“The Real” to showcase standout local talent | TheUnion.com

“The Real” to showcase standout local talent

Special to Prospector

When Sheila Cameron started her six week health and fitness blitz at Fit Culture Studios earlier this year, she knew it would have to include time and energy for her creative life. Because she was part of a team with her husband, Greg Cameron, she knew she couldn't let her family down.

"I created the perfect storm for myself. I set it up so that every excuse was taken care of BEFORE I started," Sheila said. "I couldn't say, 'well my family is eating this' or 'my husband's busy schedule won't allow for work outs' anymore. For the first time in our 10 year marriage, we were both on the same page with diet and exercise and planned our weeks accordingly. One of the problems with being in love with someone that accepts you completely, is sometimes you forget the importance of self-care. "

With the support of workout buddy and collector Steve Roddy, she also committed to daily art blog posts about her journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

"Steve was one of the people that convinced me to check out Fit Culture. I called it 'the cult' because I had so many friends that were into it. On my second day there he asked if I would post art and writing everyday about it and before I could think too much I said, 'I'll try.' I realized then that I've often used time in the studio as an excuse to not work out. Another excuse was taken care of right then."

In the final week, Shelia said the planets aligned when Sara Zahn approached Cameron about hanging her work this spring at the Off Center Stage as part of the Center for the Arts' ongoing Discover Series at the small black box theater.

"With a focus on quality independent music, the carefully curated Discover Series highlights emerging talent and independent artists of all genres in a showcase format," said Zahn, a program associate at the Center.

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More than just a series of concerts, Zahn, who spent time working in art galleries in New York and Los Angeles, views the Discover Series as a curation.

"I believe the long-standing format of headliner and unknown opening act is tired. Folks want more than just a concert, they want an experience, a journey, a night to remember," said Zahn. "There is so much incredible talent out there! It is such a magical moment when vision and schedules align to create the perfect pairing."

Cameron had been painting and considering how art, food, health and lifestyle fit together in her creative life.

"I had the work available to hang but there were larger questions I wanted to explore about the challenges of a healthy, creative life; both the challenges that are real and the ones only in our heads. Sara offered to do an opening and I realized I didn't want an opening. I wanted to try something different, so I pulled in some great minds to think about what an event would look like that considered Art, Health, Food, Lifestyle, Technology," Sheila said. "One of the themes I kept bumping into was finding balance; safety vs. risk, rest vs. push, old paradigms vs. new. I like to be an explorer in my own life. Sometimes you need a dose of reality and sometimes a bit of magical thinking. It seems like innovators in all these realms are trying to find the same balance. It is important share what you've learned along the way and to keep asking questions too. We aren't planning opening or a show, it's party or as Sara confirmed, 'a happening'."

"Rather than just your run of the mill art opening, I was thrilled when Sheila expressed interest in creating such a diverse and thoughtful evening. So much of the Discover Series and creativity as a whole is rooted in experimentation and play. Cameron's concept fits in perfectly for the Off Center Stage and the Discover Series" said Zahn.

Nutritionist Victoria Lafont, Artist Kathy Frey, and Writer, Actress, Entrepreneur Heather Donahue jumped on board. The Real will be Friday.

"It's time to get real about food," said Lafont, who will be speaking with her own special brand of humor and knowledge about diet and exercise.

Thus the name of the event was hatched —The Real.

"As we kept discussing our various areas of expertise and the idea of realness kept popping up. We are still putting the plans for food, drink, art in place but it feels incredibly exciting to work on new concepts that invite everyone to the table to celebrate what works in our community. One of the benefits of making art in a small town is there is so much more room and time to experiment and experimenting is fuel for me," said Sheila.

She has a long history of experimenting in the digital space and this show will be no exception. She will have at least one piece being auction on eBay for the entire run of the show starting at only $.49 with no reserve, a nod to her love of Nevada County.

"It will be new work available on eBay and 3D barcodes on the tags will easily point your smart phone to my current auctions. The center will get their usual cut as well. This is my third big eBay auction and they have always done really well for me. It ends up being exciting for both the buyer and me. Making art is always an all or nothing proposition so why not take some big risks and have some fun along the way? Right now there are three pieces available. http://www.ebay.com/usr/hollywoodkit to see the current prices and bid."

As far as the fitness and diet routine Sheila reports good results and has found a routine that works for her, working out in her painting clothes early and getting right into the studio when she's done.

"I'm not quite in my skinny jeans yet but the regular ones sure fit differently."

The Real is from 5-9 p.m. at Off Center. There is a $6 suggested donation, or guests can bring a 'real food' appetizer to share (Victoria Lafont has suggested recipes on her site). Admission includes a raffle ticket for an original painting and other 'cool' stuff, according to organizers.

For more information, go to http://www.thecenterforthearts.org.


Victoria LaFont

You can find me hiking in the Sierra Nevada's, waterskiing at Scott's Flat Lake, or teaching Pilates classes.

I am a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and certified GAPS Practitioner, through the Nutritional Therapy Association, located in Olympia, Washington. For over a decade I have explored varied diets and healing modalities, ranging from raw veganism to the Primal Diet. My interest in diet stemmed from a strong desire to heal life long health problems without continued reliance on prescription drugs.

In 2006 I graduated magne cum laude from Murray State University with a bachelor of arts degree, emphasis in medical anthropology and professional writing. My time studying varied culture's practices sparked my interest in continuing to investigate the link between chronic illness/ degenerative disease and dietary habits.

The teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation, the Nutritional Therapy Association, and Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, paired with my background in medical anthropology have led me to believe that a properly prepared, whole food, nutrient dense diet is one of the primary keys to optimal health.


Sheila Cameron is an Artist and Writer in Nevada City, California. She was an entertainment executive, producer, web personality, t-shirt snark artist and pop culture commentator in Los Angeles, Ca.

She Co-Produced the first season of the Emmy nominated Project Greenlight for HBO while serving as Director of Integrated media at LivePlanet. In 2005 she vowed to leave traditional media for good to pursue an independent creative life and went on to create the Free Katie site and t-shirts as well as numerous political and pop culture designs that generated worldwide attention.

After two babies and a move to Nevada City, California, she began a blog in June 2010 committing to 365 days of creating art, writing and raising kids. Posting art every day, she explored her own creative life and fine art's new role in social media.

With that focus, in 2013 she created an online event, "Jerry Saltz PERSONALLY Invited Me to Hell and I'm Going!" 55 original pieces based on feedback from famed art critic Jerry Saltz and their Facebook connection. It culminated in feedback from all over the world, a successful online auction, and a positive nod from the critic, himself,

Sheila Cameron did magnificently…She accepted my challenge (advice) and her work got better. Much better. I do not think that she understood what I meant, however, by the idea that if she did what I asked we'd see one another in hell. When I say "See you in hell" I mean that all creative people court chaos and the unknown, and that is a form of hell. A very very good place… Congratulations Shelia… I knew you had it in you….

-Jerry Saltz

She continues to experiment with art, entertainment and technology through digital connection from her home in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. She is also very proud to be raising two young daughters and be a wife to Greg Cameron.

Her paintings can be found all over the world.

Kathy Frey

By Kathy Frey:

"Ever since I lost 60 pounds after college, health has been a major concern and passion for me. Over the past 20 years I've taken a more holistic view of health as I've gotten into more herbal remedies and alternative healthcare approaches.

Most recently I've been exploring the connection between emotional well-being and physical health. This exploration has lead to a total lifestyle overhaul. I no longer work on the road for months at a time. I'm listening to my body and adapting my life around it so I can be happier and healthier.

Exercise is a key part of my emotional well being and happiness. Food and cooking are two of the ways I connect with the world and support our local farming community.

My intentional focus is on health over some predetermined idea of beauty and attractiveness, although I do still struggle with this societal programming. Local food, healthy cooking and exercise are three of the major ways I practice self love and respect everyday. These are the foundations of my life and, therefor, are directly responsible for what comes out of my studio."

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