Monday, January 10, 2011

2nd Saturday Art Hop of Redding, California - January 8th, 2011

The 2nd Saturday Art Hop of Redding, California was much more fun than I expected it to be.  Strange way to start a posting on the highlights of the event, I know...but it is the truth and I am a pretty honest person.  I had expected there to be lots of beautiful art, which there was plenty of, but what was surprising to me was the vibe all around.  There was excitement in the air and lots of happy people!  Who wouldn't want to hang around?

I started the 2nd Saturday Art Hop at Dennis Hakides' gallery known as Gallery833 Fine Art located at 833 Mistletoe Lane Suite A4.  Mr. Halkides' was kind enough to feature Paul Higley, a phenomenal landscape photographer for January's Art Hop.

I have to start by saying that I was crazy impressed by Paul Higley, and if you had the opportunity to meet him, along with take a look at a few of the pieces he had on display, you would be saying the same thing. It was refreshing to me to speak to an artist who was so honest, shared his techniques, friendly, knowledgeable, and just a "real" person.

Mr. Higley found that he was interested in photography in his college years at Sacramento State, where he had to fight for a degree in photography.  Paul Higley was quite obsessive with his photography in the beginning, but since has had a family and become more obsessed with them.  He still loves going out into nature where he is inspired to create these fantastic images of his.  Mr. Higley enjoys landscape photography since he loves to be near mountains, fishing, and those solitary moments that seem to occur when alone surrounded by the great beauty of nature.

Currently Paul is working towards the Fine Gallery Scene, he has been very successful with "stock photography", but is ready to make that leap into fine art.  It is very important that his pictures represent what he actually saw that day, so there is very minimal use of editing programs.  He wants people viewing his art to truly see the "real experience".  To achieve such outstanding results Paul told me that he does get up incredibly early and will find the perfect location to shoot and simply wait for the that is serious dedication.  Especially since one of his works was of a snowy mountain side with the moon peeking through, just think of how cold it must of been to get that shot.  Dedication.

Thank you Paul Higley for sharing with me all the wonderful pieces you had along with the very enjoyable conversation.  I love to learn from experienced photographers and I certainly took interest in everything you had to say to me.  Also, a huge thank you for Dennis Hakides owner of 833Gallery, without people like Mr. Hakides around it would be difficult for artists to be seen and heard.

Some of the pictures I took of Paul Higley's work have reflections on them, so please check his actual works out here to be seriously impressed.  My favorite of the night on display can be found here, truly amazing!  The light hitting the rocks is perfect in every way!


Next on my list was to check out the Westside Performing Arts Company which was the entertainment at Leatherby's located at 1637 Market Street.  I peeked into the window before I even enter the ice cream parlor and noticed it was super packed inside.  Such a good sign! 

First up to perform was Steven Kline and Chris Gomez.  They decided upon improve and were quite talented. They played the "ABC Game" and had tons of laughter from the audience.  The duo was witty, hilarious, crazy fast thinkers, and a little Keaunu Reeves like!

After that, Ben Mansickle was up to perform a dramatic reenactment of Julius Cesar.  He didn't even require a microphone, I guess that is what happens after 15 years of performing.  Ben kept great eye contact, perfect accent, and was very believable.  His last play he performed in was called "Only Christmas Padget in Town" at Rivers.  He co-directed, helped design the set, and was an actor.  Busy guy!

The next performer was Marcos Quiroz who was playing the acoustic guitar.  Wow!  He was amazing playing Flamenco style music.  Just watching him you could really tell he loved his craft.  Through his set my foot was tapping as I took in the beautiful songs he was playing.  Such a young talent that I felt honored to be able to watch.

Bill Colling's was the announcer for the evening and he had a winning personality.  He has put his time in, 47 years in coffee houses in San Francisco.  Let me tell you, this guy was very funny, and not afraid to poke fun at himself.

Up next was another treat for the ears...Trish Harris sung "I Have Confidence" from the "Sound of Music".  It was amazing, she sounded just like Julie was wonderful.  This April Trish has a show at the Cascade Theater so be sure to check it out!

Last up was Sean B'Kroff doing a dramatic reading from his cell phone.  Yes, you heard me right...his cell phone.  The performance included multiple emails that he had received and he read them for our benefit.  He ended on a high note when he had responded to an email asking for his personal information.  Of course he supplied it since he is such a trusting man, then his last email was that he had no funds in his bank account.  Very funny and a lot of fun to watch.

Leatherby's is a great place to bring the entire family for some free entertainment and not to mention delicious food, drinks, and the good ice cream.  And I noticed on their website that they have free Wi-Fi next time you need some good eats and the net, you will know where to go.  It is so awesome that there are so many local businesses that are willing to share their space with all the different artists around.  Thank you Leatherby's!!!  Also, a huge thanks to The Westside Performing Company for all the fantastic entertainment.

On to the Vintage , my next stop, which is located at 1790 Market Street.  Again, another packed place.  There weren't even any seats left in the front part of the building.  Everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves and the beautiful paintings of Raette Meredith.  She was standing in the corner of the restaurant painting a beautiful landscape for the Redding?  How cool is that?  Raette specializes in original paintings, commissions, and murals.

She was telling me about some work she had done in Red Bluff that were massive.  One in particular required scaffolding...that big!  She also told me she is able to complete a large mural of this scale in 2 weeks, dependent on weather.  The mural at Anderson High School is hers, along with a 64ft by 20ft mural at West Valley High School in Cottonwood.

Not only does she do commercial buildings, but specializes in home interiors as well.  There was one home mural imp articular that she showed me of a tree with flowers all around it...beautiful.  Currently she is working on painting a concrete floor with acrylic paint in her home.

She has always been into art, over 19 years, but in the last 7 years she has concentrated more on painting.  Raette in an illustrative emotional artist.  She has been accepted to Chico State to major in Fine Art and minor in Business.

Be sure to check out her website for more information.  Thank you Raette for taking time out to talk to me about your passion.  I so enjoyed walking through the Vintage and enjoying all of your beautiful paintings.  I have to also say that the Vintage was a blast!  Full of life, live band, artist in the corner painting, people eating, laughing, and having the perfect night.  Again, we are all lucky to have local businesses like the Vintage to host different artists.

Like I said earlier, I am a very honest person.  After I left the Vintage I had full intentions on going to Tapa's for their featured artist.  But, when I got out of my car I heard live music coming from Oregon Street Antiques located at 1261 Oregon Street.  This music was beckoning me in, so I quickly forgot about Tapa's...sorry, and strolled into the antique store.  I followed the music and found the featured artist, Shaun Smith who creates Visionistic Art.  His art was amazing, so much emotion behind it.  The colors are nothing like what I captured on film, they are way more vivid in person. 

Shaun told me that a couple hours before the Arthop that he asked his friends to come down with him and play some music.  Shaun has been playing guitar for 15 years and painting for 10 years.  The singer of the group was Devin Johnston, who is local to Redding.  The sax was played by Tyler Spencer, who is local also.  The three of them playing together was really nice, and filled  the whole HUGE antique building with music.

Shaun feels inspired to paint since he "can go where ever he wants with his paintings".  His paintings definitely have an island vibe and intensity to them.  Shaun is a self taught artist, full of great talent.  Be sure to contact him to check out his amazing paintings at or call him at 530-646-5814.

Thank you Shaun along with your friends for letting me ask my questions and admire your art and music.  Another thanks needs to go out to one of Redding's biggest buildings I have ever been in...Oregon Street Antiques.  This place is amazing!  If you are looking for that special item, you need to come here.  Casey has been the owner since 2007, and her Mom became partner last May.  There are 86 dealers there, each with their own unique space that they are allowed to fill with their treasures.

This last little group of pictures were from downtown Redding as I was walking from place to place and some from inside of Oregon Street Antiques. 

To close...I had so much fun going all over and so look forward to doing it again next month.  Thanks for taking the time to check out my little blog and have a good rest of your day!  Oh!  And be sure to go to the next 2nd Saturday Art Hop of Redding on February 12th, you will have a great time.  As my good friend Kelly would say, "Do It!!"

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