A spirit horse painted by artist Suzanne Huska.

A spirit horse painted by artist Suzanne Huska. (Suzanne Huska)

A collection of painted wooden horses, created by local artists and dispersed throughout downtown Santa Ynez, continues to draw attention. Visitors can meet the artists, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 17 at the Artisan Market, corner of Meadowvale Road and Highway 246.

The Painted Horse Project was launched by the Santa Ynez Chamber of Commerce in the fall in collaboration with local artists. What started as a handful of painted wooden horses on display has grown into 10 works of art showcased outdoors in the town of Santa Ynez.

“Art is always fun to see and experience,” said Linda Small, executive director for the Santa Ynez Chamber of Commerce. “I hoped to bring something artistic for the community to experience outdoors, and this project fit perfectly.”

The Santa Ynez Chamber of Commerce obtained private donations and a grant from Visit SYV to pay for the project. Artists also donated their time and materials to make the project’s concept a reality.

Participating artists and locations of their horses are: Susan Cobb (in front of Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum on Sagunto Street); Nicole Pena (in front of the Community Services District on Faraday Street); Laurie Owens (corner of Sagunto and Edison streets); Joan Reden (the cloud-painted horse on Edison Street featuring a poem on the back); Suzanne Huska (spirit horse on Edison Street); Annie Guillemette (in front of Mechanics Bank, Sagunto Street); Natalie Asselstine (in front of Lucky Hen Larder, Meadowvale Road); Dawn DeBartolo (in front of Finch & Fern Home Garden, Faraday Street); and Faith K. Ortega, age 12, a descendant of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, which sponsored her horse (corner of Edison Street and Hwy. 246.)

Those who visit all the Painted Horses will qualify for a prize drawing. Drawing cards can be obtained from the artists and from the chamber information table. After completing a drawing card, provide contact information and leave it with the last merchant you visit in Santa Ynez. The Santa Ynez Chamber will contact all winners.

Along with meeting the artists, visitors can check out artisan booths and activities in participating shops in Santa Ynez. There will also be miniature horses performing with trainer Ramon Becerra.

For more information on the project and the artists behind the painted wooden horses, contact Small at linda@santaynezchamber.org.