Spotlight Columns

California brings out the best in artists, past and present

By From page B2 | February 05, 2014

“Walk on the Wild Side” at the Folsom Quilt and Fiber Guild’s 29th annual show. This quilt will be raffled off to one lucky winner. Photo courtesy of Folsom Quilt and Fiber Guild

Perhaps it’s the light here: clean, bright and bold.

Perhaps it’s the pioneer spirit: fresh and unafraid.

Call it what you will, art created in California has its own flavor.

There are three events this month that celebrate California art. 

‘Walk on the Wild Side’

The first is this weekend, Feb. 7 and 8. The 29th annual Folsom Quilt and Fiber Guild Show’s “Walk on the Wild Side.”

And what a “walk” this is! This year’s raffle quilt is simply stunning: fresh, bold colors in modern and traditional design. A horned owl perches in a hollow tree, as “flying geese” travel the quilt border.

This show, held at the Folsom Community Center at 52 Natoma Street, is a destination show. Over 200 quilts will be on show. It is a juried art show. The best of the best come to this one…consider this a “Super Bowl” of quilt shows. Both men and women will find this walk most interesting. Expect to spend several hours.

Visit for admission and hours. 

‘Abstract Impressionism’

The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento is currently celebrating the work of an internationally acclaimed California native. “Sam Francis: Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism from California Collections” features a colorful collection of the artist’s paintings.

This work is bright, lively and imaginative. The exhibit includes early works from the 1940s, but is mainly dedicated to Francis’ work created between the 1950s up to his death in 1994. Walk through this one, and you’ll swear you see Francis’ influence in the pop art of the 1950s and the 1980s.

This exhibit runs through April 20. Visit for admission, hours and directions. 

‘Artist and Adventurer’

For an almost surrealistic blast from the past, check out another exhibit at the Crocker: “Jules Tavernier, Artist and Adventurer.” This exhibit celebrates the work of a Victorian Parisian who came to California and made his mark.

Trained in the French Barbizon aesthetic, Tavernier applied his talents to painting scenes of the American West. This exhibit will showcase the artist’s entire career through 100 paintings and works on paper.

There will be early illustrations created for “Harper’s Weekly,” paintings of Native American subjects, scenes of the early San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey Peninsula.

Tavernier was one of the original founders of Monterey’s earliest art colony in 1875.

Also on display will be some of Tavernier’s signature paintings, featuring exploding volcanoes in the Sandwich Islands – now Hawaii.

With the Crocker’s expanded capacity, we are now able to see larger, more complete exhibits. “Tavernier: Artist and Adventurer” is accompanied by a full-color catalogue – the first to feature Tavernier exclusively. This exhibit opens on Feb. 16 and runs through May 11.  

Send your event for consideration in Susan’s column to [email protected]

Susan Laird


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