Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Abigail Van Cannon

by Bree Garcia


 My works evoke memories though storytelling, which helps suspend the viewer in a different time or place. My current series focuses on traditions, ideals, and activities sprouting from the 1950s. These timeless compositions show the beauty in family, childhood, and generations, often evoking a nostalgic feeling and reflection of the past.


SAHC: Can you give us a brief description of your creative process? What is your preferred medium and style?

AVC: Authenticity plays an important role when researching and gathering my reference materials. I photograph models so every detail (from costumes to props) is true to the era. Location is equally observed: I visit events that celebrate the 50s, such as the 2012 Rock and Rod Festival in Monterey California. It is easy to capture the spirit of the decade enjoying classic cars, the music, its modern influence and of course, the vintage apparel. I paint in oil to recreate these scenes. It allows me to subtly capture the variety of colors in the skin tones, along with the textures in 50s clothing.


SAHC: As a Sacramento artist what responsibilities do you believe that you have to the local and the global community?

AVC: It’s important that my work brings beauty, provokes thought and encourages reflection of the past.  As a local artist I strive to provide high quality encouraging work to my viewers, constantly trying to reach a wider audience. I strive to keep the integrity of my work and style – never becoming stagnate in my performance. I also think it’s important to use my work to give back to the community through different charitable events.


SAHC: What advice do you have for emerging artists or those pursuing a career in the arts?

AVC: Building your career in the arts takes time, keep perfecting your craft and creating quality work. Look for places to get your work out to the general public. Be persistent!


SAHC: Who are some of your favorite Sacramento Artists, and why?

AVC: Patris Miller, a local Plein Air painter, is proficient, paints beautifully and runs a fantastic studio space in Oak Park. Laurie Hopkins creates an array of floral and landscapes with a vibrant color palette. She has a unique approach using collage, oil sticks, and tissue paper.


SAHC: Where are some of your favorite Art/ Art History resources found?

AVC: I’ve worked with the Sacramento Art Deco Society during a show and they have a great organization promoting the Art Deco time period.



SAHC: Is there anything else about the arts here in Sacramento that you would like share with our reader?

AVC: I am excited to witness and be a part of a vibrant and growing art scene. There are many places to view art and art history, take art classes, and be part of an art community.


SAHC: Where can your work be viewed, or found online?

AVC: Viewers can schedule a studio visit at Sacramento Art Complex Studio #14 or look online at I also teach a weekly painting class at Patris Studios, Sacramento.

If you are interested in being one of SAHC’s featured artists, email us at: