Egging Local Artists On

Old Town Artisan Studios hosts “Eggstravaganza,” a collection of decorative eggs painted by local artists and celebrities and now on the auction block.

March 7, 2021
Old Town Artisan Studios Eggstravaganza

A pair of decorative eggs painted by Carole Hatcher are part of more than 300 on the auction blocks through April 1 to benefit Old Town Artisan Studios’ programs.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OLD TOWN ARTISAN STUDIOS

Carole Hatcher will never look at an egg the same way again.

The Coachella Valley resident is part of a group of local artists and celebrities who have painted more than 300 ceramic eggs currently being auctioned off online through April 1 with 100 percent of the proceeds earmarked for Old Town Artisan Studios’outreach programs. Each egg of this “Eggstravaganza” has a $20 minimum bid, and there’s also a $100 “Buy Now” option should one of the colorful creations catch a bidder’s eye and instill in him or her an irresistible “I can’t live without it” urge.

Hatcher, the director of events and facilities for the Artists Council, usually works in assemblage and collage. She’s not at all accustomed to thinking of an egg as the canvas for her talents. “I’m really not a painter,” she admits.

But maybe there was more at work here. “I was born on an Easter Sunday,” Hatcher reveals with a laugh, “so eggs, symbolizing new beginnings, have always been kind of a passion with me.”

“I looked at those ‘raw eggs’ – they’re actually ceramic, but they looked like raw eggs – for a couple of weeks, trying to decide what I was going to do,” Hatcher adds. “And meanwhile I was seeing these wonderful creations from other artists, so it was all kind of daunting: those three little eggs just kept staring at me, challenging me.”

Eventually, Hatcher found her inspiration: she drew on the bright colors and vivid shapes she employed in a Gustave Klimt-inspired piece she was working on. And she recalled a visit she made to a gallery in London housing Queen Elizabeth II’s bejeweled Fabergé egg collection.

“It all comes down to whatever your heart determines for you to do,” she says. “So I tried to make my eggs an inspiration from those artisans of the past.”

The pandemic and its effect on everyday life also impacted Hatcher’s work.

carolehatcherart

Carole Hatcher: “I was born on an Easter Sunday, so eggs, symbolizing new beginnings, have always been kind of a passion with me.”

“Covid has had a deep effect on my life and my outlook on what’s important,” she reflects. “My husband and I have been calling it ‘The Great Pause,’ because it has made us think deeply about what makes us happy, what sustains our hearts and our emotions. I have probably had my most art-full, productive year, because I’ve had time to sit and reflect on what’s important. And my art, I think, became more inspired: it has been an enriching time to make lemonade out of lemons.”

Hatcher’s three colorful creations can be viewed, alongside all the other egg-cellent artworks, on the Old Town Artisan Studios website or in person at their Leland Gallery (Covid-related restrictions permitting).

“It’s amazing,” Hatcher notes, “how one little egg can draw out so many different styles from people. You’re going to be excited when you see them.”