Artist Profiles

Plucking Her Heartstrings

It might seem strange that an instrument as old as the harpsichord is something musician Faythe Vollrath thinks of as “new in many ways,” but the accomplished harpsichordist, based in Placerville, maintains that there’s a method to the madness. “It’s still very much ‘create your own adventure’ with the harpsichord,” says Vollrath, who performs as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and abroad (she recently performed a concert of new music in Serbia as part of the Belgrade Harpsichord Festival). Read More
Harpsichordist Faythe Vollrath poses in front of harpsichord

Seeing is Believing

Despite our ability to perceive three-dimensional depth, the human eye only shows us two dimensions. However, for Henry Parada, a retired chemical scientist turned optical artist, seeing in three dimensions is second nature. When he was studying chemistry, he had to “think in 3-D all the time,” says Parada, who works out of a basement studio in his West Sacramento home. “You need to think how the atoms and molecules are moving in order to react. For me, it’s very easy to think in 3-D.” Read More
Op-Artist Henery Parada in front of red and orange geometric painting

Snap Decisions

Joe Chan brings beauty to social media with photographs that compel viewers to look deeply into the compositions captured by his lens. It’s impossible to ignore a Chan photo. Fascinating, evocative and splashed with colors, the images produced by the Sacramento photographer represent a wayward journey to artistic success. Chan didn’t grow up with a camera. He mastered the challenges of light, shadow and composition after a successful career as a banker and mortgage broker. Read More

Rock and Roll

Rock Bottom Clay Arts—the ceramic business owned by longtime friends Suzy Price and Linda Fall—is not named for low prices, nor for a low point in life. “We named it Rock Bottom because the totems literally have a giant rock at the bottom that keeps them steady,” Fall explains with a chuckle. Since last August, Fall and Price have created 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-foot ceramic structures they call totems—colorful displays of manmade rocks in all shapes, sizes and textures stacked together on a steel pole and rooted to a strong rock or welded metal base for display in the home or garden. Read More

Trial by Fire

There’s a table in Stephanie Taylor’s art studio—a converted garage in the back of her family home on T Street—that holds a line of pretty, rusted objects. Two milk jugs, wire sculptures, the head of a hammer and eyeglass cases look antique. But these items are not antique. These objects are all that remain of writer and poet Christy Heron-Clark’s parents’ two-lot family compound in Paradise that burned to the ground during the Camp Fire—the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history that raged through Butte County for 17 days last November. Read More

Hearing The Muse

In the opening lines of the poem “Moments,” Wendy Grace Stevens writes: How often have you heard ‘Live for the moment,’ or ‘Be here now?’ No matter the current idiom, it’s a truth that merits attention. Stevens seems to live by this sentiment. Amid two careers—first in banking, then 25 years working for the state Legislature, from which she retired in 2002—Stevens has lived for the moment through activities both artistic and outdoor. Read More
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