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Ärt/ gallery and studio opens in downtown Atascadero 

art/gallery and studio, Atascadero

From left, Kate Moldauer, Marie Ramey and Laure Carlisle stand in their studio space in the El Paseo center in Atascadero.

Three local artists take chance in up and coming art area

A new art gallery and studio named “Ärt/” opened recently at El Paseo center in Atascadero’s downtown, where galleries and shops have been growing over the last few years.

Ärt/ officially opened on Oct. 1 as a working studio and gallery for Kate Moldauer, Marie Ramey and Laure Carlisle. Located at 5806 Traffic Way, it will also feature wine barrel art by Mark Gabler and John Carlisle.

art/gallery and studio, Atascadero

Gallery space at art/gallery and studio in Atascadero. The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The ball starting rolling on the gallery in mid-August when Ramey was visiting Moldauer.

“Marie had come over to my house in Atascadero and I was spinning a tale of woe about not having a studio outside my house,” Moldauer said.

“Whining,” Ramey called it.

Ramey, who has had her work on display in Olive Tree Fine Arts and Edward Jones, both on Traffic Way, asked Moldauer, who has lived in the North County for 33 years, if she ever considered opening a gallery in downtown Atascadero. Moldauer immediately answered “no.” Then Ramey told her about El Paseo center, which is the home to David Wilson’s Grape Encounters’ radio studio, Wine Emporium and Wilwand Tea Co. and Healing Arts. Ramey asked if she could show Moldauer the unit in El Paseo. Moldauer reluctantly agreed and Annie Wilson, the owner of Wine Emporium, let them into the space.

“I looked at Marie and she looked at me and said, ‘this ought to be it,'” Moldauer said, who then immediately called her friend, Laure Carlisle. “I was doing the artist’s bounce.”

Moldauer told Carlisle that she should see the space and she did so immediately.

“Three innocents, we decided to lease it,” Ramey said. “The rest is history — it’s happened quickly.”

The unit in El Paseo is two stories: the first floor houses the gallery, which includes the works of the five artists and will occasionally include the works of other artists. Upstairs houses Moldauer, Ramey and Carlisle’s studio. The trio will be offering art classes in the studio, as well as welcoming visitors to come up and see them at work. All three are retired art teachers: Carlisle taught at Mount Carmel High School north of San Diego for 10 years, Ramey at Cuesta College for 12 years and Moldauer at Academy of Art in San Francisco for seven years.

“The first class I want to offer is how to make art on your iPad,” Carlisle said.

Moldauer will offer a Tuesday painting group from noon to 3 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday for two months starting Nov. 4. “Participants can paint for three hours or watch me paint/draw,” Moldauer said. “This is an informal group for people who have been painting, but get stuck, get frustrated and need a push or suggestion to get to the next level.” She will also offer a class on drawing the nude figure on the second and fourth Tuesday from noon to 3 p.m. for three months starting Nov. 11.

Ramey will offer a class, Six Challenges to Drawing Mastery, on Wednesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. on Nov. 5, 12, 19 and Dec. 3, 10 and 17.

The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The gallery’s grand opening will be held on Sunday, Oct. 12 from noon to 4 p.m.

One goal they have is to make the second Sunday of the month “Art in the Afternoon” in downtown Atascadero. “Our goal is to plant this seed,” Moldauer said.

They invite families to bring their children down for an afternoon of art at El Paseo, and other downtown galleries and businesses, though right now art/gallery and studio is the only business committed to it.

“We’re going to keep it going,” Moldauer said.

“It could be really fun,” Carlisle added.

“This historic district is really waking up,” Ramey said.

For more information about the gallery and studio, go to

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