Women’s Wisdom Art exhibition comes to SMUD Art Gallery

Women’s Wisdom Art will launch their newest exhibit, hosted at the SMUD Gallery and featuring the art of 28 Sacramento artists, this Friday. The “Art of Wisdom” will showcase a range of mediums, including poetry, acrylic paintings and ceramics. The nonprofit organization’s journey has not always been easy, but after switching hands and struggling to keep their mission alive, the women have come out stronger than ever. Women’s Wisdom Art was founded in 1991 as an empowerment program that offers art classes to women dealing with poverty, homelessness and abuse. Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services supported the program for 12 years, but removed funding last year to redirect their energies toward emergency and family-based needs such as food and education. The women facilitating the program were not ready to end their mission of teaching art and independence. After their funding from SFBFS was removed, Women’s Wisdom Art became a free-standing organization, led by Laura Ann Walton and Helen Plenert and mentored by Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. Plenert, Program Manager and instructor for Women’s Wisdom Art, said the relationship between their organization and SMAC had been instrumental in their progress and success over the last year. SMAC aims to help nonprofits who are just starting out, and have been holding a nonprofit number for Women’s Wisdom Art while they complete the application process. It is […]

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Lost art of Mora – ‘Sojourner’ sculpture vandalized

The local arts community recently discovered that the public artwork ‘Sojourner’ on 13th and K Street had been vandalized. The sculpture was found pushed off its pedestal on January 6, 2013. The sculpture, a 7ft. Mexican limestone work of art by Master Artist Elizabeth Catlett Mora, was broken into several pieces. Unfortunately the artist cannot repair this treasured work. Catlett died last year on April 2, 2012. The breaking news originally appeared on the blog "Sacramento Pedestrian Art." At the time, there was very little additional information provided on the developing story. And, by the time this article is published The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC) is expected to have updates on the repair and restoration progress. The arts community can visit the SMAC website http://www.sacmetroarts.org/ for updates. The future home of the sculpture is as yet uncertain. In fact, as told to the Sacramento Observer Newspaper, SMAC is considering a new location for the sculpture once repairs are completed. This is bittersweet, as ‘Sojourner’ was a mainstay on K street for several years and a staple of downtown public art. The safety of the art is of primary importance. Relocation may turn out to be the best option in this case, considering the longterm changes the downtown area is undergoing – plans for the new entertainment arena, overhaul construction to reinvigorate K Street, and inevitably the influx of […]

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Sensory Perception: an exhibition of mosaics by Sacramento deafblind artist Mary Dignan

Sensory Perception: an exhibition of mosaics by Sacramento deafblind artist Mary Dignan, opens at the SMUD Art Gallery, 6301 S Street, Sacramento on Monday, March 4, 2013. The public is invited to meet the artist and view her work at a FREE opening reception on Friday, March 1, 2013, from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibition showcases over 30 ceramic tile and mixed media art mosaics created by deafblind artist Mary Dignan. The mosaics offer an insight into the unique perspective of an artist with Usher Syndrome, a genetic disorder which is the leading cause of deafblindness. Dignan’s mosaics bring onlookers into the fantastical world of her own metamorphosis, as she navigates through what it is to lose two of her senses, while exploring the sense of touch. Mary Dignan was born with severe hearing loss, but her deafness was not diagnosed until she was almost 5 years old, after she had been diagnosed as mentally retarded. Eventually she would learn that she had Usher Syndrome, Type 2, which is characterized by moderate to severe deafness at birth, and blindness from retinitis pigmentosa (RP) later in life. She earned her undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University in 1976, and embarked upon a career that included newspaper reporting, legislative work for the U.S. House of Representatives and the California State Assembly Committee on Agriculture, public relations […]

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Noisefest 2012: Musical Chaos, Loud Noises, and Brunch

This weekend (October 5, 6, 7) is Norcal Noisefest, Sacramento’s annual gathering of experimental musicians, noise artists and musical outsiders from around the country. This Noisefest is the sixteenth held since the festival’s founding in 1995, making it one of the longest-running festivals of its kind in North America. Because noise is a profoundly unpopular musical genre, most people are unfamiliar with noise–there have never been any commercially successful noise musicians, although many successful musicians (from the Velvet Underground to Sonic Youth and Radiohead) have experimented with noise. The linked video below is a four-minute summary of what you are likely to see and hear at the Norcal Noisefest: The Noisefest is not a music festival for those comfortable with traditional music. It is an exploration of what lies beyond the edges of music–peeling back the layers of musical form to see what sits underneath, and exposing it to an audience, in all its mixtures of ugliness and beauty. This year’s festival features approximately 38 performers at three different Sacramento venues. Friday night’s session at Luna’s Cafe (1414 15th Street), starting at 7 PM, is a more intimate setting for solo performers and duos, like locals Deadly Nightshade and The Tulpa Effect and visiting acts like New York’s Fisted Lizard or Blood Into Water from San Jose, capable of fitting on Luna’s small stage. While […]

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SMUD Art Exhibition features work in the tradition of Dia de los Muertos

¡Viva la Vida! Sacramento Area Artists and the Art of Dia de los Muertos, features the work of 12 Sacramento area artists and opens at the SMUD Art Gallery, 6301 S Street, Sacramento on Thursday, September 6, 2012. The public is invited to meet the artists at a FREE reception on Thursday, September 6, 2012, from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibition includes works by Raul Mejia, Rob-O, Gustavo Reynoso, Ryan “El Dugi” Lewis, John S. Huerta, Lila Solorzano, OC Thomas, Rosita Favela, Trent Harger, Ivan Rubio, Francisco Franco, and Sergio Martinez. Paintings, tapestry, tattoo art, cut paper, and sugar are just some of the media being explored by these artists to illustrate the traditions and symbolism of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Dia de los Muertos is a day of celebration observed throughout the world, though perhaps most commonly associated with the people of Latin America, particularly in Mexico and Central America, and more recently with Mexican Americans. The origins of the holiday trace back hundreds of years to observances and rituals of the Aztec people in Mexico. It is linked to a rich variety of popular customs resembling Halloween in many ways, but with a different origin and practices. The holiday honors the spirits of departed ancestors and loved ones who are believed to return to earth to celebrate with […]

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Four-day arts event kicks off Wednesday

Opening the selection process for Sacramento’s new poet laureate is one of the highlights of the four-day Open Daily event put on by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. Other events include a talk on the role of public artwork in private development, a symposium on how arts organizations can raise funds and a workshop to train artists on how to teach art in schools. “This is the first time we’ve run the SMAC Open Daily as a full-blown four-day symposium,” said SMAC spokeswoman Veronica Delgado. “Our overall goal is showing how the creative sector is influencing the dynamics of the economy in Sacramento.” Events run from Wednesday through Saturday. For a full schedule, click here. Friday’s Poets’ Party will be held from 4:30 – 7 p.m. at the Crocker Art Museum. At the event, the call will be put out for the next poet laureate for Sacramento. “The poet laureate is a position with the city that focuses on keeping the literary arts alive in Sacramento,” Delgado said. “They put on poetry readings and work in schools.” The position has a history dating back to at least the 1600s, when a poet would be kept on retainer to write about notable events such as the crowning of a king or the opening of a new church, Delgado added. Sacramento’s current poet laureate, Bob Stanley, is […]

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French Film Fest Director to be honored as Film & Music Fest Opens Tonight

The 12th annual Sacramento Film and Music Festival opens its SummerFEST program tonight by honoring another long time Festival director.  This year’s Film Arts Service Award will be presented to Cecile Mouette Downs, director of the Sacramento French Film Festival.  Cecille has worked previously for the Film Department of the French Embassy in New York City, and as a Press Officer for the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel in Paris. She has a master’s degree in history, is a regular contributor to “France Today” magazine, and was the 2010 recipient of the Arts Executive of the Year Award from the Sacramento Arts & Business Council. This is the fifth Film Arts Service Award to be presented.  The first went to Shawn Sullivan, who teaches animation at Sheldon High School and has a remarkable record of placing students in competitive college and industry positions.  Subsequent recipients have included: Bill Bronston, CEO of Tower of Youth which showcases and advocates for youth filmmaking; Ron Cooper, Executive Director of Access Sacramento and the "A Place Called Sacramento" screenwriting competition and filmmaking program; and Sid Garcia-Heberger, Managing Partner of the Crest Theatre, co-founder and co-director of the Sacramento Jewish Film Festival, and a Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commissioner.  As last year’s recipient of the Award, Sid Garcia-Heberger will present this year’s Award to Cecile Mouette Downs. Additionally, this year’s opening night […]

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Arts organizations, artists recognized by government

Two arts organizations – La Raza Galería Posada and California Musical Theatre – top a list of award winners announced by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission Friday. In all, 14 arts organizations and artists were named winners in SMAC’s District Awards Program – a program in which Sacramento City Council members and Sacramento County supervisors honor and recognize artists’ and organizations’ contributions to the arts. Organizations were nominated by SMAC commissioners based on a process involving artistic quality and community engagement. “This award program represents an important opportunity to recognize our outstanding arts community in Sacramento,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson. “For the mayor’s city-wide award, we considered many valuable arts groups, each contributing significantly to our quality of life in Sacramento. Ultimately, we chose to recognize La Raza Galería Posada for its consistent excellence in programming.” A ceremony will be held to recognize all eight winners – La Raza Galería Posada was chosen by both Johnson and Councilman Steve Cohn – chosen by the City Council at 6 p.m. July 19 in the council chambers at City Hall, 915 I St. County winners will have a ceremony at 10 a.m. July 19 at the supervisors’ hearing room at Seventh and I streets. “I am so pleased to have this opportunity to recognize the California Musical Theatre as one of Sacramento’s oldest and most successful arts […]

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SMAC supporters band together against budget cuts

Around 20 supporters of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission attended the City Council budget hearing Tuesday afternoon wearing buttons emblazoned with the SMAC slogan: “Arts Open Daily” in response to a proposal to cut arts funding. Barbara Bonebrake, director of the Sacramento Convention, Culture and Leisure Department, presented a proposal to reduce the city’s general fund contribution to SMAC by $152,855 for the 2011/2012 fiscal year. As a result of these cuts, funding for SMAC’s Cultural Arts Awards, a program that provides grants ranging from $1,000-$25,000 to nonprofit arts organizations, would be reduced by $64,000. During the public comment section of the Convention, Culture and Leisure presentation, seven of SMAC’s supporters took the podium to address the council about SMAC’s impact on the health of the city. Jan Geiger, chairwoman of Friends of the Arts Commission, the non-profit arm of the Sacramento Arts Commission responsible for increasing arts funding and arts advocacy, was the first to address the council. Geiger argued that a city’s arts are what make it viable as a long-term place to settle. “The arts as we know them make the difference between a place you’d like to invest in versus a place you’re in temporarily until you move on,” she said. SMAC Chairwoman Carlin Naify urged the council not to approve the proposed cuts. Naify indicated that in the past year, […]

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Art In Sacramento, Where Do We Go From Here?

Master Barber & Beauty Shop presents: Art on Stockton Blvd. – Art Panel Discussion "Art In Sacramento – Where do we go from here?" This is your chance to share and discuss with some of Sacramento’s lead art professionals and artists! Join Master Barber & Beauty Shop and panel participants, Dr. Allan Gordon, Lorrie Kempf, Patris Miller, Daphne Burgess and James Sweeney for an evening of lively discussion on "Art in Sacramento." Come with your thoughts, stories and questions as professionals in the art world tell their personal and professional views on the Sacramento art scene. Keynote Speaker: Gerry GOS" Simpson – Artist, Photographer and Author Moderator: Tim Foster – Editor, Midtown Monthly Panelist: Allan Gordon (PhD, Curator, Artist) Lorrie Kempf (SMAC, Curator, Artist) Patris Artist (Artist, Gallery Owner) James Sweeney (Art Collector, SAAAC) Daphne Burgess (Artist) Coffee and Tea is provided by: Old Soul Co. Refreshment will be Available This is a FREE event

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