Summer Art Explosion: the Prologue

Everybody is always asking me, “Zac what are you doing‽ Why don’t you keep us informed on the interweb?” And I always answer, “Because I am busy doing stuff and junk…” And then they walk away. But really I have been very busy in recent weeks helping to organize a huge fund-raising event for REVAMP. For those of you squares out there that don’t know about REVAMP yet, they are a non profit dedicated to aiding our few remaining art programs with recycled and re-purposed art and craft materials. If you want to know more visit them here. The event is titled the SUMMER ART EXPLOSION and is being sponsored by the fantastic people at Help-U-Sell here in Sonora. The event will feature food, fun and entertainment such as an open mural, silent auction, craft competition and the kids craft of the day Toy-Hacking!

Here is a little more on Toy-Hacking: Basically we are taking your old and unwanted toys and disassemble them until they are nothing more than limbs, heads, torsos, wheels, wings, etc.

Then with the help of some big kids like Peter and myself kids of all ages will be able to reassemble them.

Once reassembled they will become Frankentoys that are ready for a new paint job and a lot of fun!

Come join us in the fun on August 1st and help REVAMP sustain the creativity of Tuolumne County’s children. If you don’t care to join in the crafty fun you can sit, eat and enjoy the music of the Minor Birds and the other great local bands that will be playing. I hope to see you there!

Alley Art Update

Spread the word: Alley Art is on it’s way! There are just a couple more weeks until 30+ artists unleash their artistic visions upon the unsuspecting people of Black Oak Casino. Below are examples of some of the directions artists have been taking their bowling pins.

Remember all of the pins and other art will only be displayed together as a collection once, from May 21st to the 23rd. If you are in North America at the time you should make the pilgrimage to Tuolumne City’s Black Oak Casino to roll some rocks, sip a Caucasian and purchase some purdy pins.

Bowling Show

Good news everybody! Weeks ago I approached The Black Oak Casino inquiring about old bowling pins to use for an art show. They graciously donated 30 bowling pins for my project and took it a step further by offering to host the art show during their Pro/Amateur bowling tournament to be held May 21-23! It was an offer I couldn’t refuse, ensuring that the show will be housed in a high traffic area.

Soon after receiving the pins I sprung into action, giving the bowling pins to various artist and craftspeople to enhance as they see fit. To ensure an exciting and diverse show the pins were put in the hands of tattoo artists, hot rod painters, pin strippers, illustrators, fine artists, graphic artists, sculptors, designers, graffiti artists, photographers and more. The participating artists hail from up and down the state including Long Beach, Temecula, Sacramento, and the Bay Area in addition to our local Tuolumnites. I am very excited to see the final collection of pins and will be sure to post photos for those unlucky enough not to attend.

This is the first of many themed art shows I will be hosting here in Tuolumne County. Hopefully these shows will spark a bit of excitement in the flat-lining local art scene and inspire other young creatives to become active in the community. I will keep you posted with bowling pin teasers and future events so stay tuned and let me hear some feed back!

Returning Show 2

{ Poster designed by me }

The second installment of the Returning Show kicks of this weekend at the Stage 3 Theatre in downtown Sonora. The show features artworks by several young artists who were raised in Tuolumne County. The reception will take place from 5-7pm this Saturday the 19th. There will be snacks and booze as well as art you won’t see anywhere else in the county. This isn’t the usual water color of flowers, photograph of the Red Church or oil painting of an old barn. This is art with a bit more of an edge. A happy cyclops, a dia de los muertos party, and Jesus with a .45 are just some of the subjects you will see here. So come on by and get yo art on before you drink the weekend into oblivion.

UTL vs Local Entities

I have been creating some shirt images for local groups and events through West Side Design in the city of Tuolumne. Here are are some designs/illustrations that will be walking around in the coming months:

{for Golden State Cellular}
{lumberjack character from previous artist}

Sonora Art Show Success!

There isn’t much to do out here in the foothills, but there is a small group of people looking to change that. Last night those brave enough to expose themselves to new music, images and ideas headed to the Frog & Fiddle in downtown Sonora. The Frog & Fiddle has become the new hot spot for interesting night life in Tuolumne County. The outstanding art of Forest Stearns provided visual entertainment for the evenings festivities. I met Forest through the Returning Show last summer. He is a great guy, terrific artist and an eager contributor to the new arts culture of Tuolumne County. Soon enough I will have collaborations and interviews with Forest to post for now if you missed out on the fantastic Art Show last night here are some images:

{Forest Stearns and Duane}

The art of Forest Stearns is always impressive and inspiring.




The DJs were doing their thing.



A great time was had by all.




Josh Ryan, my friend

I see that many people have been searching the blog for information on the sad story of Josh Ryan. Here is what I have for you:

A few weeks back I posted an excited rant on the new screen printing business my friends and I were working on. Josh Ryan, the guy who brought us all together to get excited about the project ended his life last week, Tuesday the 24th of February. Josh was one of the nicest, most out going and personable people I have ever had the pleasure of calling friend. We met in high school and got to know each other on the wrestling team. We were the same weight so we had to wrestle off for the varsity position every week.  We lost connection (like I did with most people) when we parted ways for college. We reunited when we both moved back to Tuolumne County. He would always ask me about graphic design and screen printing and propose the idea of working together. It wasn’t until recently that we really started working together and setting up the business plan with our partners. We had met with potential clients, attended community meetings and signed up for volunteer work together. He was always talking about the future and setting up plans for us and the print shop. The last day I saw him I had brought him to the print shop I use for my relief printing. He was really excited to learn the craft and start a new painting. We made plans to meet the next day to work on a project together. The next day came and I couldn’t get a hold of him. I didn’t think much of it because Josh didn’t have a working cell phone. Later that night Calen called me and told me of the news. I was in a state of disbelief and denial for the rest of the week. It is still hard to believe that my friend, someone whom I had been working so closely with, could be feeling how he did without ever showing the slightest hint of depression, distress or angst. Know that nothing is so bad that you need to end your life. Attend his memorial and you will see the hundreds of people loved Josh and would have done everything in their power to keep him here with us today.

A memorial will be held in Josh’s honor this Sunday, March 8th at 1:30pm at the Sierra Bible Church.

Artist Survey #14: Lindsey Lutts

I met Lindsey during preparations for the Returning Show. The punk rock attitude captured in many of her photos contrasted nicely with the clean photography of other artists (check out her web page for more examples). She grew up here in Sonora and has since moved to the Bay Area. Despite the distance she is always willing to make the drive up to the foothills to help with our struggling youth art scene. Look for her work at the next foothill art event.



(Ocean Necklace by Lindsey – Silver hand made chain mail all soldered
with turquoise and hydrologic press silver charms etched in acid.)


Name: Lindsey

Location: San Francisco

Medium(s): Photographer, Metal Artist/ Jewelry, Ceramics, Knitting, Graphic Designer

What do you consider yourself (artist/designer/other)? Starving Artist maybe because I am still trying to figure out how to do it for a living. It’s hard to consider myself an artist when everyone thinks they are an artist. Anyone with a finger can push a button on a camera. It takes a lot to stand out in the world today and to not blend in with the masses.

Where can we see your work (place/publications/url)? but it is very out of date. has weekly updates of musician/band photos.

When did you start gaining interest in artistic forms of expression? Ever since I can remember.

Who/What inspired your interest? Almost anything can inspire me, a color or combination of colors, a smell that reminds me of a time, a feeling, the way light falls upon something, and pretty much every kind of art.

Where do you first remember being exposed to art? My family has always encouraged me be artistic from the time I could hold a paint brush. We made ceramics, paintings, and various crafts all the time. When I was 12 I took an underwater photo with one of those plastic disposable cameras that came out pretty cool. I think it still might be my favorite photo I have taken. Right away it stood out so my Grandma took it to get enlarged at a photo shop. Someone there saw it and bought a large copy for his law office wall. When my Grandma called me from the print shop and asked me if she could sell it and than brought me a check, I realized that this was what I was going to do for the rest of my life.

What is your day job? Accountant (yeah boring I know). I have worked in many types of photography jobs in the past but sold out for the higher paying job. I am not sure if I would recommend it but I have learned a ton that will help me when I decide to start my own business.

Why do you create? It is the only thing I do that makes me completely one hundred percent happy. It is my escape from the world but it is also my interpretation of the world and how it affects me.

Is there any recurring theme in your work? I go through different phases and if I figure out what they are at the time I am shooting them instead of after, I go with it and try to stick with it. It is usually just one word like decay, serenity, or sound…

What do you want from your work? I don’t think I want it to give me anything but I will give to it. Does that make sense at all? Haha

What do you want viewers to take from your work? To see me. Also if my work provokes a feeling inside someone no matter what the feeling is, it is successful.

How often do you work on personal projects? Always. I consider it all personal.

How often do you work on commissions or commercial work? I work for a small magazine photographing bands and submit to many other magazines monthly. Some of my photos will be in AMP Magazine’s next issue. I recently set up a studio in my house so I am starting to shoot a lot more band portraits, families, kids, and pin ups.

Does your art support you financially? No, that is my ultimate goal though.

Do you feel preoccupied with your art, do you think about it often during the day and night and do you anticipate your next session? Yes, like right now I am at work and really need to be at home working on some Riverboat Gamblers photos for a magazine. If I wait too long, other photos will be used.

What do you do in your spare time besides your art? It is really hard for me to go anywhere without a camera. I am trying to think of an instance when I do not have one with me. I think I am always working and looking for things that inspire me. It could be something as simple as a color or texture or something amazing that is just about to happen around the corner and I am ready for it. If I did not have my camera I would miss it. I have this strange kind of fear that I am going to miss something and in turn am constantly shooting. I do other things in my spare time but they always end up becoming about the photos that I can get while doing it.

Which musicians are you currently interested in? Gaslight Anthem, American Steel, Get Dead, Dead to Me, Samiam, The Clash, Drag the River, Devil Makes 3, Johnny Cash…

Are there any events you are looking forward to attending? Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas next week. Hundreds of bands and record labels form bowling teams and come from all over for a crazy week in Vegas. There are tournaments and shows going on the whole time. The teams all make their own uniforms and come to bowl and drink 24 hours a day. This is one of my favorite things to photograph every year.

Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of your art? I don’t think so but I know a lot of people who have. I have only lost parts of myself and my time by not doing more art.

Do you work on multiple projects at once? Always. Imagine trying to take just one photo, or trying to choose just one after a shoot.

Do you have trouble parting with your finished work? Sometimes. I make handmade jewelry and that is much harder to part with than a photograph. A photograph can be duplicated in its raw form but Jewelry can not. I once spent over 200 hours on one piece and don’t see myself selling it anytime soon.