Peacekeeper by Camille VandenBerge


Artist recalls life as ‘Kid in the Candy Store’

By From page B3 | September 05, 2017

In the 1960s a small gallery on Sutter Street in Folsom called The Candy Store showcased artists that later became forerunners of the famous Funk Art ceramics movement, including Peter VandenBerge, David Gilhooly, Robert Arneson, Clayton Bailey, Maya Peebles and others. As a little girl, Camille VandenBerge often accompanied her famous father to the gallery and later became an acclaimed artist on her own.

Kid in the Candy Store at Gallery at 48 Natoma will highlight Camille VandenBerge’s new sculptures and will include selected pieces from some of these legendary artists.

As a special feature to accompany this exhibit, the gallery arranged for Peter VandenBerge, professor emeritus from UC Davis and California State University, Sacramento, to teach a special two-week ceramic workshop to the students in the advanced ceramics classes at Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom. The work created in this unique class is on display in the adjacent Community Gallery.

The exhibit will open on Sept. 8 with a free artist’s reception, 6 to 8 p.m., with refreshments, wine and live flute and harp music by Francesca Anderson and Jaquelyn Venter.  The exhibit will continue through Nov. 2.

Camille’s work is largely inspired by her experiences in the Dutch woods as well as her interest in northern European folklore. Charged with intuitive complexity and emotional depth her new work celebrates the human spirit, while balancing the ponderous solidity of monumental sculpture against delicacy and lightness. Sculptures of tall, elongated female figures are densely textured and stained with lovely pastel colors. The stylized expressions on her figures are dreamy and serene; their waif-like faces juxtaposed to their tall, stretched-thin torsos. Many of the sculptures include small animals, flowers and vegetables. In her female figures she attempts to transfigure the vitality of nature that she associates with the fertile powers of women.

Camille VandenBerge holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UC Davis and undergraduate studies in dramatic arts and psychology from UCLA.  Her work has been widely exhibited and commissioned throughout California, the United States, Japan and Italy. Most notably her work can be seen locally at the Crocker Museum in Sacramento and several of her public art pieces are at the Sacramento International Airport and the Sacramento Embassy Suites Hotel just before the entrance to the Tower Bridge.

The Gallery at 48 Natoma is managed by the Folsom Parks and Recreation Department and showcases art by regional and national professional artists, area museum collections and traveling exhibitions — offering high quality original art exhibits to the community that otherwise may not be experienced in this area.

The gallery is free and open to the public and art is available for purchase. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with additional hours Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and second Saturdays of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Free tours can be arranged by appointment. For more information contact Cindy Abraham at (916) 355-7285 or [email protected].

Cindy Abraham


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