Author: Hillary Louise Johnson

The Sweet Life

On the eve of his 100th birthday, Wayne Thiebaud—the Sacramento painter best known for his evocative portrayals of desserts that look good enough to eat— talks about the new pieces he’s working on (yes, he’s still wielding a brush—and a tennis racket!), his favorite kind of pie, and why, despite his status as one of America’s most important living artists, he still sees himself as “just an old art teacher.”

Murders, She Wrote

Over the past decade, Granite Bay author Theresa Ragan—or T.R. Ragan, as she’s known on Amazon, where she has sold more than 3 million books—has been penning mysteries and thrillers in which female vigilantes exact not-so-sweet revenge on their male predators. Her latest page-turner stars a Sacramento crime reporter and a crew of femmes “fatal.” Get ready for a bloody good read.

In the Name of the Father

After graduating from UC Davis in 1967, Stephen Kaltenbach headed east and thrived in the heady New York art world, exhibiting alongside future greats like Richard Serra and Bruce Nauman, and inhabiting provocative alter egos à la Sacha Baron Cohen before Sacha Baron Cohen was even born. But it was his return to Davis that resulted in one of Sacramento’s most beloved paintings: a hauntingly evocative portrait of his dying father. With the launch of his first solo American museum show in over 40 years, the artist reflects on the man who inspired his masterwork and his own starring role as both father and son.

True West

In his day job, Cornel West is a Harvard professor, a "New York Times" best-selling author, a national authority on race and a passionate advocate for the poor. In his spare time, he’s appeared in two of the three "Matrix" films (because, well, he helped inspire them), recorded three albums, and is taking meetings on the 2020 presidential campaign trail with Bernie Sanders and Cardi B. At a time when the country feels hopelessly divided, this nearly native son of Sacramento—and a “jazzman in the world of ideas”— has a message of love and compassion for all races, religions and political persuasions. And no matter how far he ventures from home, he carries with him a moral compass that unfailingly points west.

Rocky Horror Time Warps to the ’20s

Are you ready to travel to another dimension, with voyeuristic intention? The Green Valley Theatre Company continues its tradition of reinterpreting the ultimate cult classic, "Rocky Horror," as a period musical—this year, with a Jazz Age twist. Frank-N-Furter and flappers? We’re shivering with anticipation.

Small Wonders

With the need for homeless housing solutions greater than ever, an aspirational new architecture competition is yielding innovative ways to approach domestic design

Paradise Found

After a career that took her from being a style maven at Williams-Sonoma to launching a boutique bowling alley in San Francisco, Fair Oaks native Sommer Peterson has returned home, importing a slice of mid-century Palm Springs along the way. She calls her little piece of heaven Shangri-la. You can call it your new home away from home.

Cast Away

Angling to become an angler? Start with the Japanese tradition of Tenkara fly fishing, where all you need is a simple rod, line and fly. Come on in, the water’s fine and the trout are jumpin’.

Making It All Popp

Call him an an interior designer, a home designer, a furniture maker, a graphic artist, a chef or a classic car collector—or all of the above. Whether he’s crafting the look and feel for a hot new restaurant, a neighborhood taproom, a high-end chocolaterie or someone’s home, Curtis Popp has carved out an eclectic career as one of the city’s most sought-after visual thinkers. Sacramento, meet the modernist Renaissance man.

Mid-Century Makeover

In 1959, two ambitious young architects and one soon-to-be-world-famous artist finished work on a building that caught the eye of the design world and introduced this city to the “International Style” that was sweeping America at the time. Today, that mid-century modern edifice, the original headquarters for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, is about to be born anew after an $86 million face-lift. Turning 60 has never looked so sexy.

Field of Screams

By day, they are nurses, schoolteachers, lawyers, students and auto mechanics. By game night, they are the beating heart of the Sacramento Republic FC. Meet the 800-strong Tower Bridge Battalion, a whomping, stomping, self-organized army of men and women whose bond with their team is uniquely fierce. Fair-weather fans, they are not. With the new soccer season starting in March, the fever pitch is already rising. Hear them roar.

The Ice Blocks Cometh

It is, by all appearances, an urban utopia. Come this spring, more than 500 people will work there, more than 200 will live there, and thousands more will dine and shop there. Its innovative tenant mix ranges from an insanely popular “doughnuterie” to a gourmet dog food shop and an Internet-based boutique where you don’t leave with the clothes you buy. And this bustling village within a city—elevated by art and cutting-edge architecture—all exists within a two-block span in the coolest district in town. Could the Ice Blocks be the new model for modern living in Sacramento?