Comparisons to New York City's top galleries quickly arose around Verge Center for the Arts when Jesse Powell opened the nonprofit in 2009. It's easy to see why: the 6,000 square feet of exhibition space and 20-foot high ceilings houses a global array of contemporary art in various mediums, from paint and video to performance. But opening a critically acclaimed gallery was only the tip of the iceberg for Jesse.
These days, the 22,000-square-foot center houses 37 studios for emergent artists, more than half of which were built by the tenants/artists themselves. Reading materials on contemporary art abound in the center's library lounge, while an in-house lab lets community members create their own prints. Throughout the year, Verge even hosts events and classes that run the gamut from artists lectures to workshops on learning to draw via mind control.
During college, Mari Arreola spent time getting in touch with her Latin roots while travelling throughout the U.S., Guadalajara, Mexico, and Paris, France. Everywhere she went she encountered more Latin culture, until she was thoroughly immersed in its arts and traditions. When she became manager of La Raza Galeria Posada art gallery, she took that opportunity to bring those kinds of arts to an international stage. Out of this endeavor, Spanglish Arte was born. Acting as the creative director, Mari manages the shop and gallery, hoping to create a hub for local artists—everyone from painters to T-shirt makers.
In addition, Mari hosts classes that help students understand and participate in Latin arts. These classes include tutorials on how to make tamales and how to apply makeup for Day of the Dead celebrations—the one day a year when zombies are allowed to be beautiful.
Since joining the Union in 1850, California has supplied more citizens to the nation's common defense than any other state. The California State Military Museum celebrates that long tradition of service, standing as a reminder to future generations of the sacrifices made by those men and women.
Inside, more than 33,000 artifacts weave together an inspiring timeline, telling the tales of military icons such as William T. Sherman, Henry Halleck, and General George Patton. These men live on inside a number of exhibits that detail California's connection to historic events including the Civil War and World Wars I and II. During visits, guests can browse these displays, yell "medic!" for no reason, and pop into the image library, which is packed with black-and-white photographs as well as digital treasures.
Deep Art and Yoga helps muscles express themselves in a full schedule of Kundalini and Yin yoga classes. Reinforce the basics and shock chakras into shape with Yoga 101. Students perform slow-paced, muscle-stretching movements in Yin yoga, which employs extended poses to promote connective-tissue healing.
During the all-ages Friday or Saturday ComedySportz show, expect to watch two teams of ComedySportz improvisers fight for laughs using scenes, games, and songs based on audience suggestions. Intended for ages 17 and up, the Thursday show, Mayhem, features three acts of improvised, unexpected juxtapositions and pre-funnied sketch comedy, holding audiences captive until the full ransom of laughter is paid and a Branson-bound aircraft provided.
Gina Rossi's art comes to life in a flurry of sparks and cauldrons of heat. A self-taught artist and certified metal-inert-gas (MIG) welder, her work incorporates fused glass, paintings, and organic metal figures, and has been featured in the Sacramento Press, as well as KCRA Channel 3 news. When she was young, Rossi's forays into art and imagination provided stable solace from her tumultuous and oft-troubled childhood, and her passion eventually flowered into a full-time endeavor. Through her growth as an artist, she adopted a trash-into-treasure approach, working with recycled metal and glass, and earning notoriety for getting Oscar the Grouch evicted to craft a piece from his former home. Her regular welding and fused-glass-art classes share her talents with eager students, as do her efforts with community art projects, which empower young, disabled, and elderly people to make their creative mark in the world.