Sacramento Art History Consortium

reviews, musings, and general art-related chatter

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Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Avery King

by Bree Garcia

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

AK: I work mostly in acrylic on canvas. I usually stretch my own canvas, and I develop most of my ideas in sketches before I apply them to the canvas. Once I have a good idea of where I want to go with it, I lay down the basics with charcoal then work with paint to finish it up.

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

AK: Locally I believe I should strive to find an original voice rather than chase the styles and trends of larger cities. I feel like Sacramento is sometimes challenged by our status as a smaller city, living in the shadow of the Bay Area, for instance. Yet the things that set us apart should be a part of what comes through in our art. There is a sense of community, for one, that I encounter which exists among widely disparate artists — people who don’t know each other personally and pursue different aims — who recognize and respect one another’s drive.

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

Ak: Don’t expect to get rich, and don’t accept working for free. You can make a good living, but it’s not easy. If art is what you want to do with your life, pursue it as your first priority, but don’t be ashamed of having a day job. We all got bills to pay.

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

AK: A lot of my favorites have bugged out recently, but many remain: Jared Konopitski, because he’s so true to his spirit and that spirit is so kind it glows, plus his art is totally unique and always makes me smile. Melissa Pagluica because she has a style that is subtle and engaging plus she pushes ahead with projects in a way that’s admirable. Ryan Cicak because he’s kept Pompsicle alive and bridges the art and dramatic communities in a way which benefits everyone involved. The art complex, 21 Ten, houses so many talented people that I feel humbled to share a space with them. It really is a concentration of awesomeness. And there are many others; Pompsicle, for instance, draws a great pool of talented people and creates a little community to itself. That’s just one I’m familiar with but I see that there are lots of these little communities around town and a huge amount of talent here.

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

AK: The Crocker, obviously, has amazing stuff, and the local galleries are always full of surprises. Being a lifelong dork, I’m also a fan of comics and the art that goes along with them, so I can’t pass up a good comic shop and I love to hit up the artist alley at the local Sac-Con when I can make it. A lot of cafes around town have high quality art on display as well, and I’m particularly impressed with what Temple Coffee has achieved (I may be biased since I showed there once). I think any place with wall space should consider recruiting some local artists to adorn their walls.

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

AK: It really is very wide open here, and that is a great thing. There is no need for an artist or an art admirer to feel intimidated about checking out the art scene. One of the best comments I hear from people visiting the studio is that they never thought they would enjoy art until someone dragged them along. Sacramento is big enough to be rewarding yet still small enough to be inclusive.

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

AK: I’m in studio 11 at 2110 K Street, online at averykingart.com and on facebook at facebook.com/AveryKingArt. I also have work at Antiquite Maison Privee, which is a gem of a venue: very intimate and host to many great music events. If you haven’t discovered it, make your way to a show there; you won’t be disappointed

If you are interested in being one of SAHC’s featured artists, email us at: info@sacramentoarthistory.org

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Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Gerry GOS Simpson

by Bree Garcia

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Gerry moved to the Sacramento region back in 1999 after his years of fashion and stylist work landed him a position as the visual merchandising manager for Nordstrom.  Where as in other cities that he lived he had creative outlet such as entertainment and fashion, here in Sacramento he was looking to fill an empty space, and it was out of that void that he became an artist.   Although he knew nothing about the art scene, or being an artist he began creating and showing his works. While he still humbly refers to himself as an “Up and Coming” artist, his work has been in numerous solo and group shows throughout the region.

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

GOS: Style… I guess that is a personal thing, I usually tell my students the easiest way to keep from going out of style is to create your own. I am a self taught artist & self taught photographer so basically I run with what I feel. I never had no one who taught me to “do it right”. I did take art through elementary school and high school. I went to the Fashion & Design Institute and cosmetology school, but this was for the purpose of jobs that I had.  I have been a lot of different things; all the things that I have learned over the years are things that I use. I was told that I didn’t paint properly, that I painted flat. I didn’t know what that meant, so if you look at my work now it is a combination of painting flat and painting with the shading and the whole nine yards which has become my style.

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

GOS: It’s my responsibility to continue good work. It is my responsibility, to make sure if I do a show people walk away and they feel as if they saw something. I am doing everything I possibly can to do something different.  I am a twin and growing up everything had to be like somebody else’s, so as an almost senior citizen I am doing my very best to make certain that everything I do is mine.  That may run the risk of doing stuff that may be ugly or maybe someone may not like it. But at the same time I have a right as an artist to do some funky stuff. There is a lot of Artists who have come before me and I owe a lot to them but I don’t have to paint like them. There has already been Mona Lisa we don’t need to see that chic no more.

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

GOS: Do Not be afraid to try new stuff, if you see art by me don’t be afraid to see what it is all about  because somewhere deep down in my story is your story is  right there too. Because we are all people and that is the most important thing. If you get involved with people of other cultures your collection has a better chance of growing. If you stick with one culture you tend to paint the same way, or paint the same types of things. So I figure if you open up your door and open up your mind it makes it better for everybody.

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

I like Linda Gelfman because her stuff is funky.  Linda Gelfman is my first real artist that I met in Sacramento that became a personal friend of mine. I met Linda because she taught at American River College where I also taught visual merchandising. Linda had a big ladder and I would come around to borrow her ladder, she didn’t really realize that a lot of times I was really there to just see what she was doing. I just wanted to be around the art. She would be one of my favorite artists around town because she does some crazy things.

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

GOS: I look at magazines, I get my references from fashion, I get my references from people, I am a notorious people watcher. My Inspiration comes from anything. I am big on bricks; if you look at my art there is a brick in everything that is an east coast thing. My inspirations come from anywhere, what I like about Sacramento is the challenge of coming up with something new because everyone is looking for something new that is an  inspiration to come up with something fresh.

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

GOS: I would suggest that you do what you love best; when we try to chase rainbows that belong to other people we fall short. The best way to keep on top of your game is to create your own game; it’s when you follow the footsteps of others that you fall in. Everyone that I like I have been wise enough to not want to be.  What I am saying by that is, I may like you ultimately but I know down the road I still have to be me. Looking for the opportunity to be yourself, it is your freedom of expression not someone else’s. The greatest advice that I can give is to be true to yourself, create what makes you happy. Nine times out of ten if you create something that makes you happy it will make others happy.

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

GOS: Works can be seen in at http://www.Gerry-Simpson.com and I will part of a show coming to the SMUD Gallery which is on faith and religion.

Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Patrick Drayus

by Bree Garcia

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PD:  I’ve been painting for nearly twenty years now, primarily because it is one of the few things that cheer me up, as I tend to be either depressed or riddled with some sort of anxiety the rest of the time. While I work in a variety of styles/mediums, I think my two main categories would be: Political/Angry/Sarcastic and NOT Political/Angry/Sarcastic.

I prefer the latter, as well as the state of mind accompanying it. I feel that feeding the good thoughts is a much more beneficial sort of thing for myself and humanity in general than feeding the bad thoughts….

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SAHC: Can you give us a brief description of your creative process?

PD:  I believe a great portion of my creative process is dietary. Generally I wake up, make coffee, have a few cups, a few cigarettes. I do a little writing to clear my head, maybe jot down the previous night’s dreams; turn on some music, check the Facebook account. Rarely do I have any idea in my head when I start painting, except for the political stuff. Generally I like to empty it of any thought whatsoever other than, perhaps, the acknowledgement to myself that I’ve just heard a great new song on the radio, or find myself feeling a sudden appreciation for an old one, however fleeting or temporary such a thing might be. It is likely that I spent the previous night going to sleep to either a radio news station, the late night show “Coast to Coast,” or whatever happens to be on the RT channel, after attempting to read a book for awhile. Maybe something by Philip K. Dick, or Hermann Hesse; the last book I opened was “Alice in Wonderland.”

In any case, it is now time to forget whatever I’ve absorbed since last painting. It inevitably leaks out though. Or in, rather; aspects of this dream, that news item…. Still, once I start working it’s more a journey than anything. Where I am going is not so important as the fact I am moving, intuitively, in the right direction. Generally at some point I reach a fork in the road, or a “Hmm point.” Usually the Hmm Point is a good time to start drinking. I enjoy ales, pilsner, the occasional rum and coke. Often this is accompanied by some sort of lunch, usually leftovers from the previous night’s dinner; preferably something with organic ingredients and quality meats.  I work on a piece until the Hmm Point doesn’t go away, or until I’m finished, whichever comes first. I do not allow myself to sit and stare at a given piece for more than two days. Generally when this happens I take it down, put it to the side and start a new one. Perhaps I will come back to it later, perhaps not. Sometimes I finish five pieces in a day, sometimes one every two weeks….

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

PD:  I think the only responsibility of an artist anywhere is to continue to evolve creatively, spiritually and intellectually, and to do one’s best to heed the Golden Rule….

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

PD:  Take care of your health. Eat right, exercise….

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

PD:  I like Cherylin Naughton’s work a lot. She channels a very healing sort of energy both psychically and politically into amazing work that seems to be a kind of language all it’s own.

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

PD:  Pretty much museums and the public library; that and artist Jim Mansfield.

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

 PD: I think the arts are more important now than ever. People need to feed what moves them, what they enjoy, in a tangible manner which seems to require an increasing amount of effort, what with all the craziness going on in the world and what have you…

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

www.drayus.com

If you are interested in being one of SAHC’s featured artists, email us at: info@sacramentoarthistory.org

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Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Daphne Burgess

by Bree Garcia

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DB: I am an African American artist living and working in Sacramento.  My background is layered with the love of art, hands on experience, and the desire to increase access to art in my community through teaching.  I am a graduate of UC Davis, with a degree in Art Studio.  My career as a professional artist began as a scenic artist for numerous theatre and production companies. I began teaching art about 15 years ago and continue to teach for various school programs, senior facilities and community centers throughout Sacramento. I work with many local arts organizations as a program manager, special projects coordinator, staff trainer, community liaison, and educator.  I continue to paint, sculpt, design jewelry and work with other artists on community projects.

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SAHC: Can you give us a brief description of your creative process? What is your preferred medium and style?
DB: I work in many different mediums.  I paint mostly, but I also love to draw…figure drawing is one of my favorites…I make jewelry, and ceramic sculpture.  I recently developed a love for fused glass and textile arts and will be working in those mediums more in the future.

I create by drawing from personal experiences and trying to convey my feelings, whatever they happen to be at the time, through my work.  I usually start out with an idea and try to work out in my head how to make the artwork look as close to that image as I can.  Sometimes I might say that “I just needed to paint it to get it out of my head,” maybe it makes it to the point of showing someone, maybe it becomes so personal that it stays in my private collection.  Creating a piece can turn into a therapy session, I have something going on and I just need to paint it out.  Or it could be that I just have an idea and painting it is the way I am more comfortable conveying it.  Sometimes it is hard to turn off that art switch and in the middle of the night I wake up to paint something. And then by morning the idea would have changed numerous times.  Whatever process I am working through at the time, I just try to keep it true to what I feel is “me” on canvas.

I would say that I prefer working with abstracted or exaggerated forms.  My education in art was more traditional but, over time, it left me feeling uninspired.  I prefer a more whimsical style while dealing with social and personal topics. Bright colors and stylized forms characterize my current work about ethnicity, music, love, sexuality, culture and family.  When I first started painting my torso series, I felt empowered in a way that I had never felt before as an artist, in part due to the subject matter and in part to the fact that I felt this style was more “me”.  I began dealing with my femininity, sexuality, relationships and somewhere along the way I discovered that my art was personal, not just something that I was painting for someone else, which was what most of my scenic art was.  I also do a series of pieces personifying musical instruments, working with the idea that so much can be portrayed about a person without representational images of them. That particular style grew from some “portraits” of my grandmother as a quilted figure.  I choose to pick up on the personality of someone through portraying the instruments in human situations.

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SAHC: As a Sacramento artist what responsibilities do you believe that you have to the local and the global community?  
DB: The art scene needs a strong support system made of people who do their part to promote it and educate people about it.  So often I hear discussions about the value of art and whether people truly recognize its worth.  I believe that nurturing the idea of its value starts with the youth that I teach.  If they see, from an early age, the way art makes them feel-the way that they can express themselves, the challenge that they face in creating something new, and how art directly reflects them as a person-they see how much value it truly does have.  And as adults they will continue to appreciate it.  As an African American artist, I personally feel a responsibility to teach about contributions of African Americans artists to the art world.  That stems from my own struggles as a youth of not finding anyone who looks like me making art, thinking that I couldn’t identify with the images I was seeing and questioning “why do it?”  I don’t want any child to feel that way.  On a larger scale, I feel a responsibility to help increase access to the arts through teaching in underserved communities.

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

DB: I would say that you should experiment as much as possible.  Art encompasses so many different things and you need to find out what aspect really inspires you.

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

DB: There are so many local artists that I like for different reasons I couldn’t possibly name them all so I’m going to narrow my choice to just one. I would say that would be Shonna McDaniels.  She is so talented but does so many things she doesn’t get much time to paint.  And actually her artwork isn’t really the main reason why she is one of my favorite artists.  Shonna works tirelessly teaching art to youth all over Sacramento.  She has made it her personal mission to engage youth is art, more specifically African American art, and highlights artists across every medium that have made an impact on the African American art legacy.

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SAHC: Where are some of your favorite Art/ Art History resources found?  
DB: I love books!  I am very old school I guess, and maybe it’s partially due to my art history background, but to me nothing beats finding that hidden treasure of an art book.  I go to the library quite a bit, and bookstores.  I also love talking to other artists.  They are a great source of knowledge and inspiration.
SAHC: Is there anything else about the arts here in Sacramento that you would like share with our reader?

DB: I think there should be more support for small art groups.  As a member of various small art collectives, I think they are often overlooked by the greater Sacramento community and just don’t get the support needed to thrive.  There is great work being done by so many of us in small art groups and it is a shame that it sometimes goes unnoticed, especially by those who could be doing so much to help them out.

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

DB: I have website, www.dburgessart.com.  And I show regularly at the Sojourner Truth Art Museum, 1001 Del Paso Works and my own studio, Brown Sugar, which will be opening again soon.  I was asked to do illustrations in a children’s book…a great story written by Ayanna Fabio…that will hopefully be out soon.

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Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Lala Ortiz

by Bree Garcia

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LO:  I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I feel fortunate to have grown up in an environment surrounded by so many interesting people and places. The early exposure to so many limitless possibilities is part of what has given me the open outlook on life and all that it has to offer. Pure magic!

As a child I loved nothing more than to run off into a quiet corner by myself and make things. I used to hide in the closet after bed time to read and secretly work on my projects, usually toys, dolls, and puppets. Anything with moving parts were and still are, fascinating favorites!

Art has the ability to transport me completely away from reality. Away from my regular, everyday life of alarm clocks, deadlines, and dirty dishes! Once I go off into my studio, “my quiet little corner,” all of the world just melts away. It is just peaceful and everything is right in my own little world! I still prefer to work in the middle of the night. The dark side of midnight is when my creative juices begin to flow, self doubt and anxiety fade away. Without this escape I would just go nuts! Anyway, this creative outlet is what makes my day feel productive and that my life is worth living. It is the difference for me between earning a living and making a life. I know this sounds extreme but, this is my reality. Without it I would quickly perish.

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

My preferred medium is polymer. I love it for the diversity and the possibilities that it offers. There is no other medium that I know of that can mimic so many other materials. I use polymer to sculpt my figures and masks, make beads, vessels, and illustrations.

My process and style can change depending on the project at hand but, most projects include at least some polymer and the process begins with conditioning my clay and mixing colors. I am very drawn to color and texture so my beads, jewelry, vessels and other non-figurative work tends to be very driven by the seasons and the colors and textures in my surroundings. Flowers, leaves, flora and fauna are naturally a reoccurring theme since I spend so much time in my gardens and at the local lakes, rivers and marshlands.

With my figurative work my process is completely intuitive. I condition the clay, build a wire armature, and begin to sculpt with no preconceived notion of “who” or “what” the sculpture will grow up to be. My characters have three main styles Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead, indigenous/tribal (mostly of make believe tribes that I imagine to be The Human Tribe that we are all a part of. Many of the elements in this series are inspired by National Geographic and being surrounded by people of diverse cultures my whole life.)

Also, I do have a strong pull into the realm of fantasy and faerie. The Mystical Beings speak to me as I work (no I don’t hear voices! I’m not that crazy yet!). They tell me who they are and what they are. They tell me what they need to be able to cross over into our realm. As I work they give me their stories, sometimes with great urgency and other times with trepidation. It all depends on how they feel about coming into our world.

Here is a really long blog post of my work in progress I took step out photos and added a narrative of one of my garden gnomes and how he came to be, start to finish.

http://redwoodcoastcreativearts.typepad.com/redwood_coast_creative_ar/2013/01/the-making-of-a-royal-garden-gnome.html

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

LO: Mainly, to keep creating and continue putting it out there. Also, as an artist with a focus on the fantasy realm, which is highly misunderstood, and also polymer, a medium that is equally misunderstood, it is my responsibility and my duty to educate the viewers and the community on both of these subjects. Both my preferred medium, polymer, and my chosen subjects, fantasy figures, are regularly disregarded as art. Both are actually somewhat controversial in the art community. “The mediums that I use are too basic, dolls are not art they are toys, and polymer is not a durable art medium it’s a children’s product, like Playdoh.” These are some of the comments that I have heard.

Art is not art because of what it is made of or the subject matter but because of the heart spirit and passion behind it.” I am more thrilled at seeing honest art, created from simple, basic materials that are transformed than by fancy mediums and glossy finishes that are highly promoted and sold as high priced, fine art. Furthermore, what could be more basic than a wood frame covered in cotton fabric and paint? Simple materials can make great art! What makes a doll a toy? What makes a sculpture a doll? At what point can a doll be considered art? And who gets to be the judge of that? Also, there are many brands and grades of polymer. Some are marketed as children’s craft products. Just the same as paints come in several grades from children’s craft products to artist grade, polymer also comes in made different formulas, brands and grades. I only use the highest quality artist grade formulas in my work.

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

LO: Get into the studio or wherever it is that you create and make art! Make good art, make bad art, make happy art, sad art, angry art, art with a message, art with a voice and a dream. Do not allow the creativity sucking leaches to drain you of your precious inspiration! Do not listen to “the voices of reason” that tell you to take some other path. The right path for them may not be right for you. Create the work that only you can create. Continue to hone your skills and sharpen your techniques. Feed your passion! Hang tough!

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

LO: This is a tough one. I am really isolated and don’t know that many other artists. If I have to choose favorites and they have to be local, I can give two names.

Kanika Marshall, a potter and a sculptor who works in glorious, bold colors, and creates vessels and sculptures that are inspired by her African ancestry and her own creative spiritual force. Her work is both whimsical and other worldly. Her process like mine is intuitive. She takes a hunk of clay and allows the work to evolve as her hands manipulate.

http://www.kanikamarshall.com/

Another favorite is Shane Grammar, themed environments, stage sets, murals, and illustrations. The enormous scale of his work thrills me! The variety of techniques and materials that he works in are fascinating! He is also a very personable guy and that makes his work so much more impressive. The themed environments are like real size fantasies to me. What I like best about Disneyland and other amusement parks are the themed rides. I love the fantasy environments! I love being transported immediately into another realm. It’s exciting to me! I let the magic take me away!

http://sgstudios.org/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgstudiosinc/8699639614/

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

LO: I scour the internet for information costume design, cultural lifestyles, and folklore are some of my most common searches. I also enjoy traveling and experiencing different foods and cultures first hand. Restaurants can even offer rich cultural experiences and resources. I believe that having a variety of life experiences and cultural experiences adds a great deal of depth to my work.

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

LO:  I am still trying to work my way in and find my way around the Sacramento Art Scene.

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

If you are interested in being one of SAHC’s featured artists, email us at: info@sacramentoarthistory.org

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Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Daniel Mendoza

by Bree Garcia

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DM: Mendoza is a visual artist and educator. He has worked and studied for two decades trying to create in one way or another, some form of art. At an early age music became the first of these art forms, and soon he found a passion for writing poetry, both moving him into the world of painting. Mixing various mediums to achieve versatility, he believes he has found an art form in which he feels in tune with raw creativity.

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

DM: I do my best to work in a creative process that has no limitations as far time or medium constraints. I don’t make paintings for the sake of selling them; I make them for the sake of the art itself. The last thing I think about is if I’m going to be able to sell the piece I’m working on, I’m just thinking about how far I can push the mediums and my ideas. I prefer to work in a mixture of acrylic and latex. I work in a layering process inspired by early Flemish and Netherlandish art, however unlike the work from that period mine is abstract or a mixture of both abstract and figurative work. Current I am working with a transfer process using my photography and creating mixed media pieces. The layer process can take several days, to several weeks, and even months. I will usually have about 5 to 7 pieces going at once in various stages.


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

DM: As artists we take on several responsibilities within the community. We are advocates, as well as resources for the non profits, galleries, and museums. I think it’s important that you are a part of a community and as a whole the community is part of a global community. Creating work that gives back is just as important as creating work that is intended to sell.

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

DM: I would encourage diversification. If you are set on a career in the arts, look at your skills, your mediums and how you work. And see how you can apply those things to various areas on the arts community.  There is a wide variety of activities and organizations you can help out with. It would be great to just paint all day, but getting out and supporting what is going will help create a support for you as well.

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

DM: Joy Bertinuson for her creativity and narrative, both of which are stellar! Kari Breese for the unique style and technique she creates with her work. Jill Allyn Stafford use of mediums and her activism make her one of my favorite Sacramento artists as well. And Felipe Davalos is a go to favorite of mine for the amount of information he can put into a single piece or his work, and his continued commitment to the Arts.

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

DM: I’ve actually amassed my own collection of art and art history resources. Having traveled to various cities from New York to Mexico City I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a myriad of museums and collect data and photographs for my own personal resources. I also choose to obtain a degree in Art History as opposed to studio arts. I feel that having the knowledge and understanding of philosophies and creations of the great masters before us helps me better understand where I can take my work.

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

DM: I would just encourage readers to attend events in the area. There are more than just gallery showings or 2nd Saturday events. There are tons of education opportunities for adults and children in Sacramento that revolve around the arts. It’s a great community to be a part of.

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

DM: My works shows up at various events and galleries around the city. But it can always be viewed at my website www.DanielMendozaCreative.com

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Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Maren Conrad

by Bree Garcia

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MC: Through multiple applications of painting, metal leafing, and pouring resin, each of my panels gain depth, transparency, and dimensionality. My work manifests meditations in visual display. Inspired by universal truths and formative experiences, I find resonating images or phrases in which to draw strength. I engage myself in repetitive tasks that clear my mind and bring me to a centered present. Rendering strictly from memory allows my subconscious and interpretation to become my creation.

My current work of koi fish are inspired by their symbolic meaning of “prosperity through perseverance.” After creating the images, I looked into the species further. Although my creations easily read as koi, the fin structure is more that of a beta fish and the head’s skeletal structure is more reptilian than water-dwelling. My subconscious added two fighters to the vegetarian carp. The patterned fish scales created a great opportunity for methodical application, a soothing form of my meditative practice. The small tactile circular finger motions of applying metal leaf do this as well.

Feathers have also currently caught my fascination. I see them as a visual form of weightlessness and letting go. When dipped in ink and given parchment, they can serve as a time capsule for one’s thoughts.

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

MC: I paint and draw between multiple layers of acrylic resin applied to wood panels.  I have a current obsession with metal leaf and glitter.  I am a representational painter with an illustrative style.  I love intricate line work and use it to create a sense of movement in my images.

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

MC: My role as a local artist is to contribute to the arts community through the sponsorship/mentorship of other artists, participation in local arts events, and contribution and editing of my own work to ensure that the quality is something I hope represents our area well.  Through the collaborative environment, Exhibit S, where my studio is housed- I work in a collaborative fashion daily.  We constantly have artists who work outside of our space come through to chat, recieve feedback and offer input on our work as well.  We hold monthly free events and work with local business partners to a fun community of creative-types to help connect and push our city forward.

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

MC: Your dedication and commitment to your craft is what will separate you from a hobbiest and a professional artist.  If you want other people to invest in you, you have to invest in yourself first.  Do not cut corners on supplies and quality of your finished product.  If you have to be your own patron to fund your career while it is getting started or hits a lag, take a part-time job that gives you the capacity to still create.  Do not listen to the applause or the haters- find one or two people who you trust will give you honest constructive feedback, and take their opinions into consideration.  Start low with your price point and find the joy in getting paid to practice.  Ten sold paintings are better than three expensive paintings on your studio floor.

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

MC: You know the art is good when you are jealous.  Rogelio Manzo’s treatment of his resin panels and figurative compositions make me green with envy.  Kim Squaglia and Jane Mikacich are amazing examples of strong established female painters.  They were both mentors of mine and I still look up to them.  The care and consideration that Gale Hart puts in her finishing process and juxtaposition between clean and wild knocks my socks off.  I am the beneficiary of the daily love, care and support of Danny Scheible.  He puts more energy and follow-through to keeping other artists creating than any other artist I’ve met.

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MC: The library at the San Francisco Art Institute is the most incredible place on the planet.

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

MC: http://www.marenconrad.com

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Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Linda Gelfman

by Bree Garcia

LG: Linda Gelfman has enjoyed a 35 year romance with clay.  She is the highly popular and much acclaimed ceramics professor at American River College where her ceramic mural classes have colorfully decorated campus walls.  Linda’s figurative sculptures combine heads, faces, and body parts in often humorous and incongruous ways which create profound psychological and spiritual insights.  Her most recent work incorporates fabric and yarn into these ongoing tableaus.  Linda is a founding member of Sacramento’s E Street Gallery and Studios.

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

 LG: I go into the studio and I make things. I obsessively make things. I feel like I am wasting my time unless I am creating something out of whatever material is in my hands. I think about my life, my family, my friends, and the world, then out it comes; some emotion, thought, or idea challenging me to bring up its form into the physical world, communicating to whoever will listen, look, and experience.

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

 LG: I am an arts educator. I teach, mainly ceramics, to students all across the board. My responsibility, as I see it, is to teach them how to access the creativity within them. I teach them how to experience and appreciate all of the arts. I help them gain confidence in themselves through the creative process to access their voice. It is all about communication and compassion. I believe that when you tap into both your spreading the word of Art and community. Showing people how to connect globally.

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

LG: Follow your passion and do not let anything or anyone get in your way. Be selfish and work your ass off every day.  You are not going to get there unless you work hard, keep challenging yourself, try new things and keep an open mind. Don’t get discouraged it takes time. Look at and experience all different styles of art and life and be inspired. And know it’s not about the money.

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

LG: My studio mate Larry Love-he constantly inspires me with all the work he does and has been inspiring me for 25 years.  My husband, Thomas Powell-recently transplanted here from New Mexico, blows my mind how he puts different media together to create his sculptures and paintings. I have never met a painting by Joy Bertinuson and Pat Wood that hasn’t completely touched and awed me.  Jodie Hooker is the best photographer in town especially with her alternative processes. Matt Rhoades’ paintings are so lush and colorful…all the artists at E Street Gallery and Studio are just amazing. The Art Faculty at American River College are all top notch, working artists that I am privilege to be working with…shall I go on? I feel like I am accepting an Oscar and going on and on in my thank you speech. 

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

LG: Of course SAHC is my number one my list. The Crocker Museum. I love going to the De Young museum.  When traveling, we go to the museums where ever we visit. We just came back from Mexico City and the museums there were Fabulous!

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

LG: There is more to life than pretty landscapes and pretty couch art that Sacramento tends to favor.  Get gritty and deep! Don’t be afraid. Take a stance and really delve into the dark side and share it with us instead of trying to be trite, non offensive, and commercial!!!!

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

LG: E Street Gallery and Studios-my studio is there and I curate an annual Heart Exhibit in February, and we are open every Second Saturday. I will be showing at the Blue Moon Gallery in April with Jodie Hooker. I am sorry to say but I let my website lapse but I post my work on Facebook often.

If you are interested in being one of SAHC’s featured artists, email us at: info@sacramentoarthistory.org

Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Tom Huynh

by Bree Garcia

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TH: My photography is based out of Sacramento and Northern California. I recently traded my film cameras in for a digital camera and since then, my photography has taken a different turn. I am a fine art photographer with a vast portfolio and other interests. I love to document my environment and like to tell a story from a unique perspective. It is a way that I express myself and communicate my inner thoughts that I cannot put on a sheet of paper. As photographers, we have to respect our craft with a great deal of dignity and humility. I dedicated my life to the belief that photography is the only thing that makes me happy. It is my life. It is my passion. And in the end, nothing else matters.

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

TH: I’m a photographer. I started shooting films, now I am primarily a digital photographer. I love working with people. I consider myself a portrait photographer. I have shot with every format of camera possible.

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

TH: Share your visions with others. It is very important that we learn from each other. We do not live in a cave. Share your knowledge to the younger generations of photographers.

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

TH: Being an artist, you must have thick skin. You will deal with rejections. It is part of the process. Don’t settle to one style. Continually push yourself to do something above and beyond your capability. Always have an open mind for learning experience.  Practice, Practice, Practice. Learn techniques from great photographers and use it to define your own personal style.

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

TH: My mentors in Sacramento are photographers that paved ways for people like me. Kurt Fishback taught me a lot about black and white photography how to look at negatives and translate them into prints. Andy Delucia was a great influence on me. I learned how to develop my black and white through these two great photographers who will always be my mentors. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Andy, God bless him.

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

TH: Facebook. I follow a lot of photographers on Facebook. I also love walking around on Second Saturdays.

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

TH: We have a great arts community here in Sacramento. If you take an afternoon off and walk around, you will learn a lot about the arts in the area.

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

You can find my work on my website: http://www.tomhuynh.co or facebook.com/huynhphotography

If you are interested in being one of SAHC’s featured artists, email us at: info@sacramentoarthistory.org

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Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Evan Thomas

by Bree Garcia

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ET:  This is the first year I’ve exhibited my art since the 1990s. I fell back into art trying to kill time first drawing on my iTouch, and I ended up with enough for a show. My first show at Spanish Fly Hair Garage sold well and justified my purchase of an iPad Mini, which is now my main tool. I exhibited and demonstrated for a week my iPad art at this year’s California State Fair in the Fine Arts Hall. I also took part (OK, full disclosure, I was the curator) in a two-man show with Patrick Drayus at Annie’s Playshop and Gallery in Sacramento. I’ve also been teaching iPad Art techniques at the Unitarian Church in Sacramento.

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

Any cheap trick/port in storm will do, and any theft or appropriation I can do something original with will do. Sometimes I work from imagination, sometimes from an imported image, such as a Fra Lippo Lippi quattrocento Madonna. Sometimes I go directly over a digitial photo of a porch’s cafe set in Curtis Park. Lately I’ve been working with pen on paper drawings of mine imported into my iPad. Style is something I care very little about. No lie. It takes care of itself. I use different stylistic mannerisms, but my work looks like it’s been done by the same person. I will humbly attribute this to an admiration of and intention to work in the modes of classicist artists such as Basquiat, Hockney, Pollock Picasso and Poussin, especially in terms of composition.

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iPads are wonderful surfaces for drawing or painting whether using your fingers or a stylus. Most recently I’ve been using a TruGlide Pro Paintbrush tip from LYNKtec –  a sponsor of mine, and it’s fun. iPads also have a great economic advantages such as making studio space real cheap since a backpack can hold an iPad Mini. More savings come from the clothes not ruined by messy art supplies. My images are printed as signed, limited editions on archival paper at CaliColor, a local Giclee print service.

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

ET: Job one is to do good work. Let’s be real. Visual artists are the least effective of polemicists.

 

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SAHC: What advice do you have for emerging artists, or those pursuing a career in the arts? ET: The simple truth is that many are called but few get up. Artist should create early, midday or late, but most importantly, often and steadily. Don’t give your art away and cheapen your market. The business and promotional aspects will demand more time than you think. Be polite. There are too many artists are are out there, and the difficult ones fall behind.

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SAHC: Who are some of your favorite Sacramento Artists, and why? ET:  Patrick Drayus and Perez Mandark Westbrook are two of my favorites, local or otherwise. Their stuff  is for everyone. It can be taken in by the kid at the skateboard park or the matron at a museum. I doubt  either would call themselves neo-funk artists, and might even argue with the designation, but their work has the same playfulness and a similar edge the funk art the Sacramento  region is known for.

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SAHC: Where are some of your favorite Art/ Art History resources found? ET:  Facebook and Instagram are my main tools for keeping up with local artists and art events. It was on Facebook that Carol Buchanan of the State Fair found and recruited me. I’m also obliged to mention Annie’s Playshop and Gallery owned by Lisa Weil, and of which  am the curator.  

SAHC: Is there anything else about the arts here in Sacramento that you would like share with our reader? ET:  Sacramento is a great art town to start from, but for anyone ambitious, leaving Dodge is probably gonna have to happen. We lack the financial means to sustain art careers like the Bay Area or Southern California. The good news is that those moving out clear the decks for others. That’s probably why there is always something interesting going on with art in this town.

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

I will be showing at the Denim Spot (20th and J) this December for their Affordable Art Show (My pieces will be $130.00 framed and matted.

Call 916 848 9616 for private viewing.

I post almost  almost daily, and sometime more than, daily at:

http://evanartworks.com

http://facebook.com/ipadart

http://instagram.com/evanartworks

http://twitter.com/evanartworks

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