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First Fridays

July 2022 The 2022 Take Your Best Shot photo contest is back and Tehachapi Valley Arts Association is challenging amateur photographers of all ages to submit their favorite photos from July 23-August 1 at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts for a chance to win the $100 Best of Show prize, or one of the first place prizes in the following categories: Landscape & Nature, Travel & Architecture, Animals, Black & White/Sepia, Altered Images, People/Portrait and Youth Photography. Each category will also have ribbons for 2nd, 3rd and honorable mention placings. For rules and information you can stop by Gallery ‘N’ Gifts on 100 W Tehachapi Blvd, they are open daily from 10am-5pm. Or online at The public is invited to attend the free awards reception and viewing party which will be held on First Friday August 5 from 4-7pm at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts. Refreshments will be served. The photos will remain on display through August 31, 2022. 

June 2022 - TVAA Gallery n’ Gifts June Guest Artist presents Anya Lathrop. Decades after first learning to embroider, Anya Lathrop is still learning how to make curves out of straight lines. For her upcoming show, “Horcruxes”, Anya has various embroideries done on raw canvas, but she has also experimented with different mediums such as epoxy and gold leaf on prepared canvases.
Anya has devoted her life to the arts, as a musician & vocalist, actor, writer, painter, and textile artist. Her husband accurately describes her as “a person with busy hands”, and this restlessness is why she took up embroidery. The limitations of this medium are notable. The artist is limited to working with only straight lines and knots. Colors cannot be physically mixed, so for this reason, one must layer colors and then trust that Monet knew what he was talking about when he said the colors would “blend in the eye”. A realist result is virtually impossible with this medium, so Anya studied Fauvist, Expressionist, and Cubist works to translate pictures and ideas into thread. She wryly describes her style as “Nouveauvist”.
Many of Anya's pieces are depictions of books she has read and loved, including science fiction and fairy tales. Story is one of the most important forces in human life, and certainly in Anya’s. She is often found reading aloud to her children or acting out stories on stage.

May 2022 -TVAA Gallery n’ Gifts presents Haylee M. Shoop as our May Guest Artist. Haylee M. Shoop is a Los Angeles based fine artist.  Classically trained as a dancer, after a career dancing forRoyal Caribbean Cruise Lines Haylee had her “A-Ha!” Moment. While sitting on the couch drawing she said (to her now husband), “If I could do anything in the world, it would be to draw”! That was the end of 2015. Since starting her art business in 2016, the two have travelled to over 20 states across the U.S. showing her pieces at the top fine art shows in the country.    Her subject matter tends to lean towards drawing animals.  Haylee believes that everyone has an animal they can relate to or gives them strength, one that reminds them of a loved one, a certain time in their life, or an animal that just plain makes them happy!  Although she does take some of her ideas from requests from patrons, the majority of her work is selected from whatever makes her happiest at the time!    Everything she does is freehand.  She never uses rulers, compasses, magnifying glasses, or
computers.  Haylee works in watercolor and pen & ink.  Her goal is to make the two mediums complement each other.  She loves the loose, almost messy watercolor, mixed with the intricate details hand drawn over the top.   Her pieces are typically 18x24 inches, and take her between 80-100 hours to complete!     Haylee and her husband travel the country in a large decommissioned Ambulance Van, sharing her art with all types of people with all types of budgets.    “I love that my ‘job’ now is to draw, travel to the country’s best art shows, and meet amazing people. I get to make people happy with something that I’ve created by hand”, says Shoop.   

April 2022 - Youth Art Contest never fails to diappoint. We've got some super talented young people in Tehachapi and hope you'll stop by to see them strut their stuff on our gallery walls this month!

March 2022  We have the privilege to present Clarence J. Pointer as our March Guest Artist at Gallery n’ Gifts.
Clarence was born in Hillsboro, a small town in Alabama. It was there he developed his God’s given talent with no formal
training, with great family and friends support. Over time he had formed his own unique style of drawing. He always believed in
creating realistic detailed masterpieces, it would best showcase his utmost abilities. Pointer welcomes challenging and seemingly
difficult projects, it keeps him sharp. Success came after lots of practice, perseverance, self-discipline, patience and determination
to be the best.
While serving in the Air Force stationed at Okinawa, Japan a master Japanese artist who told him to devote even more time to
each project. After those words of wisdom, Clarence began winning numerous art contests throughout Southern California and
has gained international status.
These are just a few of the numerous accomplishments throughout his journey as a professional artist:
* Commissioned to create a drawing of Rosa Parks for a special event presentation at Edwards AFB in 1993
* Invited to showcase his art masterpieces at Motown Legend Smokey Robinson’s 1st Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament in
*Commissioned to draw cast members of the Gospel Musical Play “Gods Trying To Tell Me Something” for their
promotional tour.
* He was commissioned to create an entire wall of legendary musical artist for Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver Willie
“Flipper” Anderson in 1990 consisting of 15 pieces.
* Clarence was personally invited as the featured artist for the 2009 Barack Obama Beverly Hills California Inauguration
* The artist exclusively for Sports Life Magazine, gracing the cover and all the interior artwork indefinitely
* He also volunteers giving quarterly lectures at the local Antelope Valley Collage with hopes of inspiring the students and
encouraging them.  
* He serves as a mentor to many via social media as well, sharing his talent teaching what he has learned through his journey.
Hundreds of drawings to his credit, the master pencil artist has no signs of slowing down. Striving to always get better with each
task is what drives him. People are sometimes blown away by the optimum level of detail and can't believe he has actually drawn
the masterpieces as recently as December 5, 2008. I guess seeing is not always believing…some people will remain in disbelief
because most of the images actually look like real photography projects. That is how realistic his work has developed over the
years; the challenging phase is nearly over. He can basically draw anything on the planet!

February 2022 February's First Friday at Gallery 'N' Gifts will feature photography from our local community in its 17th annual photo contest. There's still time to participate as submissions will be accepted at Gallery 'N' Gifts, 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd., Jan. 24-31. The First Friday Awards reception will be held on Feb. 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. This year's seven categories include Landscape/Nature, Travel/Architecture, Animals, Black and White/Sepia, Details and Macros, People and, of course, our separate category for Youth Photographers.

December 2021 Our Jewelers have put together a sparkling display creating a winter wonderland of dazzling pieces.

November 2021 Gallery N Gifts will feature a showing of new artwork from it's current fine arts members just in time for the holidays.

October 2021 Jeff Peal has been doing art his entire life. He enjoys working with all types of mediums from pastels and pencils to metal and wood. Currently he enjoys carving more than anything. It is a real challenge and his style develops more with every pile of sawdust. He picked up the art of carving from his friend and well known local artist Kent Holmgren. He was fascinated by what Kent could create and had to give it a shot.

His pieces often depict wildlife and old west themes, which have always been his interests. He has lived in Bear Valley Springs for 16 years with his wife Jaymme and their animals.

Jeff's art will be featured at Gallery 'N' Gifts through October.

Gallery 'N' Gifts is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.


September 2021 Our featured artist for the month of September is Kelly Pankey. Born and raised in Bakersfield, California, I moved to the Lake Isabella area after a five year enlistment in the US Navy. I attended Cerro Coso Community College and CSUB, and earned a bachelor's degree in English.

I work almost entirely on Ampersand Scratchboard and Clayboard for finished work.

I draw, sculpt and paint, as well. My style is loose but detailed, and I work mostly from my imagination or from photographs I have taken. 

I have shown my work in galleries from here to Terre Haute, Indiana. I have won many best of shows and awards. I am looking forward to showing at Gallery 'N' Gifts for the month of September and to meeting everyone soon.

Gallery 'N' Gifts is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Kelly's art will be featured throughout the month.


October 2020 We are presenting Sip and Shop, a chance to meet our October Fine Arts Gallery featured artist, Tiffany Michael.

Tiffany says of her journey as an artist, "When my mom realized I had inherited her artistic talent as an elementary school student, she signed me up for art classes. Art came naturally to me as a child and I won several awards in my high school's art shows. I was always drawing, even where I wasn't supposed to, like my math classes.

I went on to major in art at Towson University in Maryland, focusing on painting and illustration, and also studied printmaking, sculpting, stained glass, and art history. I was fortunate to study abroad and have the chance to see amazing examples of art and architecture in Rome, Florence and Pompeii.

After moving from the east to the west coast in 2015, I started teaching Grumbacher art classes at Michaels Arts and Crafts and introduced new artists to drawing and painting techniques, while exploring their personal style. I enjoyed connecting with the students, from children to seniors, and seeing their interpretation and creativity come to life.

My husband and I dreamed of owning a rural home with an abundance of nature, wildlife, sprawling views, and amazing sunsets. We found what we were looking for in Tehachapi, CA and moved here in May 2020. The slower country life has allowed me to make more time for my art. Stalking the wide array of wildlife with my camera, as well as with a trail cam, provides the inspiration for most of my pieces. The creatures and treasures found on California beaches also inspire me to translate the beauty of nature onto canvas. I love the opportunity to be able to share these experiences through art with the local community, family and friends."

Come join us at Gallery N Gifts for our Sip and Shop, Friday, October 2nd, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm and enjoy Tiffany's beautiful paintings.


August 2020 Photography Contest

July 2020 Our featured artist for the month of July is photographer Todd Sherwood. We will continue social distancing rules due to Covid-19 and will not have a formal First Friday, however, Todd's work will be revealed on July 3rd during regular business hours.

You'll likely find Artist Todd Sherwood with his wife Kelly wandering "the roads less traveled" somewhere in America. Their base camp is a pick-up truck and fifth wheel they named "No Destination". They explore the American back country with the aid of a 4x4 Razor, affectionately called "The Punisher" and often hike into remote locations in search of images. While developing his artistic talents, Todd has also committed the past 40 years of his life to our nation's defense. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1984 as an avionics technician and is currently working as an aerospace engineer for Northrop Grumman Corporation. His plans are to retire next year and spend the rest of his "career" capturing and sharing the true beauty, heart, and soul of America with his unique works of art.

Although their travels may be aimless, they are by no means pointless. Even a hundred miles from the nearest paved road they have a definite goal in mind. Finding and capturing the beauty of ancient native campsites; ranching, farming and mining ruins; as well as wildlife and landscapes rarely seen by most professional photographers. When back in civilization, Todd & Kelly explore roadside mom & pop stores and antique shops across the country looking for unique items that will create beautiful works of art once paired with his stunning images.

Todd works nights at Northrop Grumman and spends mornings in his studio developing and printing his own images on fine art quality canvas. He cuts and builds his own stretcher bars from kiln dried pine and stretches the canvas prints himself. Todd creates original frames by building them from scratch or takes the Americana items found and rescues, re-purposes or restores them as his imagination leads him. He then brings his unique frames and gorgeous images together for new life as a treasured work of art to be passed from generation to generation.

Todd images have received top local awards as well as BEST OF SHOW two times at the Tehachapi Valley Art Association semi annual photo contest.

June 2020 Due to social distancing and county restrictions related to Covid-19, Gallery n Gifts will not be hosting a traditional First Friday event, however, we are happy to announce the featured artist for the month of June, John McCollum. His artwork will be revealed on Friday, June 5th during regular business hours of 10am-4pm.

John was an art major in college, and spent 18 years as a designer and artist for an advertising agency in Hawaii. He has been working with gourds, wood, and bamboo for the last 30 years, also making hula implements for Halas, craft fairs, awards and special occasions.
John is an esteemed member of the American Gourd Society and the Hawaii Gourd Society. He spent 38 years in Hawaii and recently relocated to Quartz Hill in 2019. John says he "loves the desert and Native American art." We are pleased to welcome John to our Fine Art Gallery for the month of June.

May 2020 Canceled

April 2020 Canceled

March 2020 This month we feature artwork by our resident resin artist, Robin Shane of Unrestrained Artistry.  Meet Robin at our First Friday event, 5pm-8pm on March 6th, along with several of our other artists.  You will be able to see Robin's artwork throughout the month of March in our Fine Art Gallery.

February 2020 Photographers gather your favorite photos and get ready for the 15th annual winter photo contest at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts. Be sure to enter early as photos will be hung in order they are received until each category is full. Submissions will be accepted from January 27-February 3, 2020 at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd.  A special First Friday reception will be held to show off the photos and announce the winners on February 7 from 5pm-8pm. Categories for this year’s event include Landscape/Nature, Travel/Architecture, Animals, Black & White/Sepia, Details & Macros, People and of course our separate category for Youth Photographers.

January 2020 Our January featured artist is Tommy Wakefield, landscape photographer.  Originally from Michigan, Tommy now makes his home in California, taking advantage of the wonderful variety of landscapes in our great state. Meet the artist and other Gallery n Gifts artists between 5pm and 8pm on January 3rd, 2020.

December 2019 For our final 2019 exhibit in the Fine Art Gallery, we are proud to feature all TVAA painters and photographers.  Join us on December 6th from 5pm-8pm to meet the artists and participate in a silent auction to raise funds to support the arts for Tehachapi students!

November 2019 Instead of featuring one artist during the month of November, we will feature all TVAA jewelers and glass artists in a joint exhibit.  Join us on November 1st from 5pm-8pm to meet our artists: Amanda Tomlinson, Diana Pittenger, Irene Rippy, Karen Lewis, Kelli Horton, & Kris Gruben. 

October 2019 Our featured artist for the month of October is Anya Lathrop.  Come meet the artist and see her work during our First Friday reception.
Anya is a embroidery artist! Her work is amazing in the fashion of Monet and the Impressionists. Anya says she has devoted her life to the arts, as a musician and vocalist, actor, writer, painter, and now as a textile artist. Her husband accurately describes her as "a person with busy hands", and this restlessness is why she took up embroidery. Unlike paints, brushes, and easels, a small kit of embroidery can be taken anywhere, so Anya is always able to satisfy her drive to be productive. The limitations of embroidery are notable. The artist is limited to working entirely with straight lines, and colors cannot be physically mixed. For this reason, one must layer colors and then trust that Monet knew what he was talking about when he said the colors would "blend in the eye". A realist result is virtually impossible with this medium, so Anya studied Fauvist, Expressionist, and Cubist works to translate pictures and ideas into thread. She wryly describes her style as "Nouveauvist". Many of Anya's pieces are depictions of Grimm fairy tales, which she has read countless times throughout her life. Rather than be discouraged by the ubiquitous "wicked stepmother", she found the stories were more often empowering to women through the prevalence of little sisters who save their brothers, mothers who protect their children with loving magic, and even a goose girl who can command the very wind.

September 2019 In September 1979, twelve active Tehachapi Valley Arts Association members founded Gallery ‘n’ Gifts.  Our not-for-profit co-operative store provides a space for local artists and crafters to sell, on a daily basis, items of their own making.  Profits after expenses are returned to the children of Tehachapi by awarding Scholarships to graduating seniors, sponsoring art projects, and helping local teachers with art supplies.  Gallery ‘n’ Gifts is extremely proud of being in business for 40 years, now with 34 members, in the same location in downtown Tehachapi. 

August 2019 Our photography contest, "Take Your Best Shot" will take place in August starting with award reception during First Friday festivities.

July 2019 Mathes is an award-winning author and photographer, a book critic for Orion: People and Nature, and librettist. Two of his four books are "Shipwrecks and Other Stories," which was awarded an honorable mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival; and a memoir, "Ahead of the Flaming Front: A Life on Fire," awarded the North American Book Prize for Memoirs and about his experiences fighting wildfire throughout the American West, including four years on an elite helicopter rappel crew and 10 years as a crew boss and an incident commander. Mathes had to give up writing to be a single dad to two girls, so he took a job in an oilfield north of Bakersfield.

June 2019 Don't miss Gallery 'N' Gifts' fascinating First Friday for July with artist Jerry Mathes II. Mathes is an award-winning author and photographer, a book critic for Orion: People and Nature, and librettist. Two of his four books are "Shipwrecks and Other Stories," which was awarded an honorable mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival; and a memoir, "Ahead of the Flaming Front: A Life on Fire," awarded the North American Book Prize for Memoirs and about his experiences fighting wildfire throughout the American West, including four years on an elite helicopter rappel crew and 10 years as a crew boss and an incident commander. Mathes had to give up writing to be a single dad to two girls, so he took a job in an oilfield north of Bakersfield. He has published poems, essays, short stories, photographs and has produced three short films, Among his works, his novella, "Still Life," won the Meadow Prize and his short story, "Totality," won the 2017 Narrative Fall Story Contest. He is a Jack Kent Scholar alumnus.


May 2019 Gallery 'N' Gifts will feature Tehachapi resident and painter Louise Saunders for First Friday, May 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. Saunders was born in Phoenix, Ariz., as the youngest daughter of an Arizona ranching family. She attended the Colorado Women's College in Denver, Colo., where she studied business and psychology, but spent much of her time in the study of color and design. She began her oil painting experience when she walked into a gallery in Phoenix in 1968 and observed a class being held. Thinking this would be fun, she enrolled in the class. After only a few sessions using a pallet knife only, the gallery closed and she was on her own. By that time, she was hooked and began looking for other art instructors she could work with. Saunders attended workshops by several well-known Arizona artists including Adrain Hansen, Joan Bruder and John Loo. She is a past member of art associations in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Nev., and Laguna Niguel where her work has been displayed and awarded. Her love of bright color is evident in all of her paintings. In 1976, she moved to California and began a career in real estate sales and management, and her art work took second place until her retirement in 2007. She and her husband, Jim, moved to Bear Valley Springs in 2011 where she again could devote her time to painting. In addition to oil painting, Saunders enjoys designing jewelry and quilting. She is a member of the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters and she claims she is not a traditional quilter, and instead likes to design her own creations. For her, it's all about color and design whether with jewelry, quilting or painting.


April 2019 Gallery N Gifts will host the 23nd annual All Tehachapi Youth Art Contest. Children from our community will show off their creative talents in a variety of mediums. Visit our upcoming events page for more information and applications.

March 2019 Betty Finch and her fantastic gourd creations will be featured at Gallery 'N' Gifts for First Friday, March 1, from 5 to 8 p.m.Betty, raised in Mojave, began her working life as a commercial artist before a 26-year career in law enforcement at the Kern County Sheriff's Department. Her duties included patrol, Homicide Detective, CSI Unit supervisor, 12 years as a SWAT Hostage Negotiator and 15 years as the department composite artist. The FBI sponsored Betty to attend the National Academy Forensic Facial Imaging Course. She now uses facial reconstruction skills in creating three dimensional faces on gourds. Betty's interest in manipulating gourds prompted her to travel to Indiana to meet mentor and master gourd trainer, Jim Story. After retirement Betty traveled to Tianjin, China to learn from Zhang Cairi, renowned for growing perfect replicas of Chinese Emperor's gourds. This led to her co-authoring a book to preserve this unique art form. Betty now devotes her time to raising colorful Appaloosa horses, working with plant genetics, experimenting with manipulated, coffee-dyed and molded gourds and creating fine art with gourds. Betty says, "I work in partnership with nature to transform compelling visions into reality". Come join us to be amazed and delighted with Betty's gourd creations.

February 2019  On First Friday, Feb. 1, TehachapiValley Arts Association celebrated the creative talents of Tehachapi's local photographers with a reception featuring over 125 entries by 55 photo enthusiasts. With photos ranging from playful fuzzy otters to stunning photo journalistic masterpieces, there was certainly something to capture the attention of everyone in the room. Proceeds from the contest will help fund high school scholarships for students pursuing the arts, as well as art supplies for local classrooms. TVAA would like to thank everyone who participated and those who came to celebrate the artists. Best of Show: Todd Sherwood Animals:1st: Vincent Hernandez 2nd: Kirsten Grimes 3rd: Dennis Cowden HM: Devinann Sherwood and Anna Dohnke Black & White: 1st: Devinann Sherwood 2nd: Susan Burt 3rd: Vincent Hernandez  Landscape & Nature: 1st: Michelle Vance 2nd: Todd Sherwood 3rd: Larry LaCom HM: Devinann Sherwood, Kirsten Grimes and Larry LaCom People: 1st: Mikailey Judkins 2nd: Todd Sherwood 3rd: Sara Woodall HM: Edwin Vasquez and Devinann Sherwood Transportation: 1st: DJ Judkins 2nd: Todd Sherwood  3rd: Carey Hamel HM: Chris Naftel and Giacinta B. Koontz Travel & Architecture: 1st: Todd Sherwood 2nd: Todd Sherwood 3rd: Kirsten Grimes HM: Klaus Schade Youth Photography: 1st: Sophia Kendrick 2nd: Bella Dohnke 3rd: Emma Halloway HM: Bella Dohnke, Dylon Kephart, Hailey Engen and Josh Baker.

January 2019  Gallery 'N' Gifts is featuring Larry McClain, the Gallery's resident wood carver, and some of his amazing, fanciful carvings. Larry's carvings are often based on his love of books with themes set in science fiction and adventures of the mind or his long career in the Air Force, including a tour in Vietnam as a fighter pilot and test pilot at Edwards AFB, retiring as a colonel. Larry and his wife Theresa have lived  in Tehachapi on their 93-acre ranch for many years, Larry spends time in his well stocked wood carving shop when he and Theresa are not tending to their 93-acres. Come and enjoy Larry's creations at Gallery 'N' Gifts Jan. 4 First Friday, 5 to 8 p.m.

December2018 - GalleryNGifts December First Friday will feature TVAA’s painters and photographers.

Tina Dille,best known for her contemporary watercolor animal portraits has found a new medium. Spray Paint. Something she has been working with for the last six months to prepare for a 16 by 25 foot mural in Lancaster, California that was completed in October. Dille in the spirit of outdoor art used spray paint and acrylic paint to create "BearGlorious", a stylized bear with attitude.

Marti Howell, an artist from Bear Valley, paints in oils and also makes sculpture and vessels from stoneware. She has lived in this area for 16 years, but is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area where she worked as a teacher, counselor, and administrator in the public schools also teaching art for 6 years. Her wonderful animals are also on view for December in the gallery with a new " Coyote" for First Friday.

Suzanna Young is known for her jewelry, but also for her lovely paintings featuring snow scenes for this holiday season. Also on display will be new works from Kris Gruben, Anna Dohnke, Stephen Lee, Robert Hardy, Jenny Zur, Michelle Miller, April Whitco, Debbie Haeberle, Diana Pittinger, Irene Rippy and Shirley Given.

November 2018 - GalleryNGifts November First Friday and Show will feature Jewelry and Pottery in "Earths Whimsical Treasures". Four of GalleryNGifts fabulous jewelers will be displaying their beautiful items that will make holiday giving very special.

Kelly Horton has been a member of our gallery for 12 years and has been making jewelry for 22 years. She loves to come up with new designs to delight and surprise her customers. and is constantly taking classes infusing her jewelry with new and exciting looks

Amanda Tomilnson has been creating her wonderful jewelry since 2005. Her creativity shows in her varied styles including her newest works of metal smithing, in which she uses gold, silver, copper and brass along with natural gemstones to delight us.

Karen Lewis, (Klew), is known around the world, having taught classes in polymer clay and jewelry making as a featured artist on a segment of Smithsonian Arttrain as well as a segment on the Learning Channel and may other classes near and far. Her lovely shop, The Spirited Bead here in Tehachapi, is a must stop for all those interested in bead and jewelry making.

Suzanna Young has been a silversmith for 25 years apprenticing under old friend and mentor Harold Rouse of Tehachapi. Suzanna's goreous pieces often  have native American influence and feature beautiful natural stones.

Marti Howell is a potter and oil painter extraordinaire. Her lovely pottery includes amazing bowls, crosses, plates and creations from her imagination.

Susan Roskens is a potter and maker of all things beautiful and fascinating. Her pottery, loved by all, and collected by many is the essence of Whimsy. All who look at Susan's pieces smile!

Don't miss our First Friday, Friday November 2, from 5:00-8:00, which includes our Silent Auction benefiting our Scholarship and Art Supply fund for Tehachapi's youth.

October 2018GalleryNGifts Featured Artist for October is Linda McDermott a world traveler, hiker and eclectic artist.
Linda grew up in a rural area near Cincinnati, Ohio, developing a deep love and curiosity 
about the world and travel. Linda moved to the Los Angeles area in 1971 and began mountain climbing and hiking in the mountains and deserts of the southwest. At the same time she developed a love for the arts going to UCLA and majoring in Fine Arts
Graduating with a B.A.  After raising children and completing a career in Human Resources, she started traveling and creating artwork through woodworking and crafting. Linda now resides in Tehachapi where she hikes daily with her rescue dogs and hosts Pacific Crest Trail hikers from all over the world as they travel through the area. 
Come join us and enjoy the fascinating art of Linda McDermott at October 5th First Friday event at GalleryNGifts, 5:00-8:00. 


August 2018 Take Your Best Shot Photo Contest.

July 2018- Donald Towns is a fine arts painter with background as animation illustrator for Disney Studios working on award winning films such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and the original TRON. Donald has been featured in the TV movie documentaries "Making of the Little Mermaid" and "The Art of Disney Animation".

Looking over his life, Donald says "it has been a phenomenal ride".Today he is launching his collection of personal fine art paintings on his website,

Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, the only child of his hardworking mother, Barbara Towns, Donald pursued a path that seemingly no one in the struggling African-American community considered a legitimate profession. In a time and place where it was difficult for young black men, Donald's artistic spirit and drive to create pushed him on. From his earliest years Donald's dreams were different from most of his peers. He had a passion for art, and despite being unable to afford supplies, he would doodle on the end pages of books for practice. In 1974 while working as a portrait artist for Six Flags Over Georgia, two friends, who would turn out to be very influential in his life, urged him to consider art school.

Donald moved to Chicago, Illinois to attend the American Academy of Art. During his time there Donald was mentored by Chicago Defender of fine Arts Critic, Earl Calloway, who introduced Donald to the likes of actress Pam Grier, and opera singer Leontyne Price. A young Michael Jackson showed great interest in Donald as they discussed their mutual interests while Donald sketched Janet Jackson's portrait. After college, Donald moved to California where he found his career at Disney and met his wife, Karen. With the addition of digital painting added to his talents, he has freelanced for several companies and was "privileged to work with the late Thomas Kinkade" as a digital concept artist.

Come join us for a magical July 6th First Friday Event at GalleryNGifts and enjoy the work of Tehachapi resident Donald Towns.

June 2018 - Dennis Cowden, aka:The Cookie Expert, is also a wonderful photographer. Starting at age 12 with his Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, won his first photo award.Dennis, and his wife Peggy, came to Tehachapi in the early 80s to work in the wind industry. Dennis says on a weekly basis he was exposed to incredible vistas in the southern Sierra that had not been available to the public before. About this time the first digital cameras came out allowing him to really pursue his interest in landscape photography.
After retiring Dennis has driven most of the highways in the Western states in pursuit of all the treasures that the west offers for a photographer.
Lately most of his photography has been the many photographic opportunities seen here in Kern County including the beautiful vistas and wonderful wildlife.
Dennis is a skilled nature photographer and after retiring from High voltage engineering, he is now able to devote his time and hone those skills. He is always on the lookout for the perfect cloud formation, gnarliest tree, brightest flower, wildest animal and of course babbling brooks.
Dennis loves to print his photographs on various mediums from standard photo paper to directly on glass, canvas, metal and even sometimes on wood.
Come join us at our June 1, Gallery N Gifts, First Friday event and enjoy His amazing work!

April 2018- Gallery N Gifts will host the 22nd annual All Tehachapi Youth Art Contest. Children from our community will show off their creative talents in a variety of mediums. Visit our upcoming events page for more information and applications.

March 2018- Gallery 'N' Gifts March Guest Artist is new Tehachapi resident Kathy Burns. Kathy, whose love of art began in high school, started a journey of self discovery after a broken marriage, loading her two horses in her trailer with a plan to visit every drive-able state.
During her 13 month trek, which began in 2013 and spanned 43 states and 30,000 miles across America's campgrounds and national parks, she took solace in painting. 
Kathy painted scenes of her horses, Dreamy and Wildflower, set against the wilds of Wyoming or the Meadows of Massachusetts while slowly finding herself again.
Returning home to Pasadena, California in 2014 with a broken trailer, a bad back and five states left on her list, her spirit was on the road to recovery. Kathy kept right on paining using her studies from the year as subjects for larger finished paintings. Kathy's first show was at the 26th Annual Cattlemen's Western Art Show and Sale in Paso Robles.
Kathy worked in the field of graphic arts for years but never lost her love for painting.
Please join us First Friday March 2nd at Gallery 'N' Gifts to meet Kathy and enjoy her wonderful work.

February 2018- Photo Contest First Fridays are always a super fun evening! So many visitors and so many amazing images to look at, not to mention some pretty delicious refreshments too! Thanks to the whole group at TVAA and to the photographers who entered for coming together and making it a night to remember! (By the way if you missed out, photos will be on display through Feb 27, AND we do this again in August!) 
Bet you all are interested in a list of winners huh?

Best of Show Jessica Martin “Princess in the Woods”
Animals: 1st Jessica Martin, 2nd Susan Burt, 3rd Terry Dickerson, HM Gil Valencia, HM Patty Cox
Black & White: 1st Matthew Clark, 2nd Katherine Bowman, 3rd Gary Grela
Details & Macros: 1st Matt Miller, 2nd Kiera Judkins, Jessica Martin, HM Nancy Wilkinson
Landscape & Nature: 1st Shridan Morigeau, 2nd Susan Burt, 3rd Sonja Bronsen, HM Garrett Palmer, HM Joanne Cable
People: 1st Jessica Martin, 2nd Megan Bowman, 3rd Sylvia Sattler, HM Laurie Rott, HM Larry LaCom
Travel & Architecture: 1st Garrett Palmer, 2nd Dago V, 3rd Polly Sherritt, HR Kim Downey, HM Kathy Valencia
Youth Photography: 1st Morgan Lewis, 2nd Austin Garrett, 3rd Mikailey Judkins, HM Kira Pankow, HM Anna Boesler

January 2018- Gallery 'N' Gifts is delighted to present the artistic work of Debbie Haeberle at our January 5, 2018 First Friday event and Teacher Appreciation night. (Teachers who attend may enter a free drawing for art supplies for their classrooms.)
Debbie is a new resident of Tehachapi and currently teaches art at Jacobsen Middle School. She is a CSUB graduate in art education and was an art activities leader for 12 years as an employee of Bakersfield City School District and Kern High School district.
Mrs. Haeberle has been exploring and enjoying art her entire life. She began her formal art study at the age of 8, learning oil and acrylic painting techniques. Attending high school in Orange County, her high school teacher, Mr. Wendt, introduced her to Impressionism including pointillism.
Today, she usually creates images in the pointillist style using a variety of pens and inks.
Debbie's art has been exhibited in many shows and festivals throughout southern and central California. Her work reflects her love of California and the state's many natural wonders, especially its beautiful coastal shores.
She happily spends her days sharing her love of art with her many talented students and during her free time she can be found traveling with her family to the many nearby scenic places in California.
Please join us for food, wine and the wonderful work of Debbie Haeberle at our January First Friday celebrating Debbie and the other wonderful and inspiring art teachers of Tehachapi.

December 2017-  Artists Unleashed

First Friday at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts this December 1 will feature all new work in a showcase of TVAA “Artists Unleashed.” Stop by from 5-8pm for complimentary refreshments, closing bids on our silent auction and a unique opportunity to take home brand new artwork from over a dozen artists based right here in our own community.

Michelle Miller started painting about 17 years ago gifting her work to family and friends.  Retirement and a move to Tehachapi in 2012 gave a new importance to her work. Beginning as mainly a landscape painter, exposure to the abundant wildlife in the Tehachapi area lured her into expanding her painting style to include many animals of all kinds. Michelle commented, “I so enjoy the painting process, always having several paintings in process. Our wonderful Gallery ‘N’ Gifts has helped me become a better painter and given me a venue to show my work.”

Robert Hardy worked for forty years a professional photographer with most of them devoted to advertising photography.  He went into fine art landscape photography a few years ago upon his retirement. Robert finds both professions to be equally challenging and rewarding experiences. He remarked, “Advertising placed time constraints and special requirements to fulfill the assignments while fine art landscapes required nature's cooperation and traveling long distance to remote locations. When nature does not cooperate, I must go back again and again to achieve the desired results, which is to stimulate the visual senses of my viewers. Both occupations require great discipline and dedication. Without having those qualities, I would have never been successful in accomplishing my goals.”

Kris Gruben is a Bear Valley Springs resident and a mixed media artist working in the ancient wax technique of encaustic. Encaustic is an ancient technique dating back to the Greeks. The word encaustic means, “to heat or burn in”. Heat is used throughout the process, from melting the natural beeswax and dammar resin, to fusing the layers of wax together.  Colored pigments may be added and applied with a brush or any tool to create the image. Each layer is then reheated to fuse it to the previous layer. Kris moved to Bear Valley Springs with her husband in 2014 and lives there with two dogs, three acres of land, and two of their sixteen grandchildren close by. Kris has been surround by art her entire life. Her mother was a professional oil and watercolor artist in the San Diego area for many years. Over the years Kris has explored many different artistic mediums to feed her creative soul. After taking several encaustic workshops in Bakersfield, she found her passion. She enjoys experimenting and playing with the wax.

Jenny Zur will be showing Relief prints, and commented that they are an affordable way to collect and enjoy original art.  She said, “They are earthy, warm, and go with everything.  They are a lot of fun to make, too.  This print I am sharing in the show is a celebration of Love, portrayed by one of my favorite subjects, birds.  Any season is the season for Love.  Be Merry!”

In the spirit of Christmas, Tina Dille will be showing two original artworks.  One is a mixed media titled “The Divine” that she would only describe as being quite different from her animal portraits. The other artwork is an animal portrait she describes as  “—  a green pig— yes a green pig.  This piece was inspired by a friend’s dog-like pig named “Charlie”.   Charming Charlie allowed me to photograph him and enjoy his gregarious nature.  In the finished work a serious pig emerged something that contrasted my impression of Charlie.  I always appreciate these little surprises which is why Green Charlie is titled: “Give Back –Take Less- Waste Not!”

Marti Howell has lived in the Tehachapi area since 2002. She was an educator in the public schools (Bay Area) for 31 years as a teacher, counselor, and administrator. Part of her teaching experience was in art. She has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed MFT, but she is not practicing at this time. She is spending her time on art, gardening, riding her horse, and helping her husband take care of almost 6 acres of property. Involved with art since childhood, she painted with watercolor for many years, but now her focus is on oils and pastels along with hand-formed ceramics. Much of her artwork reflects her interest in western themes, horses, and the outdoors.

As far back as Suzanna Young can remember she began drawing as a little girl from her mother's magazine's like National Geographic and McCall's, facinated especially with people....At age 10 she received her first set of oil paints for her birthday painting Emmet Kelly, her favorite clown. Following her love of drawing and painting she utilized pencil, pen & ink, pastels, oils and on to acrylic. Competing in county & state competitions throughout her school years Suzanna placed many First Place awards and overall Best of Show & Sweepstakes Award. Upon high school graduation, Suzanna received an offer to go directly to Hallmark in St Louis as an artist. She chose to go on to college instead. Years past and she didn't seem to have much time to follow her passion working full time and raising 3 children, but, as she puts it, "life seems to go full circle and if you're lucky enough, you end up being who you meant to be all along".

Stephen Lee is a local photographer living in Tehachapi more than 25 years. His photography includes a wide range of subjects, but his primary passion is landscape and nature. Stephen looks to capture the natural beauty of God’s creation for everyone to enjoy. The eastern Sierras have long been a focus for his photography. Many trips to the Alabama Hills and mountains around Bishop have resulted in some of his most prized works. California wild flowers are also frequent subjects.  He captured one of his favorite images in a field near South Street in Old Town. His wife Debbie named this image “Tehacha-poppy.” Since “fine art” quality finished prints are very important and landscapes display better with large prints, he acquired a large format printer. Stephen currently prints and mounts his photographs using archive quality ink and media. Some work is printed on canvas and mounted in gallery wrap format.  Stephen’s photography has been displayed at the local bakery gift shop as well as The Crossroads and Back Street Galleries. Stephen joined Tehachapi Valley Arts Association and became a member of Gallery and Gifts in February 2014 where he enjoys the cooperative family atmosphere of the local art community. He has a web site under construction where a sample of his work is displayed at

Anna Dohnke is a home-schooling mom of one and a military spouse. She and her family moved to Tehachapi in 2013 for an assignment at Edwards AFB. She works primarily in acrylics, using a combination of pouring, brush work, and collage. Anna also hand dyes silk, does mandala work, writes, and is currently exploring the process of polymer clay. She loves whimsy, mythology and fables, and looks at how that may be suggested in her work. 

Dennis Cowden is a skilled photographer of scenic landscapes of the Southern Sierra’s, Mojave Desert and of course, the Tehachapi Mountains as well as the great number of critters that live in these areas. He is always on the lookout for that perfect cloud, the most gnarly tree, any animal or moving waters.  He loves to try his prints on various mediums – from standard photo papers, to printing directly on glass, on canvas, on metal, and on wood.  His camera allows him to share his vision. 

Chris Paschke is originally from Chicago, IL her family relocated to northern California where Chris remained throughout her formative years attending both San Jose State University and Humboldt State University receiving a BFA Creative Arts and Design, Magna Cum Laude.  Chris Paschke is an internationally accomplished artist and calligrapher who is published and licensed by Studio EL, Grand Image, and Wild Apple Graphics.  Her fascination with both Eastern and Western letterforms has been a lifelong study and encouraged her to use the written word as subject matter.  First intrigued by traditional western lettering, historical alphabets, and illuminated manuscripts her work was ultimately set free by studying with contemporary European master calligraphers in Belgium, Germany, Austria, Russia. And then she visited China the first time, resulting in a strong Asian influence throughout her body of work.  The past forty years she has been strongly influenced by traditional Chinese masters and Japanese Sumi-e painting, crossed with the edgy abstract expressionism of Kline, Pollock, Rothko, Gottlieb, Motherwell and Jasper Johns—thus redefining both mediums into her own contemporary style. Her art is abstractly interpretive as she uses gesso, resist, watercolor, gouache, text, encaustic, collaged paper and accents of gold leaf to achieve her images. Chris shared, “I was taught both in my first calligraphy class and in Sumi-e that after the initial concept sketches, an artist should work directly on their final substrate planning for a masterpiece…as you can never replicate the freshness, freedom and spontaneity that occurs in that first attempt. Regardless of the medium I continue to work from my inner soul, beginning from the enso—the nothing--and allowing the art to direct me where it needs to go. “She added, “Having lived all over the country--moving every time a house needed painting--Tehachapi has been my home now since 2002 and this is where I truly belong.”

Anita Jesse first became enamored of photography because it acted as a buffer and allowed her to look at horses without crying. After an accident left her crippled up and knowing that she would never be able to ride again or be safe even handling a horse, the tears flowed every time she saw a horse. She shared, “The sight of horses reminded me that while that childhood fantasy had come to life in the form of my dream horse (a beautiful gray Arab gelding,) it was now destined forever to be no more than a memory. I couldn’t imagine never again having horses in my life. And then one day, I found that putting the camera between me and the animal created a new connection that bound me to horses and my old dreams in a brand new way that mostly filled the hole in my heart. Gradually, I fell in love with a new-to-me means of expression.” All Anita’s images are informed, naturally, by her own memories and dreams. But, more importantly, she seeks to evoke the memories and spark the dreams of others who love horses.  She continued, “My imagery works best when you see in a piece, that horse that you loved as a child, or a horse that you recently lost, or, perhaps, the horse that you have always dreamed of having. Maybe you even see, in the image, aspects of yourself that you value, aspire to, or struggle with—grace, power, freedom, speed, beauty, impetuousness, impatience.” You will see story fragments in each of her pieces and her mission is to encourage viewers to insert their own dreams and memories into what they see. Once the work is released to the public, she feels her stories are of little relevance.  She remarked, “Yes, my stories served as the catalyst that birthed the final image, but no work of art is fully realized until a viewer sees his or own story in the work and wants to live with that creation and continue a relationship with his or her story. Art is about connection.”

​So save the date and stop by Gallery ‘N’ Gifts on Dec. 1 from 5-8pm to enjoy refreshments with us, join the fun with our silent auction to raise funds for scholarships, and see about making your own connection with art. For more information call 661-822-6062 or visit Gallery ‘N’ Gifts at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

November 2017- Is a creatively poetic collection of timeless jewelry and stained glass to be featured at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts in November. These distinctive pieces by some of Tehachapi’s most talented artisans are sure to be the focal point of any holiday outfit, or the perfect memorable gift for someone special. Coral Degagne’s creativity with glass artistry has really taken off and her work is like nothing you’ve seen before. Dazzling colors, free form designs and gorgeous trinket boxes will have you checking off your holiday gift list quickly. 

This showcase will also feature four Gallery ‘N’ Gifts jewelers who have spent months putting their wealth of experience to use while creating a dazzling display of exciting and truly unique pieces. The imagination and inventiveness that goes into their work makes each treasure an inspired work of wearable art. 

Suzanna Young has been a silversmith for 25 years and apprenticed to hand forge sterling silver and cut precious and semi-precious gem stones from her old friend and mentor Harold Rouse of Tehachapi California.  Harold was 80 when Suzanna became his only student and studied "one-on-one" until he passed away at 93.  She carries on, spending most of her time hand forging each piece and casting sterling components for her creations. All though she works some gold, sterling silver is her preference. She calls it "forgiving," a pleasure to work with. Suzanna explained, “My designs come from within me as I see them with my "mind's eye" and do not draw them out.  I love making unique pieces and am especially delighted with custom work.  It's all about the story of the stones.  I also re purpose and recycle as much silver as possible and believe in saving our natural resources.” Suzanna has won awards on her work and has shown in galleries/shows in Central and Southern California. She is certified by the Gemology Institute of America GIA in Diamonds and Colored Stones, and is currently finishing up her Graduate Gemology Degree.

Kelli Horton, a.k.a. The Wandering Gypsy, has been making jewelry, for 20 years. What started as a way of making her own jewelry as a stay at home mom turned into an obsession. Kelli is classically trained in fine jewelry making. She did a 3 year internship in Westlake Village, Ca and has taken classes, from many internationally known jewelers. She loves exploring new techniques and collaborating, with other artists. She loves to take other artists glass, pottery, or carvings and incorporate them into her hand wrapped pieces. "Obsession" is a motto, in her jewelry making life. An obsession she loves to share with her customers.

Amanda Tomlinson began making jewelry in 2005, after retiring from a career in law enforcement. Amanda shared, “Jewelry making serves as an outlet to express my creativity and share the art I design with others. I enjoy learning new techniques and expanding my skills to create a broader range of jewelry styles. My initial introduction to jewelry making was beadwork, which led to more intricate designs of wire weaving. Metalsmithing has since become my main passion, allowing me to use precious metals including gold and silver, in addition to copper, brass, and natural gemstones to bring my pieces to life. Through a combination of these skills and materials, I have created a style, I feel, is truly unique.”

Karen Lewis a.k.a. Klew begins her pieces with a technique referred to as “caning” which was borrowed from the Venetian Glass bead makers. A cane is a bundle of colors puzzled together creating a picture when viewed from its cross section. Klew created this style of veneer bead making utilizing a select family of slices off as many as a dozen canes then applies as a veneer over a core while assembling the surface collage for each unique Art bead. Klew has an impressive list of achievements in her career including being a featured artist on the Smithsonian Arttrain as well as a segment on The Learning Channels Simply Style. Klew lives with her husband, Carl and a menagerie of feline and canine fur kids in Tehachapi, CA. They run their business together The Spirited Bead & Klew’s Gallery, where Klew is more than happy to give a tour of her studio on the premises called; “Raising Cane” and perhaps a quick demo when time allows.

In addition to the beautiful sparkly things, Gallery 'N' Gifts will open the bidding on its annual Holiday Silent Auction for the Arts. This annual fundraiser is a great chance to pick up some great gifts while supporting a wonderful cause. Funds raised from the silent auction go towards purchasing art supplies for local area schools and for art scholarships for graduating high school seniors in the Tehachapi area. Bids will open at 5pm November 3rd and close on First Friday December 1 at 6pm.

October 2017- Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is looking forward to hosting a very unique First Friday event on October 6th to usher in the festive Fall season.  The “Spirits of Catrina” collection by Anna Hackler will be on display as well as the second annual costume and decorated witch’s hat contest. The “Spirits of Catrina” collection explores the humorous side of the “La Catrina’s”. Originating from the works of Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada. The images depict female skeletons dressed in a hat or dress only befitting to the upper-class outfit of a European of her time. Catrina has come to symbolize in the Mexican culture not only El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), but that death brings a neutralizing force; everyone is equal in death and anyone can be anything. Artist Anna Hackler shares that she has enjoyed creating art from a young age and has had a resurgent in her art work as an adult to include capturing a variety of images and said, “I work in the mediums of pencil and colored pen to capture a mysterious misty Catrina figure; with a pop of life represented by color. Each image depicts a story and I hope you enjoy the tales they tell.” You can see more of her artwork by visiting her Facebook page @creationsbyannahackler. Anna has done such a great job setting the mood for October that Gallery ‘n’Gifts invites you to get your Halloween costumes together early and jump into the spirit of the season by participating in their costume contest on First Friday Oct. 6 from 5-8pm at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. If a whole costume is too overwhelming for you, why not grab a $4 witch’s hat from Gallery 'N' Gifts early and decorate it in your own unique style? Wear your creation to October’s First Friday event and see if you win one of several offered prizes!  Witch's hat judging will happen at 6:00pm with costume contest judging and awards following shortly after. Both contests are FREE to enter and refreshments will be served as we celebrate the festive creations of our October featured artist Anna Hackler.

September 2017- During the month of September, Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is featuring Ceramics by Susan Roskins. Her flare for color, attention to texture and flare for whimsy is sure to capture your attention in this wonderfully unique show. Susan believes that creativity is in her blood. It’s something she was born with.  She is a “full-emersion” artist, meaning She feels everything  she does, whether it’s with a pencil, brush, hammer, or fistful of clay. The passion is what propels her. It is easy to see what she is feeling because it shows in her work. Though Roskins had no formal schooling in art, it was always a place where she found herself, found solace, sought comfort.  “It’s been my BFF since childhood.  As luck would have it, I was able to turn that drive into a career in graphic arts as an advertising executive, with over 30 years of experience including 15 years with my own agency in Los Angeles.” She shared.  It was the freedom of early retirement that allowed her to get back to art on its finer side.  Ceramics is the latest incarnation of her love for learning new things. “ I love the smell, the feel, the intimacy of clay.” Roskins said, “She’s a mighty adversary at times, but well worth the battle.  There’s always a surprise at the finish, a heap of learning, but the reward of opening that kiln lid after a firing and seeing a success is indescribable.  Better than Christmas!" She puts her heart and soul into every creation, designing pieces that make her smile, and that’s the reaction she hopes to evoke in everyone who views her work.  “The reward is in knowing that with each journey I’ve done the best I can hope to do, and that the pleasure it brings is everlasting. I hope for that to be my legacy.” Roskins expressed.

August 2017- August 4 is First Friday at Gallery ‘N” Gifts. This month will feature their annual “Take Your Best Shot” summer photo contest. Over 50 photographers have entered their favorite photos in this year’s contest featuring 8 different categories including; l Landscape & Nature, Altered Images, Travel, Animals, Elements of Design, Flowers and Youth Photography. “It’s fun to see how the photographers grow every year and to welcome new photographers into the creative spotlight.” Said contest organizer Gale Caldwell. Stop by Gallery ‘N’ Gifts on First Friday, enjoy free appetizers and refreshments with the photographers. While you’re there pick your favorite photo, and see if you match the judges pick for the $100 Best of Show cash prize! 

July 2017- Gallery ‘N’ Gifts will feature underwater photographer Chris Naftel during July and invites the public to the opening reception on First Friday, July 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. Naftel was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Naftel received a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University and a Master of Science in Astrodynamics from George Washington University. He worked for NASA for 37 years at locations in Virginia, Alabama, and California. Before Naftel retired from NASA Armstrong in 2015, he created and managed the NASA Global Hawk Project. This project supports Earth Science research with flights over hurricanes, flights to the Arctic, and flights over the Pacific Ocean. During a deployment of the NASA Global Hawk to Guam in early 2014, Naftel decided to take up snorkeling during his free time. This led him to sign up for SCUBA diving lessons at the Air Force base on Guam. Over the next 18 months Naftel went on several diving vacations and started taking underwater pictures with an inexpensive camera. He enjoyed his early pictures until he found out what was possible with a good camera system and instruction from a professional underwater photographer. In August 2015, Naftel took an underwater photography class on the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean. Since then, he has been on over 125 dives, taking pictures of many fish, coral, and creatures. Through his photographs, Naftel is excited to share the amazing colors and beauty of the underwater world with the Tehachapi community. Naftel will be donating all net profits from this exhibit to the Ninos de la Promesa orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. Rotary International, including the Rotary Club of Tehachapi, has provided support to this orphanage for many years by providing clothes, food, supplies, musical instruments, appliances, passenger vans, and other needed items. Ninos de la Promesa provides a safe, structured environment for about 60-70 orphaned children.

June 2017- Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is excited to feature a very unique show for its upcoming June exhibit, just in time for Father’s Day. Join us First Friday June 2 for a glimpse into the industrial minds of Steve and Lillian Jones. You’re sure to enjoy their flair for design with a steampunk feel.

This local couple brought together in Tehachapi draw on their past experience to share this unique retro style art. Steve is a third-generation carpenter who has traveled two and a half million miles as a truck driver along with his wife Lillian who has been involved in the trucking industry for years.

During the remodel of a friend’s grandma’s kitchen memories were shared bringing attention to specific items being replaced, some of which came together to create their first memory lamp. These unique memory lamps are designed both to inspire the imagination and reflect on the past.

Treasured memories can be triggered by a variety of things including items from the past, which lead the couple to create specialized display boxes to spotlight people’s treasured memories. 

Vintage radios have been re-imagined into creative table lamps, lanterns with flickering flame light bulbs are another favorite item by this creative team. Their creations are interesting to admire without the lights on and intriguing to behold when their light flickers shadows on the walls.

When asked about their art, the talented duo replied, “It has been a positive experience to create amazing lamps and we look forward to sharing and creating lamps for others to enjoy as well.”

Opening reception for their exhibit is June 2 from 5pm-8pm at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts located at 100. W. Tehachapi Blvd.  As always you’re invited to join us for an evening of art, refreshments and music. This event is free and the artwork will remain on display through the month of June.

May 2017- Kris Gruben is a Bear Valley Springs resident and a mixed media artist working in the ancient wax technique of encaustic. Encaustic is an ancient technique dating back to the Greeks. The word encaustic means, “to heat or burn in”. Heat is used throughout the process, from melting the natural beeswax and dammar resin, to fusing the layers of wax together.  Colored pigments may be added and applied with a brush or any tool to create the image. Each layer is then reheated to fuse it to the previous layer.

Kris moved to Bear Valley Springs with her husband in 2014 and lives there with two dogs, three acres of land, and two of their sixteen grandchildren close by. Kris has been surround by art her entire life. Her mother was a professional oil and watercolor artist in the San Diego area for many years. Over the years Kris has explored many different artistic mediums to feed her creative soul. After taking several encaustic workshops in Bakersfield, she found her passion. She enjoys experimenting and playing with the wax.

Gallery ‘N’ Gifts hopes you’ll take the time to stop by, meet the artist, enjoy free refreshments and perhaps enjoy a glass of wine or punch on First Friday May 5, from 5-8pm at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. That will also be the closing night for the Mother’s Day Silent Auction for the Arts at 6pm. All proceeds from the auction go directly to funding art scholarships for high school seniors and art supplies for local area classrooms. For more information please call 661-330-8607 or on facebook at

April 2017- Youth Art Contest (See past events for more info)

March 2017- Anna Dohnke was born and raised in Porterville, Ca.  She attended elementary school, junior high and high school at the local schools there and began her journey into art at an early age. In 3rd grade, her art was chosen to be sent to Porterville's sister city in Japan.  Although she continued to create privately during her high school years, her main focus was on music at Monache High School. Anna was a featured soloist and participated in both the Concert and Chamber Choirs and traveled Europe with the California Girls’ Choir the summer of 1992.

Anna has also been involved in theater for many years. Starting in 6th grade and continuing through junior college, she was an active member of The Barn Theater, Lindsay Community Theater and Porterville College Theater.  Her senior year in high school, she was chosen to represent the Porterville Rotary Club as their exchange student in Brazil.  After living in Brazil for a year, she returned and received her AA at Porterville College, acting as the Art Club president. She then went on to receive her BA in psychology and her California Teaching Credential at Cal State Bakersfield.  She returned to Porterville to teach elementary school and became a reading specialist. 

In 2000 she met her husband, an officer in the United States Air force.  They moved to Sacramento where she spent time developing reading programs.  In 2005, she became a stay-at-home mom and began to move back into her space as an artist.  She developed her process for integrating designs and hand dying silk for her daughter to use as play silks (a Waldorf inspired "toy") and then continued to create them as wearable art.  In 2013, she and her family moved to Tehachapi which allowed her husband to take a job at Edwards AFB.  It was here that she dove back into her passion of becoming a working artist.  In the process of creating art, she also homeschool their daughter through a local homeschool charter.  Anna also does mandala work and has taught art and drama locally.

In her Artist Statement Anna reflects, “Choices, opportunities, and intuition. This is what life presents to us. It's what we do with our choices, our opportunities, our intuition, that define who we are.  We try to control this world of ours, only to be reminded that everyone around us also has their own choices to make, their own intuition to follow. And sometimes their choices collide with our own, reminding us, control is an illusion. Sometimes the earth shakes and upends everything we know, it forms a crack for something new to grow.  The beauty is in the new choice, the new opportunity, the new intuition that has taken seed. Letting go and allowing life to unfold creates beautiful moments.”

You can find out more about Anna and her work by liking her on facebook at Don’t forget you can enjoy her artwork, meet the artist and enjoy refreshments free at her reception Feb.3 at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. from 5-8pm. 

February 2017 - Photo Contest  (See past events for more info)

January 2017-  Gallery ‘N’ Gifts will kick off the New Year featuring artwork by Roni Cohen at its First Friday event on January 6th. Cohen is an Israeli born artist and studied at Avni, Art Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel and went on to be a Foreign Press Photographer who covered the 1973 war in Israel and also worked as a Production Manager on Israeli TV Network. Cohen enjoys creating artwork and works in many mediums such as oil or acrylic on canvas, collages, mixed media, silk screens, etchings with ink on paper and rugs with compressed felt. As an accomplished artist with 18 solo exhibitions and 17 collaborative shows, Cohen has shown her work in various galleries and venues throughout Israel and in more recent years all through the greater Los Angeles area. In the last 4 years Cohen has divided her time between her home in Los Angeles and her ranch in Twin Oaks. She credits the ranch for her newest inspirations in pen & ink saying, “These new subject paintings evolved from my new experience and relationships with horses.” She now brings her talent with pen and ink to Gallery ‘N’ Gifts for a very special show titled Ranch Images. As always great talent and delicious refreshments await you at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts for First Friday. Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. First Friday reception for Cohen will be 5 to 8 p.m., Jan. 6. For further information contact 822-6062.

December 2016 - This December Tehachapi Valley Arts Association celebrates “Artists Within” a special event featuring TVAA member artists who work year round to promote the production, presentation and appreciation of the arts in the Tehachapi area. Rather than featuring a single artist, this show will be a collection of paintings, photographs, sculptures, and art pieces in various mediums celebrating the creative spirit. TVAA will kick off this month long event with a First Friday reception on December 2 from 5-8pm at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts. This year’s celebrated artists include:

  • Gale Caldwell is candle-maker by trade, but has always had the urge to create something lasting and visual.  “I like the feel of a pen in my hand and seeing the ink transform into something unique on my paper. I find the whole process physically relaxing and feel blessed by how calming it is for my creative soul.”
  • Marjorie Colby creates in a variety of mediums and styles. She is currently very active in fiber arts as well as sculpture as well as being an avid miniaturist, creating miniature bronze sculpture and art works collected by the miniature enthusiasts. She also designs and creates jewelry cast in gold and silver and set with precious stones. Being a lapidary, she often cuts and polishes her own stones for these works.
  • Dennis Cowden is a retired Engineer who has developed his passion for photography.  He seeks out organic sites - from landscapes to cookies.  His photography and Cookie Cookbook are available for your enjoyment at Gallery 'n' Gifts.
  • Glass artist Coral Degagne’s creations take on many forms; stained glass, fused glass and glass etching are her mediums, sometimes all together at once. The many tools and colors are what keeps her challenged and interested in her work.
  • Tina Dille a local Tehachapi artist for ten years draws her inspiration from the wild critters and tamed pets sharing her home. Using watercolors and fluid acrylics, Dille creates expressionistic paintings that have exhibited in numerous galleries and museums across the state such as a solo exhibition in 2015 at Lancaster Museum of Art and History, and an upcoming solo exhibition next spring at Bakersfield Museum of Art.
  • Shirley Given appreciates the organic quality of the gourd and pine needle. She went on to say "I find it challenging to create a beautiful piece of art from something as humble as a pine needle or gourd".
  • After retiring from being an advertising photographer for thirty years, Robert Hardy found a new vocation in Fine Art Landscape Photography which has opened up new horizons allowing me to travel to beautiful remote locations.
  • Marti Howell is a painter and potter who has lived in BVS since 2002. Her pottery is handmade or, occasionally, hand decorated. Marti loves texture on her clay pieces and unusual colors, her beautiful paintings of various mediums reflect her love for color as well.
  • Anita Jesse, in describing her equine Paintography, says, "My work comes from the collected stories in my heart. They are imaginings, as well."
  • Stephen Lee has lived in Tehachapi more than 20 years and his primary passion is capturing the natural beauty of God's creations. The Eastern Sierras, including Alabama Hills and the area around Bishop, have resulted in some of his most prized works.
  • Larry & Monica Lindsey create unique works of art in metal and iron. From traditional wrought iron work to a smile in the garden, they create custom pieces to make your memories last for generations.
  • Michelle Miller started oil painting after she became a grandmother and reflects affectionately about her talent saying, “I feel so lucky to have found something I enjoy so much.”
  • Chris Paschke has been strongly influenced by traditional Chinese masters and Japanese Sumi-e painting, crossed with edgy abstract expressionism—thus redefining both mediums into her own contemporary style.  And as a second generation custom picture framer owner of Designs Ink, she often integrates the framing design into the art creating a truly unique blending of the art and presentation. 
  • Jenny Zur says “Painting Icons lets me just surrender to the Creative Process, and participate in a very structured art tradition over 1,000 years old.  They are one of the oldest art forms,  are refreshing for me to co-create as an artist, and are made to last a lifetime.”

As always First Friday at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is free to attend so mark your calendars for December 2 from 5pm- 8pm. Don’t forget our Silent Auction to raise funds for high school art scholarships ends the same night at 6:30 pm. Plan to stop by for wine and hors devourers while treating yourself to a display of new works celebrating the “Artists Within”. Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

November 2016- Colonel Mark Pestana, USAF (ret), is currently a consultant and contract research pilot at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, CA, specializing in human factors engineering and remotely piloted aircraft operations. He has flown NASA Earth science missions through hurricanes, mapped fault lines, measured rain forest health, and sampled atmospheric pollution. He also serves as adjunct faculty in the aerospace safety program at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering. He is a rated command pilot, orbit analyst, and space operations engineer, and has flown over 5000 hours in over 30 aircraft types, ranging from heavy transport to supersonic aircraft. Among his flying assignments he logged 213 combat reconnaissance sorties flying unarmed intelligence missions, and flew as a safety chase pilot for the CV-22 Osprey flight test program. As a space operations engineer he developed astronaut flight operations for the Department of Defense Space Shuttle Program and the International Space Station. As a professional artist, Mark specializes in aerospace themes, but also enjoys painting landscapes and seascapes. He is a member of the American Society of Aviation Artists, the International Association of Astronomical Artists, the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles, and the U.S. Air Force Art Program, with nine paintings in the Pentagon Collection. Mark has exhibited is art at numerous galleries and are in corporate and government collections around the U.S. He’s been recognized with national and international art awards including First Place in the 2007 Aviation Week & Space Technology Magazine’s competition. He has the unique distinction of designing nine Space Shuttle mission patches for the astronauts. And he likes the challenge of “drawing” detailed images on an Etch-A-Sketch. Mark earned a BS in Natural Science and an MS in Systems Management/Research & Development. He is a member of the Society of Flight Test Engineers, the Experimental Aircraft Association, a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Locally he is a member of the Tehachapi Society of Pilots, and a board member of the non-profit Arts, Science, and Technology Corporation (AST), providing volunteer support and service in science, technology, engineering, arts/agriculture, and math (STEAM) to Tehachapi area schools. You can learn more about Mark’s work on his website at: PestanaFineArt.Wordpress.Com We hope you’ll join us at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts on Nov 4th from 5-8pm to celebrate the artwork, partake in the refreshments and enjoy our community’s creative spirit.

October 2016- Witch's Hats and Costume contests mean one thing...Fall is right around the corner. What better way to kick off the season than with some cool prizes to celebrate your creative spirit? With Halloween only weeks away it will be fun to get your costume together early and join Gallery 'N' Gifts for a costume contest on First Friday Oct. 7 from 5-8pm at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. If a whole costume is too overwhelming for you, why not grab a $4 witch’s hat from Gallery 'N' Gifts early and decorate it in your unique style? Wear your creation to October’s First Friday event and see if you win one of 3 prizes! Witch's had judging will happen at 6:00pm with costume contest judging at 6:30 and awards at 7pm. Prizes will be awarded for each contest in the following categories: Spookiest, Funniest, and of course Most Creative. Both contests are FREE to enter and refreshments will be served as we celebrate the unique creations of our October featured artist Susan Roussel. Susan is a California-based, self-taught artist. Her passion for art and love of color began at an early age; when she would use any materials available to create. Presently, Susan works with clay, making a combination of altered slip cast and slab pieces. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across the country, as well as large City Venues targeting children in both the Bakersfield and Pismo Beach Communities. As an art instructor for inner city youth and clients of the Neuro Skills Centre, she finds inspiration and new found appreciation of life and art with every session.

September 2016- First Friday September 2 will be a special event. Gallery ‘N’ Gifts will be celebrating its 37th year in business. The artists invite you to attend their celebration so they can express their appreciation of your support. A birthday cake made by Tehachapi’s own Front Porch Bakery will be served along with various refreshments, wine and punch from 5pm-8pm. To kick off Gallery ‘N’ Gift’s celebration, they will be featuring two different styles of artwork in a unique father/daughter show. Wood turned bowls by Corky Lunceford and paintings by Cherice Hatton. Corky's life has been centered around all things wood. He made a living as a professional finish carpenter and cabinet maker. He loved the challenge of redesigning a kitchen, tearing it apart, and rebuilding it. Corky worked at a cabinet shop for 13 years, the last two years of which he was the foreman. Learning the trade from the bottom up taught him to understand the characteristic of different woods. He left the shop to go out on his own doing kitchen remodels. Unfortunately the market went into the cellar. But he took his experience to work at the Ventura Co. Hospital as a finish carpenter for the next 20 years. He wasn't tearing apart kitchens, but remodeling all the nursing stations, CCU and ICU of all the clinics. In 1999 Corky and his wife Dorine moved to Bear Valley Spring from Ojai California. Working with wood still remained an important part of Corky's life and he took a great interest in wood turning. Having his knowledge of wood, it didn't take long to learn some new techniques and take up the art of wood turning. He and Dorine became familiar faces practicing their individual art forms and showing their works around Bear Valley Springs and Tehachapi. There are many people who turn wood and make bowls or vases, including Corky. But wooden hats are not common, and precise measurements are needed to make a full size wearable hat. This mindset easily transferred from his days of cabinet making, combine with the creative process, resulting in beautiful full size wearable hats. Corky's wood turnings, some as natural edge bowls and vases, some embellished with turquoise, and some turned as miniature and full size wearable hats, all let the wood speak of its natural beauty. Cherice Hatton has been painting all of her adult life and has been using watercolors for about 15 years. In the last 4 years she has taken some time to explore multi-layered paintings. Similar to a collage, the finished work sometimes has multiple perspectives of one subject, and other times simply looks like one image is dimensional. Sometimes it helps her to tell a story or give the painting a particular rhythm. She also feels her work can be very literal, so in the instances she uses this technique it brings some abstraction and creates a little more interest. Cherices' paintings are about the environment and the wildlife within it. She's interested in natural light and color and how this plays a part with animals and their surroundings. "It' is fascinating to me when a creature can be hidden right in front of you because of its coloration or patterns. In exploring this theme I sometimes place animals within a painting where at first glance they may not be noticed. When viewing my work I would like to think that others might find this theme intriguing as well, but also might find it pleasing to focus their attention for a moment on one of the many beautiful things in our surroundings." Be sure to stop by and take in the beautiful artwork and help celebrate 37 years of promoting, producing, presenting and appreciating art in the Tehachapi area. Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

August 2016- Take Your Best Shot Photographers show us what they've got in this year's edition of a community favorite event. Stop by and see the event running through Aug 30 2016.

July 2016- Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is delighted to showcase Bear Valley Springs artist Jeff Peal as their Featured Guest Artist for the month of July beginning with a First Friday artist reception on July 1 from 5pm-8pm. Peal is a multi-media artist/painter/wood carver and designer with an intrinsic sense of style and an ability to inspire through his various creations at PealWorks. Originally from Sierra Madre, Ca, he found his passion for art at a young age and fondly remembers drawing on his Grandma's coffee table. Soon his brilliant sketches made way to illustrative multi-media paintings and visualscapes and vivid, come-to-life carvings as well as many other inspired creations. Jeff employs his years of experience and delicate sense of the visual to a variety of materials and media at PealWorks, whether they be with pencil, paintbrush, chisel or chainsaw. His work has been featured in various galleries and shows over the years and is a testament to his drive to continue to make people smile through his interpretations. The public is invited to join this free event. Refreshments will be served throughout the evening. Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

June 2016- This June, Tehachapi Valley Arts Association and Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is delighted to feature an entire new collection of artwork by Anita Jesse—work she calls Paintography.
After years in theater and film both as performer and teacher, Anita Jesse discovered cameras and that changed everything. In spite of having a passion for making pictures with her camera, Anita soon became impatient with what, to her, felt like the constraints of photography. She wasn’t satisfied with images that depicted the cold reality of what her camera captured. She yearned to convey not only what she saw, but more about what she felt, when she saw it.  Eventually, Anita began to see what the camera sensor recorded as a starting point, not a final product. Anita began to read about painting techniques to supplement her knowledge of photography. She was ready to leave photographic realism behind.
Now, Anita says that thanks to combining the photographer’s tools with digital brushes, a graphics tablet and a new way of seeing, she can paint in light and shadow, color, and texture until she finds her way to an image that existed only in her mind’s eye. Anita shared, “My work comes from the collected stories in my heart. They are imaginings, as well. They emanate from dreams, half-forgotten memories, impressions, and feelings. I hope my images will stir memories, dreams, and stories in your heart.”
Please join us on First Friday June 3 from 5pm-8pm for an evening of sharing dreams at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts, located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. For more information call 661-822- 6062. For a tantalizing, curiosity rousing glimpse of what Anita’s show has in store, follow her facebook page at

May 2016- “All That Glitters” will be on display for the month of May at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts with a special show opening party on First Friday May 6 from 5pm-pm. Six Tehachapi Valley Arts Association members will be featured in this month’s show featuring beautiful hand created pottery and unique jewelry which can easily be described as wearable art. This show is sure to be a hit for Mother’s Day.
Marti Howell has been a member since 2013. She is a painter and potter who has lived in BVS since 2002. Her pottery is handmade or, occasionally, hand decorated. Marti loves texture on her clay pieces and unusual colors. Her pottery for this shows a variety of her pieces. This selection will include plates, platters, bowls, etc. All of Marti’s handmade pieces are made in her studio with white stoneware, hand glazed, and fired at least twice. Marti will also have available a Tea for Two set & African Violet pots which are hand decorated with special crystal glazes. In addition to her pottery work and painting, Marti also rides her Fox Trotter, helps landscape & care for their 5 1/2 acres, plus trains & competes in dog agility.
Karen Lewis aka Klew has been creating for many decades and loves to explore new directions with all mediums. She began teaching in the mid 90's and now travels the world sharing her knowledge and creativity. Klew has been a guest on The Learning Channel , featured Artist on the Smithsonian Arttrain, has 5 tutorial DVDS, as well as been published in dozens of books and magazines.
Amanda Tomlinson started making jewelry in 2005 after an injury that ended her career as a deputy sheriff. She likes to express her creativity and design wearable pieces of art. Amanda enjoys learning new techniques and making all styles of jewelry. She started out making beaded designs, then became interested in wire weaving, and last year started metal smithing. Amanda shared, “I like to mesh these styles together to create unique mixed metal pieces with materials like copper, brass, silver, and natural stones. You can find my work by looking for Jewelry by Amanda at, on Facebook, or here in town at Gallery N Gifts!”
Kelli Horton was born in the lovely coastal area of Ventura County, in Southern California. Kelli started creating at a young age and was encouraged by her parents who were both creative. She began to dabble in Jewelry making when she chose to stay home with her children. Kelli is a self-taught artist learning a wide variety of techniques through books and magazines. As her interest grew, Kelli became an apprentice at a high end jewelry store owned by a family friend and there learned the techniques of casting, setting stones, engraving, finishing and repairing, all types of jewelry. While she enjoys learning new techniques and trying new things, she particularly likes the freedom of artistic metal pieces. Kelli feels that the greatest compliment she or any other artist can receive is for someone to spend their hard earned money on one of her pieces. Kelli considers all of her customers friends, and feels like they are taking a piece of her home with them, when they purchase one of her creations.
Marjorie Colby has been a TVAA member for 30 years. She designs and creates jewelry cast in gold and silver and set with precious stones. Being a lapidary, she often cuts and polishes her own stones for these works. She is also an avid miniaturist, creating miniature bronze sculpture which is available year round at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts. Over the years, Marjorie has been actively involved with the arts community of Kern. She helped found the Southern Sierra Sculpture Society, the Bakersfield Art Museum’s Artists Guild, and the Tehachapi Arts Foundation, Inc. Her award winning work has been exhibited throughout Southern California and is represented in galleries and private collections throughout the USA and abroad.
Tehachapi raised Suzanna Young has been a jewelry artist since the age of 10. Suzanna sold her first handmade jewelry pieces at the 1970 Tehachapi Mountain Festival when she was 15 years old. She studied under her friend and mentor who was a well-known resident and Jewelry Designer named Harold Rouse, for 13 years, as his only student.  After his passing at 93 years old, Suzanna furthered her education at GIA, (Gemology Institute of America) in Carlsbad, CA.  certifying in both diamonds and colored gem stones.  She has continued to make custom and one of a kind wearable art pieces for approximately 25 years now.  Suzanna cuts and polishes many of her stones and enjoys hand forged work.  She is a membership of San Luis Obispo County Art Assoc., Inyo County Art; Invitational Balboa Island Art Walk as well as many other shows and festivals.  She also received an award for Best of Show Inyo County. Suzanna shared, “I am proud to be a member of my hometown, Tehachapi Valley Art Association and have my work come full circle and back home.”
As always First Friday at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is free to attend so mark your calendars for May 6 from 5pm- 8pm. Don’t forget our Silent Auction to raise funds for high school art scholarships ends the same night at 6:30 pm. Plan to stop by for wine and hors devourers while treating yourself to a dazzling display of “All That Glitters”. Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

April 2016- Gallery N Gifts will host the 20th annual All Tehachapi Youth Art Contest. Children from our community will show off their creative talents in a variety of mediums.

March 2016- Tehachapi Valley Arts Association and Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is proud to host award winning artist Maia Cummins as their Featured Artist for March. Maia creates her art under two distinct styles and often blending the two. A Surreal Style: being "dreamlike" and a Figurative Style which can be gentle and playful, sometimes funny and always interesting. Her paintings incorporate a strong vibrancy of colors which promise to dazzle. She has been an artist all of her life. Maia's parents were visual and performing artists in their own right. She grew up with artistic mentors who remain lifelong friends. Her childhood home was an artist's studio filled with splatters of paints, stacks of books and the smell of turpentine (which she still loves). Maia was accepted into F.I.T. in NYC as a fine arts major and then attended F.I.D.M. in Los Angeles. We encourage you to visit her etsy shop at for a preview of her wonderful artwork. You are invited to join us for her show opening on First Friday March 4, 2016 from 5-8pm. Along with beautiful artwork we will have live music, drinks and delicious hors’ douvres.

February 2016 showcases our 11th annual Photo Contest with an awards reception to be held on February 5th from 5-8pm. This year we have over 55 photographers showing more than 150 photos. Stop by and take a look at our community's talented Photographers!

January 2016- On January 8, 2016 from 5pm-8pm Gallery n Gifts will host its first Featured Artist event of the year. They proudly present one of their own resident artist Tina Dille to exhibit her paintings "Ravens: Myths and Legends". An extraordinary exhibition that has just traveled from the museum walls of MOAH in Lancaster, CA. and received great reviews from its art patrons. These large scale watercolors painted on a synthetic paper and mounted on sintra are interpretations of the symbolic and mystical iconographies of ravens throughout history and present times. Dille a transplant from Orange County credits her growth as an artist to her serene lifestyle in the Tehachapi Mountains where she can immerse herself into the work and draw from the unlimited source of wildlife inspirations for her animal base portraits. In fact, Dille's muse for the raven paintings was a grounded raven that lived on her property for nine months and provided her with that up close and personal observation so essential for this body of work. Dille an emerging artist in the Los Angeles art scene has been painting what she loves most "animals and wildlife". "My passion for contemporary art and animals have merged into my current style that is expressionist of what I feel is beneath the feathers and fur." she explains. I live to paint and believe each painting has something to convey to the viewer". "I feel fortunate to have settled in Tehachapi among talented artists and a country gallery that exhibits my work. For me, success is measured by the freedom and opportunity to express my passion for animals in my art and to be able to share it with others. Tina Dille earned her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from California State University Bakersfield in 2008. Her artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries across California and have received numerous awards. Most recently "Best of Show" at MOAH 2015 and solo exhibition "Ravens: Myths and Legends" MOAH 2015.

December 2015- Gallery 'n' Gifts is delighted to spotlight Michelle Miller, one of their members, as guest artist for the month of December. Miller is a native Californian and has a passion for landscape oil painting. She began painting after she retired and became a grandmother. Miller stated “I don't think of anything except how the next brushstroke will give me the 'feel' I am looking for in my landscapes.” She went on to say “I often trim my brushes, use cotton swabs, tooth picks and anything else I think will help me to achieve the desired effect for the painting. I prefer using stretched canvas, but occasion I use artist board. I love the process of painting wet paint into wet paint, with the way it flows together to give a marvelous effect." Miller's enchantment with nature began as a young girl. Being a lifelong hiker and camper she enjoyed the luxury of taking umpteen photos, that have served as inspiration for her work. There are artists of different natures within her family and she felt inspired by many of their accomplishments. Vacationing with her cousin in the Sierras and the southwest, she enjoyed painting “En Plein Air”. Although it came to her later in life, she now finds it difficult to imagine her life without the enjoyment of oil painting.

November 2015 Gabriele Baber, Premiers at Gallery 'n' Gifts:Gallery 'n' Gifts is delighted to have the opportunity to share a world renown artist with the town of Tehachapi. Artist, Gabriele Baber studied at University level with artists David Leffel, Richard McDaniel, Daniel Greene, Robert Burridge, Christ VanWinkle, JoAnna Arnett and Elizabeth Tolley, to name a few. Given the diversity of her mentor studies she has attained a high level of proficiency in a variety of mediums. Baber, German born and currently residing in Palmdale, states she has been an artist most of her life. As she so aptly put it “I always loved to make marks and enjoyed doing extra credit in grade school. Art is an escape for me, which as any artist knows can be a positive or negative thing, but that's just the way it is”. Vivid and exciting colors express the drama and passion this California award-winning artist brings to her work. Baber states “I have an eye for dramatic color and I express myself through art; painting realistically with an expressionistic flair”. Collector’s of Baber's work admire her flair as she interprets nature with her unique style. Her work is often found on the cover of Temecula Valley and has been signature art for the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival. A permanent collection resides with the Temecula Valley Art Council as well as various locations throughout the world. Her work garnered the Reno Air Race Poster and to date is the only woman to have the honor of painting the award-winning poster. Baber encourages her students to express through art, focusing on the process, not the product. Positive reinforcement and critique allow her students to find their style and voice. Baber recently relocated to Palmdale and continues her work as a freelance artist. She is available for demonstrations and workshops in Palmdale and outlying areas, such as Tehachapi. Visit her website and learn more about her work and workshops.

October 2015 Jenny Zur will open our minds to the possibilities awaiting the artist in each and every one of us. After a glorious trip to Spain, Zur stated “I have fallen in love with Salvador Dali. Three artists captured my heart and I was forever changed. Their bold experimentation, colorful and rich exploration of styles and materials inspired me to grow wings and explore Tehachapi's beautiful birds with paint. canvas and joyful abandon. The trip to Barcelona and Catalunya (Spain) where I visited the museums of Dali, Picasso and Miro earlier this year, along with several of the buildings by Gaudi, including the Sagrada Familia Cathedral were so invigorating and freeing to me.” As a child, Zur's mother would stop by the local printers and buy boxes of paper scrap for her six children to draw on. The paper and an old cigar box overflowing with a myriad of colorful crayons, fueled her fertile imagination, when it could no longer be contained within the confines of the heavy black and defining lines of a childs coloring book. A daydreamer, Zur said she would lose herself in wonder, watching the world around her, as she would take in how a leaf twisted on its stem or the countless 'diamonds' twinkling on a lake infused with sunshine. “I didn't realize it then but I was learning to see the world through the eyes of an artist,” state Zur. In her spare time and as she so aptly put it, “when not daydreaming, I managed to partner in a successful pottery business, finish up college degrees in art and graphic communication and become the illustrator for Nike's apparel division.” She went on to say “it was once said to me that the arts feed off each other and that was true in my case: solutions to design dilemmas have been discovered while playing the piano; elements of advertising were used to compose fine art and the skill honed in the dress design studio incorporated into paintings.” Zur says her art begins with realistic images and the way she sees and feels about it is introduced and finally allowed to evolve and tell its own story. “I love the feel of the paint as it glides beneath the palette knife, aware and open to the visual effects created and the willingness to let go as I am lead to the next step.” Her zest and love for painting shows in the gleam of her eyes as you talk with her. Oct. 2 from 5-8 P.M. you will have the opportunity to let Zur open your mind to the possibilities awaiting the artist in each one of us. Gallery 'n' Gifts is open daily from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. For further information please call 822-6062. As always decadent hors d'oeuvres will be served and you chat with talented guest artist, Jenny Zur.

September 2015 This Friday September 4th Gallery 'N' Gifts invites you to help celebrate our 36th year in business! Our First Friday Artist Reception will feature new work by our members including Anita Jesse, Coral DeGagne, Robert Hardy, Shirley Given, Tina Dille, Stephen Lee, Monica Lindsey, Michelle Miller, Marti Howell, Dennis Cowden and Gale Caldwell. Stop by for complimentary refreshments and meet the artists. 5-8pm at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

August 2015 Take Your Best Shot Photo Contest Reception 5-8pm

July 2015 Join us First Friday July 3rd and kick off the Independence Day celebrations early with "Primitive Impressionism" by Jim Pugh.

June 2015-Duane Anderson, Transparent Watercolorist "From earliest childhood, I always loved drawing. I have been painting with first watercolors and then acrylics for 35 years. My love of painting made me leave architecture, my chosen profession, to concentrate on architectural illustration. That proved to be a good decision as I was able to combine my passion for painting with my love of architecture. I am presently a tenured professor of architecture at Bakersfield College. I teach perspective drawing and architectural graphics. In addition, I have taught multiple workshops and classes in drawing and watercolor for both children and adults. I now work completely in watercolor, predominately transparent, although what I am trying to say with the image is much important. So, I do use opaque paint occasionally. My approach to my work is to paint as realistically as I can in an abstract impressionistic way. I find it a most enjoyable experience to work close and then view from a distance to see how perspective plays such a vital role in how we view our world. I admit I love “details” to a fault. But, I am very happy, indeed, that they have helped me find my voice in painting."

May 2015- Kevin Hill, landscape artist, will be Featured Guest Artist, First Friday, May 1 at Gallery 'N' Gifts. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet this gifted artist and teacher. Hill, currently from the Palmdale area, was introduced to painting at fifteen while watching PBS. By the ripe old age of eighteen he was selling his landscapes at a rapid clip. This is a painter who is passionate about his own painting and teaching others. His specialty is a “wet-on-wet” oil painting technique and when you watch one of his videos, you will recognize that his passion is unmistakable. Meet Hill, Featured Guest, as well as other Tehachapi artists for an evening of beautiful art, good conversation, and delicious treats. Browse Hill’s paintings and enjoy the complimentary snacks and drinks, offered by Gallery 'N' Gifts, located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. For further information call.822-6062.

April 2015- Annual "All Tehachapi Youth Art Contest" Come see what our talented kids can do!

March 2015- Tehachapi Artists celebrate “Art on the Mountain” The Tehachapi Valleys are home to a rather amazing number of artists. Is it something in the water? Or, is it that invigorating, clean, mountain air? Whatever explains our being home to so many creative souls, TVAA and Gallery ‘N Gifts are dedicated to the celebration of local artists year-round. For the month of March, 2015, the Gallery will offer “Art on the Mountain”—a slight twist on our usual Guest Artist features. Rather than featuring a single Guest Artist, fifteen artists have been asked to exhibit examples of their work. The following Gallery ‘N Gifts Fine Arts Members: Gale Caldwell, Marjorie Colby, Dennis Cowden, Coral DeGagne, Tina Dille, Shirley Given, Marti Howell, Anita Jesse, Stephen Lee, Monica Lyndsey, and Michelle Miller and will have work on display. Ongoing Guest Artist, Chris Paschke will show her work and three Guest Artists, Sonja Bronson, Debbie Martin, and Ardean Rudolph have been invited as guests for the month. Join in an opportunity to sample oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings; photography; sculpture; gourd artistry, Zentangle inspired art, and digital mixed media along with complimentary food and drinks. Spend an evening with good company, good food, and soaking in the inspiration of “Art on the Mountain.”

February 2015- TVAA Annual Photography Contest.

January 2015- TVAA's Gallery 'n Gifts welcomes Fine Art Photographer, Jim Tucker, as Featured Guest Artist for the leadoff First Friday of 2015. Friday, January 2, 5:00 -8:00 P.M., Gallery ‘N Gifts, at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd, will hold a reception spotlighting Tucker's intriguing black and white photographs. Inspired by his oldest brother who had a degree in photography, Tucker was introduced to classic black and white photography and still works in a traditional darkroom to produce his "intimate landscapes." This photographer is passionate about using traditional techniques, developing, enlarging and printing all his work in the wet darkroom. Attracted to black and white photography "because it strips away all the distraction of color", Tucker "forces us to see and feel in a way that is very raw, instinctive, clean and pure."

December 2014- TVAA Holiday Boutique featuring festive arts and handcrafted items by our local TVAA members.

October/November 2014- Sculptor, Leon Leigh was born, raised and received his education in London. At an early age he designed custom furniture for the family business, while pursuing his degree in art. His artistic education continued as he worked as a stonemason, honing his skill at cutting and polishing marble. His mechanical and mathematical skills, combined with his past designing skills, eventually brought him to his current medium, metal. Leigh immigrated to America in 1986 and opened a design studio in Culver City, CA. With inspiration and support from leading decorators in LA, his sculptures were sought after worldwide. Commissions for private and commercial parties were sought after due to the spontaneity of his designs. Leigh has relocated his studio in Bear Valley Springs and continues to sculpt, using his well known fiery imagination. Leigh said “As a sculptor, I love to work in materials that will last the test of time. Though I work in stone and wood I prefer the malleability of the heated metal, allowing me to literally push the metal in its molten state, to capture the line, moving it with the force of the torch's flames itself and nothing else. The passionate interplay of fire and metal is what both inspires and propels my creative works. Having been inspired by the raw and primitive sculptures of Alberto Giacometti, I set out to create something new and different and develop my own unique style. To transform rigid steel into suspenders, lace, garters and my ultimate accomplishment, shoes, as been nothing less than exciting.”

September 2014-Gallery 'n' Gifts goal is always to have First Friday in Tehachapi be something special. With the 35th Anniversary of Gallery 'n' Gifts on the horizon, it was decided to approach this special month with special artists. It seemed apropos to honor the in-house Fine Arts members during this anniversary month of celebration, beginning Friday, Sept. 5.

August 2014 features the "Take Your Best Shot" Photo contest. Be sure to check out the rules for more information and important submission dates!

July 5th we'll be featuring the artwork of Sherrill Hoepner.

First Friday, June 6, 2014 from 5 – 8 p.m., will feature Stephen Lee. A photographer, Lee is a newcomer to GNG and enjoys the warm family-coop atmosphere of the local art community. Lee has lived in Tehachapi more than 20 years and his primary passion is capturing the natural beauty of God's creations. The Eastern Sierras, including Alabama Hills and the area around Bishop, have resulted in some of his most prized works. The abundance of California wildflowers gives him the opportunity to create unique images of the California flora.

May 2014's Featured artist are the Tehachapi Fiber Frogs, with a reception in their honor being held, First Friday, May 2 from 5-8 p.m. What is a Fiber Frog, one might ask? come see for yourself!

April 2014's featured artists are our very own Tehachapi Youth! Come see what a talented bunch of kids we have in our community!

MArch 2014 Tehachapi Valley Arts Association is thrilled to feature local artist, Chris Paschke of Designs Ink Art, for the First Friday event, March 7 at Gallery 'n' Gifts.

February 2014 - 9th annual TVAA Photo Contest check our site for rules and information! First Friday Awards Reception on Feb. 7.

January 2014 - Sculpture and artwork by Rodolfo Perez Moreno January 3rd First Friday 5-8pm. Kick off the new year with fabulous art!

November 2013 - Silent auction begins tomorrow at First Friday! We have over 25 items and baskets of goodies up for auction. All Proceeds go towards high school art scholarships. Support the kids and snatch up some great holiday gifts! Win win for everyone! (Auction ends first Friday Dec 6 at 7pm)

October 2013 - First Friday, Oct. 4, Gallery ‘n’ Gifts will be showcasing local talent, Elaine Kilmer, from 5 to 8 p.m. Kilmer brings a new and exciting medium to the Gallery. Her Rock Star portraiture and hand beaded guitar straps promise to make Rocktober First Friday, exciting and energetic. Kilmer combines her love of drawing and music in her portraiture of Rock Musicians. The element in her work is incredible with detail that one usually sees in photographic works. Check out her Facebook and see the beautifully beaded guitar straps she creates in addition to her portraiture. Kilmer graduated Cal State Bakersfield in 2005, grew up in Bakersfield and currently resides in Tehachapi. Kilmer says “I am a woman of many passions. Some wane and wax over the years, but the true constants have always been my love of art music and animals. My love of drawing began at a very early age. I distinctly remember being in the 5th grade and getting in trouble for sitting and drawing in the back of my math class, (with two similarly afflicted classmates, I might add.) Drawing horses was much more fun than math and to date not much has changed on that issue.” Today, Kilmer combines her love of drawing and music with portraits of musicians she has met and became friends with, through Facebook. She refers to this as “Drawing people into my life.” Through the portraits, Kilmer has made many wonderful friends, including an accomplished Russian Guitarist, who has come to California on two separate occasions to be her guest. As always great talent and good food await you at Gallery ‘n’ Gifts for First Friday. Gallery ‘n’ Gifts is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. First Friday reception for Kilmer will be 5 to 8 p.m., Oct. 4. For further information contact 822-6062.

September 2013 - We will feature photography by Dennis Cowden. A First Friday artist reception will be held September 6 at Gallery N Gifts in the Fine Arts Gallery.

August 2013 - We had a wonderful turn out for our Take Your Best Shot Photo Contest. Winners are posted under the "Previous events" link on the right. Hope you will think about entering next year, we all had a great time!

July 2013 - Have you ever felt truly inspired, upon meeting someone for the first time? That feeling of awe upon learning about the challenges that person faced at the onset of adulthood? The opportunity to do so is coming to Gallery ‘n’ Gifts, July 5. Stained Glass Artist, Coral Degagne will be featured at the First Friday reception, from 5 to 8 p.m. and she is a remarkable woman. Degagne was born and raised in California and moved to Tehachapi in 1976, while in the 6 grade. She then graduated from THS in 1983, with plans to attend a cosmetology school in Vancouver, B.C.A couple of months after graduation Degagne did what a lot of kids her age do, when fun and good times are to be had. She called in sick. She had an opportunity to go ATC riding in the Mojave Desert. It proved to be a life changing experience. She broke her back during a ride and spent 3 months in a medical facility learning to live independently as a paraplegic. Not one to wallow in selfpity, she moved on with her life and today is a vibrant and positive woman, who makes one smile, just being around her. She tried various types of employment from computer accounting to dress making and found them all boring. She married in 1987, soon thereafter, was divorced and gave birth to a baby boy. As he learned to crawl and get about his own, she found baby overalls, with suspenders the best way to pick him up safely and quickly. She became involved in tandem skydiving in 1992 and became bored with it by 2010. As you have probably noted by now, there is a boredom pattern. She had yet to find her niche.She loved the arts and her crayons as a child. She tried different painting techniques, including pastels and watercolors. Yes, once again boredom reigned.About 15 years ago, she went to the Getty Museum for the “Windows of Light” exhibit. “It was incredible and caught my attention immediately. There were simple (knowing now, not so simple) stained glass pieces with ‘stick people’ drawing fused into the glass, to more elaborate and beautiful windows. At the time I did not even consider I would pursue this media, I just enjoyed the exhibit,” stated Degagne. “While working a crossword puzzle in The Bakersfield Californian in 2004, I saw an ad for beginning stained glass classes and considered checking it out, but didn’t. Shortly thereafter I visited Old Town San Diego and the Catholic Church gift shop. While looking at a crucifix pendant I felt warmth on my neck and back. Behind me was a huge stained glass window and it was breathtaking with the sun shining through it. Some colors danced while others were soft and warm, I knew then I was going to go home and sign up for the stained glass class,” Degagne continued. She has since crossed over to fusing and torch work and intricate detail in her stained glass pieces. The process seems to be working for her, boredom is no longer an issue and the creative juices flow. She says she thinks the reason she does not get bored is there are so many tools to work with (she likes tools) and it makes her bleed. She says that keeps her on her toes, so to speak. She finds it a challenge to have someone bring her a piece that is broken and dirty and return it restored, which always bring a smile to the owner’s face.Degagne stated “my favorite part of building a window is during the waxing process when it starts getting shiny and smooth and when held up to the light, the colors start to dance.” Come and enjoy an evening with Degagne and partake in scrumptious refreshments.

June 2013 Gallery ‘N Gifts, 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd., will feature the fine art of Tina Dille, watercolors; Anita Jesse, enhanced photography; Marti Howell, painting using various mediums. Refreshments will be served and a 10 percent show discount is offered during First Friday hours only.

May 2013 - The amount of artistic talent in Tehachapi is amazing.And the Tehachapi Valley Art Association and its Gallery 'n' Gifts are pleased to offer the community an opportunity to meet and peruse the works of one of the local talents as the Guest Artist for May. Marti Howell will be honored at a reception during First Friday, May 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Gallery 'n' Gifts, 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. Howell, a longtime resident of Bear Valley Springs, is originally from the Bay Area, where she worked in the education field including teaching art. She works with oils, pastels and watercolors. "I never expected to paint in three mediums, however, each one offers something that is both a plus and a minus for the painter," she said. "When I get tired of one medium, I switch to a different one and I can get excited all over again. I think this keeps my work fresh and appeals to a wider variety of people." Painting a diverse range of subjects, with animals and people being the forerunners, Howell said the human body, face or figure, has been a fascinating subject in art for centuries. "I never tire of painting people. There is always something new to learn," she added. "Because they appeal to many people, either as a connection to a loved companion or to the wonders of nature, painting animals is interesting. I enjoy the challenge of capturing their essence and personality." Howell also does commissioned animal paintings and has started doing pastel portraits. She said she has three goals when she paints -- learn something new, increase her painting skills, and have fun. "I think it's important to have personal goals and enjoy the process because there is no predicting what someone will buy," she added. Howell has also diversified into pottery and working with clay. She enjoys riding, reading and gardening, sometimes finding it difficult to participate in all of them. Howell shows at the Bear Valley Cultural Arts Spring show and was a member of Crossroads Gallery for four years. She has recently become a member of Gallery 'n' Gifts and the Tehachapi Valley Art Association. "I love being a member of the art community in Tehachapi," she said. "There are many talented artists here."

April 2013 - The Tehachapi Valley Arts Association invites the community to view the art of our wonderfully talented Tehachapi youth at this year's 17th annual All Tehachapi Youth Art Contest. All categories of art, including flatwork of all media, sculpture, photography, pottery and more will be on display by artists from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Since 1996, Tehachapi's youth have never failed to awe and inspire with their many talents. The contest is staffed and funded by volunteers willing to give of their time and money to make the event a success. Qualified judges are brought in to examine each piece submitted and determine those works worthy of special recognition. First, second and third place ribbons are given for outstanding works, as well as honorable mention awards. In addition, two best of show awards are given -- one to honor the best work by a high school student and the other for the best work by an elementary level student -- each who will be honored by a ribbon and a monetary award. A pre-showing of the exhibit will be held on First Friday on April 5 from 5 to 8 p.m., with no awards shown at the time.

March 2013 - Gallery 'n' Gifts, 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd., features local artist, Chris Paschke. She enjoys mixed media on paper, panel wood, canvas and encaustic.

February 2013 - Down the street at Gallery 'n' Gifts, 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd., the Tehachapi Valley Arts Association will be showing the work of photographers in the 8th annual TVAA Photo Contest. Photographers once again took up the challenge and entered their photographic visions in the contest," said Gale Caldwell of the association. The winner of the highly competitive event will be announced at a First Friday reception, during which the public is invited to view the photos, which will remain on display during the entire month of February.

December 2012 – Features Locally made holiday gifts in our Fine Arts room boutique.

November 2012 - Gallery 'N Gifts and the Tehachapi Valley Arts Association will honor the armed forces during the month of November, with a special "Honor the Military" theme. Gallery 'N Gifts and TVAA strongly support our military personnel and look forward to sharing the support with the Tehachapi community. Everyone is asked to participate in the "Honor the Military" program. Gallery 'N Gifts will have a large banner stating, "Thank you for Serving." It will be sent to local military personnel, currently deployed and serving our country. Stop in and write a message and sign the banner. TVAA did a similar project a few years back and it was well received locally and by the military personnel, receiving it. The banner will be available to sign Nov. 1 to 15 at Gallery 'N Gifts. Information will also be available to choose military personnel to send a Christmas CARE package. Plan to meet Tehachapi's local heros at the reception in their honor, at the gallery. Refreshments will be served throughout the evening. The gallery is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

October 2012 - Gallery ‘N Gifts is hosting an exciting local artist this month. Debi Hartman who is better known by the nickname Sparks, aka the Grunge Hobbit, for First Friday and the month of October. Sparks is an art lover turned artist influenced by the many talented artists friends she surrounds herself with in Tehachapi. She paints from the images she creates in her mind or from dreams in which images come to her. The visions can be purely abstract or have shape and often come to life in human form. Rarely detailed or precise — and often filled with intense emotion — her paintings are created quickly and with passion. In her first year of painting (2009), Sparks embarked on an intense and prolific period of self-education and experimentation in both oil and acrylic paints. Some of her favorite paintings were created using techniques that cede some of the control to the medium — using alcohol, canned air, or simply tilting the canvas and letting the paint go where it will. Other favorites involve very deliberate techniques that create interesting textures with fingers, palette knife and sand from her backyard. "I love the smell and feel of paint on canvas, it's all about having fun," said Sparks.

February 2012 - Gallery ‘N’ Gifts is hosting a Photo Contest Reception, displaying the works of local photographers. Don’t miss it, there are phenomenal photographers in the Tehachapi area. Submissions will be accepted through Jan. 30, Applications available at or stop by the newly remodeled shop at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. As always, refreshments will be served.

October 2011 - Sheryl McKay of Red Bird Pottery is the featured artist for October at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts. Sheryl worked as a floral designer in Lancaster for 24 years. Six years later Sheryl began “hand building” or working with clay. She is a self-taught potter. She made numerous trips to the library as she taught herself the different techniques and the art of “throwing” on the wheel. After years of trial and error and transforming her husband’s (man-cave) garage into her studio, Sheryl achieved a style that works for her and her clientele. Sheryl’s inspiration for her designs comes from her love of nature and most of the plant material comes from her garden. Using stoneware clay and lead free glazes, she has designed many functional wares that can be used throughout the home. Most of her pieces are oven and dishwasher safe, although hand washing is recommended for the more decorative pieces. Whether you are looking for decorative or functional pieces for your home, you may rest assured each piece is an original and one-of-a-kind. As a bonus, photographer Vuong Nien will be featured in the October Show also. Vuong was born in Vietnam and came to the United Stated in 1995. He is a member of the International Federation of Photographic Art and the Photographic Society of America. His core teachings come from his father many years ago. He specializes in panoramic views and will have several panoramas of the Tehachapi area on display at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts for the month of October.

August 2011 - "Take Your Best Shot" Photo Contest display.

July 2011 - Oscar Bravo — yes that is his bona fide moniker — will be the July guest artist at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts, for First Friday, July 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. Oscar is a ceramicist and potter. He says he finds inspiration in the clay, whether it’s the rich colors, the contrast of the different clays or the textures. He finds it amazing to take a lump of mud and create eye-pleasing pieces, whether it’s a bowl, urn, vase, platter or cookie jar.

May 2011 - David Sosalla will be the Gallery ‘N’ Gifts guest artist for May. The artist is world renown for his special effects in the motion picture industry said Shirley Given, Fine Arts Director for TVAA Sosalla will be featured at “First Friday on May 6 and his work will remain in the gallery throughout May. For more than 30 years Sosalla has been involved with creating special visual effects for films and television. Over this period of time he has contributed to more than 60 films, including such movies as “Star Wars, The Return of the Jedi,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “Battle Star Galactica.” In 1989 he was awarded the British Academy Award for his work on “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” As he participated in the many film projects, he also continued with his interests in painting, print making, drawing and sculpture.

April 2011 - TVAA will once again sponsor the All Tehachapi Youth Art Contest featuring talented young artists from the Tehachapi area.

March 2011 - Marnye Summers will be the featured artist. Marnye has always been an artist and dog lover. As long as she can remember, she was drawing, weaving or sculpting. Several years ago, Marnye decided to fulfill her childhood passion of working with animals. She studied with Pierce College's Veterinary Technician program and graduated in 2004. At the same time she was studying at Pierce, her art became focused on animals. Using colored pencils, Marnye won several awards in juried shows during this time. Marnye then went to school again, this time to learn how to weld. A plasma cutter and MIG welder are now her tools of choice for metal sculpting. This medium allows her to combine her love of animals and art. Her models are her six rescued dogs: Spam, Brillo, Thud, Walter, Muscle Butt and Stella. Marnye does commissioned metal animal artwork in several different styles. She will work from clients’ favorite photographs to capture the animal's unique look.

February 2011 - Annual TVAA Photo Contest Awards Reception. Feb 4th 5-8pm. Stop by and see all the fabulous local photography talent!

January 2011 - The fine arts room is undergoing a transformation! Stop by next month and see the wonderful changes!

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