● By Wendy Sipple
Photo by Dante Fontana
Stockton artist and retired University of the Pacific Art Professor Gil Dellinger profoundly said “Art is important. We tend to think it is a luxury, but it gives people deep pleasure when beauty is the personification of the hope that something grander is at work.”
Several citizens of Rocklin have embraced this idea and have grown two very unique and wonderful art and performance venues in their community. Rocklin Fine Arts and Rocklin Community Theatre make sure that residents know that “art matters” in their little corner of Placer County. These two very dynamic groups are willing and able to bring culture into their community with lots of support from residents.
Rocklin Fine Arts is an enclave of nearly 50 talented artists who work in almost as many media. “Art is really growing in Rocklin,” says Jer Jarrett, the group’s treasurer, founding member and artist. President Bill Jarrett, who handles the business end of things, heads the group. “I have a project management background,” Bill says. “It helps when working with the City on projects.” The City-sponsored group holds meetings each month. The meetings are open to members, and offer a little bit of business and a whole lot of inspiration. “We want to offer art education at each meeting,” Jer explains.
The artists’ work is displayed throughout the year at various business locations around the city. However, the big event is their annual membership show held each spring. Now in its third year, the elegant show will be held May 15 and 16, at the Rocklin Community Center. Last year more than 70 pieces of art were available to view, enjoy and purchase. The group expects even more at the upcoming year’s show. Bill encourages folks to come and see for themselves. “There is just so much to see and experience,” he says.
Rocklin Community Theatre holds four major productions each year at the historic Finnish Temperance Hall. This non-profit group casts all their productions through workshops sponsored by the City of Rocklin’s Parks and Recreation Department. As with fine arts, the city also sponsors meeting, rehearsal, and performance venues. The group relies heavily on many volunteers and their varied talents to help make productions possible.
Actor’s Director Jill Page encourages people to sign up for workshops. “Even if you can’t act,” she says, “you get a positive experience from class.” The program is unique since it offers opportunities to be on stage without tryouts. “We are one of the few theatres,” Page continues, “where auditions are not required for getting a part.” Adults, children and entire families have the opportunity to be part of one of the productions.
The quartet of productions varies with cast ages and all types of subjects. Musicals to comedies are staged for workshop participants to learn the craft of acting or support positions. These dedicated individuals are committed to reminding all of the citizens of Rocklin and its surrounding communities that art is integral to our lives.