ARTS WEEKEND: Sometimes how we respond to art is influenced by what is adjacent to the art. That's why museums tend to strip down the walls to their bare minimum and not fuss with lighting too much. And that's why we often walk away from a piece in a store or gallery, because of all of the other busy noise filling our vision and heads. So is the perfect setting for a homespun community arts fair nature? Figure this: Many paintings and sculptures and pieces of jewelry find their inspiration within the outdoor world. (You've seen a watercolor or two depicting a boat on a lake, right? Point proven.)
NOW... picture art made with heart and whimsy displayed among the redwoods. The redwoods are just about the best setting for anything, in our opinion, but definitely an arts festival. It so happens that Mill Valley is home to a few of the arboreal giants, and the annual fall-time crafts to-do uses the downtown grove as an open-air auditorium of sorts. Nice? Very.
THE DATES AND DETAILS: And when we say "fall-time" we mean it: The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival will spread out over the first weekend of fall, which is, of course Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22. Over 140 fine artists will be out among the trees, showing and selling their wares. And shall there be music and face-painting and such? An arts festival isn't an arts festival without those things.
PRICE: It's ten bucks for an adult, but bring extra cash for food and such. Also, know this: This arts festival has both the redwoods and time on its side. It's been around for well over half a century -- call it 57 years -- so its venerableness suits its venerable setting. Mayyyybe it isn't as old as a redwood, but the fest is giving the longevity thing a definite go.