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Celebrate creativity at the 23rd annual Sierra Festival of the Arts

Forty-five artists and craftspeople, live music, and delicious things to eat and drink will create a fun day Sunday as the 23rd annual Sierra Festival of the Arts returns to downtown Grass Valley.

From painting and sculpture to fiber, jewelry, wood, clay and glass, all is juried to assure quality and variety. The artists are both local and regional.

Exhibitors include Kathryn Wronski, known for her colorful dog portraits; Robert Kahl, with blown glass vessels; Liz Collins, with her contemporary oil pastels; and Jack Richarson, displaying his elegant, lathe-turned stone forms.



Three musical groups plus the Bedouin Dancers are performing (see the sidebar for schedule).

Food includes hot dogs, quesadillas, and Asian cuisine; and for dessert, chocolate truffles, espresso, or ice cream.




The festival concludes with a Memorial Day tribute.

After the festival music ends, about 4:30 p.m, everyone is invited to gather at the booth of Studio 131, which is featuring Hel Henderson’s installation of one white cross in memory of each American soldier who has fallen in Iraq.

Participants will carry the crosses on a memorial walk to honor both the soldiers and human rights worker Marla Ruzicka, who was killed by a car bomb in Iraq, to 131 Richardson St. where art, photographs and music by local composers will be presented.

A 25-foot square painting of Ruzicka by Howard Levine and his art students will be shown. Says Levine, “Marla is a person who saw suffering and the cost of war. She put her young life on the line trying to help those caught in the crossfire. Our group will be trying to represent her in portrait format, with lights traveling into to the depths of the sky searching for an answer to the age-old question: ‘When will we ever learn, oh, when will we ever learn.'”

The crosses will be re-installed at Studio 131 while the names of the fallen are read. Some of the artists showing are Bella Feldman, John Barrow, Kurt Neiderhaus, Arthur Pierson, Iva Lee, Menlo MacFarlane and Barbara Michelman. Music is by composers Jerry Grant, Howard Hirsch and Jay Sydeman.

The evening will close with a short talk from a representative of Veteran’s for Peace.

Studio 131 will extend “Requiem” into Monday, 1-5 p.m, with a showing of films and images from Iraq. The community is also invited to share photographs of loved ones lost to war, poems, or artwork on a Memorial Wall.

A lineup of poets, musicians and songwriters will culminate in a presentation of Marla Ruzinska’s human-rights organization, CIVIC (Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict), to which all proceeds ($5-$20 requested donation) from this event go.

Call Studio 131 at 272-1680 for more information.

What: 23rd Annual Sierra Festival of the Arts

When: Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: Mill Street, downtown Grass Valley, between West Main and Neal streets

Admission: Free

Information: Producer, Carol Herschleb, 265-6951; Sponsor, Grass Valley Downtown Association, 272-8315


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