by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center
For ten years North Columbia’s ART CAMP has consistently provided a high quality experience for young artists and their families. The prime ingredient in the formula for this success is the excellence of the staff. Each mentoring artist is not only an expert with a treasure trove of finely honed skills to share. The artists are dedicated, highly committed human beings who are able to effectively communicate passion as well as expertise. They are kind, generous, good humored, and kid-friendly, understanding the impact one short week of immersion in arts experiences can have on the life of a child. Meet a few of the very special people who will be sharing their skills, their passions and themselves at the FRC this summer:
“Art helps you understand the world and find your place in it. It’s really fun to do Art. I want to share that with people and kids are pretty receptive to fun!”
A talented and versatile artist, Molly Jochem will be mentoring workshops in mask-making and sculpture. Once a student at Oak Tree, Grizzly Hill, and Nevada Union, Molly ventured on to Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, then San Francisco State University where she earned a BA in painting. She currently has a studio at Willow Springs in North San Juan and will have a show at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center this fall. In addition to being shown in North Columbia, Molly’s work has been exhibited in Nevada City, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Portland.
“It’s important for everyone to value their own personal expression. Everyone is creative and everyone’s creations are valuable. It’s amazing to see kids do artwork and see their profound levels of skill and creativity.”
A Northern California native, Sasha St. John grew up in the Los Gatos area. She attended San Jose State and earned a BA in Art at Loyola University in Rome, Italy. Making her home on the San Juan Ridge for the past 16 years, Sasha has become known to many as the “Fairy Lady.” Sasha’s business, Eden River Art, reproduces and sells prints of her paintings, as well as greeting cards, refrigerator magnets, and the Oracle Deck. Created to “promote respect for sentient Nature in all of its forms,” her Oracle Deck has been published in Switzerland, printed in 6 languages, and is marketed internationally. Presently devoting herself to working with horses, Sasha explained, “I have a lot of training in personal growth; and I love to work with horses and people!”
“Music is precious at this time, especially world music traditions. Balkan traditions include the gypsy culture and are influenced by the Middle-eastern culture. Working with children who are motivated is sheer joy, especially when leaving the impression of the vitality and importance of acoustic rather than electronic music.”
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Ludi Hinrichs has lived locally since 1989. He dedicated four years to formally studying music composition, improvisation, and education, spending one year in Conservatory training, two years at S. Illinois University, and one year at Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA. He has also studied numerous musical traditions, including raga composition, jazz, and R&B. Proficient on percussion, trombone, piano, voice, and didgeridoo, Ludi has made 5 CD’s, plays with many musicians in a wide variety of genres, including his eclectic ensemble ChickenBonz, and gives private instruction.
“I think music and theater training are invaluable to children because they help with so many aspects of life, even outside the realm of the arts. Theater arts build confidence, help with attention and learning strategies, help with listening and working cooperatively, and develop communication skills. I attribute my success in school to my theater background.”
A Nevada County native, Camille Collings graduated from Forest Charter School, earned a bachelor’s of music in vocal performance from UC Santa Cruz, and received her master’s of arts in education from National University. First appearing on stage at the age of five, Camille has been in over 40 full stage productions, including HAIR, Albert Herring (an opera by Benjamin Brittin), and Foothill Theater Company’s Urinetown. She just completed her stint as musical director for GAS Theater Company’s production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. Camille Collings also works as a vocal and acting coach for the Nevada County Performing Arts Guild and teaches voice privately.