Artist Profiles

Citizen of The World

Robert Regis Dvorak is an artist’s artist. He paints, draws, writes and sings. He teaches. He works in watercolor, oil, acrylic, ink, etching, woodcuts and silk screen. He’s filled more than 300 sketchbooks, many during trips abroad. Even after decades as a professional artist, he has ideas that will keep him busy for years.

“When you’re an artist, you do what your heart leads you to do,” Dvorak says. “If I had any sense about me, I would have gone into music—the path was there. But I really didn’t want to. I enjoyed drawing.”

Dvorak hails from a musical family (yes, he’s related to Antonin Dvorak, the Czech composer), but knew from an early age he wanted to be a visual artist. His parents were concerned he wouldn’t make enough money. They convinced him to try architecture.

Art Of Creation

Tracy Tayama Brady lives by a maxim from one of her favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert: “Art is not one magical thing—it’s the act of creating.”

Though Tayama (who uses her maiden name as an artist) has made art since she can remember, it’s only now with two kids and a career as a child psychologist that she’s in a place to understand what it means to be an artist.

We Are Here

As she lists her proudest achievement, Semarhy Quiñones-Soto doesn’t mention her Ph.D. in microbiology or her published coloring book depicting diverse women in science, tech, engineering and math. She doesn’t even cite her job as a biological sciences lecturer at Sacramento State.

Instead, she returns to when she was a teenager and her mother allowed her into a lab at the University of Puerto Rico and let the youngster clean the autoclave—an expensive sterilization machine.

Journey To Heal

Anya Warda is a proud tree hugger.

“I love greenery, exercising, fresh air, sunshine, going outside and being with nature,” she says. “I’m a tree hugger. That’s who I am—that’s what my life experience has made me.”

Warda’s love of nature is more than aesthetic. She’s thankful to walk, much less hug a tree.

At age 26, the native of Poland was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating autoimmune disorder that attacks the joints and makes them painful and swollen. Determined not to be in a wheelchair, she took matters into her own hands.

Rhapsody In Blue

An image of a fern emerges from the darkness like a majestic shadow. Delicate legs of a lily of the Nile float on the plane as though submerged. Leaves of bamboo shudder out of focus on a field of blue and green.

These dreamy botanical images are the work of Linda Clark Johnson, a multimedia artist who specializes in cyanotype, one of the oldest forms of photography. English botanist Anna Atkins pioneered the process in the 1840s to document botanicals. Scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel used the technique to create 19th century blueprints.

Knock On Wood

When Evan Harris sees a downed tree, he doesn’t see destruction. He sees art.

The owner of Truwood Builders is an expert at urban log salvage, rescuing wood from trees that have been downed by wind or removed due to disease. He turns outcasts into beautiful pieces of custom furniture.

“We don’t take the trees down. We intercept the logs before they get cut up and disposed of,” he says, explaining his environmentally friendly alternative to breaking logs down for firewood or a landfill.

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