When Marjorie Methven landed in town to earn a teaching credential and master’s degree at Sacramento State, she had no idea she was returning to her roots.
“While doing research for my master’s thesis on visual self-narrative, I started to look into my own genealogical history,” Methven says. “It turns out that my great-great grandfather settled in Antioch and my great uncles worked for the railyard (in Sacramento) in different capacities at the turn of the 20th century. I didn’t know that before I moved here. It was quite serendipitous.”
Before the research, Sacramento was just a place on the map to Methven, who grew up in Minnesota and went to college in Wisconsin.
If you’re tempted to lick one of Kevin Wilhite’s paintings, don’t.
Though the delectable treats he portrays in oil paint as thick as frosting look sweet enough to eat, they’re still paint.
“I get hungry every time I paint ice cream,” Wilhite says.
His latest series features every flavor of Gunther’s ice cream. He explains, “I started learning to use the palette knife to incorporate more shape into my pieces, which lends a more chunky, textural style.”
A vintage ad for a cyclery inquiring “Why are the Tallest People the Laziest?” snuggles next to a poster for a Frank Sinatra concert, which sits above a front page from the defunct Sacramento Union. This is perched above personals ads from the 1940s. Those are next to an old Sports Illustrated cover featuring Kings stars Vlade Divac, Jason Williams, Peja Stojaković and Doug Christie.
What does this amalgam of historical documents have in common?
The answer is archival producer, researcher and artist Chris Lango. He’s been a resident at the Warehouse Artist Lofts on R Street since 2015.
“My whole journey (working as) an archival researcher has allowed me to be in situations—and meet people—that are totally interesting because of what has been saved,” Lango says. “In real time, those people might be viewed as strange, but in time, what they’ve done is so valuable you can’t put a price on it.”
Next time you’re strolling Front Street in Old Sacramento, stop at the Art Café at Atrium 916.
You won’t be served food. You’ll be served art—a ball of clay or a canvas and paints to bring out your inner artist.
“I wanted there to be a place where people can come and just hang out and make art and connect with others,” says Shira Lane, the Israel-born, Australia-raised founder of Atrium 916. “Art can be isolating and intimidating, so the Atrium is designed to be zero-barrier and as accessible as possible. Just walk in and ask a question. We’re like the atrium of the heart: As you go through us, you get more oxygen.”
You’re probably familiar with the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. But for Preston Zeller, there’s one more: painting.
When his brother Colin passed away of a fentanyl overdose in 2019 at age 35, Zeller used his love of painting to navigate his emotions. He created one painting each day for a year. The result is 365 abstract works in riots of colors, each 8 inches by 10 inches.
“It was sheer reflective personal art therapy,” Zeller says. “It was a process of rapid iteration, to express in a spontaneous way whatever I was feeling in the grief process.”
The first time Suzon Lucore was stopped by police for feeding a homeless man, her response was swift. “You have an ordinance to not feed the homeless,” she remembers saying at the time, “but is it illegal to feed a friend? This is my friend.”
Lucore has fed homeless people for almost two decades since moving to Midtown in 2007 after completing her bachelor’s degree in painting at California College of the Arts in the Bay Area.
“I saw all these people who were hungry and started feeding them,” she says.