Sacramento is putting the arts to work! In this edition of Arts Alive, we visit neighborhoods throughout the city to see how the arts are playing a major role in their revitalization. Along the way, we’ll meet some local artists.
We start our journey in Oak Park. Sacramento’s first suburb has seen some hard times, but its future is looking brighter…as arts venues like the 40 Acres Gallery crop up. A recent photographic exhibit called “A Day in the Life of Oak Park” reflected the positive changes that are transforming the neighborhood, and provided an opportunity for local shutterbugs – including students at Sac High – to display their talents.
When Sergio Martinez immigrated to Sacramento, he brought with him the rug weaving traditions of his birthplace in Oaxaca, Mexico. A weaver since the age of 12, Sergio’s designs are so elaborate that they can take up to a year to complete!
The Del Paso neighborhood has been troubled by many of the same problems that beset. But Del Paso Boulevard, the main artery through the neighborhood, is home to a growing collection of art galleries and art organizations. Sites like Gallery Horse Cow and the Doiron Gallery are making Del Paso an essential stop on the Second Saturday Art Walk, while organizations like the Capoeira Arts Center are bringing new culture and activities to the neighborhood. But the most exciting development in Del Paso is “Surreal Estates” – a cluster of homes and studios being built by the artists who will inhabit them!
For Pym Lewis the body itself is a canvas on which to paint works of art. She’s been a tattoo artist for nearly two decades, using a needle and ink to let people carry their favorite images with them wherever they go.
The Crest Theatre has for decades been one of Sacramento’s most important venues for presenting the arts – but the building is itself a work of art, one that almost went the way of Sacramento’s other “lost” theatres, such as the Alhambra. But thanks to years of hard work from manager Sid Heberger-Garcia and her crew, the Crest has been restored to its original glory, and its rightful place as the “crown jewel” of the K Street Mall. And the Crest’s ongoing appeal has lured a new generation of entrepreneurs to the Mall, bringing art, culture, and commerce to Sacramento’s “main street.”
Though he’s been legally blind for two decades, Pete Eckert continues to inspire and amaze with his photographic gifts. He uses black and white film to show what is otherwise unseeable: the world in a non-visible spectrum. As Pete describes it, he’s “trying to pass images under the door from the world of the blind to the world of the sighted.”
Finally, we meet Nigel Poor, who has a knack for finding art in the most unlikely places. Whether she’s scooping out the contents of her shower drain, collecting dead flies, or preserving the lint from her dryer, she can take the ephemera of everyday life – things that most of us take for granted – and turn it into an ironic, often powerful, statement on modern living. Her latest project is provocatively entitled “Do You Have 30 Seconds…and Can You Get Your Finger Dirty?” She’s collecting fingerprints from thousands of Sacramentans – a cataloguing of the people and cultures of America’s most diverse city.
40 Acres Art Gallery – http://www.40acresartgallery.org
Gallery Horse Cow – http://www.horsecow.com
Doiron Gallery – http://www.doirongallery.com
Capoeira Arts Academy – http://www.adbcapoeira.com
Surreal Estates - http://www.surrealestates.org/contents.html
Pym Lewis - http://www.pymtattoo.com
The Crest Theatre – http://www.thecrest.com
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