Community Portrait

Artists in Residence share creative visions

By: Michael Kirby
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They are a special group of artists in the community. They are the Artists In Residence and they each have a studio/gallery in The Arts Building in Downtown Auburn. Very secure in their creative disciplines, they are there for each other for support or bouncing ideas, much like roommates sharing a large home. These six individuals depend on each other to stretch and improve their artistic boundaries while seeking new facets of their already polished styles. The artists are: Cathy Cline, jeweler; Sondra Hersh, painter; Reif Erickson, pastel artist; Larry Ortiz, ceramicist; Linda Green, figurative painter; and Stan Padilla, multi media painter and jeweler. The Artist in Residence program is one of two resident artist programs that is organized by PlacerArts, a non-profit countywide catalyst for the arts and humanities that sponsors art activities for artists and the public in Placer County, as stated in their brochure. “The Artist In Residence program here originally started independently and with the support of the Placer Community Foundation last year, these artists are developing the habit of working more together, and while they pursue their individual craft, they meet monthly inspiring and feeding off each other’s ideas,” said Angela Tahti, PlacerArts executive director. The Artists In Residence are finishing up their year with a showing of the results of their collaborations in a group show entitled, “New Works, New Beginnings” in The Arts Building, running now through Jan. 8. Shawn Baldwin is the program manager for The Arts Building Gallery, and is the curator of this show, Tahti said. As a group their first project of the year together was to make ceramic self-portrait masks of their faces, facilitated by Larry Ortiz. “We all worked together which was very team building, because most of us were out of our elements,” said residence artist Sondra Hersh. “Most of us had never worked with clay.” Each of the artists was encouraged to find their own style in a medium that was unfamiliar to them. The artists will be showing their work together in the main room in The Arts Building, with the pieces woven together by Baldwin. “Each of the artists has kept a journal from the beginning of the year with their notes and sketches, which may or may not lead to a completed piece. It will also be displayed in the show, letting viewers get a glimpse of the creative process that goes on behind the scenes as pieces are completed,” Hersh said. Viewers will be able to see how each artist conceives an idea and is inspired, as they worked to complete a piece. “Within the frameworks of ‘New Works, New Beginnings,’ we each stretched ourselves to explore a new path and we have shared ideas that have helped our work progress,” said Hersh. The Arts Building is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at 808 Lincoln Way in Auburn for show viewing.