Sacramento Art History Consortium

reviews, musings, and general art-related chatter

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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: 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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Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Shonna McDaniels

by Bree Garcia

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SMD:  My goal as an artist is to share the strength and majesty of ancient African culture via beautiful paintings, mixed media, clay pottery and Styrofoam.

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

SMD: I believe my African ancestors work through my fingers to create each brush stroke or art sculpture. My creative process generally begins with a large canvas. Paintings of women with dark blue hues, purple and brown skin tones stimulates love, passion, beauty and hope as my hands move across the canvas. My hands are driven by a spiritual force connected to the motherland. The spiritual essence from my ancestors shines through. It’s a humbling experience. My chosen medium is oil paint but I also work in pastels, charcoal, acrylic, water color, mix media utilizing fabric, beads and other recycled materials.

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

SMD: My purpose as an artist is to leave a legacy for future artist. I want young black girls and boys to look at my art and experience something of worth, pride and value. For this reason I strive to have the essence of my work reflect dignity, strength and beauty of each subject that I present. The education of youth for me is very important and I have spent a large part of my career as an artist educating youth. I feel today, more than ever, that art is needed by young people as a forum for safe expression, communication, exploration, imagination, cultural and historical understanding.  Art is an essential, encompassing life element that has the ability to produce an environment with a productive, cultural exchange of ideas. In addition, art promotes acquisition of intellectual skills in literature, science, and math. Indeed, art should be a priority in human development.  Art has the ability to inspire youth to be creative, think outside the box and use their skills to beautify their environment.

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

SMD: First of all, my advice to emerging artists is to always be true to whom you are as a human being and everything else will fall into place. Secondly, always be a student of art and never except the idea that you are not.

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

SMD:  My favorite Sacramento Artist can’t be narrowed to just one artist.. I have many favorites and most of them are my close circle of friends that I have worked with for 10 or more years. This list is as follows: Daphne Burgess, John King, GOS, Kanika Marshall, Joe Pollakoff, Marshall Bailey, Debra Ledet, Alpha Bruton, Frank Blackwell, Jose Lott, Anthony Padilla,David Lonbenber and Akinsaya Kambon. These individuals have all played a special role in my life and have inspired and nurtured me in my journey as an Artist.

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

SMD: My favorite online resource is Black Art in America. Additionally, I have a love for any Art History books, documentaries or magazines that provide information on the Harlem Renaissance. This is the period in history when black artist were accomplishing greatness in a time that defied all odds.  They had the courage to uplift themselves and achieve greatness. This period of Art history has always inspired me and prompted me to educate the children and youth about a special era in our history.

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

SMD: I feel Art in Sacramento should reflect more diversity. I would love to see more murals and life size sculptures which reflect the legacy and the hard work that African people embarked on to help build our communities and the nation at large. I feel youth would be more inspired and uplifted if they were inspired by public art in their communities that reflects their image.

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

SMD: One can just type in my name Shonna McDaniels or visit the Sojo Museum at 2251 Florin rd or the Sojo website at http://www.sojoarts.net

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Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Jared Konopitski

by Bree Garcia

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Artist Bio: I am an artist living and working in Sacramento, California. I work in many mediums, however, primarily with acrylic paintings. My work has been exhibited at galleries, festivals, and museums across the US and Internationally including; The Smithsonian, Washington D.C.; The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; and The Mutter Museum, Philadelphia, PA. I have had my work featured in Color Ink Book (2013),  Papercut Magazine (2013), Arcana’s Steampunk Originals (2013), Heavy Metal Magazine (2012), Catapult Magazine (2012), DisColouring Book (2012), Penumbra eZine (2012),  Juxtapoz (2011), And Wow!cool! Psycho Nurse Calendar (2011). I have also worked for clients such as Universal Studios, The Art O Mat, and TurningArt. In addition, I have curated numerous gallery shows and corporate art seminars. In my spare time I enjoy facilitating art workshops, with focus on early art education.

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

JK: I am inspired by all things beautifully weird, such as monsters, the bugs living under the rocks, creatures in jars, ghosts, all the nooks and crannies of nature. But I am also inspired by comics, cartoons, noise music and neon anything. So I try to paint the way these things make me feel. Sometimes it comes out fun, sometimes scary, sometimes cute, and sometimes ugly. But I love it all. I prefer painting with acrylics on wood. And after the acrylics are laid down, I love to go over everything with black Ink. The black ink brings out the detail and gives the whole painting a better sense of flow.

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

JK: I believe I must share this talent with others. Show those in this town and beyond that art can be fun. That it doesn’t have to be perfect and it can be a gateway to all kinds of adventures. I want to show people that art is accessible to anyone and can be used to solve more problems than most folks realize.

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

JK: Practice, practice, practice. Never stop creating. Try to figure out how the artists you admire paint, then put your own spin to it. Do not be afraid of rejection. Rejection will happen. Show your art everywhere you can. Amazing opportunities will arise with passion, persistence, positivity and a good work ethic. And above it all, have fun and love what you do!

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


JK: Jill Allyn Stafford, because of her collages with great meaning and composition, and she has a heart of compassion for others and she is ALWAYS giving back. Corey Bernardt, Stephen Williams, Shaun Burner, Waylon Horner, Andy Steele, Jared Tharp and everyone at the Sol Collective Colab for making some high quality work. John Stuart Berger, Skinner, Cinder, Shane Grammer for being early inspirations. Gary Pruner, for teaching me color. And anyone in Sacramento that keeps creating, that keeps the weirdness alive, and has inspired me during this crazy art ride. Waaaaay to many to list, but they all mean a ton to me!

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

JK: I enjoy visiting the Crocker Art Museum. They have had amazing shows filled with modern day masters to art legends. I learn a lot from their exhibits and really love what they are bringing to the Sacramento area. And also, I love looking at the back issues of all of our comic book shops in town. There is a whole history of art sub culture in there that just makes me happy.

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

JK: Check out the galleries and such off the beaten path. There are many amazing things happening at Exhibit S, The Temp, Dragatomi, Verge, Empire Comics and more. Go to these places, meet the people and see what is happening creatively in our city. 

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: Dawn Star Wood

by Bree Garcia

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 DSW: As a watercolorist based out of the central California area, I have been active within the local community while also communicating with artists not only elsewhere in the United States but abroad. At the moment I am one of the collective artists of Blue Moon Gallery in Sacramento along with one of the consignment artists of Sunlight of the Spirit Book and Gifts shop which is also located in Sacramento.  I have also been active in several smaller organizations such as being one of the founding members of deviantSAC where we focus on bringing attention to local artists, to my work with other groups helping in drawing awareness to a small variety of issues.

My most recent collaboration has been my first overseas one which was with the editorial assistant for the Salvation Army of Finland’s magazine SotaHuuto, having allowing the use and publishing of my painting “Virgin Mary” in their Finnish & Swedish publications for their August 2012 issue. I have also participated in the yearly KVIE Art Auction in Sacramento from 2008 to present, having been chosen for Juror’s Award in 2012. This year I have had the chance to be one of the artists for Quixotic Magazine’s first issue, a guest speaker for one of Amador County Artists Association’s monthly meetings, accepted into KVIE’s Art Auction 2013, and accepted into Pence Gallery (Davis).

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

DSW:   I have a wide range of things that inspire me, from the gentle beauty of various elements of nature to the curves of a classic vehicle but I have to say what frequently pulls me back to paint time and time again is anything dealing with European and Asian culture. I’m not really sure about my style by my work tends to lean more towards Art Nouveau in some aspects. Watercolors are my main medium but on occasion I do tend to create pieces that are of mixed media.

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

 DSW:  I would think that in a way, as artists, we are responsible for bringing attention to various issues to try to bring about positive change. Our work tells stories and a point of view to things that normally would be overlooked by others. Through the connections we make with people through our pieces, we network with those in our own community and beyond, brainstorm ideas, give constructive critiques, and inspire.

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

DSW:   My advice is to experiment and a lot of practice. I constantly get told by people that my work has inspired them to try watercolors for the first time but they’re not that good with them. I just advise that you practice the basics first and know that you’re not going to paint a Mona Lisa your first time. Mistakes are going to happen. If, while working with watercolors, you find you don’t like one particular method or find that something doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to try something that will work with your style. If you discover that mixed media is more fitting with what you’re wanting, go for it. Just never be afraid to try something new and remember to practice. As far as having a career in the field, be prepared for a lot of hard work and people having the pre-notion that being an artist is the easiest thing in the world or is only a hobby.

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

DSW:  I actually know several area artists so it is difficult to say I have ‘favorites’, mostly due the fact that I have made friends and worked with a number of them. One Sacramento based artist who I had the pleasure of showing work with and becoming friends with is the late Kennith Potter. An internationally known watercolorist who was unique in every way, we originally didn’t see eye-to-eye on how I presented my work since he was more European/traditional in his subject matters and presentation where I was pushing the envelope a bit with my pieces at the time. After a couple of years of getting to know one another, my best moment was a few months before he passed away, he had nodded in approval of one of my pieces and let me know that it was one of the best works I had done up to that point. Thinking of that day always brings a smile to my face.

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

DSW:  I personally have a growing collection of resource and reference books which I often go to for information and inspiration. Outside of my own home, however, I often look to several museums in the Northern California area such as Crocker Art Museum, Asian Art Museum, SFMOMA, and Legion of Honor. Other favorite stops for me when gathering resources are classic car shows and antique shops.

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

DSW:  Though seemingly not as established as other cities, the arts in Sacramento are becoming better rooted and are blossoming into a promising scene. There is a mix of the traditional and contemporary artists who have already made themselves a name within the Greater Sacramento area and the younger emerging artists who are spotlighting urban influences and abstract imagery. Though a bit of a see-saw affect at the moment as everyone is competing for recognition, in a strange way the two sides do balance each other. Perhaps in the coming years, Sacramento will be known for its art just as much as it’s known for its trees and architecture.

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

 DSW:  People can usually find my work at Blue Moon Gallery in Sacramento but as far online, you can find examples of my work at http://dawnstarw.deviantart.com/ or follow me on Facebook at Dawn Star Wood Art to be updated on events and venues I have work at.

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

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