Hidden Talents: Artistic skills of county employees highlighted at Gallery 625

The hidden talents of 10 Yolo County employees will be featured in the end-of-the-year art show at Gallery 625 in Woodland. Responding to a call for art sent to Yolo County employees, these civil servants responded with artistic expressions created in their “other lives.” The show opens Friday, December 1 at Gallery 625 in Woodland.

The participating artists are Echoe Comacho, Julie Cross, Harrison Furmidge, Shauna Heidelberger, Shuqin Jiao, Margaret Kronenberg, Leslie Lindbo, Jennifer Morrissey, Roberto Paniagua and Rebecca Tyron.

The “day job” titles of these hidden-talent artists include Regional Library Supervisor, Deputy Coroner, Behavioral Health Case Manager, Technical Support Specialist, and Director of Community Services. The works of art in the exhibition are equally varied, ranging from drawings, paintings and photography to printmaking, poetry, and fiber art. Also featured are two examples of miniature art, including a “tiny town market” and hand-painted tabletop gaming figures.  For many of these county workers, this is the first time they are publicly exhibiting their art.

Roberto Paniagua, Los Colores de Centro America, Silkscreen print

“We are pleased to bring back this exhibit by popular demand because there are so many Yolo County employees with hidden talents,” says YoloArts Creative Director Janice Purnell. “This is an opportunity to share their creativity with the larger community.”

Despite their varied job titles, they share a passion for art in their lives, although their reasons are as individual as their artistic creations.  “I find art-and-crafting extremely soothing. It’s the one time my brain isn’t racing ahead to the next thing,” says Julie Cross, an Executive Assistant.

“I don’t have any art training background,” says Shuquin Jiao, the Regional Library Supervisor, “but I love nature and I am curious to explore things that I find interesting.  The digital pictures I make are easy to share via social media to my friends’ group. I like to share what I see that may bring people joy.”

“Through the silkscreen process, I am able to express and advocate my voice for my Salvadoran community,” says Roberto Piniagua, an Associate Procurement and Contract Services Specialist. “As an ‘artivist’, my art is displayed on these walls and shared with my rural Yolo county community.”

Rebecca Tyron, Fire Dancer, Photography

The show runs from December 1 through January 30, 2024. There will be a ‘Meet the Artists Reception’ at the opening on Friday, Dec. 1 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Julie Dachtler, Yolo County Deputy Clerk, will play holiday favorites on the piano.

Gallery 625 hosts exhibitions and receptions every other month and is located at 625 Court Street in Woodland, in Yolo County’s Erwin Meier Administration building. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information contact YoloArts at 530-309-6464 or ya@yoloarts.org.

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