Grass Valley artist’s written work welcomes worshippers |

Grass Valley artist’s written work welcomes worshippers

Submitted photo by Trina Kleist.

Beautiful letters don’t fit most people’s idea of art — but they form “the hub” of the artistic passion of calligrapher Sandy Gold, who lives in the Grass Valley area.

Gold recently completed a work entirely of calligraphy in the atrium that forms the entryway to Peace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley.

“All are welcome in this place,” the fluted and flowing words proclaim on the atrium wall, evoking a hymn often sung at the opening of Sunday worship services.

The hymn was composed by Lutheran hymn-writer Marty Haugen, and the lyrics were sent with flowers by friends to church member Ann Gaines, chairwoman of the church building committee, when the new space was dedicated a few years ago.

“To have something hand-done on the wall (of the church atrium), something that they considered of high value, was wonderful.”
— Sandy Gold

“They were such inspiring words and so suited to our inspiration for adding to our facility that I began to think of a way to share them with everyone who entered our church,” Gaines said.

Letters are what inspire Gold, who calls them “a beautiful thing” lying at the juncture of art and utility.

Her work can be seen at and in the church front lobby at 828 W. Main St., near downtown.

More from composer Marty Haugen can be heard at Peace during regular Sunday services and during Haugen’s “Holden Evening Prayer,” a service of singing, chanting and Bible readings in observance of Lent.

The 30-minute service starts at 7 p.m. Thursday; a free soup supper starts at 6 p.m. in the church Fellowship Center.

Gold is a member of Pioneer Arts in Grass Valley. She studied art at the University of California, Los Angeles, and discovered calligraphy while living in San Diego.

Her commissioned work reflects her classical training, which flourished at church events, large church youth conventions and hotels, she said.

Her art has expanded into print-making, stained glass, pine-needle basketry, fabric and banners, digital design and logos.

Gold has continued her work locally, including designs for the Nevada County Fair the past two years and a “marriage certificate” offered to visitors at Empire Mine State Historic Park’s blacksmith shop.

When she’s not working on commissions, Gold explores free-form calligraphy and has shown her work with Pioneer Arts, she said.

“To have something hand-done on the wall (of the church atrium), something that they considered of high value, was wonderful,” Gold said.

“The style is an informal, built-up Roman letter. … The informalness of it is hopefully very welcoming to people.”

Grass Valley resident and freelance writer Trina Kleist can be reached at or 530-575-6132.

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