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Community of Creativity: Spotlight on Arts Associations

You don’t have to travel to New York or Paris—or even San Francisco—to find spectacular art. The suburbs of Sacramento are home to an array of talented artists who work in every medium, from watercolor and oils to jewelry and photography. Several local arts associations support these artists, not only helping them perfect their crafts but also bringing art experiences to the public. Here’s what’s happening at four arts associations in our area.

Folsom Arts Association
More than 200 members of all ages who work in every medium, including glass, gourds, and jewelry, as well as non-artists, referred to as “art enthusiasts.” $25/individual; $40/family. Meetings and shows are at 48 Natoma Street in Folsom.

Sunset Goose Cruise by Rona Knapp


  • Entries are currently being accepted for the 14th Annual Folsom Focus Photography Contest. Amateur photographers can submit photos of Folsom in four categories: outdoors, wildlife, urban, and macro photography. Phone or camera OK. $6/entry per photo. Monetary prizes are awarded. Two age categories: 15 and under; 16 and older. “This is a great opportunity for kids who are just starting to learn photography and adults who are preparing a picture for their first show,” says FAA Vice President Sandy Hilton. Entries will be exhibited in the Gallery at 48 Natoma from October-January.
  • Free monthly meetings (the second Thursday of every month at 6 p.m.) feature workshops or demonstrations. Non-members and non-artists are welcome.
  • Art camps at Folsom Lake College where artists come together for three days to work with and meet other artists. “Artists work in isolation,” Hilton says, “so the socializing is important.”
  • Bus trips to art-related events, often to San Francisco.
  • Annual show to display members’ work in the Gallery at 48 Natoma.

Placerville Arts Association
Approximately 145 members who work in “almost anything under the sun,” says PAA President Lynell Phillips, including assemblages and woodworking. $35/individual; $60/couple.

Pond Lillies by Linda Heath Clark


  • Art entries (any theme, any medium) are being accepted (through September 23) for the 56th Annual PAA National Mother Lode Art Exhibition; show runs November 3-19 at Mills Station Arts and Culture Center in Rancho Cordova. Open to non-members, but monetary awards go to members only.
  • Monthly meetings featuring artists presentations are free and held on the third Sunday of each month at 1:30 p.m. (currently on Zoom). Non-members welcome.
  • Visit artists in their studios and view their works at this year’s PAA Studio Tour on September 17, 18, 24, and 25.
  • This year’s Member Show, Collections, is virtual. View the art through August 14. “I continue to be so amazed at the quality of art our group puts out,” says Phillips.
  • The group often donates to youth organizations and schools. Last year’s recipients include Gold Hill Unified School District and Boys and Girls Clubs.

El Dorado Hills Arts Association
The group’s 103 members meet at 6 p.m. the second Monday of the month at Faith Episcopal Church in Cameron Park. Non-members welcome. $25/individual; $40/family.

El Dorado Hills Arts Association


  • The El Dorado Hills Arts Association’s annual Spring Studio Tour is held annually in May; this year’s featured 15 studios and 43 artists. The group also sponsors a Member Art Show every other year at the Harris Center.
  • The association annually awards $1,000 to an Oak Ridge High School graduating senior and partners with the EDH Community Services District and Chamber of Commerce to provide art for events.

Arts Council of Placer County
The Arts Council of Placer County, based in Rocklin, advocates and coordinates for all artists and art groups. As a partner to the county and the California Arts Council, they disburse grant funds to its members and serve as a clearinghouse for county arts information. Its seasonal Arts & Culture Guide is a fun, colorful, comprehensive resource of local arts events.

Shoreline by Joe Strickland


  • Learn how artists shape their creations and find a perfect holiday gift at the Placer Artists Tour (, the largest arts event in Placer County—so popular it’s scheduled for two weekends this year: November 11-13 and 18-20. Maps will be available in mid-September, and 110 artists are expected to show in 73 locations. Taste of the Tour will exhibit at Blue Line Arts in Roseville from November 4-10.
  • Stay tuned for more details on next year’s Art Studio Trek, a springtime tour where attendees visit select artists and learn how they work.
  • Besides supporting artists, Arts Council of Placer County grants funds to teachers for supplies and projects and to help the underserved. “There’s a lot more emphasis nowadays on arts and culture,” says Executive Director Jim Crosthwaite. “People understand that we all need art. The arts help support our culture.”

by  Linda Holderness
EDH Arts Association photos by Alison Yeadon. Other photos courtesy of their respective companies or organizations.