Scotts Valley is a glimpse of Americana right here in Santa Cruz County. From hotels and restaurants to Fourth of July parades and banners of high school graduates adorning Scotts Valley Drive, the city seems to bend and flex with the times. Visitors can find a platter of tasty sliders to a comfy hotel to call home for a night, and everything in between.
Now, they can find a little more in the way of an artistic persuasion, too. The Found Art Collective celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 16, and the community turned out to welcome the funky new addition to the city. The soft opening was on May 1st; the town’s ribbon cuttings were delayed due to Covid-19, but with the Art, Wine and Beer Festival happening just a few weeks ago, Scotts Valley was ready to bring out the giant gold scissors to mark the occasion.
Artist Terry Kirihara was excited to add her talents to the shop’s bounty. A figurative sculpting artist, Kirihara sculpts figures as well as vases from clay. After retiring from her career at Nob Hill, Kirihara found her passion in art.
“I decided it was time to get my stuff out there and see what I can do,” she said of her decision to join the collective.
Elaine Sherer is the owner of Found Art Collective. As a former Ohio-based woodworking artist, she and other artists used to trade their goods with each other.
“I would attend art shows east of the Mississippi, and I got to know the potters, the glassblowers, the woodworkers, and we’d all exchange pieces after each show,” she said. “I have a huge collection of pottery, and by the time I got to California, I had so much I needed to open a store.”
The shop is dotted with all types of pottery that Sherer has collected over the years, including when her shop was based in Pleasure Point.
“We have contemporary functional and vintage pottery from a variety of artists, along with jewelry, all-natural bath and body products, cards and tableware,” she said. “We really want to support our local artists, and help them make a living, and we get new stuff all the time. Tell your friends about us, and come purchase something. Even if it’s one little item, it might make a difference for that artist.”
One of those artists is Loren Stirling. A disciple of Steve Jobs, Stirling was a product designer with Apple. Now retired, Stirling’s focus is on teapots and ceramics, and he has amassed a collection of hand-sculpted face masks that are on display at the shop. (Seeing as how they’re made from clay, they’re not Covid-compatible.)
Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Danny Reber was on hand for the grand opening and was eager to spread the word about the new shop.
“All of us at the Chamber are excited to welcome Elaine and her store to town, and we know that this curated collection of local artists will fit right in,” he said.
Found Art Collective is located at 5167 Scotts Valley Drive, and is open Thursday thru Saturday, noon to 5pm. Interested parties needing special hours may text 831-221-0280 for a shopping appointment.