Andru Defeye is an established poet, writer, film editor, emcee, journalist and is currently the videographer for Comstock’s’ Buzzwords series. Defeye is founder of the Zero Forbidden Goals performance art crew (ZFG) and has performed everywhere from art museums to festival stages while also designing and developing a Hip Hop based curriculum that meets common core standards in classrooms. Defeye has worked since 2006 documenting local arts and culture as a writer and editor with publications including Sacramento News and Review and Submerge Magazine.
Comstock’s caught up with Benwar Shepard to discuss what’s in store for 2018 as he embarks on his Creative Economy parade project, works on a new studio album with the Element Brass Band, and fathers a brand new baby.
I’ve heard him introduce himself as Woodrowe. I’ve heard him introduce himself as Radio. The first time I met him, he didn’t introduce himself at all. He just sat down next to me and started rapping. Then he started beatboxing (mouth percussion, for those who may not be familiar). He was clearly a talented artist, but the layers of his story began to unfold in our following conversation.
In case you haven’t heard, Sacramento cuisine and art have come together under the open sky in Midtown at the new Cantina Alley. Inspired by the art, food and atmosphere of Oaxaca, the Cantina Alley restaurant transports patrons to the streets of Mexico with not only delicious food, but authentic art and moments captured by photographer/visual artist Ruben Reveles. We caught up with the international man behind the lens over some mezcal at Cantina Alley to talk about the climate of the arts in Sacramento.
It’s been 12 years since Estella Sanchez signed rent papers on the first Sol Collective Arts and Cultural Center in Del Paso Heights. More than a decade, hundreds of art exhibitions and thousands of community events later, Sol Collective recently purchased the building on 21st Street in Sacramento. We sat down with Sanchez to talk art, activism, the importance of building ownership and snacks.
Sometimes it’s better the second time around. At least, that’s what Sacramento artist and gallery owner Theresa Gutierrez, aka Lady Tee, believes. Recently retired as chief of the Centralized Operations Unit in the Center for Health Care Quality of the California Department of Public Health, Gutierrez has become a fixture in the local arts scene with her mural work and recent opening of the ARTners Collaborative in the heart of downtown.
April is National Poetry Month and if you’re looking for poetry in Sacramento, “Mahogany Urban Poetry” at Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine on Broadway is a mandatory first stop. For almost 18 years, Mahogany has provided a weekly stage every Wednesday night for both local and touring poets to express fearlessly.
Most recently known for her work with M5’s Art Hotel and Art Street, Franceska Gamez has left her mark as a muralist from coast to coast. Gamez sat down with Comstock’s in between sledgehammer swings deconstructing Art Street to talk about her early influences, creative messages and deserted islands.
In response to Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s new investment in the arts and creative economy, this is my open letter to Sacramento as a whole. To the creators. The developers. The decision-makers. The people.