In this edition of Arts Alive, the focus is on local artists who either work in an unusual medium or have a slightly skewed perspective that comes out in their art. ViewFinder finds out about artists who make enormous metal sculptures for the State Fair, uses fabric to create incredibly intricate murals, and the story of a painter who emigrated from China. Plus we’ll profile quirky artists in Sacramento, including a local filmmaker, a fashion designer, and a maker of art cars.
On weekdays you’ll find Dave Lane maintaining the website for the California Department of Water Resources…but his nights and weekends are devoted to art. Dave designs and builds colossal-sized metal sculptures which defy easy explanation. Over the years, his creations have turned his backyard into a literal wonderland of rusted steal that comes in countless shapes and sizes. Each year Dave will build a new piece, which he enters exclusively at the California State Fair. His sculptures have been accepted in the California State Fair Art Exhibition for ten straight years (a record in itself), and he’s won several awards along the way, including “Best of Show” twice. We’ll learn how this eccentric artist got his start, and we’ll follow the journey his newest 2-ton sculpture takes, from a tricky placement in his old Ford pickup, to judging day at the State Fair.
California State Fair - www.bigfun.org. Contact Chris Daubert, operator of the gallery at CSUS where Dave Lane will soon be showing - email@example.com
Bob Moricz will be the first to tell you: his films aren’t for everyone. But for those who love horror movies, over-the-top acting, and campy humor, his ouvre is a goldmine. Bob writes, produces, directs, shoots, edits - and occasionally acts in! - his films, and is probably Sacramento’s most prolific auteur, with two features and a dozen short films under his belt.
Kris Laskey is the creator of the clothing line Buttugly. What's behind the name? Well, despite feeling that everything that she made was pretty ugly, people began to find charm and beauty in her creations and the name stuck. Kris makes her clothes out of found fabrics such as old curtains, carpets, and towels, just to name a few – and finds most of her materials
at thrift stores.
A crisis of confidence led Merle Axelrad Serlin to abandon her dreams of being an artist, and pursue a career as an architect. But years later, while sewing a quilt for her newborn son, she discovered the aesthetic possibilities of fabric – and created her own art form. Using small pieces of fabric sewn together, Merle creates layer upon layer of color and pattern. Her vivid fabric collages are now in great demand; a series of eight landscapes hangs at the Cal-EPA building in Sacramento, and five canvases were recently installed at the new City Hall.
Neal Young, owner of Neal's Hairpieces for Men in Carmichael, compares styling a hairpiece to sculpting with clay. He has to cut the hairpiece to fit the clients face and lifestyle. Neal's been in the business for forty-five years and gets high praise from his clients including a number of celebrities, such as Lorne Greene.
Since childhood, Gale Hart has had a natural fascination with creating objects out of nuts, bolts, scrap metal and wood. Humor, angst and sarcasm have been reoccurring themes throughout her career, and her newest exhibit titled Why Not Eat Your Pet is no different. Says Gale, “The intent is to express animals' pain and suffering, not with shock or gore, but to create a striking work of art that drives a message so poignant that one can't help but think, and hopefully, be moved to care. Why Not Eat Your Pet is much more than a lone artist making a statement. It is an attempt to bring together two worlds, art lovers and animal lovers, hopefully cross-pollinating the power and beauty of each - ultimately helping patrons of the arts appreciate animals and vice versa.”
A resident of the Delta town of Locke, Ning Hou is a rare artist whose comfortable working in both Impressionist and Photo-Realist styles, creating paintings that capture Locke’s people, produce, and “unique golden sunlight.” A native of Shanghai, China, Hou earned a B.A. from the Shanghai Art Institute before coming to San Francisco to continue his training at the Academy of Art College. His philosophy and love of life are as vibrant as his canvases – which have been exhibited at Sacramento’s famed Crocker Art Museum.