We are pleased to introduce for auction Morro Bay, the latest original artwork by renowned Americana artist and entertainer Eric Dowdle.
As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Morro Bay and the 40th anniversary of Morro Bay BEAUTIFUL (MBB), one of our longest-running non-profits, special recognition was needed.
MBB commissioned a painting of Morro Bay by the acclaimed Folk Artist Eric Dowdle. The original art will be auctioned off to a very lucky person, but everyone can purchase a puzzle created from the painting.
Ann Reisner, past president and 18-year member of Morro Bay BEAUTIFUL, and her husband came up with the idea for the puzzle as her final Morro Bay BEAUTIFUL project. During Covid, the family began working two puzzles a week. As avid puzzle enthusiasts, they found puzzling very relaxing and stress-free. Some of their favorite puzzles had always been from the famous artist Eric Dowdle.
One day, they had an idea to create a puzzle of Morro Bay. So they set off on a journey. After several attempts, they got Eric’s ear.
In May of 2021, his company came to Morro Bay and the Reisner gave him a tour of the city and introduced him to several businesses. Among these businesses were the ones that will be included in the puzzle; Dorn’s, Giovanni’s, The Dutchman’s, The Shell Shop, and the Morro Bay Oyster Co.
The artwork will be revealed on Saturday, September 11th from 2-4 p.m. at the Morro Bay Community Center, where you can bid on the piece and purchase puzzles. The auction will continue for a limited time but don’t delay! This will be a one-of-a-kind, spectacular piece of art you and your family will enjoy for years to come.
We are so fortunate to call our beautiful little seaside town home. We hope you agree and will consider supporting MBB through your purchase. MBB will be the exclusive outlet for these puzzles for one year, then they will be sold worldwide.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
As a new-age visual archivist and one of the world’s leading folk artists, Dowdle’s genuine knack for storytelling is apparent in his artwork, capturing the whimsy and effervescence of a town in astonishing detail. Dowdle’s artwork captures places as diverse as the people within them: rural landscapes, famous landmarks, bustling cities, and quaint towns. Today, Dowdle’s oeuvre includes more than 200 examples of folk art and is collected throughout the world.
Morro Bay and Eric’s other many vibrantly layered compositions assign meaning to a bit of everything: from local history, national news and current affairs, to your next-door neighbor’s oddities and your atypical 6 o’clock dinner conversation. Capturing the biography and soul of a whole town onto canvas is no small task. So how does Dowdle do it?
Born on a rural Idaho farm to a family of 14 and dozens of tireless traditions, Dowdle understood early on how robust individual histories could be. Beginning his artistic career in his early 20’s, Dowdle left the institution of the art world for the world-at-large, setting out to explore the outreaches of Kenya, China, the South Pacific, Europe, and the United States, recounting stories through his art along the way.
Arriving at each city and town with only a tinge of expectation, Dowdle lets the place and its people recount the rest. “I meet average people and they tell me what they love about their town,” describes Dowdle. “You can’t make this stuff up!” In the case of the Morro Bay piece, it is about a charming seaside town on the California Central Coast, and about its people, its beauty, its nature, and its fun. When asked what inspires his artwork, Dowdle asserted: “Great stories. Good people with great stories, that’s what folk art is.”
In Morro Bay itself and in Morro Bay the painting, a large, lava dome rises majestically out of the Pacific Ocean, anchoring the town. When Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo saw it in 1542, he named it Morro Rock because of its crown shape. Additionally, this site has been significant to the Salinan and Chumash First Nations people long before that. In 1870 Franklin Riley founded the settlement of Morro Bay as a prime trade location for dairy goods, fresh produce, and commercial fishing. Iconic Morro Rock, complemented with three 450’ tall power plant stacks, impart the nautical appearance of Poseidon’s crown and trident rising from the ocean. Beneath these sentinels, a wonderful community has grown. A hidden gem - those who know of Morro Bay love it, and that number grows every year.
Join us as artist Eric Dowdle celebrates this wonderful coastal town. The high bidder will be grateful they participated in this auction and will enjoy this unique original piece of Americana art for years to come. Exploring the details of a Dowdle painting is a great adventure. It evokes a wistful feeling that turns our hearts back to the values that make—and have made—our cherished places and cultures unique.
ABOUT MORRO BAY BEAUTIFUL
To identify, research, and promote nonpolitical projects that contribute to and or preserve the beauty of Morro Bay and add beauty to its citizen's lives while involving all segments of the community in promoting a safe, clean, and aesthetically pleasing environment through education/awareness, contributions and or direct participation in activities of Morro Bay Beautiful, and recognizing individual effort for our community beautification and enhancement.
Morro Bay BEAUTIFUL Tax ID No.: 95-3694768