Monday, March 28, 2016

Amador Youth Instrumental Contest a Big Hit - Argonaut Freshman Wins Top Prize

Plymouth, California. March 23, 2016.  The Rotary Club of Plymouth-Foothills conducted the 11th annual Rotary-Sponsored Youth Instrumental Contest for Amador County High School Students Tuesday evening, March 22 at the Amador Senior Center in Jackson.  Sponsored by Rotary District 5190, the event saw outstanding young musicians compete for prize money and the right to represent Amador County at the District finals in Reno, Nevada, on May 14th.  Judging was provided by some of the top names in the County music scene.

Top prize went to violinist Mariah Hernandez of Pine Grove, a Freshman at Argonaut High School who performed a Vivaldi piece flawlessly. “I’ve been playing for a long time,” said 14-year old Mariah, “since I was four years old.”  She will compete at the finals on May 14th at the beautiful Atlantis Hotel in Reno.
Mariah Hernandez
Very close behind Mariah was outstanding 5-String Banjo player, Jesse Personeni, a Sophmore at Argonaut High School. Earl Scruggs would have been proud of Jesse’s Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
Jesse Personeni
Third place and Honorable Mention went to pianist Jakob Johnson from Pine Grove, an Amador High School Senior, and trombonist Thomas Stremfel, a Junior at Argonaut High School.
Thomas Stremfel and Jakob Johnson
“It’s a real thrill to encourage young people to improve their artistic skills and to reward them for their hard work,” said Paul Wibbenmeyer, Rotary Club President. Paul added, “Rotary is about leadership and it’s great to reach out to our youth.”

Top Notch Judges
The contest judges included a who’s who of Amador County musicians:  Ron Brickman, President of the Mother Lode Friends of Music has directed that organization to become the premiere presenter of classical music in California’s historic gold rush country. Kathleen Hamon is a violinist who has sung with the San Francisco Opera and currently directs the Glee Choir at Amador High School.  Kim LaSavio received her Master of Music degree with Viola focus from Sacramento State University and is currently Director of Music at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Jackson. She has performed with the Motherlode Friends of Music and Folsom Lake Symphony. Taylor Maestretti is a multi-instrumentalist and a former first prize winner of the Rotary Music Contest, placing second in the finals in Reno.

About Rotary
We are neighbors, community leaders, and global citizens united in fellowship to improve the quality of life in our communities and around the world.  Over 34,000 Rotary Clubs in more than 200 countries are comprised of over 1.2 million members.   Rotary unites leaders from all continents, cultures, and occupations to exchange ideas and take action in communities around the world.

April 2 is the next First Saturday Amador Art Trek

The next First Saturday of the monthly Amador Art Trek will be April 2. This is 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.  Part of the Art Trek are the monthly “1stSaturdays” when many 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. A new 2016 brochure is in circulation that acts at a quick reference guide --a map, names, addresses, and hours of the participating Art Trekkers.  
Here is a brief listing in alphabetical order of participating galleries and if they have featured art in March. 

Acme Art – Moke Hill  “A Creative Playground” features special guest artist, Anna Corba, is teaching artful journal making on Saturday, April 2nd. See her French inspired work at And go to to see the variety of classes offered in April. 

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 still sought after by many collectors. 

AmadorArts Gallery-  Sutter Creek.  For April : Ceramic art by Jim Bass and abstract paintings by emerging artist Robert Falco, former Amador High School student and recent graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute. Also, jewelry by Karen Crane. On April 2, 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.

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.  Current - to April 15: “Assembly Required” Exhibit  features  Mixed Media Collages by Anne Cook and Mixed Media Lamps and Collages by Mark Taylor, both from Mokelumne Hill, and they both transform diverse objects into something new.  Anne creates framed miniature worlds, and Mark crafts unique lamps with intricate stitched shades. 

Full Circle Trading Company – Jackson.  Check out the art among the gifts, toys, and more.

Gallery 10- Sutter Creek.   For April: New watercolors by Julie Trail - "Our Town, Our County...Favorite Places." The reception for Julie will be held on Saturday, April 22-5 P.M. during the Amador Art Trek.  The gallery is open 11-5 Thursday-Monday during April.

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.  Great new art work is featured to usher in Spring! And lots of jewelry, photo cards, accessories, and pottery, too. Come spot the delights at this colorful gallery featuring local artists. You might even find something developing on the owner's loom! Fri, Sat, Sun from 10 am - 5 pm

Petroglyphe Gallery- Mokelumne Hill.  For April, Lynn Slade, an artistic genius in our local community, displays a watercolor collage style like no other.  See the gallery’s new corner of “Copper and Willow.” Petroglyphe Gallery represents contemporary North American artists, many from California, who have impressive credentials working in oil, acrylic, watercolor, glass, copper, encaustic, mixed-media, ceramic and jewelry. 

Shenandoah Gallery at  Shenandoah Vineyards- Plymouth.  Tasting room boasts an art gallery.

Sutter Creek Gallery- Sutter Creek.   For April, abstract artist Curtis Stromme.  Curtis applies acrylic paint using blocks, rather than brushes, and does not title his pieces.  He will be on hand Saturday, April 2, during the hours of 2 to 6 p.m., which are new hours for the gallery’s reception.  Come meet this unique artist, enjoy refreshments, and browse the work exhibited in this cooperative of 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. 

These are the businesses on the Art Trek which also offer on their walls a glimpse of the art found in the region: Amador 360 Collective – Plymouth; Union Inn and Pub- Volcano; Sina’s Back Roads Café - Sutter Creek;  Rosebud’s Café- Jackson.; Uphill Vineyards Tasting Room- Amador City; and Valley View Interiors – Sutter Creek.    

To obtain the addresses and hours of all the locations listed above go to www.amadorarts.organd click on Art Trek. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Lindsay Lou Live at Feist - New Venue in Sutter Creek - Thurs Apr 7

Michigan roots ensemble Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys return to Feist Wines Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m. debuting as the first ticketed show at Feist’s new location in Sutter Creek at 15 Eureka Street.

Leading the group, Lindsay Lou is one part jazz singer, effortlessly transitioning octaves, one part blues and one part folk.  She rouses the Flatbellys together in song.

Mandolinist Joshua Rilko picks with careful precision that surprises when he slams into speedy power chords, dobro player Mark Lavengood is deft at matching melody lines with quick responses, and bassist PJ George creates bass lines cleverly crafted to uphold the structure of their songs.

The bedrock of the band is bluegrass but the music of Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys can best be described as Americana; music that’s caught between the pull of the past and the push of the future, ready to leap with new ideas and energy.

Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys
In the past year, the Flatbellys have been featured in a lineup of prestigious shows such as The Shetland Island Folk Festival 200 miles north of mainland Scotland and the Stagecoach Music Festival in California with 55,000 attendees.

They were named one of NPR Music’s 12 best live performance sessions of 2015 by Mountain Stage with Larry Groce. Seth Bernard founder of Earthwork Music writes of Lindsay Lou, "This is what happens when musicianship serves the heart and soul.”

Feist has become a destination venue for folk and Americana music with a constant of sold out shows and talented musicians on their way up.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the Feist tasting room or at

Contact: Susan Feist Feist Wines 209.267.8020

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Mermaid News - March-April 2016


What is it? Do some people have it while others don't? 
Who's got time for it?!

Maybe a better question to ask is... am I enjoying this moment? Is my heart clapping with delight? This is where you'll find your unique flow of Creativity and what feeds your Vitality.

And, it's also important to notice when you're not. 

Some of us have fallen into habitual reaction to the constant pressure of the mind's To Do list and giving that list highest priority because we think by getting everything done (ha!) it will ease the feeling of anxiety or uneasiness that seems to permeate Life.  Our minds can grip us with fear and never let up.

The mind is also an expert at keeping us stuck. "Oh, don't do THAT! You'll look stupid! I've told you before you can't draw, that looks ridiculous..." and on and on.

I've never smoked, and I've heard it's a tough habit to quit, but I know catching the mind in its sneaky ways and declaring "No, thank you, I'm going to do something different; something that makes me feel good" is a real challenge for some of us. It takes courage, perseverance and trust.
Wish me luck and anyone else willing to join in.

Studio Play Dates
Stir your Creative Juices


Every Monday
9am - 12noon

bring a project you're working on or come for inspiration & ideas. Basic tools & materials available for use.
Enjoy the space and time for creative play.

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.
Saturday    March 26th   10am-4pm
$65 includes a SoulCollage Starter Kit ($18 value)
pre-registration required. You can REGISTER online here:
BUY NOW: SoulCollage INTRO ~ Saturday MARCH 26
Once you've taken Introduction to SoulCollage® you can join our growing SoulCollage community:
Open Studio SoulCollage® Card-Making
Sat.,  APRIL 2  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.
Yippee! Another upcountry Art Fair! 
And look who'll be there!
More Classes!
Encaustic Basics
with Cynthia Dunn-Selph
Thursday   MARCH 24        
Encaustic means "to burn in" in Latin and is the process of painting with pigmented beeswax that is melted and fused to a hard surface. This ancient art form is seeing a resurgence of appeal because of its unique look, texture and compatibility for use in mixed media. In this class we will discover what tools will get you started and learn the basic techniques to explore this diverse medium.
$40 class fee. Materials list will be provided upon registration.
Student can purchase a starter kit for $55 from instructor with pre-registration.

Contact Cynthia Dunn-Selph at; on facebook at Cynthia Dunn-Selph or call 623-703-3806.
Class size is limited, pre-registration required.
no refunds or cancellations less than 2 days prior to class.
Exploring Watercolor
with Jeannie Vodden
Saturday  April 9     10am-4pm
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. 
Learn Jeannie's special techniques:
  • 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
$50  class fee;  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
It's a happy talent to know how to play.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
For the most CURRENT schedule:
LIKE Wendy Wards Studio on Facebook
(click on EVENTS)
Wendy Ward
Intentional Creativity Coach

SoulCollage® Facilitator
Color of Woman Methodology Instructor
22595 Hwy 88 in Pioneer (Red Corral)


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Main Street Theater Works - March 2016

  Your Theatre Arts Newsletter
March 2016  
One-Act Festival
Dates and Times

Friday and Saturday evenings 
April 1 and 2
Doors open 7:15 pm
for dessert
Show begins at 8pm 

Sunday matinee
April 3
Doors open at 1:15pm
for dessert
Show begins at 2pm 
Location for the
One-Act Festival
Native Sons Hall,
Sutter Creek, CA

Tickets for the
One-Act Festival

Summer Season
 Performance Dates and Times

The Explorers Club 
 June 24th - July 23rd

The Last Lifeboat
August 12th - September 10th

Location for the Summer Season
The Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre
1127 N. Main Street, Jackson
Patrons are encouraged to come early with picnics, chairs and jackets.
Summer Season Tickets 
available online
and at
Hein & Company
204 Main St.
Jackson, CA
For more information, please visit our website at

No Cash Refunds
Amador Arts and Entertainment
MSTW Presents
Our 4th Annual
One-Act Festival 
3 Days Only ~  
A collection of short plays, scenes and monologs in under 90 minutes!  

Honoring "short attention spans" everywhere, Main Street Theatre Works presents their 4th Annual
One-Act Festival. This three-day-only fundraising event features some of your favorite MSTW actors ~ Julie Anchor, Cynthia Drumbor, Lee Marie Kelly, Ernesto Bustos, Philip Pittman, Bethany Hidden andKendrick Wells, plus others new to the company likeSteve Buri, Julie Bock-Thompson, and Christopher Celestin.

In just 90 minutes, you'll see these talented actors perform a variety of different one-act plays, scenes from popular plays and monologs. 

This year will also include a musical scene from Sweeney Todd, performed by Amador's own Meghan O'Keefe andMichael Kerrigan. This fundraiser helps to set the stage for our upcoming Summer Season at the Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre.

Dates for this One-Act Festival are April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the Native Sons Hall in Sutter Creek. There are two evening performances ~ Friday and Saturday, April 1st and 2nd ~ with doors opening at 7:15pm for dessert, show starting at 8pm

There is also a matinee performance on Sunday, April 3rd, with doors opening at 1:15 for dessert, and the show starting at 2:00pm

Tickets are $25 each and include dessert, your choice of coffee or tea, and the show, plus there will be a no-host wine bar on Friday and Saturday nights. 

Win a Lake Tahoe Vacation!

Also, as part of their fundraising efforts, MSTW will be holding a raffle giving away lodging in scenic Lake Tahoe ~ a beautiful condo at the Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort, on the lake at the corner of Ski Run Blvd and Hwy 50. The condo has one bedroom and a full kitchen, and access to a variety of amenities including a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, full bar, restaurant and more. Accommodations are for two nights, Sunday through Thursday. Raffle tickets will be sold at the 3-day "Weekend of One-Acts" event, or can be purchased from a MSTW board member. Raffle ticket holders need not be present to win. 

Summer Season Preview

MSTW is excited about kicking off our 13th season at the beautiful Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre, in the heart of Jackson. This summer's season begins with The Explorers Club
Written by Nell Benjamin, The Explorers Club is a comedic look at Victorian adventurers who ponder the mysteries of science and nature, while genteelly getting

blotto. The show runs June 24th - July 23rd.

The cast stars Christopher Celestin as Lucius Fretway, a botanist, Amber Lucito as Phyllida Spotte-Hume, an explorer and first female applicant to the Club, Scott Taylor as Harry Percy, an intrepid explorer, and Scott Divine as Luigi, a NaKong tribesman. Also in the cast areBrandon Rapoza as Professor Cope, a herpetologist,Michael Sicilia as Professor Sloan, an archeo-theologist,Paj Crank as Professor Walling, a zoologist, Earl Victorine as Sir Bernard Humphries, private secretary to Queen Victoria, and Joshua H. Behn as Beebe, a deserted explorer.

Our second show is Luke Yankee's The Last Lifeboat, a fascinating look at the drama behind the sinking of the Titanic through the eyes of its ship builder, J. Bruce Ismay.  
The story explores not only what happened on that fateful night in 1912, but also how it forever changed the lives of Ismay and his family. Dan Fagan stars as J. Bruce Ismay, Bethany Hidden as his wife, Florence, andMallory Monachino as Ismay's former girlfriend and Titanic passenger, Vivian. The rest of the cast, which includes Scott TaylorPaj CrankEric CraigJaney Pintar and Linda Taylor, portray the 53 other characters that round out the cast. The Last Lifeboat runs August 12th through September 10th.
While we look forward to our Summer Season, we hope you will join us at our Spring Fundraiser, which helps us prepare for summer. Seating for this event is very limited so purchase your tickets today. The price of admission includes not only the show, but some fabulous desserts, tea or coffee, and the joy of knowing you're supporting one of Amador County's best professional-quality theatre companies.
For more information and to purchase tickets to this Limited Engagement Event, visit the MSTW website Performances are guaranteed to sell out, so get your tickets today!
MSTW, P.O. Box 96, Sutter Creek, CA 95685