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, 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.
When Trisha Rhomberg and Olivia Coelho opened their vintage clothing store in 2007, that's all it was: a boutique for their vintage finds, and later for their own line of handmade wearables. Now the space is a charming chimera of art, clothes, and food, a hub for quirky culture and innovation. Behind the retail section, chefs from Fat Face serve up a simple and deliberate menu in a cozy café profiled by CBS. After a pressed sandwich or creative popsicle, diners relax with one of six craft beers on tap or a glass of sangria. Monthly art showcases display emerging talent in an airy gallery space, and the art collections even extend to Bows and Arrows' bathrooms. The multifaceted space also hosts live music acts and other gatherings, such as the regular Nerd Night for gamers, highlighted in the Sacramento Press.
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 Bookstore, 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 the dead are allowed to be beautiful.
Each April, a tear in the space-time continuum opens up along the Sacramento River. Through it rolls a first-class locomotive right out of the 1940s and 50s. For 45 minutes, passengers in the train's coach and luxury first class car soak in the sights of California's fruit-growing deltas as the vintage diesel engine carries them into another time.
The California State Railroad Museum conducts these scenic, historic train rides. The excursions play a crucial role in the museum's mission to chronicle California's railroad history from the early days of the Gold Rush to modern agricultural transports and the proposed railroad to Mars. Spanning centuries, 21 restored locomotives and train cars blanket the museum's 225,000 square feet of exhibit space. A Pullman-style sleeping car and a dining car filled with fine china both sit on display, while the museum's Sierra Scene places a vintage steam locomotive next to a breathtaking mural of snow-dusted mountains. The popular Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains exhibit currently commands the second floor, and with hundreds of examples of early electric toy trains and accessories such as stations, signals, tunnels, and bridges, it should delight even the most discerning miniature conductor.
Behind the Victorian columns of Crocker Art Museum?s 126-year-old gallery building, ornate chambers house works that span six continents and several centuries. Established in 1885, it remains the first art museum in the Western United States, boasting collections that pay homage to the region?s cultural lineage with a robust Californian collection.
The museum updated its look and tripled both its exhibit space and running time for games of hide-and-seek in 2010 with the addition of the Teel Family Pavilion, a 125,000-square-foot building that boasts geometric designs and sunlit rooms. The expanded gallery furthers the museum?s mission to function as a community hub by hosting Art Mix, social events that feature live music, djs and a cash bar on the 2nd Thursday of every month. Studio-art classes keep adults informed, and children?s programs inspire young artists to commit their creativity to canvas, rather than living-room walls or ephemeral Mr. Potato Heads.
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.