Our CP 2015 winner Denese Sanders/OGS on the front page of the Sunday Hearld! 

Carmel Magazine Winter 2015:

Research has shown that when consumers buy produce at localized marketplace solutions such as farmer’s markets and Community Supported Agriculture programs versus a chain supermarket, twice as many of their dollars stay in the community, doubling their power to keep a local economy thriving.

Carmel native Kierstyn Bachmann-Berlin put that theory to work when she founded Community Palette, an organization dedicated to helping Monterey Peninsula artists and artisans find a path to financial success. Bachmann- Berlin is personally committed to buying locally and sustain- ably—not an easy task for a mother of two young children.

“I haven’t been to Target in more than a year,” she says. “I think that with ever y dollar we spend, we’re casting a vote. When you spend that dollar locally, you’re voting for your community.”

Last year, Community Palette held its inaugural event with more than 20 artists working in an eclectic mix of media—jewelers, clothing designers, a DJ, painters, sculptors—showcasing their work at a gala dinner. Attendees voted for their favorite, with all proceeds from ticket purchases going to the winner.

That winner was clothing designer Domini Anne, who pocketed around $4,000. Bachmann-Berlin, impressed by her work, asked the designer to board and Domini Anne accepted. “It was a match made in heaven,” the artist says.

This year, 25 artists have been nominated to participate in the Artist Showcase event, to be held Saturday, March 7 at the Independent Gallery, 600 Ortiz Ave. in Sand City. And just like last year, it’s an eclectic mix.There is Sehra Evans, a hair stylist; poet Perry McCormick; singer/songwriter Sandy Greenfield; and sculptor Yves Goyatton. Though what they do may vary widely, these and the rest of the group have one thing in common: a desire to be able to earn a living doing what they are called to do.

“We see art and small business as overlapping in many ways,” Domini Anne says. Community Palette hopes to obtain nonprofit status this year, and Bachmann-Berlin says that will help her cause enormously.

“We will be able to receive grants, many of which we already qualify for,” she says. And she has goals that go beyond the organization. “My ultimate dream is to have a storefront that exclusively carries locally made products, bringing artists together under one roof and to create a brand for them.”

Carmel Mag456364-CM Winter 2015_selected-pages

Spring Edition of 65 Degrees Mag:

Innovative minds collaborate, giving birth to a collective consciousness, thriving to draw the community closer to the things that make us feel alive. The Peninsula is expansive and artists seem to be boundless-yet, listening to and manifesting our own authentic voice can be unquestionably daunting. Community Palette (CP) is striving to support local, economic sustainability, and growth, while embodying a unique vision that promotes eclectic artists to stay close to their passion, while manifesting their dreams. Raising awareness in regard to the great talent around us broadens the potential of our local, retail palette, unveiling original talent while developing a safer regional economy.
In an increasingly homogenized world where we incessantly focus on product development, as opposed to deepening our relationships, CP is serving as a protective umbrella. The very act of encouraging artists, and entrepreneurs, to leap beyond conventional designations is what motivates and allows us to take a risk. And so, the CP annual fundraiser has been designed to function as an interactive event where community members select artists, who have previously been nominated via the web, to exhibit their various mediums in a way that can be both seen and experienced.
Dreaming is the first step in planning. And the creative minds of Community Palette did just that-flaunting the latest “Up-Cycling” Fashion Show: Imagine. Recreate. at Sand City’s West End Festival, in August. Designers, inspired by local artists, had been called upon to fabricate unique ensembles presenting the Monterey Peninsula with an exclusive, one-of-a-kind, exposition, revealing fashion as art. The vision of CP is for the community to play an active role in nominating local artists as a way to create webs of social and economic relationships that, in the long run, support local economic growth goals.
Community development is economic development. CP is committed to offering the effective leadership necessary to inspire, create and manifest a deeply rooted community. Support us as we embark upon an endeavor to develop and sustain a dynamic, expansive community with positive advancements on the horizon. Yasi Payandehjoo


Weekly Article week of the 2015 event: “Year two of Community Palette blends competition, community and corruption.”

The virgin voyage of the Community Palette art show/business plan contest/creative explosion a year ago made for one of the most inspiring nights of the year, and a real boost for local design and fitness superstar Domini Anne. Its sequel noon-9pm Saturday, March 7, is so much more mightily ambitious it includes 25 young performers, artists, painters and creators—and spills over the streets of Sand City…

Weekly Article week of the 2014 event: “Community Palette Boosts up and Coming Creators”

Imagine a dinner with wildflower-crowned maitake mushroom cakes, blood orange-sea urchin foam, Tassajara Meats with king trumpet mushrooms and savory nettles, king salmon with wild onion blossoms and baby beet-dark chocolate tarts with Schoch Family Farmstead crème fraîche.
Imagine a runway, fashion-show style, but instead of models on it, artists and creators and designers and photographers illuminating their unique craft, whether that’s atypical textiles, insane nature-scapes or arresting oil paintings.
Imagine a cool bar – and an art space – built out of shipping pallets like you see burned in bonfires, and the runway made of more wood pallets (and junked doors), done in a way that interweaves taste, sly reuse and an artist’s sensibility.
Do that imagining, and you have a better idea of the type of shindig coming together in a week, and one with voting already open on Facebook. It’s not something we see around here much. Which is precisely the point.
~ ~ ~
Fire flared in the dead of night and the dead of winter, then roared up and over and through one of the most beautiful and densely populated neighborhoods in Big Sur. A beloved local artist heard her sister needed life-saving cancer treatment, but couldn’t afford it.
In both cases, real danger and real suffering happened real fast. In both cases, compassionate response was admirably swift, and in both I recognized a face at the center of the swirl.
The first was the Big Sur “Fire Sale” that transformed mountains of donated clothing into an organized pop-up thrift shop and thousands for fire victims. The second was an art opening-rock show-benefit that leveraged gorgeous paintings and good will to help Amanda Burkman fund her sister’s chemo treatments.
Kierstyn Bachmann-Berlin was the face at the center of each. With the blessings of her boss Nicholas De Luca and his firm, OAS Design, she furnished and chaperoned the spaces for each. (Over the years, De Luca has conceived more than 20 patented inventions like robotics, automation and his futuristic super ovens that do pizzas in a minute.) Bachman-Berlin used to work at Casanova (625-0501) and La Bicyclette(622-9899) in Carmel, which led to the Aravishing dinner menu by the gracious and generous exec chef at those restaurants, James Anderson. (Sadly, the dinner’s already sold out.) She built the runway stage with the pallets and doors herself, sanded it, and conceived the artist showcase taking place 4-9pm Friday, Feb. 21, in OAS Design’s space above Cannery Row, across from El Torito, through a door accessed by the Rec Trail near Trailside Cafe.
The overriding idea: Give budding local artists a venue – and a deadline – to present why they are worth cultivating with sales and support. From there the good goes in several directions.
“We want create an energy, an incentive, an opportunity for creative and accomplished people, who don’t know – and don’t have – a place to start,” Bachmann-Berlin says. “How do you empower people who are skilled? How do you give them a platform?”
One such artist is a single mother with kids, another is recovering from a catastrophic accident, still another lost everything in the Pfeiffer Fire. All are immensely talented, and selected by a small board, including Bachmann-Berlin, De Luca, Kristi Reimers (of EcoCarmel) and Todd Champagne (Happy Girl Kitchen). Matthew Glasby, for one, is a wizard with Big Sur jade. Shanti Rackley teams with native communities in Peru to find homes for the vivacious woven designs. Domini Anne translates formal ballet training and master knowledge of gyrotonics into luxury athletic clothing with thoroughly ethical sourcing. (Bachmann-Berlin enjoyed Anne’s contributions so much that after inviting her as an artist, she asked her to join the board, which she did.)
Kodiak Greenwood, Rachael Short, Steve Montez, the Temple Sisters, Jamie Oksas, Molly Nance, Marie Greco and Anderson will also show and present. Each are profiled at Each will host a table with their wares and wonders, giving the top-floor space a pop-up artisan-market effect, and later pitch their form of expression on stage for about 5 minutes. The one collecting the most votes takes home the proceeds from the wider event.
“I love bringing the idea of entrepreneurship to Monterey,” De Luca says. “I love the creative part of it, that energy within the community.”
One vote on the Facebook page – like access to the evening event – comes free. Further votes, in an interesting twist, are available by donation ($10/one; $20/three votes; $100/20 votes).
A short-but-stylish fashion show with Anne’s two fashion brands (one active, one upcycled haute), plus Parker-Lusseau quiches and pastries and wine (for purchase), add to the mix.
While the event stirs together artistic palettes with dynamic palates and upcycled pallets, the name Bachmann-Berlin and her collaborators have coined for the concept is Community Palette. Nominees for the next installment of the artist showcase, planned to be an annual affair, can be submitted through its Facebook page.
“The artists to do their thing,” Bachmann-Berlin says. “They do what they want to do, and we give it back to them.” And they keep inspiring us.

Monterey County Weekly

Monterey County Weekly Community Palette

Quick Bites: Community Palette energy continues with Carmel Arts Alive


The True Value Behind Buying Sustainable (Yoga) Clothing