Published April 19, 2011
Volume 19, Number 4

Museum on Main Presents Paint the Town and Tour of Historic Homes Fundraisers in May   

Local history is the focus of this permanent exhibit at the
Museum on Main.

The charms of Pleasanton—historical and modern-day—are the focal point of two crowd-pleasing fundraisers to benefit the Museum on Main in mid-May.

The first, the third annual Paint the Town, is a plein air art event that puts the process of creation on display—and then gives the public the opportunity to purchase the results. On the morning of Saturday, May 14, participating artists from the Tri-Valley and beyond will set up their easels at outdoor spots of their choosing to capture local scenes on canvas. Late in the afternoon they will bring their finished paintings back to the Museum, where a trio of judges will recognize the artists with first, second, and third place prize ribbons in two age categories: 14 to 17, and 18 and up.

Volunteers will also be on hand to photograph the newly created works for an online auction to open the next day. A change in format from the live auctions of the past, the electronic bidding is expected to extend the reach of the fundraiser, making the paintings available to a wider audience, such as former Pleasanton residents or the artists’ long-distance fans and collectors. The canvases will remain on display in the Museum until the auction closes, with a special showcase on the Museum lawn at the First Wednesday street party on June 1.

The following week, on Sunday, May 22, half a dozen of the city’s historic residences will be open to ticket-holders from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Museum on Main Home Tour. The self-guided tour presents a singular opportunity to connect to Pleasanton’s past.

One of the homes will be a vintage Victorian on Neal Street, built circa 1892 on a plot of land carved from the original holdings of early town settlers Joshua Neal and Angela Bernal. Its first owners were the Benedicts, who lived there until the late 1940s. The couple financed the construction with earnings from mining operations in Bodie and Virginia City, relates current owner Bonnie Krichbaum, a Museum supporter and vice president of the Pleasanton Heritage Association, which is co-sponsoring the tour. Apart from an addition in 1915 and the sale of a parcel that once housed the stables, the house remains close to its original state, remarks Krichbaum, who with her husband moved into the house 36 years ago. 

“We are willing to open our homes to the community because we know they are appreciated. We hope people will become even more interested in preserving them as time goes on,” she adds.
Visitors will also be able to tour some of the city’s celluloid “stars,” for example, the home that served as the backdrop for Mary Pickford’s Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms, and the Baptist Church on Second and Neal streets, which appeared both in Rebecca and an early version of Tom Sawyer.

Artists interested in participating in Paint the Town can obtain a registration form by calling the Museum at 925-462-2766 or stopping on-site at 603 Main Street. At press time, auction site details were still being finalized. Tickets for the Home Tour can be purchased at the Museum in advance or on the day of the tour. For Museum information, visit MuseumOnMain.org.


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