Every Labor Day weekend, the parking lot and redwood forest surrounding the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Station at 13889 Skyline Boulevard in Woodside is transformed into a fine art gallery.
Paintings and photographs are hung on tree trunks or strung up on wire between the redwoods. Folk art, ceramics, glasswork, jewelry, textiles, and sculpture are also displayed, many of the art pieces in tented booths with the redwood forest providing a majestic backdrop.
This week, head for the hills and experience art under the redwoods at the Kings Mountain Art Fair. In its 49th year, the grassroots event that’s 100 percent volunteer-run with no corporate sponsorship takes place this Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features 135 juried artists and 25 mountain folk artists, including Coastside Colony of Artists (CoCA) under the redwoods. Admission is free and a pancake breakfast with the artists starts at 8 a.m.
Proceeds from the Art Fair go back to the community, primarily supporting the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade, a group that responds to more than 150 emergencies a year, and the Kings Mountain Elementary School. The firehouse was built using Art Fair funds and volunteer labor, and the four-room public school recently installed a much needed, new classroom with the help of Art Fair funds.
Kings Mountain was selected as one of the top five fine art fairs in California, according to the 2011 Art Fair SourceBook. The jury process ensures the highest quality of arts and crafts balanced across categories (painting, sculpture, furniture, jewelry, toys, etc.). There are items available at all price ranges, from $10 to $10,000.
The event is open to people of all ages and is especially appealing to families with children. In Kiddie Hollow, children of all ages can make their own art at the supervised booths, including spin, string, straw, and glitter art, among other activities. There is a nominal fee for many of these activities ($3 for 12 tickets, $5 for 24). There’s plenty of free stuff, too, including the reading corner and an authentic Native American teepee to explore. Parent's Retreat overlooks Kiddie Hollow, so the adults can relax while the children play.
Food is also available. Volunteers in the Cook Shack serve up burgers and corn on the cob. Grandma Jenny’s giant cookies, baked by local school parents, are sold as a special fund-raiser for the Kings Mountain Elementary School.
Parking is free along Skyline Boulevard with a complimentary shuttle to the fair, available wherever there is a shuttle sign (about two miles north and south of the firehouse). Dogs and bicycles are not permitted on the fair grounds. Bicycle racks are available and fairgoers are encouraged to dress in layers with temperatures on the cooler side under the shade of the redwoods.