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City employees: Unleashing their creativity

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Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012 6:49 am

They are the people who answer your phone calls, who help you find books and who keep the theater lights on. While city of Lodi employees spend their days keeping things running, many spend their nights and weekends behind cameras and easels. Now, 10 city employees are showing their artistic side at a group show for January’s First Friday Art Hop.

Christopher ‘Mark’ White: City of Lodi, Information Systems Division

His art: Drawing. He will show several drawings at the First Friday Art Hop.

Where he lives: In Lodi, though he grew up in Stockton.

High schools: Lincoln High School graduate, Edison High School.

Family: Two daughters who are students at California State University, Chico.

What’s in his toolbox: Graphite pencil and paper.

How he learned: White is basically self-taught. In 1981, when he began working for the city of Lodi, he did a pen and ink drawing of City Hall. It is now framed and given to visitors, including Dan Quayle, who visited during his whistle-stop campaign.

His goal: To eventually have his own show and be a working artist.

Favorite things to do in Lodi: White says he likes to take advantage of living in the middle of the finest Zinfandels in the world.

“There are so many wineries ... just get out and visit people,” he said.

There are also a lot of local bands that play, which he enjoys listening to.

The perfect Saturday: Sailing on the Delta. White’s longest trip was after high school when he and a friend sailed for 40 days from the British Virgin Islands  to the United States.

Daniel Barriga: Hutchins Street Square, building maintenance

His art: Airbrush illustrations.

Hometown: Lodi.

High school: Tokay High School.

The most important tools: Mini compressor, acrylic paint (his recent preference) and an airbrush.

How he learned: Barriga did airbrushing for the first time when he was 16, and has been working to be a better artist ever since. He was introduced to art at Tokay High School, where he took three years of art classes.

“I was one of those art geeks in the corner,” he said.

Favorite things to do in Lodi: Work on restoring his 1963 Impala at his dad’s shop, Touch of Class, in Lodi.

His idea of a perfect Saturday: Relaxing with some cool friends.

Goals: He’d like to fuse photography and airbrushing, and paint his own images.

Christina McCollam Martinez: Hutchins Street Square, stage technician

Her art: Paintings, drawings and models of stages she built when designing stage lighting for various theater performances.

Where she lives: Manteca, though she grew up in Placer County.

High School: Placer High School.

Family: Husband, Mike Martinez.

When not at the Square: Martinez is also a freelance scenic designer (for some productions at University of the Pacific, Tracy Repertoire Theater and St. Mary’s High School) and is an adjunct professor at San Joaquin Delta College, where she teaches theater art.

Art in college: She has two bachelor’s degrees from California State University, Stanislaus, in criminal justice and theater. She has an masters of fine arts from University of California, Davis, in technical theater.   

In her toolbox: Pencil, pastel, oil and chalk.

What she’ll show at the Art Hop: Models for “Night at the Circus” and “Pygmalion” and four paintings.

Inspirations: Reading each play and trying to see what the playwright wanted. For her art, nature and life inspires her.

Her perfect Saturday: Communing with nature, hiking and being outdoors — especially in the Tahoe National Forest.

Christine Wright: City of Lodi, human resources technician

Her art: Photography.

Hometown: Lodi.

High school: St. Mary’s High School.

Family: Husband, Jim Wright.

Shoots with: Canon Rebel T2i.

What she’ll be showing: Photos from Mt. Shasta, a butterfly from a reserve near Redding and a sunset she photographed while driving along Pacific Coast Highway.

Wright’s favorite times to pull our her cameras are while traveling with her husband, Jim. Some of her favorite photographs are from their trip to New York last year and a drive to scenic Mt. Shasta. Her love for photography makes documenting their adventures more fun.

How she learned: Wright is completely self taught. She

learned to become comfortable with her camera with a little trial-and-error — and by picking up a few techniques she learned from the DVD that came with her Rebel.

Favorite things to do in Lodi: Biking around Lodi and kayaking with her husband.

Her idea of a perfect Saturday: She prefers summertime, so she can take the dog out or go kayaking somewhere.

Maria Ditmore: City of Lodi, administration clerk for City Clerk’s Office

Her art: Photography.

Where she’s from: Lodi and Stockton.

High schools: St. Marys High School and Bear Creek High School.

Family: Husband, Jarred Ditmore; children Bobbi Owens and Tyler Ditmore.

What she shoots with: Kodak 70x Zoom. “I’ve probably had this for 10 years,” she said. “It been everywhere with me.”

Favorite things to shoot: People and animals.

Favorite subject: When it comes to photography, Maria Ditmore loves to capture that special moment, like when a couple is embracing and they don’t know someone else is watching.

What’s in the show: Photo of her 3-year-old boxer, Berkeley.

What she does for fun: Visit San Francisco. “We pretty much live there.”

Her tips for the best of San Francisco: The Mission District. “Clarion Alley has a lot of great color.”

Describe your ideal Saturday: “San Francisco. Going to Joe DiMaggio Playground with my kids and taking their pictures. Then, Grabbing a slice at Golden Boy pizza.”

Gena Brentt: Hutchins Street Square, rentals consultant

Her art: Drawing with the eraser technique or reverse field.

Family: Husband, Jim Brentt; four children and four grandchildren.

High school: Lodi High School until Tokay High School was built. She was part of the first graduating class at Tokay.

Tools: Pencil and eraser.

How you do it: Use pencils with various leads, and cover the entire page with a dark layer. Begin erasing and creating an image with an eraser as the main tool.

Background in art: Brentt took a beginning drawing class with Mario Marino at San Joaquin Delta College in 2004.

What she’s showing: A drawing of “Rocky,” the Yorkie she had from 1996 to 2011; a large portrait of her neighbor’s dog Phoebe, and a Chihuahua.

Favorite things to do in Lodi: Brentt enjoys local restaurants: Crush, Rosewood, Oz, Scooters. They also have a fifth-wheel they like to take to the coast.

Describe your perfect Saturday: “Sleeping in late and waking up looking out my fifth-wheel at the Pacific Ocean.”

Julie Wall: Lodi Police Department, investigations secretary

Her art: Quilting.

Hometown: Lodi.

High school: Galt High School.

Pet: Carlo, the parrot, which she has had for 20 years.

What she’ll be showing at the Art Hop: Wall-hanging-sized quilts and a few standard-sized quilts.

When she started quilting: In 1983, when she joined Lodi’s quilting group (Tokay Stitch ’N Quilt Guild), which now has about 80 to 90 active members.

How she learned: Though she knew how to sew, she learned the art of quilting by teachers who offered workshops when she joined the guild.

Sharing her skills: She has enjoyed teaching her niece and great-niece to sew and quilt now that they are part of the guild’s Young Quilters Group.

Favorite things to do in Lodi: Shopping, visiting friends and working on quilts.

Karen Woods: Lodi Public Library, library assistant

Her art: Pastel painting.

Where she’s from: Lockeford, but she grew up in Paso Robles.

High School: Lodi High School.

Pets: A cat named Sarah.

Tools: Pastel on pastel paper.

Where she learned: It was in workshops at the Knowlton Gallery with Gil Dellinger that she found out she enjoyed working with pastels.

Favorite things to do in Lodi: Visit Tillie’s Coffee and Tea with some friends, all part of the Lodi Writer’s Association. Also, the Sandhill Crane Festival.

Describe your perfect Saturday: Meeting with friends, playing with my cat, doing some art and maybe reading a book.

Lyman Chang: Public Works, senior civil engineer

His art: Photography.

Hometown: Lodi, though he was born in Hong Kong.

High School: Lodi High School.

Family: Wife, Ling; daughters Stephanie and Kristy.

First camera: A Minolta film camera.

What he likes to shoot: Candid pictures of people and landscapes.

In his camera bag: Canon 40D camera, 60 mm macro lens, 50 mm for portraits, 24-70 mm and 70-200 mm lenses.

Favorite things to do in Lodi: “I like to go out and eat. Right now, I stick to Chipotle and Dragon Palace. I like to play tennis at Legion Park, too.”

Your dream Saturday: Wake up and play tennis with friends, go to lunch with family — my mom and brothers are here in town. Then, spend the afternoon watching movies.



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