When architect Lamont Langworthy first set eyes on the tiny town of Graton, more than three decades ago, it was a “ghost town,” he recalls.
Today, it’s a charming village known for its restaurants, gallery and art studios.
Langworthy made a significant contribution to that change, converting an abandoned apple-drying facility into an artists’ workshop and studio complex called Atelier One, which opened in 1987.
Most of the studios will be open to the public this weekend to celebrate the collective’s 30th anniversary.
“It’s a social thing,” said Langworthy, still Atelier One’s landlord. “People can come out and see what the artists are doing.”
The open studio also offers the busy resident artists a chance to mingle with each other, said popular assemblage artist Monty Monty, who has had a studio at Atelier One for the past five years.
“I love it here. It’s an historic venue. It’s got a lot of good energy,” Monty said.
The restored building especially appeals to Monty, because he makes his handcrafted whimsical sculptures from castoff toys, tools and other objects.
“I feel right at home here. This is a repurposed building. I love history. I love to reuse things, and Lamont has done that with this old building. There’s a history here that seeps through the walls,” he said.
Monty said he looks forward to showing the public his work during the weekend.
“I like to tell people that I love antiques but I can’t afford them, so I make my own,” he said.
“I’ll be debuting some works, sharing what I have in the studio, meeting people and telling them my stories. Every piece I make tells a story and I love to tell those stories.”
Langworthy said 20 of the 25 studios at Atelier One will be open the public. Art on display will include paintings, photographs, sculpture and more.
Entertainment includes guitarist Sebastian Link from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, with Claudia Levin as Fair Godmother from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, followed by the Hubbub Club marching band.
You can reach staff writer Dan Taylor at 707-521-5243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @danarts.