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Local artists share their ‘California dreams’
California dreams 1
The juried exhibition includes the mixed media work “When Avocados and Corn Dream” by Jon Nichols of Turlock.

Area artists’ works — including five from Turlock — about the ‘California experience’ are highlighted in the new juried exhibition in the Carnegie Arts Center’s Lobby Galleries.

California dreams 2
The juried exhibition includes “California Valley Ancestors” in colored pencil by Debra Drake of Hughson, among many other local artists.

The dream of success has brought millions of people to California – dreams of gold, celebrity, and creative freedom have fueled the imaginations of adventurers, entrepreneurs, and artists from around the world. The myth of California as a place of peace and prosperity goes back to the time of the conquistadors with tales of Queen Califia and her island of gold. In more modern times, the lure of stardom in Hollywood and the promise of opportunity in Silicon Valley have drawn aspirants of all sorts. Since John Muir’s first visit, naturalists and rock climbers have made pilgrimages to the Yosemite Valley, while those seeking the freedom to experiment and express themselves have flocked to San Francisco since the 1960s. In our dreams of a better life, California may appear to be the “Golden Ticket” state.

The environment, people, economy, and mythology of California all provide rich subject matter for artists.

“We asked artists to explore their California dreams. How they see our state, with its promises past and present,” stated Lisa McDermott, Director of the Carnegie Arts Center. “Artists responded with a wealth of imagery and interpretations of the theme. We are excited at the variety in media and vision represented in the show.”

Fifty-five works by 39 artists were selected from over 140 submissions. The exhibition includes paintings, photographs, prints, drawings, watercolors, mixed media, pastels, ceramics, glass, and fabric arts. Subjects range from our state’s iconic landscapes to more personal stories of growth, loss, struggle, and wonder.

Juror for the exhibition was Jonathan Bock, an artist, business owner and non-profit leader with a lifetime passion for the arts. With a BFA degree in printmaking and art history from Indiana University and an MFA degree from California Institute of the Arts, his artwork includes drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, experimental film and video, animation, and interactive media. He is owner of Williams Gallery West in Oakhurst, specializing in American and international fine art and folk art; and Stellar Gallery, specializing in Fine Art Photography.

He is president and founding director of Sierra Art Trails, a California non-profit organization dedicated to promoting artists and artisans in the Sierra Foothills, and executive director of the non-profit organization Yosemite Renaissance, dedicated to promoting the arts in Yosemite National Park and the California Sierra Nevada region. In 2020, Bock founded Yosemite Gateway Art Center, dedicated to community involvement in the arts and cultural tourism.

The exhibition will run through Jan. 21, 2023. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission to the Lobby Gallery is free. The Carnegie is located at 250 N. Broadway, Turlock.


Artists included in the Exhibition:

Anna Barber, Ripon

Mel Beach, San Jose

Tommi Lou Carosella, Modesto

Susan Conner, Altaville

Katherine Crinklaw, Newman

David Dolan, Modesto

Debra Drake, Hughson

Jennifer Fosgate, Merced

Denie Fuller, Pleasant Hill

Barbara Gill, Modesto

Chella Gonsalves, Modesto

Veronica Gross, Los Gatos

Kate Jackson, Merced

Mary-Jane Kiskinen, Modesto

Jared Langley, Modesto

Larry Lew, Modesto

Lisa Livingston, Modesto

Loren Lukens, Merced

Catherine McLean, Modesto

Geneva Mello, Lodi

Denise Oyama Miller, Fremont

Jon Nichols, Turlock

Monica Ocegueda, Turlock

Darrell O’Sullivan, Galt

Michelle Park, Turlock

Lynn Sarraille, Turlock

Steven Showers, Oakdale

Sue Siefkin, Modetso

Kyle Silligman, Vernalis

Susan Slesinger, Seal Beach

Ileana Soto, San Leandro

Michael Souza, Turlock

Henrietta Sparkman, Modesto

J.C. Strote, Lodi

Jim Taylor, Coarsegold

Nina Thomson, Sacramento

Christopher Viney, Atwater

Monique Wales, Oakhurst

James Weber, Waterloo