Author photo

By Pat Doody
staff writer 

Art 2023 best yet


August 5, 2023

Karen Towns.

Artist Laura Wambsgans with her Best of Show painting "Engine 29" and show organizers Dwight and Laura Dreyer.

The Tehachapi Arts Commission announced that the Art 2023 Tehachapi show, which took place at the Aspen Builders Community Center over the July 21-23 weekend, surpassed both of the prior years in both attendance and sales.

An estimated 500 people visited the show from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon; many just wanted to see the gorgeous paintings created by 42 artists who came to Tehachapi in May to begin the pieces that were juried to the July show.

The highlight of the Friday evening opening event was the award presentations. Southern California artist Laura Wambsgans won the Best of Show award for her painting "Engine 29," a vintage steam locomotive traveling through the Tehachapi Mountains. Peter Adams, President Emeritus of the California Art Club won Best Landscape for "Winter Sunset and Wind Turbines." Best Still Life was won by Otto Sturcke for "The Milano Boot." Sturcke was the Best of Show winner and featured artist at Art 2021. Russian-born artist Nikita Budkov, a first time entrant, won the best Urban Painting for "Like a Summer Day," depicting Villa la Paz at the National Chavez Center. Wambsgans was also chosen to be the featured artist for Art 2024.

The Friday evening event was a fundraiser for the casting of the first sculpture in the Art in the Parks project, sponsored by the Tehachapi Arts Commission, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It is planned to be a life-sized sculpture of a young female skateboarder and will be placed at the headquarters of the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District.

The complete show consisted of 117 paintings. During the show, 27 artists sold 41 paintings and four sold all of their work. The total sales for the weekend were approximately $117,500, surpassing both prior shows. If anyone wants to take a second look at the show or buy a painting, for the next month the remaining paintings will be part of a virtual show at

If you missed this fantastic show, check it out online, and happy shopping!


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