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March Art & Ag outing sets up in Knights Landing

El Dorado Ranch
El Dorado Ranch
Susan Raines

On March 13th and 15th YoloArts held its second 2014 Art Ag Project outing in Knights Landing, CA at the El Dorado Ranch. As attendees traveled down CA-45 (4th St.) the newly budding crops were bounded by lands yet to reveal their growth or left barren due to severe drought conditions. Upon arriving at the Faye lands that were acquired in 1917 and was once home to acres of pear and plum, Art & Ag enthusiasts were welcomed onto over 50 acres of riparian habitat now producing safflower, wheat and rice.

El Dorado Ranch
Susan Raines

Artists with oil and watercolor paints and pencils set up stations as they found their ideal spots around the property populated with an old cook house, bunkhouse, ice house and butcher shop making for some ideal subjects. Large oak trees and an extensive collection of old farm and ranch equipment became a delight for photographers and painters. Plein air artists hauled out their chairs, easels and hats while photographers strolled here and there and all around the fascinating treasure trove of structures, tools, equipment and land.

The Saturday outing started out at a cool 8:00 a.m. and slowly warmed through the afternoon. The fields stretched out into a vista of flat land with low rows of crop that would perhaps be more visually spectacular in later months but were remarked upon as lovely and serene in its expanse. The old wood buildings surrounded by grasses and trees caught the eye of many. Rows of old trucks, cars and tractors were also an obvious delight. Implements hanging on walls or stacked around the ranch included horseshoes, forging tools, wagon wheels, milk cans and kitchen gadgets. Old chairs, window frames, unnamed parts and pieces also seduced those toting cameras. It was a feast for the mind and the eyes.

A number of unique sculptures made from Marc's collection of drills stood at the entrance of the Marc and Gerda Faye property now managed by son Eric. The drill pieces are erected like metal flowers reaching toward the sky in a salute to the historic assemblage of artifacts found within the El Dorado Ranch grounds. Art & Ag attendees included first time visitors, experienced plein air artists, professionals and hobbyists in various mediums. A slight breeze wisped in and out but was far calmer than the February wind that chilled many artists.

The YoloArts Art & Ag Project outings will continue through November with a variety of locations on the agenda including a chicken farm, horse ranch and crop farms. Each destination proves to be a delight and is graciously opened to the artist community in a cooperative "dialogue between artists, farmers, and the community to raise awareness of the importance of preserving farmlands and the visual arts in Yolo County." More information about YoloArts and the Art & Ag Project can be found at the official YoloArts website here. Coverage on the Feb. 2014 outing to E & J Farms with almond orchards can be found here. See you at the next Yolo County Art & Ag outing!