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Art Works Gallery welcomes three new artists


Art Works Gallery welcomes artist Michelle Jewett who started her painting journey using acrylics/mixed media many years ago. In the last few years, she has been discovering and experimenting with fluid acrylics. Using acrylic paints in fluid form, Michelle is able to explore color, organic shapes and movements in a different immediate way. She is drawn to pieces with negative space, which she feels create elegant and intriguing compositions. Her work is often inspired by natural landscapes, such as mountains, flowing water, coastlines, flowers and colors. Michelle finishes her paintings with resin to bring out the depth of color. Everyone sees something different in Michelle’s abstract work. What will you see? Come to the Gallery to find out or check out her website at www.michellejewettart.com.

Art Works Gallery welcomes artist Michelle Jewett who started her painting journey using acrylics/mixed media many years ago.
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Michelle Jewett’s painting "Winter Storm.“
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Art Works is also welcoming artist Beth Leydon, who since childhood has been a maker and creator. Guided by her mother, she learned a variety of “old school” needle crafts and sewing her own clothing was almost a necessity due to her freakishly long limbs. As a student she took every art class she could fit into her schedule. As a practicing psychotherapist and life coach, she sees creativity as essential to healing and living a joyful life.

In 2011 she was exposed to a simple felting technique and dove headlong into this ancient and ever evolving textile art form. She crafts one-of-a-kind pieces utilizing wet and “nuno” felting processes. Wool, yarn, silk and other fibers are transformed into functional and wearable art. Scarves, hats, slippers, vests, purses and decorative vessels are just a handful of items that she produces. View her work at www.fibergarten.com.

Art Works is also welcoming artist Beth Leydon, who since childhood has been a maker and creator.
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Felt work by artist Beth Leydon.
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And finally, Art Works Gallery welcomes back Kathy Wronski who originally joined the gallery in 2010 and after a three year break has returned.

Painting in oils, her favorite subjects are animals and local scenes. For the past 20 years, custom pet portraits have kept her busy shipping her paintings throughout the country. Kathryn’s favorite palette is full of bright, colorful oils adding whimsy to many of her paintings. Her greeting cards and prints are also back at the gallery. “I love creating art that makes people smile and smiles are in high demand these days!”

You can find her info at the gallery or email Kathryn at kwronski@sbcglobal.net for information on her custom work.

Art Works Gallery welcomes back Kathy Wronski who originally joined the gallery in 2010 and after a three year break has returned.
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“Corner of Broad and York” by artist Kathy Wronski.
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About Art Works

Art Works Gallery is an award winning artists cooperative, voted Best Art Gallery by The Union readers for the past six years. The gallery is currently open seven days a week. Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are following CDC guidelines to keep our staff and customers safe. If you prefer to shop online you can find us at https://www.artworksgalleryco-op.com/


WHO: Michelle Jewett – Beth Leydon – and returning Kathryn Wronski

WHAT: Welcome to Art Works Gallery

WHEN: Beginning Sept. 29

WHERE: Art Works Gallery, 113 Mill Street

MORE INFO: www.artworksgalleryco-op.com


Male Voice Choir has new musical director


After 25 years under the direction of Eleanor Kenitzer, the Grass Valley Male Voice Choir is emerging from the pandemic under the direction of accomplished local musician George Husaruk.

Kenitzer will continue leading the Cornish Carol Choir during the Christmas holidays, but has retired as director of the men’s choir and turned the conductor’s baton over to Husaruk.

“George is the kind of energetic leader the group needs to move forward as our lives finally begin to return to normal,” Kenitzer said. “I know that under his leadership, they will be able to attract new, younger members while still continuing to honor the traditions of the group.”

Husaruk began his musical training on the violin at the age of 6 in Montreal, Canada, later adding lessons in flute and recorder. After moving with his parents to Los Angeles in 1960, he performed in school bands, then graduated with a BA in Economics and a minor in Music from UCLA. He received his teaching credential from CSU Los Angeles and later enrolled in that school’s Master of Music program.

In addition to directing school and church bands and choirs in Tulare and Mendocino counties, Husaruk also taught guitar, the histories of classical and rock music, math and science.

Husaruk moved with his wife Katharine to Nevada City in 2019. He is a member of the Nevada County Concert Band, two folk-Americana groups, a jazz and a rock band, and plays music at the Nevada City United Methodist Church with the group Spirit Rising.

“We have big plans for the choir, possibly including a name change,” said Husaruk, “and I’m excited to be part of this new evolution of the group.” The choir is presently scheduled to present a Christmas concert at Peace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18, in accordance with public health directives in place at that time.

Recently retired director of the Grass Valley Male Voice Choir Eleanor Kenitzer looks with approval at their new director George Husaruk.
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‘World-class music’: InConcert Sierra honors outgoing board president

InConcert Sierra, a Nevada County classical chamber music presenter, wants to give a well-deserved shout-out to Monroe Lovelady, who recently stepped down as president of its board after serving in that capacity for the past five years. Not only did Monroe effectively shepherd InConcert through the productive growth years of 2016 to early 2020, but he guided the organization’s successful maneuvers through tough times when COVID-19 suddenly canceled everything, including a concert featuring the internationally renowned co-directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center that was scheduled for the upcoming weekend.

Monroe was born in the tiny rural town of Marfa, West Texas, currently one of the arts and entertainment hotspots in that state, and raised with Spanish as his first language. Because he was around native speakers, he acquired unaccented pronunciation of both English and Spanish, which proved advantageous in his later business life.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, he then moved to Dallas to work for a utility company for four years. His next move was to San Francisco to work on the Alaska Pipeline as a project engineer for Standard Oil, traveling often to the 49th state over a four-year period. During the following sixteen years, Monroe established himself as an engineering consultant, working with clients worldwide. When he grew tired of traveling, he shifted his focus to information technology consulting, working as a computer software developer for Bank of America from 2001 through 2015. He contends that he then retired.

However, Monroe continues to actively manage his own company. For twenty-five years, he has been running Axiom, an exporter of American-made industrial equipment. Many of his clients are located in South America, so his fluent Spanish is a definite asset.

Monroe took piano lessons as a child, then started again in 2008 when he met Aileen James, the former executive director of the American Pianist Association, who was active with InConcert Sierra. He continues as a part of the Piano Workshop, a group of experienced pianists, formerly led by Aileen and now directed by Ken Hardin, InConcert’s Artistic Director. As a kid, Monroe loved all kinds of music, but wasn’t exposed to classical music; he developed his love for classical music as an older adult. He’s now been exposed to the full gamut in the Piano Workshop, from early Baroque to modern day (but has never developed an affinity for Mozart).

He moved to Nevada County in 1989, building a house in Penn Valley. He was introduced to InConcert by a friend who brought him to a concert; Monroe was impressed by the world class quality of the music and welcoming ambiance. He joined the board of InConcert in 2009, became president in 2016, then stepped down in June of 2021 to his present board position of “past president” and member of the executive committee. He says that the position of president was a lot of work, but very gratifying; “It’s a privilege to be involved with InConcert Sierra because of the world class music that the organization presents.” Monroe notes that his predecessors had shaped a solvent, successful non-profit, and he wanted to keep doing more of the same. He believes he has passed on a well-run organization to new board president.

As if being president of the board didn’t consume enough time, he has undertaken a number of other responsibilities, both in and outside of InConcert. Because he is a foodie and loves cooking and eating (as well as acquiring and consuming good wine), Monroe developed the Taste of Classics — a series of InConcert events featuring a gourmet dinner cooked by a well-known chef and accompanied by live classical music— and has also been the maestro behind many food needs at InConcert events. He also volunteers for Sierra Stages, a local theater company. And now that InConcert has moved into new offices in the Whispering Pines Industrial Park, Monroe has spent hours setting up all the technology for the office, including Wi-Fi, entry security and surveillance. In his “free time,” he likes to tinker with cars and gadgets as well as maintain his ranch and horses.

So, thank you very much, Monroe, from all those who love and appreciate InConcert Sierra. But be assured, we won’t let you get far away.

Hindi Greenberg is president of the Board of InConcert Sierra

InConcert Sierra, a Nevada County classical chamber music presenter, wants to give a well-deserved shout-out to Monroe Lovelady, who recently stepped down as president of its board after serving in that capacity for the past five years.
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Evening soiree, benefit Sunday for Wildlife Rehab & Release

A fundraiser will be held this Sunday, Sept. 26, from 3 to 8 p.m. to benefit Nevada County Wildlife Rehab and Release. The organization accepts injured wildlife and rehabilitates them for release back into the wild. Nevada County friends Marissa Turner and Chris Rector joined forced to organize the backyard “Evening Soiree and Benefit Show.” This is the first-time organizing a fundraiser for Turner, who felt the need to do something when she found out the nonprofit has been depleted of funds and has been unable to help some of the injured critters coming to them. Turner said the group needs volunteers and money, so she and Rector are doing what they can to help.

“They treat the animals they can on site but often have to transport the animals to a facility in Sacramento. Recently they have not had the funds or drivers to get the animals transported and some don’t survive,” said Turner. “Wildlife Rehab and Rescue are in desperate need of our help right now so please join us for an evening of music, food, drink and raffle!”

Live music will be provided by three individual female acts including Tamara, Iona Swift and Leta Gibney. They are mellow, beautiful voices who sing jazz, folk and Turner said, Tamara is a Spanish singer, “We actually met Tamara at the Wildlife Rehab building when she was turning in an injured bird she had found and when we told her what we were doing, she offered to come and play for us.”

The event is being held in a large outdoor area at 449 Washington Street in Nevada City. Many area businesses have donated raffle prizes for which the organizers are grateful. Turner said it’s a great way to bring the community together for a great cause. “It’s been especially nice in these difficult times to see the light in people’s eyes as they give back. It’s cool to see people being down to help in their community.“

All ages are welcome with a suggested donation of $10. The Ham Stand will be selling tapas and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. If you’re unable to join but would like to contribute to the cause, you can Venmo @animaldonate use #5401 to confirm the account. Nevada County Wildlife Rehab & Release is located on Maltman Drive in Grass Valley.

Source: Nevada County Wildlife Rehab & Release


WHO: Nevada County Wildlife Rehab & Release

WHAT: Evening Soiree and Benefit Show

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 26, from 3 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: 449 Washington Street in Nevada City

DONATE: Venmo @animaldonate use #5401 to confirm the account

Make ‘em laugh: Miners Foundry, local comedians offer final Comedy Night

“Laughter occurs in humans as a form of stress relief. It is a way to take the tension you build up in a stressful situation and when you realize there is no stress, that tension has to go somewhere, so our solar plexus and diaphragm vibrate and we project sound to release that stress in a positive way that doesn’t scare the people around you,” said local comedian Trevor Wade who admits that knowing that may be a bit obnoxious! If you’ve been thinking about attending one of the monthly comedy shows for a good laugh, your last opportunity in 2021 happens this Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Miners Foundry.

The popular shows, co-produced by the BVNKR (Trevor Wade and Michaela King) and WhimsiCorp (Jori Phillips), in partnership with The Miners Foundry, have featured new material from the trio monthly, along with performances from an ever-changing line up of additional local comedians. Finding humor amid a worldwide health crisis and an increasingly divisive community has been a positive for those who have taken advantage of the opportunity. Laughter really is the best medicine.

A weekly open mic hosted by Wade grew steadily in popularity until the pandemic shut everything down. It was a great way for comics to work on their material or to just try stand up for the first time. The BVNKR has continued with almost weekly pop-ups, meeting other would-be comedians, and featuring some of them at the Miners Foundry shows.

“We use every week to try out new material,” Wade said. “So, we are writing all the time and once a week we go in front of an audience and say, ‘Here’s the stuff I thought was funny by myself, was I right or was I wrong?’ At the Foundry, we take the best of the month plus whatever else has been kicking around and perform that in a more polished form.”

Wade and King met while performing in the award winning “Hand to God,” a Sierra Stages production. The duo formed the BVNKR as a way to get through the pandemic. Wade said, comedy was a manageable form of performing. “Comedy has the fewest number of people needed to get it done. There is no barrier to entry. All you really need is yourself and an audience. I don’t need a casting agent to give me a part or a producer to front the money for a set or a camera and if it’s not funny, I can always pass it off as spoken word, which is nice.”

Wade added the Miners Foundry also adds stellar lighting and sound which makes the experience better for everyone. 

Writing comedy is not easy in the best of times and for some, it has been especially difficult to be funny over the last year and a half, though King said in many ways, the shared experience has made for a plethora of material. “It’s challenging, but the pandemic has heightened the ability to be funny because there are these outlandish events and a lot of upheaval, not that we want to make fun of that, but we have a perspective of humor in that,” King said. “One of the most important aspects of comedy, to me, is touching on shared or common experience. We are in a time right now where, interestingly enough, the entire world, to some degree, is sharing a common experience and that is rare, and so in that sense of tapping into shared experience and acknowledging — where people can hear something that a comedian says and think ‘oh my gosh, I thought I was the only person thinking that.’ In a way, it’s given to more material and been easier.”

While King has been a longtime fan, she is fairly new to stand up. She tried it at one of those early open mic nights Wade hosted and came off the stage feeling like ‘this is the thing,” she said. “It’s super vulnerable but it’s a time where you can turn your judgement brain off and are just connecting and present and sharing with people that is really powerful and kind of addictive.”

Producing the shows has been both rewarding and challenging as the group has been working with the ever-changing COVID-19 rules, along with what feels safe and what the venue requires. The Miners Foundry has been a leader in safe practices, most recently joining other major venues in mandating proof of vaccination to attend their events.

Being that this Saturday is the last show of the series, King said she expects a ton of energy and a lot of laughs. “We have a few new comics; new material, and all of our shows have a lot of energy around them. We (Nevada County) have, per capita, a weirdly large amount of funny, energetic, talented people around us. And there is something about closing night that has some energy and oomph to it, so I’d imagine knowing we don’t get to do that again for several months, there will be an extra kick there.”

While Phillips will not be performing due to a conflict, local favorite Tom Wolfe will be in the lineup, along with two first timers to the comedy show — from the Reno area — Sara Rooker and Andrea B. Wade, who will also be celebrating a birthday, will emcee the evening. “I love hosting because I get to come out between acts and flirt with the audience.” King will headline, closing out the night.

Materiel is geared to a mature audience with adult language and topics. Wade said, “Things are only taboo when we make them taboo. So, if you have a difficult time with language or subject matter that is maybe more mature than you are ready for, that’s at your discretion, but I would encourage anybody to come and expose themselves to a new point of view.”

Tickets are $20 and include one drink. Shows are at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Reserve your seats today at www.minersfoundry.org/events.

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire, as well as a podcaster at HollieGrams. You can hear her episodes at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1332253. She can be reached at holliesallwrite@gmail.com

The popular comedy shows are co-produced by the BVNKR (Trevor Wade and Michaela King, pictured above) and WhimsiCorp (Jori Phillips), in partnership with The Miners Foundry.
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Local comedian Tom Wolfe will be in the lineup.
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First timers to the comedy show — from the Reno area — Sara Rooker and Andrea B. Wade, who will also be celebrating a birthday, will emcee the evening.
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Art house returns: The Onyx to open again for screenings, private rentals in October

It was the decision by a half dozen performing organizations to require proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend events at their venue, which paved the way for smaller stages and art houses to reopen in a safe manner. After an 18-month closure, one of those venues, The Onyx, is set to reopen on Friday, Oct. 1, with private rentals and limited seating. General admission screenings are set to open a week later.

Onyx General Manager Celine Negrete explained The Onyx is an art house as opposed to a mainstream, larger theater. “Art houses show independent, foreign language, documentary … while mainstream refers to the main Hollywood studios like Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal, the ones that show the Hollywood films. Art houses tend to be smaller because they are showing films that don’t have that Hollywood dollar behind them.” Admittedly, there are some cross over films that show in both types of venues.

There has been an art house theater in the Nevada City area for over twenty-five years. The Onyx is a continuation of The Magic Theatre under a new name. An extensive remodel completed in 2018 doubled capacity, offering two separate screens, each with under 30 seats. The Magic is now the name of one of the screening rooms. According to Negrete, the theater remains a local mainstay because the owner loves independent film.

“Jeff Clark bought The Magic back in 2001, because he didn’t want it to close. And he’s a lover of art film and really felt that it was important that Nevada City continue to have an art house movie theater here. It’s actually kind of rare for a small, rural town of our size to have its own art house theater. It’s here because Jeff is committed to having this available to the residents in Nevada City and Grass Valley. He is really the reason why it’s here.”

People seem to love the intimate experience of the small house, which comes with a stellar snack bar that carries wine, beer, organic popcorn and real butter! Patrons must be 21 years of age to attend.

While trying to find a way to reopen, management decided to offer private rentals earlier this year which was hugely popular. “Within 48 hours of announcing our first round of private rentals, we had twice as many responses as we had rentals available,” Negrete explained. “Other art houses had been shifting to private rentals for the past year and a half as a way to have some income stream, even though they couldn’t be fully open, and we finally found the time and we have the staff to do that so that is when we gave that a try.”

Given the popularity of the private rentals, the staff is dedicating one screen three times a day, seven days a week for $100 with a limit of eight patrons per rental. “We’ll have ten films to choose from,” Negrete said of the rental. The new options will be listed on their website where people can reserve the space and select their movie.

Safety protocols will be in place, with capacity at one third in both the private and public theaters. “We will be requiring proof of vaccinations for the public screenings and the private rentals will require proof of vaccination or a negative test in the past 48 hours. We added the option of a negative test so that people who are not vaccinated, for whatever reason, still had an option to be able to come and see a movie.” Adding public safety is a primary concern, the private rentals have the secondary option because those renting the space are with people they (presumably) know. “In the private rentals, you are choosing to be with these people, but in the general screenings, it is different. You are sitting with strangers, and we want to be able to attest that everybody in that room with you has shown they are fully vaccinated.” All staff will be masked, and patrons will be required to wear masks unless actively eating or drinking.

Limiting the audience to just nine patrons at a time is certainly not a cash-positive model, but Negrete said they are simply happy to be able to see people enjoying the theater again. “We have been closed for 18 months, other than that little bit of private rentals. We needed a way to start moving forward. Honestly, it was the announcement from the six live venues requiring vaccination that gave us an option to be able to be open. It cost more to be open than closed but we had to get going. We appreciated them coming out and taking that position. It allowed us to feel more comfortable following those protocols.”

Management of the theater polled patrons about what safety measures they were most interested in if they were to reopen and masks were at the top of the list, along with only fully vaccinated people at screenings. Patrons of The Onyx tend to be older and at higher risk and so the protocols were put in place as a safety measure.

Management will look at protocols on a month-to-month basis. Negrete said, they will see how it goes, stating, they are simply happy to be able to reopen, even in this limited way. She concluded, staff has missed interacting with the public. “Clearly it’s the people coming in (that we miss). The interactions that happen after the films where people want to talk to us about what they just saw. I love film so being able to have this place where people can come and be moved or touched and then share their excitement or emotion with us in that space is something all of us at the theater really miss.”

For a list of movies and private rental availability as well as the upcoming public offering, go to www.theonyxtheatre.com.

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire, as well as a podcaster at HollieGrams. You can hear her episodes at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1332253. She can be reached at holliesallwrite@gmail.com


For a list of movies and private rental availability as well as the upcoming public offering, go to www.theonyxtheatre.com.


The photo featured on the cover of this edition of Prospector was taken by Kat Alves Photography.

After an 18-month closure, one of those venues, The Onyx, is set to reopen on Friday, Oct. 1, with private rentals and limited seating. General admission screenings are set to open a week later.
Photo by Kat Alves Photography
Given the popularity of the private rentals, the staff is dedicating one screen three times a day, seven days a week for $100 with a limit of eight patrons per rental.
Photo by Kat Alves Photography
For a list of movies and private rental availability as well as the upcoming public offering, go to www.theonyxtheatre.com.
Photo by Kat Alves Photography

Learn music composition through InConcert Sierra’s Composers Project


“The feeling of listening to music can only be rivaled by the creation of music itself,” affirmed Composers Project student Jamie Thomas-Rose.

The Composers Project is a comprehensive youth music education program, sponsored by InConcert Sierra and designed by composer and Education Director Mark Vance, that teaches Thomas-Rose and his fellow students how to compose music.

The Project is a nine-month series of classes and private lessons for ages 12-25 that provides in-depth instruction in composition, notation software, conducting, melodic and rhythmic dictation, theory, harmony, music history, ear training, solfege and rehearsal/performance techniques. The students receive input and master classes from both world-renowned and regional musicians and composers who have performed for InConcert.

During the year, students create two original compositions: one piece for voice accompanied by the student’s instrument of choice and a second composition for solo instrument or ensemble. Both works are premiered by professional musicians.

Each season, a community partner is chosen for the students to learn about as inspiration for their final works. During last season’s interdisciplinary second semester, the students studied about the increasing number of wildfires in California, climate change, and what different organizations are doing to help remedy those things. Experts from the lumber industry, Cal Fire, US Forest Service, and other fire and climate scientists worked with the class. This season’s community partner will be announced shortly.

To view how extraordinary both this program and its student musicians are, the final concert for the 2021-22 season can be viewed on InConcert Sierra’s YouTube channel. Past seasons, prior to COVID, concerts were performed live for community audiences. InConcert hopes to return to this format as soon as possible.

“This is a course students will want to include on college and scholarship applications and job resumes. You will meet some influential people who may be instrumental in your pursuit of musical goals, while attending concerts that you may otherwise never hear. It is a meaningful and powerful experience,” said Vance.

Students, parents, and musicians rave about this program. One parent wrote, “I want to thank you very much for the wonderful, enriching opportunities through the Composers Project and your dedication to their learning. It’s such an enriching experience for our son!”

From student Baraka Anderson, “Thank you for continuing to teach this awesome program during the pandemic over Zoom. I look forward to the next year of being in the Composers Project.”

Pianist and InConcert’s Artistic Director Ken Hardin said, “I love performing the works these young students compose. I wish there had been a course like this when I was a teenager; it would have been incredible.”

The first Zoom class meeting is scheduled for Saturday morning, Sept. 18, 10 a.m. to noon. Classes will be both in-person and via Zoom, dependent on public health guidelines.

The nine-month course is $1,200 for new students and $1,100 for returning students. Payment plans are available. Applications are currently being accepted online at https://www.inconcertsierra.org/composers-project/. Late applicants are also accepted.

Source: InConcert Sierra

Composers Project ensemble from July 2021 videotaping of final composition, from left, Kristen Autry, viola; Zoe Schlussel, violin; Eliza Hagy, composer & violin; Jia-mo Chen, cello.
Photo by Craig Silberman
Composers Project class field trip with Joe Flannery of United States Forest Service.
Photo by Craig Silberman

Musical landscape for young people


As a lifelong musician and lover of music, I’ve spent a good deal of time thinking about music, studying different instruments, and partaking in the amazing musical gifts this community offers in its generous sweep and variety of genres.

My daughter, Eva, like many children who live here, has had the privilege of growing up in a community overflowing with musical performers, performances and opportunities. Beginning as a toddler with “Music Together,” Eva moved on to piano lessons with the late Anna Gold, then to more piano with Joan Tumilty. She has also studied trumpet with Glenn Smith for many years.

Like many of her friends, Eva has participated in every possible music program from elementary school through high school. In 5th grade, she started trumpet with Ruth Mary Harrup, and went on to band and choir at both Seven Hills and Nevada Union. This translates to many hours of music played on any given day while in school as well as after school and on weekends.

Summer brings joyful immersion into Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp. Her father and I rarely experience a day without Eva’s trumpet, piano, singing, and humming weaving through the texture of our soundscapes.

Five years ago, Eva started studying with professional composer Mark Vance, in his brilliantly constructed Composer’s Program that teaches composition to middle and high school students. Mark has a special talent for igniting compositional interest in students and enormous capacity for guiding that interest into well-constructed pieces that express each student’s unique sensibilities. While several short films have been made about this program, it’s easy to imagine a full-length documentary about the creative relationships that are fostered between teacher and students, as well as students with each other.

During her years in Mark’s program, Eva has composed many different musical arrangements, based on poems by Adrienne Rich, Mary Oliver, William Butler Yeats and Robert Frost, as well as in collaboration with local nonprofits and agencies, including Hospitality House, the Crocker Art Museum, SYRCL, Sierra Harvest and the US Forest Service. Notably, all pieces completed within the project are performed by professional musicians.

Children and young adults participating in InConcert Sierra’s Composer’s Program learn a variety of excellent life skills including research, public speaking, resume writing, composition software, and visioning and overseeing performances of their pieces. They learn what goes into musical composition and develop sensibilities about art, creativity, and music that easily transfer to writing, dancing, theatre and other forms of creative expression. They learn what steps are required to bring the seed of a creative idea to fruition.

While a good number of his students have gone on to pursue musical careers in performance, film and theater scoring, and other musical paths, Mark is clear about his prioritization of teaching skills that can be used in life in addition to music.

In the past year and a half we watched Mark pivot, seemingly effortlessly, to meet the needs of his students once Covid-19 prevented meeting in the usual way. The compositional results were better than ever. As father and stepfather to five young men, and an active grandfather to all of their children, Mark has an easy-going, unflappable, humorous approach to working with young people wherein he is able to meet each child at their individual skill level and set of interests to create works of art that will be noteworthy and beautiful.

When students see their pieces performed, they are amazed. I’ve witnessed incredulity, as though they were thinking, “I did that. I had an idea and look where it went.” In a world where a sense of agency and volition are critical to navigating forward to solve the myriad problems facing humans, this kind of inventive thinking brings joy and comfort and carries over to many other aspects of life. Doors open for these students as they build confidence and believe in their talents.

In response to the most recent series of compositions resulting from the Spring 2021 session focusing on wildfire in collaboration with the US Forest Service, professional cellist and former Nevada County music instructor David Eby writes, “As a professional cellist versed in contemporary music, I am astounded at the level of creative artistry in each of the young composers’ pieces over time and in this most recent concert on Sunday, Aug. 8. I love seeing how Mark Vance taps into what the young composers want to express. I love that he makes subtle suggestions that bring fuller expression in the pieces, but leave them in the composer’s voice. Instead of ‘here’s how I would do it,’ Mark opens the door for the young composers to see for themselves other possibilities that light them up.

The compositions in these performances hold no trace of intellectual entanglement, and express beauty without pretense.

As a performer and composer myself, listening to this music is the freshest experience imaginable. I love it.”

InConcert Sierra’s Composers Project is just about to begin accepting applications for the ’21-’22 year. For more information, visit www.inconcertsierra.org > education > composers project.

Annette Dunklin is a resident of Nevada County since 1987. Her daughter, Eva, is a senior at Nevada Union High School

InConcert Sierra's Composers Project is just about to begin accepting applications for the ’21-’22 year. For more information, visit www.inconcertsierra.org > education > composers project.
Photo by Craig Silberman
Children and young adults participating in InConcert Sierra’s Composer’s Program learn a variety of excellent life skills including research, public speaking, resume writing, composition software, and visioning and overseeing performances of their pieces.
Photo by Craig Silberman

John Seivert: Art – Healing and happiness through the heart


I have had the opportunity to share my stories, my patient’s stories, and draw from the evidence in the research that I read to generate my monthly column. Many ideas pop into my head at odd hours of the day and night and I scramble to find a piece of paper and jot down my idea or leave myself a voice message. I dictate a few keywords to get an article started and then research it further later. Last week Phil Carville’s column, Heart Happiness, talked about how happiness is good for the heart. He stated that as we grow older, we get in touch with our mortality. This awareness can lead to depression for some but can also lead to reflection and happiness for others. I’d like to take you into the world of how art and aging can lead you to healing and happiness. When our hearts are happy the grass is a bit greener, the sky a bit bluer and our bodies feel more complete.

There is plenty of evidence that supports the fact that seniors that are happy and healthy live longer than unhappy and sick people. I know that is obvious but for many, we just don’t do enough things that make us happy to create improved health benefits.

In 2017 I joined the Nevada County Camera Club (NCCC) thanks to a patient of mine who was an avid photographer encouraging me to do so for several months. Thank you, Larry. I had always loved outdoor nature photography and spent a great deal of time photographing the places I traveled during my postgraduate studies in Australia and during my professional career. My clinic has had beautiful landscape photography in every room for 20 years thanks to Jay Schuff and his work. Recently I have been blessed enough to add my own pieces of work to the clinic walls. When people in pain look at a beautiful piece of art, it moves them, spirits are lifted, and a sense of wellbeing embraces their bodies. Seeing these positive effects on people in pain created great motivation on my part to create even more images of beauty so that it creates happiness to the viewer. And if we are happy, we feel better.

Story Telling Through Pictures

For thousands of years humans have been telling stories through pictures. Petroglyphs are rock carvings (rock paintings are called pictographs) made by pecking directly on the rock surface using a stone chisel and a hammerstone. These works of art can be found all over the world. Petroglyphs are powerful cultural symbols that reflect the complex societies and religions of the local tribes. These drawings have continued to tell stories and create feelings and emotions. The tools used now to tell a story are a camera, paint brush and canvas, pen, and paper (OK, computer), or an audio recording. We have become more advanced in our ways of telling stories, but the message and its effects are similar.

Sky Rock and the High Sierra by Chris Schiller.
Photo by Chris Schiller

Camera Club Challenge

In a recent camera club monthly challenge, I worked with Kathy Triolo on capturing creative outside portrait photography. Kathy and I entered our images to a photography competition called Aging as Art by the Council on Aging – Southern California. Both of our images are displayed here and on this website.

The YouTube video of the presentation is called 2021 Aging as Art Reception. My story of Joy and Love is thirty-one minutes into the presentation.

An image can speak to you, however, an image with the photographer’s story behind it can say so much more. All these images create reflection, emotions, and maybe even happiness. For some, these images create a sense of motivation to stay healthy through movement, diet and to keep the brain sharp with a creative outlet like art. I have seen evidence of elite body builders that use images for motivation. Darren, a recent patient of mine stated that he has several images of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the walls of his garage posing for the judges when he was competing in body building competitions in the 1970s.

My image Joy and Love took place in June 2020 just two months into the pandemic. This man told me he and his wife were unable to have their kids and grandkids over for their 66th wedding anniversary due to the pandemic. I captured this shot at the end of an evening photo shoot as they both closed their eyes and said thanks. More of the story can be heard on the YouTube presentation listed above.

Rodney by Kathy Triolo.
Photo by Kathy Triolo
Joy and Love by John Seivert.
Photo by John Seivert

This image of Rodney was taken by local professional photographer Kathy Triolo in the gold mining town of Coloma. While capturing images of the old gold mining town she was able to capture Rodney, a man who would dress up in period clothing of the 1800s and model for the visitors. Kathy captured this amazing shot of Rodney leaning on his cane and gazing into the distance.

The next time you see an image that moves you, pause and take it in. Feel it. It may make you happy, sad, excited, depressed, reflective, or motivated. Use those feelings and emotions for what it’s giving you at the time. I allow myself time to grieve on a regular basis. I have a wonderful picture of my deceased parents nestled up to each other. The image brings me to tears every time I look at it. I then recall episodes with my mom and dad during my childhood, college days, or adult life. I take it all in and feel grateful for the photo.

John Seivert is a doctor of physical therapy and he has been practicing for 34 years. He opened Body Logic Physical Therapy in Grass Valley in 2001. He has been educating physical therapists since 1986. Contact him at bodylogic2011@ yahoo.com


Best of the fest: Nevada City Film Festival announces 2021 winners


Earlier this week the Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) announced the winners of their 21st annual festival.

Festival programmers watched 500 films submitted from 41 countries around the world – for a total running time of 219 hours, 29 minutes, and 13 seconds, give or take a few. And if that wasn’t enough, the NCFF program committee watched an additional 100 films from other film festivals and film schools to finally narrow this year’s program down to the 80+ short and feature length films that were shown online over the last two weeks.

From those 80+ films, the festival directors suggested a dozen films for award consideration to Festival Judges who then decided the winners of Best of the Fest, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Narrative, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Animation, Best Director, Best Performance, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Musical Score. For a total of $9,000 in awards!

The following films can all be streamed online for $8. Between now and through the end of the festival on Sept. 12, audiences can still vote for their favorite film. The highly coveted Audience Award also includes a $500 cash award. Go to www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com to rent this year’s award-winners and more.


Director Ben Proudfoot, USA, 22 min. She is arguably the greatest living women’s basketball player. She’s won three national trophies; she played in the ‘76 Olympics; she was drafted to the NBA. But have you ever heard of Lucy Harris?


Writer Jess Waters. Pearl cannot face her dying mother until she gets a much-needed lesson from her father.


Director Griff Williams, Keelan Williams, USA, 1hr 28min. 
Framed within the last 25 years of artmaking in the Bay Area, the film is not an all-encompassing historical document, but rather a glimpse into a select group of artists who’ve chosen a less worn path. It touches on the disappearance of cultural communities due to gentrification and economic instability and celebrates an intertwined art community that has flown just below the radar, but influenced generations. Music by Marc Capelle, Vetiver, Virgil Shaw, Clare Rojas (Peggy Honeywell), Tommy Guerrero, Kelley Stoltz, Devendra Banhart, Fruit Bats, Monte Vallier, and Pat Mesiti-Miller.

(Thanks for Asking)

Director Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, USA, 90 min. When a recently widowed mother becomes houseless, she convinces her 8-year-old daughter that they are only camping for fun while working to get them off of the streets.


Director Mariana Saffon, Colombia, 20 min. At fifteen, Milagros’s world still revolves around her mother’s affection, until an unexpected encounter with death makes her question not only their relationship, but her own existence.


Director Renee Zhan, UK, 15 min. A woman who can’t stand the passing of time turns herself into a black hole. A thousand unchanging years pass until one day, the Singularity wakes inside her. An immovable woman meets an unstoppable girl in this 2D/stop motion opera about the beauty of transience and letting go.

BEST DIRECTOR: Sebastian Torres Greene, Manuel Del Valle, Nahjum

Director Sebastian Torres Greene, Manual Del Valley, Mexico, 17 min. 
A prehistoric family’s desperate search for a mythical source of life turns into tragedy when the egos and obsessions of their male members rise to the surface.

BEST PERFORMANCE: Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales, LANGUAGE LESSONS

Director Natalie Morales, USA, 1hr 31 min. When Adam’s (Mark Duplass) husband surprises him with weekly Spanish lessons, he’s unsure about where or how this new element will fit into his already structured life. But when tragedy strikes, his Spanish teacher, Cariño (Natalie Morales), becomes a lifeline he didn’t know he needed.


Director Amar Chebib, Canada, 16 min. 
Joe Buffalo is an Indigenous skateboard legend. He’s also a survivor of Canada’s notorious Indian Residential School system. Following a traumatic childhood and decades of addiction, Joe must face his inner demons to realize his dream of turning pro.


Director Roberto Salinas, Italy, 94 min. At 15, Alexis is a promising dancer at Havana’s Cuban National Ballet School. Confident in his abilities, Alexis already envisions a future of stardom. But when his family joins his sister in Florida, Alexis’s joy at their reunion is tempered by the need to start over in an alien environment. Shot over five years, this captivating, coming-of-age documentary soars on tremendous dance sequences and Alexis’s immense talent as he leaps toward his destiny.

Source: Nevada City Film Festival


WHAT: 21st Annual Nevada City Film Festival “Best of the Fest”

WHERE: Streaming Online at www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com

WHEN: Aug. 27-Sept. 12

TICKETS: $8/per Feature or Shorts rental

Best of the Fest and Best Shot Documentary awards went to "Queen of Basketball,“ directed by Ben Proudfoot, telling the story of basketball star Lucy Harris.
Lucy Harris