Saturday, January 30, 2016

Amador County Arts Council 2015 Annual Report

Friends of the Arts,

We would like to share with you some of the highlights from the previous year and tell you a little about our plans for 2016. Please review the attached Annual Report to see what we accomplished in 2015.

For more than 30 years, the Amador County Arts Council has worked to nurture the cultural vitality of our area.

Our Arts Education program now serves all of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades in Amador County, bringing high-quality, standards-based arts classes to over 1,400 students. In addition to these art classes, AmadorArts coordinated in-depth Artist Residencies at Pioneer and Pine Grove Elementary Schools, providing students with 12 weeks of instruction on the Elements of Art and an introduction to poetry. We contract with B Street Theater of Sacramento to bring their educational School Tour to all six of our local elementary schools. Art classes were also arranged at the HUB, after-school program in Jackson, at the ARC of Amador to developmentally disabled adults, and at Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp.

2015 was the 17th year of TGIF Free Summer Concerts in the Parks, and the 18th year of Winefest.  Other programs continue to grow, including: A Taste of the Arts, a full day of Art Classes open to students and adults; and the Amador Art Trek, a self-guided tour of local galleries and businesses. As we go forward into 2016, AmadorArts plans to continue these established events, and add new opportunities for our citizens to experience the arts, such as Adult Art Classes and Open Mic Nights.

We depend on the continued support of our community to make our work possible.  This year, we received significant donations from Jackson Rancheria and the Amador Community Foundation, in addition to the annual donations of over 200 members.  We are grateful to everyone who works with us to encourage, support and promote the Arts in our Schools and Community.

Thank you for your continued support.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Blue Mountain Players present "Cookin' With Gus", Opens February 12

The Blue Mountain Players present Cookin’ with Gus, opening February 12th in West Point. This laugh-out loud comedy, by Jim Brochu, follows chef and cookbook author Gussie Richardson as she tries to secure her own television cooking show.  Unfortunately, Gus’s stage fright gets in the way of her dream.  No one escapes the mess that ensues as her friends try to help her overcome her fears.

Cookin’ with Gus is directed by Terra Forgette, and features a great cast of Blue Mountain Players regulars and some new faces.  Local singer-songwriter Meghan O’Keefe stars as “Gourmet Gus”. She is joined by Laurel Lickteig as “Carmen”, the Gypsy Princess next door neighbor; Dennis Adams as Walter Richardson, Gussie’s couch-potato other half; and Jeff Haight as “Bernie” her high-energy agent.

Director Terra Forgette read dozens of scripts searching for just the right fit for the small, unique community theater in West Point.  And she found just the thing in “Cookin’ with Gus”! Gypsy neighbors, hypnotism, booze, food and fun!- this play has it all.

Cookin’ with Gus opens Friday February 12th, and runs through Saturday the 27th.  Friday and Saturdays shows, February 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th start at 7:30pm, doors open at 7pm.

Sunday Matinees, on February 14th and 21st, begin at 2:30, doors open at 2pm.  Join in the fun with a special Margarita Party on Opening Night or bring your Valentine to the Sweetheart Matinee on Sunday February 14th.Call 209 293 7979 or 209 293 3100 for tickets.

Laurel Lickteig and Meghan O'Keefe are both new-comers to the Blue Mountain Players
Meghan O'Keefe stars in "Cookin' with Gus" by Jim Brochu

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

February 6 is the Next Art Trek First Saturday, Expanded with Five New Places to Visit

The new year sees the expansion of Amador Art Trek, the fun, free self-guided tour that provides easy public access to where art is located, whether in galleries or businesses that hang unique art on their walls. A new brochure is in the works which will act at a quick reference guide for the Amador Art Trek. Widely available in February, this will provide a map, and list the names, addresses, and hours of the participating “Art Trekkers.“  If you’re a visitor, you’re an Art Trekkie!

Part of the Art Trek are the monthly  “1st Saturdays” when some participating galleries have receptions in the afternoon to kick-off their new shows. Since within Amador and part of Calaveras County is a thriving creative community this is the best time to experience it, even meet artists. Can’t make Saturdays? You can go on the Art Trek ANYTIME that the galleries are open.

Go to to find the details about each month’s specific art events.

Here is a brief listing in alphabetical order of participating Art Trekkers, and if they have featured art in February. More details will be added in March:

NEW Acme Art  Mokelumne Hill Called “A Creative Playground” because owners/artists Anne Cook and Will Mosgrove will be offering many affordable Saturday art workshops each month, including a few free ones, and “Schnickle” –creativity, camaraderie and cocktails on Wednesday evenings for $25 a person.

Add Art- Jackson.  Fine art framing services and the colorful work of the late John Johannsen  are featured.  This world renowned artist’s whimsical canvases are sought after by many collectors. We are saddened that his home/studio where he once lived and stored his work in Jackson recently burned to the ground.

AmadorArts Gallery-  Sutter Creek.  Oil painter Sarah Dixon’s “Cat Exhibition;” Jewelry artist Karen Crane’s “Pretty Baubles, All in a Row;” and Photographer Cynthia Dunn-Selph’s new photography of local scenes. On Feb. 6, gallery opens at 11 am, reception at 3-6 pm.  Normal hours are Sats. and Suns. from 11 am to 4 pm.  Call 209-267-9038 for weekday hours.

NEW Amador360- Plymouth.  Right on Highway 49, this is an art-filled tasting room for boutique, hard-to-find regional wines.

Chaos Glass Works- Sutter Creek.   Art Glass Gallery and Hot Shop: David and Heather Hopman make a wide variety of art glass items. Live glassblowing demonstrations happen all day on weekends.

Charles Spinetta Winery & Wildlife Art Gallery- Plymouth.  The tasting room includes one of Northern California's largest wildlife art galleries with original watercolors, sculpture, pottery, and hundreds of framed prints.  Sip wine while you gaze at this amazing collection.

Fine Eye Gallery- Sutter Creek.  For February: Debo Groover and Anthony Hansen.  Groover stretches, scratches, scrapes and glues sheets of resilient, pigmented polymer clay into mixed media paintings. Her specialty: portraits of birds. Hansen is the Valentine of Valentines. See the detail of his big, bold beautiful hearts that are weather-worn sculptures.

NEW Full Circle Trading Company - Jackson. NEW Gifts, art, toys, and more.

Gallery 10- Sutter Creek. "All Things Wine."  Their artists have been busy painting vineyards, still life, and many creative ways to express their love of fine Amador wines. The reception for the show will be held Saturday, Feb. 6, 2-5 pm.

Gifted –Jackson.  Locally made and American manufactured gifts and goods. They help customers find the perfect gift for any occasion.
Little City Studio and Gallery- Amador City.  For Feb, a fresh collection of art pieces from Little City's local artists known for beautiful art like weaving, knitting, quilted works, jewelry, cards, and pottery.

Petroglyphe Gallery- Mokelumne Hill.  For Feb., Robert Held Glass will be featured…lots of his sparkling hearts for Valentine’s Day.

Rosebuds Café- Jackson.  Family-run farm-to-fork café featuring local ingredients and great art on the walls, even occasional live music.

NEW Shenandoah Gallery at  Shenandoah Vineyards- Plymouth. 100% estate, organically grown grapes made in a broad range of varietals bottled on the premises. Tasting room boasts an art gallery

Sina’s Back Roads Café - Sutter Creek.  Serving coffees, breakfast and lunch in a cozy art enhanced environment that also puts the spotlight on local musicians every now and then.

Sutter Creek Gallery- Sutter Creek.   Anje Olmstead’s paper mosaic collages that use techniques which has garnered Olmstead many fans.  On Feb. 6 Join them from 4 to 7 p.m. to meet Anje and view her new artworks.

Union Inn and Pub- Volcano.  In an old Gold Rush town, population 108, this restored historic small hotel and pub showcases local art and photography of local scenes, all for sale.

NEW Uphill Vineyards- Amador City. Featuring estate-grown, award winning wines and showing original photography, acrylics, and other media by local artists.

Volcano Gallery – Volcano. This gallery, right across from the historic St. George Hotel, features an eclectic mix of contemporary local art, including works by Bob Benker and many others.

Sarah Dixon - "Feline Fantasy" - AmadorArts Gallery
Vineyard photo by Dorothy Magoffin
"What's Up" by Anje Olmstead Sutter Creek Gallery
"Birds' - Debo Groover at Fine Eye Gallery

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"AnimalScapes" Awards Announced at Ironstone - Show will Debut Next in Amador County on Feb. 20

“AnimalScapes” Art Exhibit  Opens Next in Sutter Creek

From February 17 to March 13 the “AnimalScapes of the Sierra Foothills” Art Event will be installed in the banquet room, next to the restaurant, of The Hotel Sutter in Sutter Creek. The public is invited come by and see the 54 original pieces of juried art and poetry created by artists in three counties that explores the diverse animal world found in the Sierra foothills. The exhibit will be open daily, with most of the works for sale.

The Amador Opening Reception for “AnimalScapes” will be on Saturday, February 20, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at The Hotel Sutter. Besides enjoying live music by singer/songwriter Jill Warren, guests will observe several live feathered friends including owls and hawks brought to the event by Tri County Wildlife from its “Saving Wildlife Saves Us” educational program. Spokespersons from California Dept. Fish and Wildlife, and the Performing Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) will also be on hand. The event is free and open to the public.

The following Awards, based on the votes of six Art Jurors, were announced at the kick-off exhibit in Calaveras County.  Two-Dimensional Art: First Place-Wendy Rogers for "Black Bear - Colorful Woods"; Honorable Mention- Martha Wallace for "Up River Sourgrass"; Three Dimensional Art: First Place Alex Adams-Halstead for "Bear Cub's First Salmon"; Honorable Mention-Sarah Switek for "Hoo Cares About Me?" Photography: First Place - First Place- Susan Connor for "Thika"; Honorable Mention - Steve Brooks for "Star Bucks!"  Poetry:  First Place - Kat Everitt for "Upcountry Mountain Lion"; Honorable Mention - Linda Toren for "Ah wah nah tah."

Anybody who comes to see the exhibit during its run may take part in the Popular Choice Award voting.  This won’t be easy, because, after all, who doesn’t love to see a photograph, painting or sculpture of pets, wildlife or exotic animals? After its stay in Sutter Creek, the exhibit will be packed up and moved to the lobby of the Black Oak Casino Hotel in Tuolumne. This will be the final show of the project and will occur from March 15 to April 3, with the opening reception on March 19.

The landmark “AnimalScapes” project was created through a “Creative California Communities” grant from the California Arts Council, a State Agency and is a collaboration of the Calaveras Arts Council, the lead agency, with the arts councils of Amador and Tuolumne Counties.  A similar project last year was “River Reflections.” For more information,  ie. the list of finalist artists and poets, visit: or phone 209-754-1774.

Amador artist Michiyo Watanabe entered this amazing photograph of a crane.
Kat Everitt of Pioneer has won First Place for her poem “Upcountry Mountain Lion.”
 The non-profit Tri-County Wildlife Care and the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife will bring their unique exhibits to each “AnimalScapes”reception, including the one in the Hotel Sutter.
This 14” ceramic work, “Bear Cub’s First Salmon,” was created by Alexis Adams-Halstead of Sonora and is the First Place winner in three-dimensional art.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Three artists share the AmadorArts Gallery during February

Three artists are in the spotlight during AmadorArts Gallery February show.  Don’t miss Sarah Dixon’s “Cat Exhibition,” Karen Crane’s ”Pretty Baubles, All in a Row”, and new photography of local scenes by Cynthia Dunn-Selph. The opening date is 11:00 am Saturday February 6 during the 1st Saturday Amador Art Trek, with a free and open-to-the-public reception for the three artists  from 3 until 6 pm.  Meet the artists, enjoy refreshments and be the first to buy their newest works. AmadorArts Gallery is located one block off Main Street in Sutter Creek at 11-A Randolph St., next to the Monteverde Store Museum.

Sarah Dixon moved to Amador from Atlanta several years ago, but she brings to her work a background in southern floral design that produces glorious, lyrical, and fanciful paintings rendered precisely and executed in oil paints of vibrant colors. For this February show, she’s featuring her “Cat” works, which include four large paintings and 14 smaller ones, all oil on canvas, in a folk art, whimsical style.  These paintings incorporate intriguing symbolism and humorous surprises. You’ll notice how Dixon’s works evoke delight and discovery that increase over time.

“Pretty Baubles, All in a Row” is the name of Karen Crane’s spring collection of jewelry to be debuted in this gallery show. Using pastel and bright colored beads and stones, including rose quartz, rubies, and amethyst, the new work for spring reminds of pretty floral bouquets filled with delicate flowers.  Also, the collection includes new “nest” pendants, and Crane’s signature hoop earrings, all made with pearls and pretty gemstones. Using wire and natural stones, coordinating bracelets, earrings and rings spark up the display, offering something for everyone.

Cynthia Dunn-Selph, from Pine Grove, is a photographer and mixed media artist who recently moved here from. The child of artists, she has been creating art all of her life and likes to combine the many mediums she works in.  A photographer for over 30 years, Dunn-Selph loves documenting the historical and beautiful gold country, and you’ll see those works in this exhibit. She’s had showings and sales of her work in small galleries in California, Arizona, and Kansas. She served on the governing board for the Oakland Art Studio, where she also taught children's art classes and managed the gallery there. She also was responsible for the gallery at the Art Store in Berkeley. Now a board member of the Amador County Artist Association and a co-op member of the Sutter Creek Gallery, she’s eager to be involved in the Amador art community.

This show continues until February 29. AmadorArts Gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 am to 4 pm (until 6 pm on 1st Saturdays).  During the week it’s best to call ahead (209) 267-9038. For more information  

Oil Painter Sarah Dixon will show large and small works "all about cats."
This pendant, titled "Spring", is a part of Karen Crane's new jewelry collection.
Do you recognize this Sutter Creek window? Photograph by Cynthia Dunn-Selph.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mother Lode Friends of Music presents first concert of the 2016 Season - Sat Jan 31

The Mother Lode Friends of Music, the classical music performance society serving the central region of the Sierra foothills, presents its first concert of the new year on Sunday, January 31, starting at 3 pm. The concert will be held at the Sutter Creek Theatre, 44 Main Street, in Sutter Creek. The concert is free and open to the public.

The program includes four works for piano sextet: piano, two violins, viola, cello and double bass. The featured work is the Sextet of Sergei Lyapunov, a Russian composer who was a contemporary of Tchaikovsky.  The work is full of lush Romantic melodies and is symphonic in scale. The second half of the program presents three lighter works: the delightful Peacock Pie of early 20th century British composer C. Armstrong Gibbs, the Bolero Recuerdos de Andalucia of Spanish composer Eduardo Ocón, and the Pantomime and Ritual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo of Manuel de Falla, in an arrangement for piano sextet by the composer himself.

Joining pianist and Friends of Music President Ron Brickman are five exceptionally talented string players from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Romanian-born violinist Corina Stoian is an international concert violinist who has become one of the Friends of Music’s most popular players. The former concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Essen, Germany, she now performs frequently as recitalist, chamber musician, concerto soloist and concertmaster of the Friends of Music Orchestra.
Violinist Corina Stoian
Stoian is joined by violinist Heather Katz, an Oakland-based musician who is concertmaster of the Redwood Symphony.
Violinist Heather Katz
Violist Ted Seitz attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is now a member of several orchestras, including the San Jose Symphony, the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and the Mendocino Festival Orchestra. Cellist Alexandru Dumitrache, trained in his native Romania, is former principal cellist with the Chicago Lyric Orchestra and has worked with Daniel Barenboim and Zubin Mehta. Bassist James Coyne is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and is now a free-lance musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.

For more information, go to the Friends of Music’s website, or call (209) 293-4227.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Mermaid News - January 2016

Happy New Year!
I love Expressing and Exploring through the Arts. We ALL are Creative (really!) and sometimes it just takes a little urging and an inviting place to nuture those creative sparks. 

This past year I've worked to create a space that offers a variety of classes and opportunities to get paint (or glue, or ink...) on your hands. An inspirational place for those who already have a Creative Practice and for those who want to Begin!

I welcome your ideas for workshops or if you know of someone who might like to teach. My goal is for the Studio to feel comfortable and familiar; a place where the Creative Muse flows easily and with a sense of humor (so we don't take ourselves too seriously!)

I am an Artist myself, so I will also keep you informed of where my work is showing or events I will be participating in.  I wish for you a colorful and inspirational New Year!

Cheers, Wendy
Every MONDAY from 9-12 

Make a date for YOURSELF and join us in a relaxing, creative space. Bring a project you've been working on or start a new one. Need some ideas to get those creative juices flowing? This is the place to explore!

Schedule a regular PLAY DATE for YOU!
Basic supplies/tools provided.  $15 gets you a spot!

Wendy Ward's Creative Studio at the Red Corral
22594 Hwy 88, Studio #18, Pioneer

PS.. we sprinkle demos in every other week (or so) to keep it interesting...
Make an Intention Shrine
with Cynthia Dunn-Selph
Begin 2016 with Creativity & Intention.  Create a 3-D reminder of what you what to bring in for yourself, accomplish or focus on.

All materials to create your Shrine & basketfuls of embellishments are provided, but you are encouraged to bring personal items to include.

You will be guided through the process so no prior art experience needed.  
Sat. Jan 9th . 12noon-4pm
$85 includes all materials to complete shrine
pre-registration required. Contact Cynthia at 623-703-3806 or email
Introduction to SoulCollage
with Wendy Ward
... is what we use to create collaged cards rich with imagery and deep personal meaning.

Join me in this exploratory class where you'll learn the basics of SoulCollage and create several 5x8" cards.
No artistic experience needed.

You will learn ways to work with your cards and how to continue the process at home.
Sat. Jan 16 . 10am-4pm
$65 includes a SoulCollage Starter Kit ($18 value)
pre-registration required. You can REGISTER online here:
BUY NOW: SoulCollage Intro
Once you've taken Introduction to SoulCollage® you can join our growing SoulCollage community:
Open Studio SoulCollage® Card-Making
Sat., Feb 6  from 9:00-12:30
$20 includes supplies to make 3 cards

Private SoulCollage Readings
I offer privately facilitated SoulCollage readings. You must have at least 4 cards and have taken the Introduction to SoulCollage class. $45 for 1 hour.

at Wendy Ward Studio/Creative Center  or call 295-2224
I've Got Your Number!
with Cynthia Dunn-Selph
Join Cynthia to learn what your Path of Life Number is, what that means for you and then create a whimsical mixed media piece using your Number. 
Thursday Jan 28 . 9am-12noon
$45 includes all materials. No prior art experience needed.
pre-registration required. Contact Cynthia at 623-703-3806 or email
Painting Peace
with Wendy Ward
Using guided visualization and step-by-step painting instruction, each participant will paint an image that expresses Inner Peace.

We will practice drawing faces and templates are provided if preferred. This practice of painting from the inside out is called Intentional Creativity.

A 12x16 canvas will be used with acrylic paint. We will build layers and you are encouraged to leave your Critic at home! No prior art experience needed.

Join me for a Intentional Day of Painting Peace for 2016. 
Saturday Jan 30 . 9am-4pm
$75 includes all materials. No prior art experience needed.
pre-registration required. You can REGISTER online here:
Home is Where the Heart Is
Mixed Media with Cynthia Dunn-Selph
Construct 3 adorable houses using 4x4" canvases & mixed media techniques. All supplies provided.
Thursday Feb 4 . 10am-2pm
$65 includes all materials. No prior art experience needed.
pre-registration required. REGISTER by contacting Cynthia at 623-703-3806 or email
Exploring Watercolor
with Jeannie Vodden 
Jeannie will demonstrate & teach watercolor techniques using a limited palette with transparent staining color.

Workshop will include plenty of painting time, individual attention & gentle critique. 
This class is for beginners & intermediate students interested in learning how to use, refine & expand their skills in this beautiful fluid medium. 
Students will gain skill in Jeannie's special techniques including:
  • use of a limited palette
  • wet on dry with mingled colors
  • wet into wet
  • how to pick colors for limited color scheme
  • glazing multiple layers without getting muddy color
  • how to paint what you see.. value, shape & color
Saturday Feb 13 . 10am-4pm
$50  student will receive materials list after registering.

pre-registration required. Mail check to: Jeannie Vodden, PO Box 512, Jackson, CA 95642. For more info call 209-257-0534
And MORE to COME!  Stay tuned for instructors
Karen Crane, Marleen Olive, Carla Fry & more upcoming workshops!

For the most CURRENT schedule:
LIKE Wendy Ward Studio on Facebook
(click on EVENTS)
Wendy Ward Studio
My paintings are currently displayed at the Amador County Courthouse (yep, my Wild Women are in an unlikely place) and at a much more serene setting at Bodies n Balance in the Safeway shopping center in Jackson. Stop in and say "hi" to Denise & Rick... they have given the whole studio a makeover and will be launching a new program soon!

Thank you for subscribing & I wish you Joy & Peace in this New Year

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