Shoka is associate editor for Comstock’s magazine. She is a journalist, copy editor and photojournalist who specializes in covering arts, culture, animal rights and sustainability.
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Look back on 2020 with a list of our top-read stories and our editors’ favorites.
Demetris “BAMR” Washington is inspired by graffiti, cartoons and his faith in Christianity, the latter of which was also the inspiration for his alias: BAMR is short for Becoming a Man Righteously.
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Jennifer West was still new to her role as film commissioner for the City of Sacramento’s Sacramento Film + Media office when she was sent home because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Deziree Dizon was dragged to art school, but she is now making fine art and showing her work at galleries.
The Granite Bay farm was established in 1911 by a Japanese
immigrant and is still run by his descendants, including his
Craig Martinez knows his sculptures, made from reclaimed materials, can be challenging, and not everyone is going to like them.
Old Country Tailor in East Sacramento began making and selling
cloth face masks in April and sold around 4,000 that month.
Della Rosa’s signature style can be seen in the visual branding of companies around the Capital Region, including restaurants, food and beverage brands, creative festivals and more.
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Aliyah Sidqe, a mentee of the artist and activist Milton Bowens, uses her paintings to uplift the community.
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PODCAST: An employer asks whether perks such as vacation time and telecommuting privileges can be negotiated with a job candidate.
Nicholas Haystings, executive director of Square Root Academy, says he has had two goals since he was a kid: to become an engineer and to give back to the community.
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Rosie Dauz was elected president of the Philippine National Day Association, an organization that works to empower and promote equity in the Filipino community, around the time COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.
Laurelin Gilmore weaves zodiac and earthy elements to show the connectivity humans have to nature.
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Lindsay Swearingen was introduced to needle and thread at 8 years old, when her mother taught her how to cross-stitch. She was young and didn’t stick with it, but “about eight years ago, I picked it back up around when there was a resurgence of embroidery and fiber art,” she says.
Based in Auburn, the Common Cider Company produces around 75,000 gallons of hard cider monthly. Owner Fran Toves began brewing cider on a dare in 2012.
Mentored by Ricardo Favela of the Royal Chicano Air Force artist collective, Manuel Fernando Rios describes his artwork as “neo-Expressionist, neo-Chicano, mixed in with pop culture.” His solo show scheduled for May has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but he is continuing to make new work.
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Cole uses mixed media — watercolor, gouache, colored pencils and vinyl paint — to create vulnerable, delicate and harsh portraits that reflect the way women are viewed in art and society and how the artist digests it all.
Alice Sauro became executive director of the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera in 2015, during what she calls the Philharmonic & Opera’s “dark season.”
When Nicole Montna Van Vleck, president and CEO of Montna Farms, left the family farm to go to college and start her career, she didn’t think that she’d return.
“If you had told me 30 years ago I would be a professional photographer, I’d be professionally working with dogs, I would have laughed,” Halbert says. “Now that I’m here, this is the only place I should be.”
Unlike a typical orchard with rows of olive trees, Coldani Olive Ranch’s olives are grown on trellises, resulting in dense, long walls of olives for its oil label, Calivirgin.
If you have been to Sacramento in the past few decades, there is a good chance you have encountered artwork by Stephanie Taylor.
“We are flower nerds to the max here,” Melissa Cowan, owner of Placerville Flowers on Main says. “We squeal on the daily when new products come in or when seasons change.”
Belonging to two places and not quite fitting into either is a familiar feeling for many first-generation Americans.
A latex unicorn mask hangs on the back wall near the window of Katherine Bardis-Miry and Rachel Bardis’ shared office.
“We’re kind of weird,” Katherine laughs.
Julie Clements worked for 15 years as a veterinarian technician in Alaska, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the San Francisco Zoo before moving to Sacramento to be a full-time ceramic fine artist.
The walls of Conscious Creamery’s commercial kitchen in Sacramento’s Del Paso Heights neighborhood are lined with stainless steel freezers, constantly humming loud and keeping chef Andrea Seppinni’s plant-based gelato frozen.
Because of some bold moves on his part and the exposure and connectivity that social media provides, Brandon Gastinell has transitioned from doing street art to work for major film studios and musicians.
Wever-Glen says he wants to stoke a sense of wonder in his viewers, often with surreal results — “kind of like a dreamscape.”
Vintage suitcases, canteens, metal carrying cases and wooden boxes of varying colors and sizes occupy nearly every inch of a ceiling-scratching shelf in Kaden Hill’s suburban Sacramento garage workshop.
The charming effect of the forest finds its way into her ceramic sculpture, along with her greatest inspirations, her two children, ages 11 and 7, and her formative years being surrounded by the urban environment in Southern California.
Natalie McKeever creates fine-art digital video, abstract and without narrative, with analog collages that are digitally manipulated to put the viewer in a meditative state.
Angela Tannehill considers herself lucky. Although the Elk Grove-based graphic designer of more than 26 years earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts, she only began working as an artist a few years ago, and now her mixed-media work is drawing the attention of private art collectors, art consultants and public-art project organizers.