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The Sacramento area is constantly unveiling local art and talent and Beatnik Studios is one of its largest event spaces that is dedicated to bringing that talent to light.
“For Love Of Woman,” will be local 60-year-old artist Robert Sanders’ first show in his career. Doors open at 7 p.m. on Friday (and art will stay on display through Sept. 28) at Beatnik Studios, which is located at 2421 17th St.
“I truly believe that from women all things appear, and I hold them in my highest esteem and appreciation,” Sandars said.
His show includes 36 pieces spotlighting the beauty and inspiring stories of modern women. The proceeds from the reception and auction will go to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition because it will be shown through September, which is National Ovarian Cancer awareness month.
“Anytime we do a benefit like this, we always have a more successful show. It's a win-win situation, because people feel like they can purchase the art because it is for a good cause,” said Greg Pond, a 32-year-old who has managed Beatnik Studios for the past two years.
Beatnik Studios has been around for three years and is about 6,000 square feet complete with a kitchen and stage, which is used during the events hosted there that range from weddings to concerts to birthday parties.
“Generally an artist will contact me and show me their portfolio, and then I’ll decide who I'm going to actually show. In Roberts’ case, he entered a contest where the first-, second- and third-place winners got to have their own show in the gallery, and Robert won,” Pond said.
According to Sanders, “Home” was the theme of the contest, and the proceeds went toward finding children homes through adoption and foster care.
“Our criteria was, does it match the theme, how much skill does this person have, and does the body of work have what it takes to do a solo show, and Robert was a very established artist/photographer,” Pond said.
Sanders' winning piece is called “Foreclosure Nightmare” and is a photograph of a woman completely bound in ropes lying under a palm tree with a stilted house in the background ready to fall apart.
Sanders has shot commercially with Tony Hawk, Harley Davidson, Taylor Guitar, Ford Motocross, Rip Curl and many others.
“I do portraiture work, commercial artwork and have been shooting for a really long time. I was actually nominated for an Emmy for my animation work on a piece called “Eruption of Mount St. Helens” back in the early ‘80s and really started honing in on my photography skills in the early ‘90s more than anything else,” Sandars said.
The models used in Sanders’ show range in age from 24 to 42, depicting women in different shapes and sizes, but mainly highlight the younger women.
“My favorite piece is probably ‘Rosebud.’ It’s the first piece people will see when they walk through the door and is inspired by the movie 'Citizen Kane' and an exchange between Orson Welles, William Randolph Hearst and his mistress Marion Davies,” Sanders said.
According to Pond, the name Beatnik comes from the beat generation. It was originally used as a derogatory term for hippies, but ended up becoming a badge of honor.
“To us, it means living outside the box. We are doing something different with art trying and to make it a business. When you come here we aren't in suits and ties, just normal clothes and treating people like they are human,” Pond said.
On Friday Sanders will be the featured artist, but Beatnik Studios hosts a gallery event every last Friday of the month from 5 - 9 p.m. called Final Friday. A full bar is provided with eats and drinks and live music from local musicians after 9 p.m. The event is free, but there is a suggested donation of $5 to $10 to help pay the musicians for their time.
“Beatnik is a community. No one really gets paid: The work is all volunteer or friends; we also have a lot of interns from Sacramento State University,” Pond said. “It's always fun and exciting here because we just love photography, and we love Beatnik. It's not about rolling in the dough.”
Sanders' show does contain nudity and might not be suitable for children.
“I think my greatest transformation as an artist has been how I perceive my work, a place of coming to terms with myself,” Sandars said. “I'm very proud, but this whole process has also been so humbling.”
Editorial note: Corrections have been made to this story after it was published.