The Tehachapi Arts Commission is planning on attracting top artists and collectors to help put the Greater Tehachapi area on the map as a major art destination, attract affluent earners and potentially raise funds for a national-level art event.
“There is already a great interest in arts and crafts and everything else in Tehachapi, so it’s a natural kind of fit to go to the next step,” said Dwight Dreyer, a sculptor and president of newly formed Tehachapi Arts Commission.
Some 29 artists are coming to Tehachapi, some of whom have won multiple awards for their work, to participate in the 2020 "En Plein Air” art show. This opportunity gives artists the chance to pick a location or subject matter in the area from May 16 to 22, begin their art and then finish at their residence. They will return in July to showcase their work at a VIP event and then a public showing will be held afterward, said Dreyer.
If Tehachapi can develop a national-level show comparable to that in Carmel, Calif., or Jackson Hole, Wyo., and other areas in the U.S., it can attract more people, said Dreyer.
Funds from art sales need to be raised to go on a national level. Artists will benefit from not having to pay an entry fee and ticket proceeds sold to VIP events can go toward a charity, said Dwight.
Tina Dille, member and artist of Gallery 'N' Gifts, is in favor of attracting more people to the community.
“It’s a wonderful thing for all artists and galleries," Dille said. "It tends to bring in more people and make sure Tehachapi is known as an artist’s community.”
More artists can be drawn to the area as it offers so many elements — animals, landscapes, street and urban scenes, the Norbertine Monastery, the Buddhist Mountain Spirit Center and other subject material— around Tehachapi. Western and representational art is attracting investors from all over the world and the resale of art through auctions brings in millions of dollars, said Dreyer.
More potential residents who appreciate art may want to invest by purchasing property once they see Tehachapi.
People who can afford to purchase a piece of art in the tens of thousands of dollars can find the price of a house and property in the area for less than $300,000 appealing, said Dreyer.
“It’s ripe for people to come in and that have money,” said Dreyer. He added, “Why not bring that level into the town? It raises everything.”
Michelle Miller, fine art director of Gallery 'N' Gifts said, “Tehachapi is going to be a really expensive place some day. It’s just a matter of time.”