By Judi Hussain
What happens to creative people when the world shuts down? They make art, of course! With local venues beginning to open up and with the acquisition of a new-to-them building for her business, airbrush artist Sheila Boyd had a grand idea. She found herself with the space, resources, connections and the vision to call together thirteen local artists and authors for an Art Exhibit and Book Faire. The response came swiftly. Everyone, it seems, finds the need for artistic expression among friends new and old.
The event takes place Saturday, June 12 from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, June 13 from 11 am to 4 pm at Bodys by Boyd, 49643 Hartwell Road, Oakhurst. On Saturday Matsumoto Samurai’s Kitchen offers food for purchase (11 am to 3 pm), and Yosemite Wine Tails pours a selection of beverages from 2 pm to 5 pm. Admission to the event is free.
All presenters are mountain-area residents, displaying the rich array of talent that our region inspires, and the venue forms an eclectic mix of body shop and art studio/gallery. When Jeff and Sheila Boyd discovered this hidden Oakhurst gem, Sheila’s vision became reality, where she has a full-time gallery to display her work, as well as that of other artists. She also features the written work of local authors.
Sheila says, “I was born to be an artist. I was coloring, wall muraling (much to my mother’s displeasure), crafting and imagining a whole world around me that I shared through my art.” Her biggest influence was her introduction to airbrush, which set her on a journey of painting show cars, motorcycles, leather goods, makeup, wall murals and much more. When husband Jeff gave her a gift of retirement, he also encouraged her to paint for herself whatever is in her heart.
Authors in attendance include Sunny Marie Baker (historical romance), Kathleen Gorman (children’s literature), EP Jones (psychological thrillers), Sandra Masters (regency novels), Vicki Thomas (young adult) and Lori Tierney (memoir).
Artists span the media gamut from sculpture (Norma Rogers) to painting with oils and pastels (Lura Schwarz Smith), watercolor, pencil, charcoal and chalk by Barbara Liss, photography by Wendy Denton, Tricia Nickerson and Kerby Smith.
Most impressive, these artists and authors are “of an age,” between the Boomer and Gen X years, keeping themselves vital and engaged through their chosen forms of expression. Most began their creative endeavors early on and have continued to evolve through the years.
Norma Rogers found her home in three dimensions, with her true loves: molten metal and glass. She says that hot glass is always a surprise and a source of great satisfaction in the loss of control it brings.
Lura Schwarz Smith began as a textile artist, receiving numerous awards during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.Since then she has turned her focus to painting with oils and pastels. She cites exploring the imagination and inner life through figurative art as a primary interest.
Kerby Smith finds his current passion in bird photography. During his working years as a photojournalist he garnered numerous awards for documentary images published in newspapers, magazines and on the wire services.
Wendy expresses her reliance on her photography as a connection to the world. “Over the last 30+ years I have often used the camera as my conduit with the world, my way of connecting while remaining separate. My images have usually had intensely personal meaning, except for one rather bizarre departure into wedding photography that didn’t last long.”
Lori Tierney recently published her debut novel, TRUDGE: A Midlife Crisis on the John Muir Trail, as a memoir of her 2004 journey along the John Muir Trail, where she determined to “find herself.” Lori is forced to dig deep within herself to find the inner strength to complete the journey through the words of her husband, “even ordinary people can do extraordinary things.”
Vicki Thomas bridges both author and artist categories with her young adult series of books as well as her art in watercolor and acrylics. She loves to paint children, bright flowers and floral still-life. She has published two of the seven books planned for her Relics Adventure series (young adult fantasy).
When Sunny Marie Baker grew up as an only child in Missouri, her imagination and creative abilities kept loneliness at bay. The writing began then but has never stopped. In earlier years she published numerous short stories and now has a series of historical romances in print, the Texas Strong series, Cora’s Promise, Claree’s Plan and Camille’s Purpose.
Likewise, Beth Jones, writing as EP Jones—a lifelong resident of the Oakhurst area—has always created stories to entertain friends and family. Now she directs her passion about exposing the evils of child abuse and human trafficking into her series of psychological thrillers.
“I’ve been an artist all of my life,” says Barbara Liss, “working in a variety of media, including oil, watercolor, pencil, charcoal and chalk.” Her favorite themes include animals, birds, landscapes and seascapes.
In contrast, Kathleen Gorman can’t recall when she said I want to be a writer, and throughout her journey, her family has stood by her side while her village of writing friends keeps her on track. Her inspiration for her children’s books comes from watching the joy children demonstrate while listening to stories.
Sandra Masters retired from a career in risk management and human resources. She said she traded boardrooms for the ballrooms of the Regency era and never looked back. She’s published six spicy regency novels via the Wild Rose Press. She says she writes about broken hearts, collects broken teapots and creates magical love stories.
Eight years ago, Tricia Nickerson captured via camera the details of a hummingbird in flight. From that day forward she began to see a different world through the eye of her lens. One that requires time, patience, good light and technical knowledge. In retirement, her happy place is behind the camera.
There is something for everyone in this magical display of inner souls captured in outward art forms. For further information, contact Sheila Boyd at 559/642-2955 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.