Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Spring 2018

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M onterey Peninsula-area ar tists have no better friends than John and Shelley Aliotti. The couple conceived the Carmel Valley Art Association (CVAA), a collective gallery located in the heart of Carmel Valley Village that showcases the work of more than 40 artists. "We felt that local artists weren't being rep- resented," John says. "Visitors assumed that the artists shown in Carmel lived in Carmel, but that just wasn't so. We thought there was an opportunity to put up a gallery and show local art, so people can really see who's here." It all started because Shelley, a graphic artist, was receiving clients at the couple's home to discuss the stationary, ads and other items she was designing for them. "I didn't think that was a good thing, so I said, 'Let's find a place in the Village and we'll set you up,'" John recalls. They found a space in the Center Street Marketplace where she set up shop in 2004. "That first gallery was my studio and I had my work displayed there," Shelley recalls. "But we still had empty wall space and decided to bring in other artists' work." That became Valley Girls Gallery and they quickly outgrew that stu- dio, moving to progressively larger digs until the current location became available. By that time, more artists had been added to the fold, including Carmel's beloved cartoonist, the late Bill Bates. "Bill suggested we form an association. We thought that was a great idea," John explains. "It was one of those things that just needed to be done, so we decided we were going to be the ones to do it." Today, the bright, airy and friendly gallery is the first business one sees upon entering the Will Bullas, "Three Wined Mice" Daphne W. Nixon, "A Toast to Carmel" 166 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 8

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