Center Of Everything

Carmichael art space offers giftshop, exhibits, classes, camaraderie

By Jessica Laskey
October 2022

What’s the most important thing Anne DeStefano wants people to know about Sacramento Fine Arts Center in Carmichael?

“That we exist!” says DeStefano, a fiber artist and jewelry maker who joined the center 10 years ago. “I don’t know if people realize that the center is there and that we have significant gallery space. Each month, we have a different show on exhibit. It’s quite a range of variety.”

Sacramento Fine Arts Center was founded in 1986 by several local, independent art clubs that came together to share their love of art and pool resources for shows and classes. The center now boasts roughly 300 members from different disciplines—painters, sculptors, fiber artists and more. They share responsibilities, run the giftshop and teach classes.

The center holds local and national juried art shows throughout the year to give members the opportunity to show and sell their work, and raise funds to continue the organization’s operation.

“When I first joined, the fiber arts group would put on at least one show a year at the center and hold classes and other events regularly,” DeStefano says. “But we had trouble growing our membership, so the group disbanded about five years ago. By then, I liked being part of the process at the center, so I decided to continue my membership and started volunteering in the giftshop.”

DeStefano is one of many members who work in the gallery’s giftshop, which offers a rotating stock of handmade original art pieces, including jewelry, notecards and ceramics. She helps select inventory and arranges items to make them as attractive as possible. “It’s more than selling,” she says. “It’s about looking at the giftshop as a whole and making it more interesting.”

Before health issues sidelined her, DeStefano helped hang and take down shows. Volunteers act as docents, greeting visitors and sharing information about classes and exhibitions.

When DeStefano isn’t busy in the store, she creates jewelry with various fiber techniques. A member of the Sacramento Center for the Textile Arts since the early 1990s, DeStefano loves all things fiber: sewing, knitting, crocheting, macramé, kumihimo (a Japanese braiding technique). She migrated to wearable fiber art by making jewelry out of beads, wire and cording.

Though she’s shown her work at Sacramento Fine Arts Center before, DeStefano is excited about this year’s newest event: participating in Sac Open Studios, the countywide art extravaganza produced by Verge Center for the Arts.

“Several members will be participating by having people in their own studios,” she says. Since DeStefano doesn’t have her own studio, she was selected with several other artists to display and sell their work in one of Sacramento Fine Arts Center’s big classrooms during the second weekend. “It will be fun and something different. And hopefully it will encourage people to come and learn about the center.”

For information, visit Sacramento Fine Arts Center is at 5330B Gibbons Drive in Carmichael. The gallery giftshop is open during regular business hours, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Jessica Laskey can be reached at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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