that like us, other artists also chose to live in Tustin. We like it because it has a great mix of culture, some wonderful architecture and an open minded community.
Since then, we’ve noticed that Tustin’s artist community has begun to expand. New galleries have joined older galleries in the Old Town area and I couldn’t be more excited! Not only do we have more than just a couple of artists, we have artists of all types living and making a living here in our town.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Suzanne at Orange Oak Studios via email this week. I wanted to know why she’d chosen Tustin as her nest. Suzanne is originally from Napa and is getting her MFA at Claremont Graduate University. Her studio is located in the new lofts that were built on Prospect and 3rd street where she paints fine art with oils and doodles with pen, ink, oil and acrylic. (A unique feature that these new lofts provide is work and living space together – a rarity in Orange County.) Some of her work gets cut up and turned into greeting cards. Suzanne also teaches adults and children in her studio! If you’d like to check out her gallery or take some classes, you can get more information on her website: www.orangeoakstudios.com
Walking through Old Town, I’ve noticed some other galleries and work spaces.
If you’re looking to have some photos taken, or learn how to take photos, we suggest Ana Bandt Photography on Main street – www.anabrandt.com.
I’ve walked past this gallery on Main street a million times and thought it was just a jewelry store. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the jeweler’s bench is right in the front window. Then, I took a step back to look at the sign and found out that James Kanan is also a sculptor! The windows always seem dark, but the open sign was in the door, so I gave it a tug and walked right in. I spent some time looking at the jewelry and artwork and had a great chat with James. I love the use of Makume (think Japanese sword) in his jewelry. www.JamesKanan.com
Large lot sizes and historic architecture is what drew my family to Tustin. We find inspiration in the history of our town and the marks left behind. Having a big yard means my husband has lots of space to work on his sculptures without disturbing our neighbors and we still have plenty of room to entertain and have a garden. If I was a gallery owner, I would love to live above my shop! I can’t think of anywhere else I could do that here in Orange County. Having art in our community enriches the culture making Tustin a great place to buy a home. I can’t imagine a better place to live!