Krystyna Taylor fell in love with the cello the way many people do—she saw world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform. The fact that she saw him on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” as a child should tell you that Taylor has loved the cello for a long time (she recently turned 40).
Taylor has gone on to quite an extensive cello career of her own thanks to that early exposure. The Santa Barbara native started afterschool cello lessons in fifth grade and then joined a swing band started by her grandfather. She reports the group was composed of “me, my little sister and these 70- and 80-year-old guys.”
By middle school, she was gigging on the street and at farmers markets, hiring herself out for weddings and, by her early teens, performing with the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony. She won classical string competitions that paid for her lessons, various music camps and, eventually, a full scholarship to study cello performance at Sacramento State in 1998.
All the world really is a stage for Carrie Hennessey. Though you could describe Hennessey as “an opera singer,” that wouldn’t do justice to the creative mind and talent she brings to productions of all kinds—opera, musical theater, cabaret, chamber music, master classes, lectures, song cycles and more.
“I’m always about being open to whatever the inspiration is,” the Natomas resident says. “When the whim or spark of an idea comes to me, I don’t question it—I roll with it.”
A rodent with a remote control. A ring-tailed lemur rowing a boat. A chameleon climbing a cake. These whimsical beasties aren’t from a fairytale, but rather from the wildly talented mind of ceramist Julie Clements.
Clements’ ability to render animals in such exquisite detail is no accident. The Georgia native was exposed to art early on by her grandmother who did china painting—Clements was fascinated by the detail—and she went on to study art while an undergrad at Emory University, followed by a yearlong internship at the renowned Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta. She even started a master’s degree in ceramics at the University of Georgia.
Multi-media artist Jennifer Kim Sohn understands that most people have nostalgic associations with crafts like sewing and stitching. There’s a sense of comfort connected to the medium, which Sohn uses to explore serious social and environmental issues.
“I want to bring these difficult issues through the comfortable artform so I can disarm people a little bit,” says Sohn, a South Land Park resident. In previous works, Sohn used fabric frogs to confront environmental pollution and fabric pillows to build awareness of human trafficking. “The images are not in your face. I want the viewers to arrive on their own decision, or at least give them room to reflect on these issues.”
Patris’ goal as an artist has always been to “highlight the beautiful things around me,” whether that’s the natural splendor of Montana—where Patris (born Patti Miller) was raised—or the nocturnal splendor of the Broadway corridor in the rain.
Patris has made her career capturing atmosphere with her deft artist’s eye in the form of landscapes, figurative work, still life, plein air and house portraitures. Though she was interested in art from an early age, Patris first made her bones as a language development specialist, earning her teaching credential and master’s degree at Sacramento State, and then went on to work with Southeast Asian refugees, a population she’d tutored while an undergrad at Crown College in Minnesota.
There are three things that have happened to Dennis Wilson in the past few years that have changed the trajectory of his art career.
“Winning awards in the 2015 and 2016 KVIE Art Auctions, meeting (fellow painter) Bob Miller and joining an art critique group changed things,” Wilson says in the kitchen of his Rosemont home, where dozens of his striking oil paintings share wall space with family photos. “Meeting people and making contacts are key for me.”