KVIE Art Auction – September 2022

Watch the LIVE segment from Good Day Sacramento on 9/19/2022.

Event Details

*** The Art Lady will join curator Jill Estroff on Friday September 30 at 7PM to open the auction LIVE on KVIE. Tune in for live auction excitement. ***

The PBS KVIE Art Auction is an annual broadcast and livestream event celebrating the artwork of Northern California artists and California Masters. Over 270 works of art have been selected for entry into the 2022 auction. All proceeds benefit your PBS station, KVIE.

The Art Auction is on September 30 through October 2.
Visit kvie.org/artauction for hours, information, and to place a bid on artwork before the live auction starts.

ArtBeat – Charade

ArtBeat/September 2022

By Ed Goldman

The 1963 movie “Charade” has been called one of the best Alfred Hitchcock movies not directed by him. 

Now, the B Street /Sofia stage adaptation of the Stanley Donen classic has been updated, camped-up and resuscitated in high style by an exuberant ensemble of actors, guided by the theatre’s artistic director Lyndsay Burch from a sparkling script by actor/writer David Pierini, who plays multiple roles, as do several of the troupe’s multi-talented regulars. 

In the hoary tradition of review writing, I’d have to say that this stellar mounting of “Charade,” which runs until September 18, is a bit like “A Shot in the Dark” Meets “Noises Off.” Adapter Pierini, Director Burch, Scenic Designer Stephen Jones and Projection Designer Jerry Montoya, to name just a few of the talented creators, have turned a semi-sophisticated if crowd-pleasing movie into a just-shy-of-camp quasi-bedroom farce, with slamming doors, hilarious pantomime and serious leaps of logic. 

And while Sacramento audiences tend to give standing ovations to the opening of envelopes, this fast-moving romp really deserved the bravos it received at the matinee I attended.

In acting, you usually don’t like to know how hard the actors are working. But when Perini, the spectacular Elisabeth Nunziato and Stephanie Altholz keep turning up as different characters with different accents and body languages, you really feel they’re being underpaid. (In one key scene, one of Perini’s characters kills another one. To say more would make me enter that purgatory known as Spoiler Alert-land.)

Dana Brooke and Jahi Kearse play the leading roles famously originated by Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, and their styles and looks are so different from those two stars that I spent very little time making what would have been unfair comparisons. Their chemistry was just fine, too, and Brooke, despite the slapstick—there’s even a double spit-take moment with her and Pierini—brought a gravitas to the role that was a nice choice. Kearse, as a con man playing several angles was all charm and good cheer, even when his character was in mortal danger. I think it was a wise choice by the director to have the two leads play only the two roles they did, though I’m sure they’re quite capable of the delightful multiplicity displayed by Pierini, Nunziato and Altholz. Burch seemed to recognize that we, the audience, needed something to hang onto. 

If you haven’t been to the Sofia at 2700 Capitol Ave., it’s an architectural marvel, with a simultaneous intimacy and grandeur. Its auditorium doesn’t have a bad seat in it and there’s a no-host bar in the lobby, making this venue Sacramento’s liveliest home for the liveliest of arts. 

(Tickets are at bstreettheatre.org.)


Chalk It Up – September 2022

Watch the Story on Good Day Sacramento

Important Details about the Event

“The Chalk It Up! Chalk Art & Music Festival is a three-day celebration of local artists and the arts community — one of the last of the free, family-friendly festivals in Midtown Sacramento.”

Chalk It Up - Labor Day Weekend, September 3-5, 2022

ArtBeat – Chalk It Up!

ArtBeat/August 2022

By Ed Goldman

* image from Chalk It Up!

When I was a kid, I got in trouble for coloring on the walls of my bedroom. God only knows what my folks would have thought if I’d gone out and doodled all over a public sidewalk. 

And yet, a yearly aesthetically thrilling defacement—of the sidewalks bordering Fremont Park at 16th & Q Streets in midtown Sacramento—will celebrate its 32nd anniversary this Labor Day weekend, September 3-5.

One might say that Chalk It Up Sacramento “draws” a wide range of artists, skills and visions to the region if one were more into puns than one ought to be. (Using “one” to mean me, I or someone entirely else could be one of the early test rides of non-binary pronouns. But we digress.)

Over the three-plus decades of Chalk It up!, thousands of artists have demonstrated their street creds and true belief in art by creating beautiful or fanciful drawings while knowing the works would fade, perish or be hosed down by City of Sacramento crews the Tuesday after Labor Day, September 6. It’s a case of creating art for art’s sake—as pure a reason as possible in the otherwise competitive world of galleries, exhibits and a sometimes-limited pool of buyers.

Begun by a co-creator of Sacramento’s Second Saturday, D Oldham Neath of Archival Gallery (and CBS-TV’s “Art Lady”), Chalk It Up is a 501(c)3 non-profit, meaning you can contribute money to it. That it promotes and supports youth arts by providing small but encouraging grants to K-12 classrooms and a variety of projects throughout the Sacramento region should provide a further incentive.

By the way, this redecorating of urban landscapes isn’t all that new a concept. It echoes a tradition begun centuries ago in Italy and other countries where traveling groups of painters would visit villages and towns for religious festivals and pageants and, as the Chalk It Up! website describes it, “transform the streets and public squares into temporary galleries for their works of art.”

For spectators, you couldn’t ask for a livelier admission-free way to while away some three-day weekend time watching other people spending Labor Day creating labors of love. Hope to see you there if I’m not home coloring my walls. Details are at https://chalkitup.org/festival/.

ArtBeat – Boyd Gavin at Natsoulas Gallery

ArtBeat/July 2022

By Ed Goldman

The good news is that you still have almost three weeks to catch Boyd Gavin’s current show at the John Natsoulas Gallery. The bad news is that it’s not going to be up and continually replenished year-round. 

The Natsoulas Gallery is in Davis (suggested motto: “The Land That Time Forgot”—doesn’t it know it’s supposed to have more crime and homelessness to be considered urban?). It’s a magnificent “space,” as gallerygoers like to say: a roomy multi-story house you come upon just as you steer your back-to-the-future DeLorean or time-traveling derailer into the town. 

And while you’re already tiring of my past-‘n’-present gags, they may be slightly appropriate, given Gavin: His efforts comprise timeless artistry. His new show celebrates a slice of regional Americana—specifically, West Sacramento and its retro vibe of neon signage, no-tell hotels and motels, cardrooms, pools and even patio furniture. It’s as though David Hockney had never received the proper budget to paint and repaint Belair, Brentwood and Beverly Hills and instead went on an econo road trip to the city across the Sacramento River with the similar name but in a different county.

An all-too-common critic’s adjective is saying an artist’s work is “painterly,” which is a little like saying a writer’s work is writerly, a gourmet’s work is cheferly and a composer’s magnum opus is tunerly. Even so, “painterly” ain’t a bad word to describe Gavin’s authoritative stroke work, color palette and light sourcing. While flirting with photo realism, his paintings are still best viewed from a slight distance, where the efforts you can parse when you’re up-close and personal come magically together as a whole from just a few feet back.

I admit I have no favorite works in this show; I’d be happy with any or all of them filling the walls of my condo loft. The paintings convey both the heat of Sacramento summers and the transitory nature of affordable lodgings. Gavin seems to be a fan of forced perspective, which simply means he knows what he wants you to look at in his paintings and by use of scaling an object down or up, directs your attention to where he wants it. 

If that sounds like he’s manipulative, well, he is—in the best possible way. He uses composition and a warm but sometimes deliberately non-vibrant range of colors to offer sly (but never condescending) visual editorials to comment on a particular commercial strata of American life. 

I mentioned David Hockney earlier and would put in a reference or two about Cezanne’s brushwork but ultimately, Gavin himself says it best in his notes for the show. “I am drawn to the quirky short-hand style of artists like Fairfield Porter or David Park,” he writes, “artists who seem to invest even the homeliest of subjects with an offhand grandeur.” 

We ought to add a word or two about the John Natsoulas Gallery (which now has a satellite exhibit space in Oakland at 519 17th Street at Telegraph). This continues to be simply the most expansive, stylish, enormous artspace in the region, a multi-story house populated with art on every floor and in every stairwell, including a rooftop garden of sculpture and audience seating.

The Natsoulas Gallery is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.,, Fridays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Gavin’s show closes July 23. I strongly recommend you take it in—and let his work take you into a recognizable realm of Northern California life.  

Natsoulas Gallery’s rooftop garden


ArtBeat – Eric Wyss and Terry Baxter at Archival Gallery

By Ed Goldman

In describing the fulfilling and downright eye-slaking new show at Archival Gallery, it’s tempting to call it “The Torso—and More So.”

Featuring new sculptures by Eric Wyss (the torso) and paintings by Terry Baxter (the more so), who I’m told have been friends for decades, the show fits comfortably in the airy exhibit space on Folsom Boulevard between 32nd and 33rd streets. The show runs until June 30, with a June 11 Second Saturday reception. Check out a preview at archivalgallery.com. 

Archival’s setting offers viewers plenty of room to step back or closely hover without bumping into each other, an amusing but potentially lethal hazard in galleries that try to jam in as much work as possible in sometimes rigorously claustrophobic settings. Somehow, even at large group shows, founding owner/curator D Oldham Neath manages to create the illusion of expansive arm- and legroom. (It should be added that Oldham Neath was one of the founders of Second Saturday, was for years KVIE’s art curator and on-air auction host and can currently be seen on CBS Sacramento as its resident Art Lady.) 

Wyss’s substantial ceramic pieces vary in color and temperament. At first glance they almost give the impression that someone broke into a mannequin factory after dark and decorated the dressmaker torsos—some with bold color lines that emphasize the body’s collection of ribs and ridges, a couple wearing what appear to be 17th-century tricorn helmets. None of the sculptures is less than compelling: it’s reassuring to take in the show of an artist whose work displays career-long self-confidence.      

Equally masterful are Terry Baxter’s semi-abstract paintings which, like Wyss’s work, vary in size and pallete. Branding his latest works as “Reflections,” Baxter appears to make color choices informed by how much the eye is willing to take in at a single glance and then to draw you closer to happily discover just how many hues are layered into and onto the painting.   

Baxter says that in his professional career he’s “had the privilege of being a classroom teacher in high school and community college throughout California…. Mostly what I taught was Drawing and Painting, but there was a smattering of History and a bunch of Literature thrown into the mix. There was even a brief stint working on a statewide policy committee for Delaine Easton’s ArtWorks Task Force. But, really, I have been a classroom teacher.”

Not surprisingly, younger artists and seasoned collectors will find this very enjoyable two-person show to be equally intuitive and instructive—which is to say, This is how you make art, folks.


About the Author

Ed Goldman wrote a daily column for the Sacramento Business Journal for eight years, often about the arts, and in 2019 began a thrice-weekly online column, The Goldman State, which now has readers in 28 states.

He has been an art collector, painter and cartoonist for 50+ years.

Explore more from Ed Goldman at goldmanstate.com.

ArtBeat – Steve Solinsky and Frank Francis at Viewpoint Photographic Art Center

By Ed Goldman

The new show(s) debuting on Saturday at Viewpoint Photographic Art Center—Steve Solinsky’s “Of Stillness & Light” and Frank Francis’s “Along the Wide Rivers of Bangladesh”—offer dissimilar but equally eye-popping color photography, brilliant displays of emotional content, transcendence and technical virtuosity. 

It makes you wonder why anyone still consigns photography, along with often gorgeous craft products, to the “Not Art” children’s table. This stuffy disdain—encouraged generations ago by the Mensa-mouthed, over-educated but under-aesthetic reviewers for such bloated tree-wasting magazines as Art In America and ARTnews— is simply beyond its sell-by date. It reminds one of how the Impressionists first snorted at, then gladly deployed, photography to help them paint things the naked eye struggled to decipher (like a horse in full gallop: Trigger isn’t going to move in slow-mo so you can fully capture each straining and stretching sinew). To recap, art is art, art is life, and sometimes, life-plus or life-minus. It doesn’t have to originate on a canvas, board or watercolor paper.

Solinsky’s work at Viewpoint, which has the same name as his new book of images and comprises a sort of spiritual travelogue, is inspired by his wanderings and wonderings. His practice of Buddhism is writ gently but firmly in a wide range of photos and topics: everything from what appears to be a modest apartment house in Europe being softly drizzled on by a spring rain, to a stirringly evocative (as in, Wish I Were There) depiction of a country lane and arbor, with a light at the end of a copses-molded tunnel. 

A playful picture, “Curious Cowtenance,” sees a shy bovine peering over a dune, while “Migration” is a sensuously composed shot of distant birds flying over what appears to be a marshland (to me, it’s reminiscent of some of the unself-conscious tableaux you can see in the Yolo Wilderness Basin in mid-winter as the Pacific Flyway braces for non-stop avian traffic).

I also greatly enjoyed Solinsky’s object-capture imagery, such as a weathered brass chair framed against a pale-yellow wall, with a wizened red doorway behind it,  across from a lime green one (“Solitaire”), and “House of the Spirits,” which presents a sneak peek of a sanctuary, with hanging masks serving as sentries.

Frank Francis’s “Along the Wide Rivers of Bangladesh” is a stunning journey through the land- and peoplescape of the South Asia country whose teeming population could teach urban planners a thing or two about the pitfalls of density and infill housing. 

Nonetheless, in Francis’s delineations of the quietly lovely countryside and waterways that weave their way throughout the jam-packed population, he achieves what he says his aim was in his exhibition notes. “I have tried to capture simplicity as a form of beauty on the great rivers of Bangladesh,” he writes, where “life, largely devoid of mechanization, is a life of toil with dignity, a life of barter and exchange centered on the rivers and fishermen, with their antique boats and nets.”

I loved every one of Francis’s pieces (as you will, too) but was equally taken by his documenting of his photo safari.  “The travels were solo, a boat crew and me sleeping toe-to-toe on the deck, an Asian Immersion,” he recalls. “I owe a great deal to photography; it has provided me with the impetus to try to catch a world foreign to my experience….It is said that a poet must find her or his music or they are only speaking mere words. It is clear that a photographer must also find her or his music.”

The Solinsky and Francis shows run to Saturday, June 4, and officially open on Second Saturday, May 14 (3 to 7 p.m.). There’s also a Sunday artists reception May 15 (2 to 5 p.m.). Viewpoint is located at 2015 J. Street, Suite 101, Sacramento, CA 95811-3124. The phone is 916-441-2341.

One Buyer Be-Wary: The center is staffed by volunteers, not all of them with retail expertise—meaning, leave plenty of time for the cashier to figure out how to use the credit card device. I finally needed to leave after waiting 20 minutes to pay for a Solinsky print this past week (my parking meter was about to qualify me for one of the City of Sacramento’s draconian $50 tickets).


About the Author

Ed Goldman wrote a daily column for the Sacramento Business Journal for eight years, often about the arts, and in 2019 began a thrice-weekly online column, The Goldman State, which now has readers in 28 states.

He has been an art collector, painter and cartoonist for 50+ years.

Explore more from Ed Goldman at goldmanstate.com.

Big Day of Giving – May 5 2022

Show your support for the visual arts on the 2022 Big Day of Giving!

Important Details about the Event

Starting at midnight on May 5, and for 24 hours, you can give big to support the nonprofits that matter to you, including those in the visual arts community.

Find your favorites in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo counties and Give BIG! Donations start at just $15, and that can make a huge difference for the arts in our community.

Do your part today and join me in giving back.

View a full list of ARTS organizations that are participating in this year’s Big Day of Giving, and GIVE BIG!

ArtBeat – McHugh’s Candy Store Gallery

by Ed Goldman

In my late 20s I was accosted in a small art gallery by a solid, stern older woman who began to tell me what I should buy—and why. Taking in her quasi-Mammy Yoakum ensemble and emphatic tone, I almost said something rude but thought better of it, life being short, seniors deserving respect and so forth.

Glad I kept my mouth shut. She was Adeliza McHugh, I was in the art gallery she created and ran in Folsom, and the piece she was suggesting I buy was called “Walrus, Wallabies and Wallflowers” by Maija Peeples. I did as I was told and thereupon entered the fabulous world of the California Funk movement.

The artists, art and founder of McHugh’s Candy Store Gallery are being celebrated in a lively retrospective show at the Crocker Art Museum that runs through May 1. Curated and documented by the Crocker’s clever and ever-accessible Dr. Scott Shields—not all curators are either of those, much less both— the show features some of the more imaginative works and practitioners of the period.   

Among the artists featured, some of whose art I’ve been privileged to buy over the years, are David Gilhooly, Gladys Nilsson, Sandra Shannonhouse, Robert Arneson, Clayton Bailey, Roy De Forest, Irving Marcus, Jim Nutt, Jack Ogden, and Peter VandenBerge. 

While this is the first full-fledged tribute to the Candy Store, which opened 60 years ago and closed 30 years later, various artists and fans have made attempts to memorialize it in the years since McHugh’s death in 2003, at 91. These have included Peter VandenBerge’s daughter Camille, herself an accomplished artist, who put on a show about growing up in the shadow of that bygone era called “Kid in the Candy Store” a little more than five years ago. But it was less a tribute to the original gallery than a showcase for mainly her own work (which I wrote about for both the Business Journal and Sacramento Magazine).

The Candy Store began life as an actual candy store, on a hill off Folsom’s main drag, Sutter Street. It had only two rooms. When the customers for confections died off (I hope I don’t mean that literally), McHugh turned it into a cluttered exhibition space for paintings, ceramics, drawings and, while it contributed to the crowded demeanor of the rooms, even some installation art.

McHugh had no formal art training, which may have been her saving grace even though many of her artists were formally trained artists and even art professors. What she had was an untainted-by-tradition eye—two, in fact—for the authentic, satiric, majestic and, especially in the case of Peeples’ and Gilhooley’s work, the whimsical.

Gilhooley, for example, created an entire fictitious culture ruled by frogs. One of my prized purchases was a sculpture that featured the frog god Osiris in his crypt, which was mounted on a pyre of ceramic dung. Out of his stomach grew the tree of life, flowered with clay cans and packages of junk food. I still regret selling the piece a decade ago but have replaced it with two other, if smaller, masterworks: Witches’ Sabbath (1970) and Giant Frog Burger from 1994, the latter of which looks exactly what it sounds like.

I focus on these pieces to underscore a point about Funk art and its adherents. The movement was neither about creating “safe” art, such as you might find in the conference room of corporations attempting to look mildly hip, nor true “outsider” art, which can prove disturbing and not likely to complement the over-decorated (but still basic-beige-motif) living rooms of homes in Granite Bay or Gold River.

Entering my then-home in East Sacramento some years ago, the wife of a prominent ad executive stood in the doorway eyeing the collection of modern pieces we’d collected and hung on every one of the house’s exposed three stories. “Oh, I like the art,” she sighed in the clenched-teeth style of Jim Backus’s Thurston Howell III, “but I just don’t know that I could live with it.”

This time, unlike in my first encounter with Adeliza McHugh, I did not keep my mouth shut. “I’m not sure anyone’s asked you to,” I said.


About the Author

Ed Goldman wrote a daily column for the Sacramento Business Journal for eight years, often about the arts, and in 2019 began a thrice-weekly online column, The Goldman State, which now has readers in 28 states.

He has been an art collector, painter and cartoonist for 50+ years.

Explore more from Ed Goldman at goldmanstate.com.

NCECA 2022 Ceramics – March 2022

Watch the Story on Good Day Sacramento

Important Details about the Event

The annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) provides opportunities to build and strengthen professional networks and experience lifelong learning with friends, colleagues, mentors, and students.

Ceramics shows will be on display at museums and galleries across the region. Be sure to check gallery websites for specific dates, times, and receptions. Many are free and open to the public, and several galleries have ceramics shows running all month.

View an entire list of Sacramento-area exhibitions –> DOWNLOAD PDF GUIDE

SPCA Fur Paws Auction – November 2021

Watch the Story on Good Day Sacramento

Important Details about the Event

2021 Art Fur Paws Online Benefit Auction
Nov 18 – Dec 2, 2021

Register to BID at https://www.sspca.org/post/2021-art-fur-paws-online-benefit-auction

Follow the event online at: https://www.instagram.com/artfurpaws/

Buying Art in an Auction – November 2021

What’s the Story?

Charity and nonprofit art auctions can be thrilling and fun (especially after a few glasses of wine or a nice dinner) but ending up with a piece of art that doesn’t fit your collection, won’t fit in your car, and emptied your bank account is never a good time. It’s all well and good to donate funds to a favorite charity but remember you will be living with your art purchase for a long time.

Here are some helpful hints for scoring a great piece at a good price. If it’s in BOLD, remember it.

General Suggestions

Many charity art auctions feature top notch artists who regularly donate gallery worthy pieces; however not all art auctions are the same. Some may feature unknown artists or un-curated works and you may be better off donating to your favorite cause directly. Look for auctions that pay a portion of the sale to the artists, or auctions that have been curated / juried or are invitational.

Well known auctions that have a long history garner better work from better artists, so research before you arrive or place an online bid. Many “big names” may sometimes donate pieces that did not sell in a gallery or are not up to par with exhibition pieces. This means that no matter how little you pay for the piece it may not translate into “I got a great deal!”

Most auctions have some sort of preview – either earlier than the live auction or online. Take advantage of a preview to research and carefully select (and set a price for) the pieces you are interested in owning.

Online or Virtual Art Auctions

Online and Virtual Art Auctions are auctions that you do not attend in-person. Over the years these have replaced many in-person events to broaden participation. While you may not fall trap to “I had too much wine” purchases in an online auction, there are still ways to maximize your advantage as a bidder and buyer.

Most important – avoid bidding until the last moments. Bidding every few hours or days just plays up interest in the piece and raises the price (remember my earlier tip to preview and set a price you are willing to pay – don’t artificially inflate your own price limit). Bidding near the end is also less time consuming and you increase the odds of being the winning bid. Many online auctions systems will allow you to set alerts on pieces you are interested in. Take advantage of these tools to stay informed.

Online auctions also remove the temptation to bid on something because “it’s a good price” resulting in that stack of frames in your garage. If you are participating in an auction, be prepared to bid near the closing of the item. Obviously “Bid High and Bid Often” is not the way to win your piece for a good price at any auction.

Live Art Auction Events with an Auctioneer

Live Auctions (usually accompanied by a paid ticket event and dinner with lots of wine) may result in a good buy because there are fewer people bidding than in an online auction. You also can examine the work up close, which is important if you are looking for investment pieces or important work. At live auctions my guidance is that you hold your bid until the “going once…”, or “jump the bid” (bidding higher than the auctioneer is asking by a good amount) because this often drives other bidders away and solidifies your position.

Many auction events include a “silent” auction component that involves bids written on a piece of paper next to a displayed piece of art and have a defined “closing time” or end of bidding. The same guideline applies to silent auctions as to online auctions – if you really want a piece, wait, and bid at the last minute (do not place any early bids). Stand near the piece and write in your bid a few minutes before it closes, and refrain from using your pencil as a weapon should someone else be doing the same thing.

Insider Tip for New Collectors

If you are new at collecting you can often watch for the pieces that seasoned collectors and art dealers are bidding on. They only buy good work at a good price. Remember that you’re looking for fine artwork, so be discerning in your research and your selections.

Finally, remember you are supporting a charity or nonprofit. Don’t buy something just to support the organization if you don’t really love the piece. You will be much happier making a direct cash donation than staring at that giant fuzzy cat sculpture that you must explain every time someone walks into your home.

KVIE Art Auction Winners – September 2021

Watch the Story on Good Day Sacramento

What’s the Story?

The Art Lady will be at PBS KVIE to help announce the winners of this year’s Art Auction. She’ll be joined by the KVIE Art Curator Jill Estroff, plus an award-winning artist. See a sneak preview of the art that will be up for bid and learn more by visiting kvie.org/events/art-auction.

Hot Art News – Summer 2021

Read on for exciting arts events and stories that you may not have heard about – from The Art Lady!

Express yourself through color at the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center‘s Colors of Humanity open competition. Deadline for entries is August 13 – learn more at https://elkgrovefineartscenter.org/exhibitions/colors-of-humanity-september-2021/.

WATCH: Verge Center for the Arts virtual interview series talks with 8 Sacramento Open Studios artists who focus on painting or printmaking. Watch the Video here.

The Toyroom Gallery’s 20th Anniversary Celebration – Watch the Good Day Sacramento interview:

Do you have an Art Need? When you buy something new are you fulfilling a decorative desire? Emotional need? Or perhaps art is an investment? Learn about the ABC of Building an Art Collection.

Have you heard of the Incredible San Francisco Artists’ Soapbox Derby? Take a look at this video from 1975:

Showing through August 27 at the Fe Gallery in Sacramento – Three Artists “Distinction” with Marjorie Darrow, Nicole Woodbury, and Trent Woolley. Take a look at this video to explore the collection and learn more:

Do you have a Story Idea for the Art Lady? Send in your ideas for consideration – just click the box below!

Toyroom Gallery 20th Anniversary – July 2021

Watch the Story on Good Day Sacramento

What’s the Story?

The gallery, located in The Russ Room (named after the late Russ Solomon), is just upstairs from the Solomon Deli on K Street.

Toyroom gallery celebrates their 20th anniversary this year. This gallery is focused on affordable low brow and street based artwork including hot-rods, trucks, motorcycles, punk rock, monsters, tattoo art, and more. The original garage-based location of the gallery now features a mural by Robert Bowen (recently featured on Good Day Sacramento). Toyroom Gallery has regularly shown work by artists such as Skinner, Chuck Sperry, and Shepard Fairey (known for his Obama HOPE piece among others).

Follow Toyroom Gallery Online

Website: https://www.toyroomgallery.com/



Goliath Beetle Mural – April 2021

Watch the Story on Good Day Sacramento

What’s the Story?

A new public mural is being painted at the location of the original Toy Room Gallery which celebrates its 29th anniversary this year.

Twenty years ago there was a mural in this location by a then emerging artist “Skinner“ and the owner was told by the city that it was blight. Now in 2021 we have a city that embraces public murals!

Robert’s mural, based on Goliath Beetle, is acrylic and spray paint – all hand painted.

This is Robert’s second public mural in Sacramento – his first mural STING, done as part of Wide Open Walls, is located at the Archival Gallery building in East Sacramento.

Follow Robert Bowen Online

Website: robertbowenart.com

Twitter: @bowenstuff

Instagram: @bowenstuff

Hot Art News – Spring 2021

Here are some of the exciting arts activities going on this spring.

Verge Center for the Arts has reopened to the public. Visit Thursdays-Saturdays from 11AM-5PM for their latest shows and exhibitions, plus visit working artist studios.

News from Sacramento State’s The State Hornet: Sacramento artist offers art studio perfectly ‘Taylor’d’ to the community.
Artist Taylor Pannell stands next to a mannequin and in front of a self portrait inside her art studio Taylor’d Mind Studios in Sacramento on Feb. 3, 2021. The self-portrait is made from coffee watercolor and ink.
Image by Madelaine Church.

The Crocker Art Museum has reopened as of April 8, with brand new exhibitions and safe visitation policies so that you and your family can enjoy a local art experience.

Learn more about artist David Smith’s COVID Balls display.

Find a way to get creative at Blue Line Arts Mosaic Workshop for Veterans and Families – Register online for this April 24 workshop.

The new Russ Solomon Park has been opened at McKinley Village. Learn more about the park and the artwork featured.

Catch up with my latest story on Good Day Sacramento – Artistic Zoom Backgrounds and Adding Art To Your Space. Watch here…

Artistic Zoom Backgrounds – March 2021

Watch Live on Good Day Sacramento


Join me for a chat on some fun ways to spruce up the background of your Zoom calls. I’m not talking about using a virtual digital background, but by using real artwork that helps convey just the right mood. Whether you’re on a social visit or a professional meeting, adding real artwork to the background is a great choice for your side of the camera and theirs!

Featured Artwork

Still life by Leslie McCarron – a bright and colorful option that doesn’t distract but complements the room, if you don’t have the opportunity for fresh flowers use artwork

Superheroes by Mel Ramos – casual, playful, eye catching for students on a Zoom call or for a corporate office to convey personality; iconic animation artwork is versatile for all ages

Pastel landscape by Jadelle Andrews – professional, artistic, and with museum glass you avoid the glare from a front-facing light so the artwork is clearly visible; muted colors don’t distract from a casual or professional conversation

Learn More about Zoom at zoom.us.

Artistic Valentine Gifts – February 2021

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Skip the box of chocolate this year and give your sweetie something handmade for Valentine’s Day. Art makes the perfect gift and can be a reasonable alternative to dinner out and boxes of candy that will only last a few days.

Choose a gift that your loved one will cherish for years to come, and make part of their collection! In this segment, the Art Lady will feature local galleries and businesses who have affordable and beautiful art pieces that are ready to go home with you.

Featured Businesses and Galleries

Imported treasures at Zanzibar Fair Trade
Jeff Nebeker artwork at Elliott Fouts Gallery
Glass artwork at SeBridges Gallery
Mosaic hearts by Mariellen Layne, and more at Archival Gallery

Vintage Santas – December 2020

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The Art Lady discusses 11 large light-up Santas and one snow man in the display.

From the Art Lady

The largest Santa is an artist-made Santa (with real eyeglasses) that stood in front of a Hardware store in Rancho Cordova (owned by the father of the late Eric Dahlin). The artist gifted it to the gallery from his father’s estate.

Vintage blow mold Santas (so named because the factories heated plastic then it was blown into a mold and then painted) are becoming rare and hard to find. Most of these factories have long closed (though reproductions from overseas are showing up) and storing and maintaining them is challenging (extreme cold cracks the plastic). This makes them pricey in antique stores.

The first two I puchased are “the twins” – the small identical Santas I bought while I was in high school. They were found at a yard sale and I put them in my bedroom window in Arkansas in 1978.

The most recent addition is the snowman and matching Santa which until last year lived at my friend Patty Langdon’s mother’s home. Many of these have come from loving homes and the children of the original owners enjoy seeing them once a year.

The largest Blown plastic Santa was from a house in the bay area next to my father-in-law’s home. It was in a side yard in February so my father-in-law wandered over and the neighbors gave it to him (about 10 years ago). Each year I send a box of candy to the address with a card from “Plastic Santa”.

Art as a Gift – December 2020

After such a trying year I think this holiday season will reflect more family and less office, more home made and less store bought and certainly more hand crafted and less mass produced gifts under many Christmas trees this year!

Hand blown Glass Ornaments at Sebridges Gallery

Art has always been a tricky thing to purchase as a gift (unless of course your friend or loved one happens to collect a certain artist) – it’s such a personal choice and sometimes comes with big price tag. The good news is that many galleries have what I call “Small Treasures” exhibitions that feature small, lower priced works and art objects by favorite artists. Many galleries also feature artistic and functional items this time of year – bowls, lovely glassware and Christmas themed works.

Some of the Galleries participating in gift themed exhibitions this year are The Elk Grove Fine Arts Center, The Atrium in Old Sacramento (including the Sebridge’s gallery that features blown glass) and my gallery, the Archival Gallery.

Other places to pick up one of a kind gifts are at the Artist’s Collaborative in Old Sacramento (featuring fabric and wood pieces year round) and the Crocker Art Museum Gift Shop (though the Museum is currently closed the online store is open) and the Blue Line Arts Gallery in Roseville.

The galleries are all practicing safe shopping – masks and social distancing are required, and many Museum stores and artists have websites and are happy to ship. Be sure to visit their websites or call to make sure hours have not changed due to COVID-19 precautions. Online gallery stores are a great and safe place to explore as well.

This is the year to support your local artists and find a one of a kind, special gift that will celebrate the true art of gift giving!

The Spice Girls – September 2020

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The Art Lady will interview artist Debra Kreck-Harnish who specializes in mixed-media assemblage from found objects, and full-size tutus built from mannequins and handmade papers. Debra’s SPICE GIRLS series was created during January 2020 as part of a 31 Days art challenge – creating a new piece of work each day of the month for exhibition.

These works were presented at Archival Gallery in July 2020.

Follow Debra Kreck-Harnish Online

Website: kreck.me
Facebook: facebook.com/DebraKreck
Instagram: instagram.com/kreckharnishart

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Chalk-it-up – August 2020

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WATCH the segment on Good Day Sacramento.


The Art Lady is one of the original founders of Chalk It Up! – an annual festival that celebrates youth art through grants and sidewalk chalk art masterpieces. This year’s annual Chalk It Up! festival is on Labor Day Weekend, September 5-7, 2020. This is the 30th anniversary of the event and visitors will see sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, and more. You can sponsor a chalk square at your business or residence.

How To See The Art

This year’s festival is called “Chalk It Up! Around the Town!” and volunteer chalk artists will be painting locations all throughout the Sacramento region.

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Hot Art News – July 2020

Here are some of the exciting art happenings going on this month.

Coming soon to the Axis Gallery, the 15th National Juried Exhibition (juried by Marcela Pardo Ariza). Show runs August 8 – 29, 2020 and features over 25 contributing artists.

ARTHOUSE on R Gallery and Studios is accepting applications for their Artist Studio for Rent. Click Here for information on the submission process.

This month I was honored to be the judge for the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center’s “Figurative Expressions” show which opens August 1 and runs through August 28. Click here to view the virtual tour.

There’s a lot going on at Verge Center for the Arts including Online Classes, Kids Summer Camps, plus free art activities you can download for young people to enjoy.

Learn about Sacramento’s Creative Edge Initiative – a program to gather priorities, expectations, and needs regarding the arts, culture, and creative economy in our region.

As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Frida Kahlo. Her work is truly inspiring and groundbreaking, and I just found a virtual gallery tour you can take to see some of her work.

This summer, and showing through November 15, the Crocker Art Museum has received an installation of Al Farrow’s “The White House” – a sculpture made from guns, gun parts, shell casings, and steel measuring 69 x 77 x 36.

The White House – Al Farrow

For more Art News plus the latest stories and videos, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and here at artladysacramento.com

Adding Art to your Yard – June 2020

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This story takes us to two homes, one in Land Park and another in East Sacramento. Each home has integrated decorative and fine artwork into the environment to create a unique and exciting outdoor living space.

In Land Park

  • Sculpture by Gary Dinnen
  • Sculpture by Cindy Wilson
  • Mosaics by Mariellen Layne
  • Sculpture by Jolene Matson
  • Glass by JC Strote

In East Sac

  • Sculpture by Donna Billick
  • Sculpture by Stephanie Taylor
  • Sculpture by Phil Evans
  • Sculpture by Gale Hart
  • …and more!


The last couple of years a nation wide trend has started – no longer do people have “backyards” they have “outdoor rooms.” Because of this popular view of expanding our living areas to include outside areas, collectors are expanding their collections to include outdoor artwork as well.

When considering adding art to your outdoor areas the first thing to consider is work made in mediums that can withstand direct sun and rain. Ceramics are very popular as most are kiln fired to ensure a nice light water-resistant coating. When putting ceramic outdoors keep in mind that they can be damaged in a winter freeze and should be covered or brought in during the winter.  No ceramics or glass should be left outdoors if you live in an area with snow.

A statue with a developing Patina

Many artists also work in metals and glass. Uncoated metals will develop a patina – a changing of color or texture that is considered normal. You may have heard the term verdigris, which describes the blue/green patina that forms on copper or brass over time.

Choosing work is also a matter of placement. Keep in mind the particulars of your home. Do you have dogs? Do children play in the area? Is there a pool? Make sure the artwork is secure and safe and easy to enjoy as well as tend to (mowing etc). Art made out of cement is readily available, and though heavy to install it can be a great addition to your landscape and can stay out year round.

Many galleries are now exhibiting outdoor art and some of the smaller plant nurseries carry pieces by local artisans as well. A focal piece (such as a mosaic fountain) can really change the feel of a large space.

Make your outdoor area a family project with a mixture of artwork, stepping stones, planters, bird baths, murals on fences, and water features. The backyard isn’t just for the barbecue anymore!

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