Artist Profiles

Life By Design

LeRoid David doesn’t consider himself a full-time artist. The world can only imagine what would happen if he did.
The Rosemont resident has been creating art since age 3, citing the Sunday comics as inspiration. He studied graphic design at San Francisco State, but never saw art as a main gig.

“I’ve always kept art at a hobby level. I treated it as my escape,” David says. “I did internships in college, but the feel is different. I couldn’t see myself doing it full time and working under a team of creative directors, so I’ve just always freelanced instead.”

Sometimes art and his day job overlap. During his 10-year stint with Tower Records from 1996 to 2006, he coordinated events for Bay Area stores and oversaw store design.

Unique Lens

Dianne Poinski admits much of her career has been serendipitous.

Consider her introduction to the art form she’s worked in for most of her life.

A self-described “book worm and math kid,” Poinski didn’t try anything artistic until she took a black-and-white photography course in college to satisfy an art requirement. Her passion for photography was born.

In the 1990s, Poinski started taking portraits of her children with a Pentax K1000 camera, a gift from her husband. She took a hand-coloring class at The Darkroom, fell in love with the process, and thought about selling her work at art festivals.

Career Leap

Hard work and months of rehearsal come together when Sacramento Ballet’s Second Company performs its spring showcase May 11–12 at Hiram Johnson High School Auditorium.

Second Company was started two years ago by Jill Krutzkamp as a way to give dancers ages 18–21 intensive training before leaping into the professional dance world.

The company encompasses the Trainee Project for promising students who pay tuition, and SB2 for dancers who receive scholarships and stipends.

“Our mission is to get them jobs, help them get to know themselves more and have time to figure out if this is really what they want to do,” Jill says. “Second Company gives them that pre-professional leg up. We want to create the best dancer we can so they’re more marketable.”

Poet For All

When I caught up with Andru Defeye, the city’s youngest poet laureate, he was prepping for Sacramento Poetry Day, held last October.

“I want the entire city of Sacramento to know it’s Poetry Day,” Defeye said. “From kids in schools to the contest to the gala—however we can blow this up.”

Poetry Day was created in 1986 by the late Mayor Anne Rudin. But it hadn’t been celebrated at scale in years. After being named poet laureate in 2020, Defeye (pronounced “defy”) resurrected the event in 2022 with an Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

Hidden Gem

The Mills Station Arts & Culture Center is a hidden gem in Rancho Cordova. Cheryl Gleason is determined to change that.

As the center’s art director and curator since 2018, Gleason plans everything that happens at Mills Station. It’s also her job to make sure people see the exhibits, workshops, history displays, cultural demonstrations and more at the center each month.

Artistic Reset

Last time I spoke to the painter Patris, it was May 2020, a few months into lockdown.

Her Oak Park studio was quiet. In-person classes were canceled and moved online. Patris used the downtime to return to basics and work on her already extensive drawing skills.

“In a way, it was a reset,” says Patris, born Patti Miller. “At that time, I was thinking about going into this next decade and asking myself, what do I really love and want to focus on?

“I tried my best to come in every day as if nothing had changed. I decided I wasn’t going to miss a beat, no pulling back and getting lazy. I had to fight for my vision, the dream I have for this studio and being an artist. I had to get back in the saddle.”

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