New art auction revives Peppertree tradition
By Jessica Schley
In an effort to bring back a venerated valley tradition, an art show and auction in the spirit of the former Peppertree Art Show was held May 20 at Flag Is Up Farm in Solvang, the home of “Horse Whisperer” Monty Roberts and his wife, sculptor Pat Roberts.
For 33 years artists and collectors anticipated attending the Peppertree Art Show hosted by art collector Irma Eubanks and her husband, TV host Bob Eubanks, at their ranch in Santa Ynez. The art community nationwide was saddened by the loss of the event and venue in 2008, as it had become one of the most famous fine art shows in the nation, with hundreds of pieces on display and up for auction every year. The show attracted thousands of visitors during its three-decade run.
Several former Peppertree artists approached gallery owner and art event planner Tom Burgher of Pismo Beach to reinvigorate an annual fine art show for the valley. The inaugural featured 16 artists and was split between Western and contemporary themes. Mediums included sculpture, oil on marble, and Native American leather and beadwork, among others.
Serving as auctioneer, Monty Roberts auctioned off several pieces as a fundraiser for Join-Up International, a nonprofit founded by the Robertses to teach gentle methods of horsemanship to students from all over the world.
A surprise appearance was made by the horse Shy Boy during the auctioning of a sculpture made in his image by Pat Roberts. Shy Boy is the wild mustang that was featured in a PBS-aired BBC documentary in 1999 about Monty Roberts’ methods of horse gentling.
Classical guitarist Jack Cimo played, and Jeff Faber of Opolo Wines in Paso Robles poured tastings for the crowd of about 50. The event raised several thousand dollars, which will help the farm’s nonprofit to provide “Horse Sense & Healing” clinics for veterans and first responders.
For more information visit www.join-up.org/veterans.