Nevada County remembers artist Daniel Brooks |

Nevada County remembers artist Daniel Brooks

Daniel Brooks

Daniel Brooks’ personality could fill a room.

A longtime Grass Valley resident and Origami artist, Brooks for years had what Julie Baker called a high-end store in downtown Grass Valley.

“Every person who walked in there felt like a star,” she said. “He would hug you, incredible hugs. ‘I love you, I love you, I love you,’ he would say. ‘Be happy, be happy,’ he would say.

“We’re at a loss,” she added.

Brooks, 56, of Gold River, died Tuesday afternoon after he jumped from the Foresthill Bridge in Auburn, said Dena Erwin, public information officer with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

“When deputies arrived, the man had already jumped,” Erwin said in an email.

Brooks, whose art was featured during the holidays at Nevada City Winery, was well known in Nevada County. On his website,, Brooks is called a man who loves people, music and the arts. He dedicated his life to music and art, and was loved in the foothills as a vocalist, artist and friend.

Baker said she knew Brooks for over 15 years.

“He was a visionary artist and just an amazing, big personality with lots of love to give,” she said.

Brooks had a love for Asian art, which led him to Origami. Cranes — the symbol of a long and happy life — often appeared in his work, his website states.

“I think they were indicative of who he was,” Baker said. “There was this delicate beauty to them.”

Joey Jordan echoed Baker’s words.

“You just felt like he was your deepest, closest, most loving friend,” Jordan said. “He just made people feel that way. That was the magic of Daniel.”

Melissa Ann Seibold used to wait tables at Cirino’s at Main Street in Grass Valley. Brooks was a lunch regular, always sitting at the same table.

“He’d always remember me,” Seibold said. “He’d always say ‘hello’ and hug me. He was kind.”

Mary Anne Davis, event manager at The Union, remembers when Brooks came to sing a solo for the Sierra College Choir. At a rehearsal, Davis saw Brooks enter, spot her and approach for a hug.

“Our paths crossed over the years, and I was always greeted with his big hug and ‘Can I just tell you that I love you?’” Davis said in an email. “He always made me laugh and smile.”

For Jordan, Brooks’ love was like leaves scattered through a breeze.

“It was tangible and could be raked up when you needed it,” she said.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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