June 2021 Newsletter

Click here to download a printable PDF version.

A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
~ Paul Cézanne

Moving to the Rhythm Within: Nancy Kupka

Local Artist Profile by Esmé Stevens

Meet Nancy Kupka, Wrightwood Arts Center Membership Chair and forever dancer. From her earliest memories she was always on her toes, moving to the rhythm within. Nancy was born in Wahiawa, where her father was stationed in the Hawaiian islands. Growing up by the ocean heavily impacted her desire to become a lifelong dancer. “I appreciated the enormous power and strength of water. It taught me perseverance. It energized me. I used that power. One pirouette, two, three. … if I could connect to the spirit, the depth, the constancy, the majesty and strength of the ocean, I felt I could master anything,” she states. That spark quickly turned into a still-burning flame to pursue dance. She spent her earliest years dedicating time to dance classes, auditions, performances, and any opportunity which came toward the young ballerina. Nancy in particular recalls the time when she was recruited by the American Choreographic Company at Duke University in North Carolina, as well as spending three seasons performing with Les Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo.

After years of opportunity involving dance, Nancy went on to earn her BA in Dance Specialization from Cal State Los Angeles, and an MA in Dance Therapy from UCLA. Throughout her years spent in school she performed and taught for an NEA funded touring and modern dance company known as “The Moving Company.” With these degrees under her belt, Nancy continued her passion for dance in the classroom. She has taught for 40 years as a Professor of Dance at California State University of Los Angeles. Alongside developing new programs in jazz, ballet, and tap at the University, Nancy has had a number of her own curriculum-based literary works published.

In addition to dancing, Nancy has a deep love for her local community. She hopes to bring the people of Wrightwood closer together through the Arts Center. Keep an eye out for Nancy Kupka—her welcoming aura and free spirit will surely inspire you to join the Wrightwood Arts Center and discover new passions for the arts!

Esmé Stevens is a senior in the Kolbe Academy Homeschool Program.

A Letter From the Board

While the Wrightwood Arts Center (WAC) doors have been closed, WAC volunteers have spent the past year strengthening the organization’s foundation. With patience, deliberation, and optimism, we did the careful work of strategic planning, volunteer recruitment, planning a schedule of art classes, exhibits, poetry workshops and performances, and in 2022, the inaugural Wrightwood Arts & Wine Festival, slated for May 21. We also want to honor those WAC artists whose work was put on hold in 2020. With great joy we look forward to WAC exhibits from Patricia Farrell, Jean Gillingswators, and Mary Duman this fall. Please visit our calendar of events for further details wrightwoodarts.com/calendar. While there, add an arts event of your own!

People have created art, music, dance, theater, and more since the earliest days of humanity. As the pandemic wanes, we can gratefully return to sharing these artistic experiences. The Wrightwood Arts Center is thrilled to be a steward of these endeavors. Inspiring creativity in all of us, the arts and artists are second responders, helping us heal individually and as a community. In that spirit WAC has scheduled: an outdoor Wine & Watercolor class and membership drive in June; kids’ art classes in July; diverse arts exhibits & member gatherings in the Fall; and upcoming Arts Adventures! All activities will follow San Bernardino County COVID 19 guidelines. For details visit WrightwoodArts.com or Facebook at Facebook.com/WrightwoodArts.

Patience, deliberation, optimism, and gratitude have been our guiding principles these past months, as they may have been yours. Won’t you join or renew your membership in the Wrightwood Arts Center? Become a member, take a class, attend an exhibit, host an exhibit, or volunteer as we look ahead toward a more vibrant and robust year! The Wrightwood Arts Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization staffed by local artists and volunteers and is located above the Village Grind at 6020 Park, #5, Wrightwood, CA, 92397. We look forward to seeing you soon!

—Joan McCandless
Board President

This Month’s Events

Wrightwood Property Owners Association Ice Cream Social
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

(Community Building / Vivan Null Park)
Learn about community organizations, service groups, and clubs, play games, bring friends, eat ice cream, and enjoy the village ambiance!

Wine & Watercolors with Gayle Dowling
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

(Location Shared after Registration)
Come paint with us! Wine and Watercolors with Gayle Dowling is coming back live and outside! The theme will be spring tulips. Bring your own supplies if you have them. Cost of $30 for members / $35 for non-members includes wine, snacks, and supplemental materials. Location will be disclosed and photo will be sent upon registration. Please wear a mask and observe social distancing. Click here to register!

Children’s Art Class with Esme Stevens

Come join the Wrightwood Arts Center for a children’s art class taught by our very own intern, Esme Stevens! Classes will center around the elements of art with an art project to be finished by the end of every class. Classes will be Thursday afternoons beginning July 8th through July 29th, and held at the Wrightwood Arts Center on Park Dr. Ages 6-8 will be from 12:00-1:00 p.m., and ages 9-12, 1:30-2:30 p.m. The total cost is $60 for all four sessions. We hope bringing art to the younger community here in Wrightwood allows for children to explore their creative minds, as well as awaken the love for art in each individual. Please go here to register for classes. Last day to register will be July 6th. WAC will be following San Bernardino County Health Dept Covid guidelines during each class.

Open Clay Studio

Clay class with Mary Duman was a big hit. The current sessions for May and June have sold out, but keep an eye out for this opportunity in the future. Here are some examples of the fun that was had:

Poem of the Month

Michael Mark


After I write Temporary on each sticky note
and press them onto socks, silverware, bills,
my hair, I put one on each maple tree in the yard,
and notice I don’t think of them as eternal
as much. All it takes is a single written word
on red, yellow, green tags to remind me
the car isn’t mine. The house isn’t mine. Snow,
money, flowers do that just being themselves
but I stick one on fear and another on hate,
pushing with all my weight so they stay. Dogs
are born with the knowledge, so no need. But
old people, even shrinking in hospice beds, yes.
Somehow they transform Temporary into Still Here.
Babies are so hard, I almost can’t. When the pad
is empty, I wait for the glue to lose its grip and fight
the urge to blow or peel them off. Sometimes a wind
comes. And I stumble around, trying to catch them.

from Rattle’s Poets Respond

Michael Mark is the author of two books of stories, Toba and At the Hands of a Thief. Michael Mark lives with his wife Lois in San Diego. Visit his website here.


© 2021. All individual works copyrighted by their creators; used with permission; all rights reserved.

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