Who is the artist?

As individuals, each person involved with the Concord Community of Artists works with their own artistic vision and voice, and with their own priority and purpose for their artmaking. Over the next few weeks, we'll meet some of these wonderful folks and get a peek into their lives as artists.

Meet Joani Share, who recently relocated and now makes Concord her new home.

"In April of this year, my husband Mark and I moved into our newly renovated home in Concord, California. Moving into a new house is always a big deal, and for us it was huge. After living for 44 years in Arizona (Phoenix/Scottsdale), we moved here to be close to our daughter, son-in-law and three adorable granddaughters (5, 3, and 7 months). We are both recently retired - Mark had been a Director of Educational Technology for a large school district, and I taught Visual Art (Art I – AP) in a public high school and dual enrollment through a community college.

I have always been an active artist, even during all of my teaching years. Moving to Concord meant reestablishing a studio and finding an art community. The remodel on our house included a large studio - which allows me to create art, and teach art to small groups. I was thrilled to find a community of artists in the Concord Community of Artists group and to begin making friends in my new home base.

Joani Share 
As I have settled into my new space, I have continued creating art– primarily utilizing mixed media. I have long been interested in shape, form and color with abstract figures as my main imagery. I have recently begun to search for ways to show my work in the wide area known as the East Bay. I submitted images to the Public Art Program in Walnut Creek, and two of my works have been selected and installed in the Downtown Walnut Creek Utility Box Project (through Bedford Gallery). These pieces will be included in the City of Walnut Creek/Bedford Gallery website, and become part of the art on the walking tour.

As I work in my new studio in Concord, I am enjoying the process of creating in a new environment. Combined with the art that I brought from Arizona, I have a large body of artwork that needs to find homes. I am currently in the process of determining the best place and fit for me to sell my art – the gallery scene here is vast, much larger than the one I just left. My website has recently been updated to reflect my Concord address.

Having Concord as my new home base has allowed me to begin exploring the art venues of San Francisco. Now I am only a BART ride away from the art scene here instead of an airplane trip. I am excited to be part of this community - looking forward to creating new art, meeting more artists, volunteering and enjoying all that is available in the rolling hills of the East Bay/SF area."

Who is the artist?

Meet Susan Pace-Koch, author and publisher of children's picture books.

Susan Pace-Koch
"The wheels are always turning at Get Out Books. We just completed the illustration and design for
The Four Bears, printing in 2016. A terrifically fun Black Bear Coloring Book is also in the works, with illustrations by Jack Wiens. This will be a companion to The Four Bears for bear and fun-lovers.

We have been working on handmade mermaid dolls, replicating the characters in The Mermaid and the Moon, illustrated by Concord artist, Tracie Timmer. A huge thank you to artist Lois Willhite for collaboration on their design and implementation!

Magic wands and 'mermaid kisses' are now in our inventory for holiday shows, plus we will be starting to work with 'storybook spoons' with the fantastic artist Emily Stepp lending her skills, taking a brief break from her more serious art.

An audio version of our most recent book, The Mermaid and the Moon, has just been completed and is available on iTunes, Audible and Amazon.

A Pie for a Pig, with a cast of colorful Pig characters, has been created as a downloadable education app. The Pigs are now animated and available for Chinese learners, too. All twelve of the Pig characters have been recreated in felt by fiber artist Merry Manias for traveling art shows."

Look for all this and more from Susan in 2016!

Who is the artist?

Meet Denise Hillman; her work is included in the Martinez Art Gallery.

Denise Hillman in Burano, Italy

"Growing up, I was the kid who would sit and draw for hours and hours. I always wanted to be an artist but went down a 'safer' business path after college. I earned B.A. degrees in Expressive Arts and Advertising, and worked as a marketing manager for a variety of big firms. I’m now a principal of Snap Communications and work as a marketing consultant along with my art pursuits.

I’ve always loved stained glass and about 7 years ago I walked into the Stained Glass Garden in Berkeley and said 'someday I’m going to learn how to do this!' That finally happened a couple of years ago when I took two 5-week class series and set up my own studio at home.

I love the craft of creating glass art: the tools, the materials, the colors and textures. It’s been a perfect medium for me because it takes drawing skills to create my own patterns, and I’ve also used my photography as the basis for some panels. Last summer I traveled to Italy and was inspired by the colorful buildings on the islands off Venice. This led me to create two panels from photographs taken in Burano.

Burano Sunset 9.5" X 14.5" stained glass
I was juried into the Martinez Art Gallery in July 2015. It’s a co-op and I enjoy the stimulation of being around the other 19 artists in the gallery. I have several pieces on display in the current show, Abstraction & Expressionism. Also, I just finished a few pieces for a special Dia de los Muertos mini-show at the gallery. Next I’m working on some panels for the gallery show that opens in November with the theme of Celebrate Martinez. They will likely involve the waterfront, trains or both. I’m also working on smaller gift items for the holidays, like colorful fish sun catchers.

In terms of subject matter, I get bored easily and tend to do very different things with each piece. I love connecting with other artists and collaborating when possible. Recently I met metal artist Cyndy Wight and she gave me some of her cut outs which I’m incorporating into glass pieces. I’ve also done a few pieces with agate slices. Examples of my work are at dhartglass.weebly.com.

I belong to a couple of glass art groups on Facebook, one of which is called Stained Glass Addicts, which sounds funny, but it’s truly an addiction."

Who is the artist?

Meet Kim Lawson, who recently organized a community event using arts and crafts to bring her neighborhood together.

Kim Lawson
“I have a BA degree in English from UC Santa Barbara. Not particularly useful in the art world, but I love words and am skillful in finding ways to manipulate them in work and art projects. As an early retiree, I find that I have a lot of time on my hands and thus, started playing with art projects in my home studio - things that I had always wanted to work on because deep down I knew I loved the exploration and creativity of the soul.

I love all kinds of artwork and my studio is filled with beads, papers, yarn, wire, bottles, paint - you name it! I find odd things to collect sometimes on the street, junk mail, discarded toys, sale bins, and my "happy hour" beverages. My family secretly thinks I have a hoarding disease. Is it wrong to see potential in everything?

I can't seem to settle on one kind of project type. As a self-taught artist, I have found great joy in watercolor, photography, drawing, and art journaling. Bold colors, unusual viewpoints, and nature catch my attention and I work to produce pieces that I see in my mind's eye.

Colorful Corners - watercolor affixed to canvas 
My career background focused on project and event management. I recently organized a local art and craft fair in Concord that included over 40 artists. I will be teaching a craft class and an art journaling class beginning in January for the Concord Park and Recreation department. I have taught classes at Concord's Hobby Lobby store, I have an Etsy site - besameart.etsy.com, I'm featured at local craft fairs, and regularly organize "Girls' Night Art" events for friends wanting to learn fun projects. I've heard people say, 'I can't make that. I'm not artsy.' I believe everyone has a creative spirit within and it's just a matter of finding the spark and igniting it. It's amazing to watch that spirit come alive! I encourage myself and others by saying mistakes are not part of our vocabulary, but rather opportunities to create something new and better.

Rosalynn Carter once said, 'You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.' That said, I soldier on!”  
   —Kim Lawson

Community Engagement - The Arts Build Community

Emily Stepp (left) and Lynne Noone
Making art is not the only priority for our artists.  In fact, one of the main tenets of the Concord Community of Artists is to engage with our community organizations in ways that enliven civic programs and enhance the vitality within our city and among our residents and visitors.
"Libraries have become so much more than books. People still come to the library to get books, but once they get here, they realize how much is going on. Working with the Concord Community of Artists is a great example of community in action. When I asked the group if someone was interested in creating a "NEW BOOKS" sign for the Concord Library, artist Emily Stepp generously donated her time and talent to this project and the result was spectacular! Working together, we spark imagination, fuel potential, and connect people with ideas and each other."       - Lynne Noone, Adult Services Librarian

Summer Months

We are busy keeping the arts alive in Concord over the summer months by being involved in the local Art & Wine walk, attending the Music Series at Todos Santos Plaza, and making time to socialize too!

AAUW Art & Wine Walk
AAUW Art & Wine Walk
Music Series - Todos Santos Plaza
Good ol' fun!
....and more fun.

Concord Arts Alive! Emerge - Show Catalog

We're pleased to present our first show catalog - featuring all of the participating artists and their work that was displayed at aRt Cottage last month.

In addition to viewing our catalog here, you can also click here to download it as a PDF. Enjoy!

Thank you!


Thank you to all the visitors from Concord and beyond who came to support our debut visual art show and contributed to its great success! We had a remarkable turnout of support at our reception and many viewers throughout the entire month.

Special thanks to Katie Nolan and her art teaching staff from Clayton Valley Charter High School, to the participant art students from CVCHS, and to FRO from the aRt Cottage.

We are grateful for the community leaders who attended the VIP art mixer. Their openness to exchange ideas for evolving to a more art-friendly, responsible city is inspiring.

Coming up - watch for our digital catalog of Concord Arts Alive! Emerge coming soon!

Featured Artist day at aRt Cottage: March 27

From left - Laurie and Sylvia

Come by aRt Cottage this Friday - it's the last day to see the show and chat with some of our artists!

Friday, March 27
   1:30 - 3:30pm:   Meet Laurie Mansur
   3:00 - 5:00pm:  Meet Sylvia Nuzzo Philis

We hope you've had a chance to see our artists' work and maybe you'll even consider buying a piece to take home. aRt Cottage is located at 2238 Mt. Diablo Street in Concord.

Artist Reception for Concord Arts Alive! Emerge

Enjoy our slide show of pictures taken at our Artist Reception to open our show - Concord Arts Alive! Emerge.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Art Students from Clayton Valley Charter High School

We invited art students from Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord to participate in our show, Concord Arts Alive! Emerge - and we were so delighted with their work!

Including these budding and talented young artists was a way to exemplify the range of artists living in our community. It forges a new relationship with local arts and local education, and it helps create a beautiful bridge of generations among all the artists involved.
Here are a few of the students who came to the Artist Reception:

Emily, Senior - Untitled (photography)

Micah, Senior - Holding Africa (mixed media)

Hannah, Junior - The War Inside (graphite)

Skylar, Sophomor - The Arc (photography)

Myenna, Junior - The World (watercolor)

Colin, Freshman - Big Chicken (acrylic)

Katie, Junior - The Lion and Life (pen and ink)

Featured Artist days at aRt Cottage: March 20-21

Top:  Margarette, Lois, Lisa    |    Bottom:  Ryan, MJ, Mary Frances

Come by aRt Cottage this Friday or Saturday to see the show and chat with some of our artists!

Friday, March 20
   12 - 1pm:   Meet Lois Willhite
   1:30 - 2:30pm:   Meet MJ Coleman
   3 - 4pm:   Meet Mary Frances Crabtree
   4 - 5pm:   Meet Ryan Idryo

Saturday, March 21
   1 - 2pm: Meet Margarette Sheldon
   2 - 4pm: Meet Lisa Fulmer

Check back next week to see which artists will be waiting to meet you on March 27, the last day of our show. aRt Cottage is located at 2238 Mt. Diablo Street in Concord.

Featured Artist days at aRt Cottage: March 13-14

Top:  Tim, Robbin, Pat    |    Bottom:  Jaide, Emily, Mary Frances

Come by aRt Cottage this Friday or Saturday to see the show and chat with some of our artists!

Friday, March 13
   12 - 2pm:  Meet Tim Dallas and Robbin Milne
   3 - 4pm:  Meet Mary Frances Crabtree
   4 - 5pm:  Meet Emily Stepp

Saturday, March 14
   1 - 2pm:  Meet Tim Dallas
   2 - 3:30pm:  Meet Pat Strout
   3 - 4pm:  Meet Jaide Marchand

Check back next week to see which artists will be waiting to meet you on March 20-21. aRt Cottage is located at 2238 Mt. Diablo Street in Concord.

Our show was featured in the Contra Costa Times!

Click here to read this wonderful article that features our group's founder, Sylvia Nuzzo Philis (center) and two of our many talented artists - Laurie Mansur (left) and Emily Stepp (right).

We also recently hosted an evening of inspiring conversation about the importance of the arts with several of Concord's city and community leaders, including our Mayor, Tim Grayson.

Lots of fabulous ideas and opportunities for our group to consider in the months ahead - everyone agrees the arts are alive in Concord!

Featured Artist Days at aRt Cottage: March 6 - 7

Every Friday and Saturday in March, you can meet some of the artists participating in Concord Arts Alive! Emerge at aRt Cottage in Concord. You might even catch them sketching or painting on site!

We're so excited about our first art show and sale, which features the work of 21 Concord-resident artists, plus 16 art students from Clayton Valley Charter High School. Not only will you be inspired by the diversity and talent on display, you'll also find the prices to be reasonable - so now's the time to add something new to the walls of your home or office.

From left - Lisa, Sylvia, Anamilena

Friday, March 6th  
  12-2pm - meet Lisa Fulmer
  1:30 - 3:30pm - meet Sylvia Nuzzo Philis
  4-5pm - meet Anamilena Ayala

Saturday, March 7th
2-5pm - Join all the artists for our Opening Reception! Wine and light refreshments will be served.

The show runs from today through March 27 - be sure to check the aRt Cottage website for the hours they are open. Check back next week to see which artists will be waiting to meet you on March 13-14.

Our art is on display at the Concord Library

art display at Concord Library

We are so happy to have a big, beautiful display of several of our members' work on display just inside the entrance of the Concord Library for the whole month of February. These pieces and many more will be featured at our first show in March - Concord Arts Alive! Emerge - at aRt Cottage.

The artists featured in this library display are (left to right):
- Sylvia Nuzzo Philis
- Tim Dallas
- Anamilena Ayala
- Tracie Timmer
- Susan Pace Koch
- Lisa Fulmer
- Aaron Freeman
- Lois Willhite
- Jeslyn Cantrell
- Laurie Mansur
- Emily Stepp

We hope you'll visit the library and have a look - use our hashtag #ConcordArtsAlive on social media to let us know you were there. Then we'll look forward to seeing you again in March - click here to download a flyer with all the show details.

Ready, set ... show!

concord arts alive emerge art show

concord arts alive emerge artists

We're so excited about our show in March - and now you can see a sneak peek of some of our artists' work on display at the Concord Public Library in the display case inside the entrance. What makes this show extra special is that all the artists live in Concord!

We hope you'll join us at the opening reception on March 7th - plus artists will be at the gallery on Fridays and Saturdays in March. Stay tuned for more details!