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Oakdale artist part of exhibit exploring California experience
art exhibit
Works by Oakdale artist Steven Showers are part of the California Experience exhibit currently at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock. Photo contributed

A new art exhibit has opened at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock that explores the California experience and features the works of dozen area artists, including Oakdale resident Steven Showers.

The dream of success has brought millions of people to California – dreams of gold, celebrity, and creative freedom have fueled the imaginations of adventurers, entrepreneurs, and artists from around the world. The myth of California as a place of peace and prosperity goes back to the time of the conquistadors with tales of Queen Califia and her island of gold. In more modern times, the lure of stardom in Hollywood and the promise of opportunity in Silicon Valley have drawn aspirants of all sorts. Since John Muir’s first visit, naturalists and rock climbers have made pilgrimages to the Yosemite Valley, while those seeking the freedom to experiment and express themselves have flocked to San Francisco since the 1960s. In our dreams of a better life, California may appear to be the “Golden Ticket” state.

The environment, people, economy, and mythology of California all provide rich subject matter for artists.

“We asked artists to explore their California dreams. How they see our state, with its promises past and present,” stated Lisa McDermott, Director of the Carnegie Arts Center. “Artists responded with a wealth of imagery and interpretations of the theme. We are excited at the variety in media and vision represented in the show.”

Fifty-five works by 39 artists were selected from over 140 submissions. The exhibition includes paintings, photographs, prints, drawings, watercolors, mixed media, pastels, ceramics, glass, and fabric arts. Subjects range from our state’s iconic landscapes to more personal stories of growth, loss, struggle, and wonder.

Juror for the exhibition was Jonathan Bock an artist, business owner, and non-profit leader, with a lifetime passion for the arts.  With a BFA degree in printmaking and art history from Indiana University and an MFA degree from California Institute of the Arts, his artwork includes drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, experimental film and video, animation, and interactive media. He is owner of Williams Gallery West in Oakhurst, specializing in American and international fine art and folk art; and Stellar Gallery, specializing in Fine Art Photography. He is president and founding director of Sierra Art Trails, a California non-profit organization dedicated to promoting artists and artisans in the Sierra Foothills, and executive director of the non-profit organization Yosemite Renaissance, dedicated to promoting the arts in Yosemite National Park and the California Sierra Nevada region.  In 2020, Bock founded Yosemite Gateway Art Center, dedicated to community involvement in the arts and cultural tourism. 

Artists included in the exhibit are: Anna Barber, Ripon; Mel Beach, San Jose; Tommi Lou Carosella, Modesto; Susan Conner, Altaville; Katherine Crinklaw, Newman; David Dolan, Modesto; Debra Drake, Hughson; Jennifer Fosgate, Merced; Denie Fuller, Pleasant Hill; Barbara Gill, Modesto; Chella Gonsalves, Modesto; Veronica Gross, Los Gatos; Kate Jackson, Merced; Mary-Jane Kiskinen, Modesto; Jared Langley, Modesto; Larry Lew, Modesto; Lisa Livingston, Modesto; Loren Lukens, Merced; Catherine McLean, Modesto; Geneva Mello, Lodi; Denise Oyama Miller, Fremont; Jon Nichols, Turlock; Monica Ocegueda, Turlock; Darrell O’Sullivan, Galt; Michelle Park, Turlock; Lynn Sarraille, Turlock;

Steven Showers, Oakdale; Sue Siefkin, Modetso; Kyle Silligman, Vernalis; Susan Slesinger, Seal Beach

Ileana Soto, San Leandro; Michael Souza, Turlock; Henrietta Sparkman, Modesto; J.C. Strote, Lodi; Jim Taylor, Coarsegold; Nina Thomson, Sacramento; Christopher Viney, Atwater; Monique Wales, Oakhurst; and James Weber, Waterloo.


The exhibition opened Oct. 7 and will run through Jan. 21, 2023 in the lobby gallery. Admission to the lobby gallery is free. The Carnegie Arts Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.