By Robert Bernstein
The Solstice Workshop is full of energy and excitement in the final days before the parade! And you still have time to be involved! Come down to the Workshop on Ortega Street at the corner of Garden Street. Meet the artists and see how you can fit in! Even if you don’t have time to build things, you can be a part of an existing ensemble!
Here are my latest photos from the exciting and fun Solstice Workshop!
Krystal Freedom is one of the cheerful people here to register people! Everyone is welcome to come visit and check things out!
This year’s theme is “Heroes” in line with all of the heroic activities that have happened around the Montecito tragedies. As always, the theme is just a suggestion and artists are free to do whatever they want with the theme or even to ignore it completely.
Claire Frandsen is creating a Dinosaur Heroes ensemble!
She is wearing a shirt with an amusing warning! It was her official shirt when she worked at Laumeier Sculpture Park near St Louis!
Of course, she has plenty of help from her Dinosaur Team!
And they are very proud of their safety record!
Lisa Thomas is another Artist in Residence. She is creating the Pass the Hat Ensemble with a Mother Earth theme. What greater hero is there than Mother Earth?
I helped a bit with the paper mache process on the hand of Mother Earth
Thanks to Dave Basso for this photo as my hands were too messy for photos!
Dave Basso is the husband of Marie who was putting in more time than I did!
Here Lisa Thomas posed for a glamor shot!
Artist in Residence Mary Price is helping La Boheme create their Egyptian Pyramid float!
Mary is putting finishing touches on her flower that is truly magical in the way its parts move!
Here Mary poses with her artistic daughter Madeleine
Kent Epperson of Traffic Solutions is working with his partner Kimi Vandyk of the Pink Party to create a fleet of art bicycles for the parade. Anyone who rides a bicycle instead of driving is a big Hero for the community and for the environment for sure!
Here is a demonstration of a Dragonfly art bicycle!
Here Kimi does her part to make sure there is plenty of Pink to go around
Caroline continues creating her Bee Heroes ensemble
As many hands build the beehive and other accessories!
Bees are such popular Heroes, famed dancer Paulina Carey and her team are building a beehive of their own!
Jim Sun Bear is a strong, silent technical director who makes sure everyone has a solid platform for their creations!
Of course there are many others helping make that happen, too!
And Riccardo Morrison is Workshop Director keeping everything together
The costume shop people are busy creating many of the costumes and other fabric art for the hundreds of participants in the parade. Here Phyllis and Barbara work on my costume
My wife Merlie helps with an accessory for my costume
Nicki LaFleur does a bit of everything, including costume design
Clau Orona is another wizard of costumes
Of course, Pali X-Mano is creating the Grand Finale ensemble. Each year, a completely new inflatable art piece with aerial dancers suspended inside! Here he poses with Solstice Executive Director Robin Elander and assistant Rachel
Here are sketches of the complete plan!
Ann Chevrefils has created and/or worked on some of the most memorable Solstice ensembles for at least 30 years. This year she is enjoying being part of a team instead of being responsible for an ensemble
Geoffrey Barber and Cat Henley built this city on rock and roll. No, wait. They built it on cardboard!
Mask makers Joan Melendez and Hathor Hammett have fun as they create
So does this mask creator
This geometric piece has already taken form; these helpers are giving it color!
Mariano is responsible for one of the most popular parts of Solstice: The Brazilian Dance Ensemble!
Again, it is not too late to get involved! The Workshop is at the corner of Ortega and Garden Street. It is open afternoons and early evening every day now. Come by and see the excitement, energy and creativity! And feel free to lend a hand! Everyone is welcome!