Travel Gold Country
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From a symphony to galleries, artists thrive in Gold Country
By Maurice Robie

Gold Country arts organizations and businesses cater to a wide range of audience and consumers. Yet they all share a similar sense of pride in their region and the distinctive communities they serve.

There is the metropolitan ambition of Blue Line Arts, a gallery in Placer County that will curate the creation of five new murals in downtown Roseville this spring for the Roseville Mural Project. In Tuolomne County, venerable Sierra Rep brings professional theater to Sonora with musicals such as “Disney’s Beauty and Beast,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Million Dollar Quartet.” In Amador, homemade craft parties in fun social settings have taken hold through companies like Gifted and Made in Amador.

MADE IN AMADOR

Molly Allen loves foraging through the olive groves around Amador looking for materials for her newly popular crafts classes. Through her company Made In Amador, she teaches participants how to make door wreaths with olive branches or how to craft floral arrangements usually while having a glass of locally sourced wine. Her “go to” tool is the Cricut cutter, which she uses to make stickers and iron on designs. “There are so many crafts that come from it — glitter wine glasses, custom shirts all sorts of stuff,” Allen said.

Now she not only has a studio in Amador but also takes her crafts classes to wineries and design centers around the region.

Classes include making diffuser bracelet sets in her shop studio, creating a hanging succulent garden at Forty Winks Bed & Bath in Jackson and making a herb wreath at Le Mulet Winery in Sutter Creek.

Allen also partners with Chef KC of Culinary Laboratories to offer cooking classes such as pasta making and creating delicious burrata.

GIFTED

Located on Jackson Main Street is a tiny store called Gifted. Since opening its doors in 2011, this charming gift shop has exclusively carried, locally made and American manufactured gifts and goods. Look behind the front door as you walk in and you will see their “memberobelia” board featuring biographies and photos of the nearly dozen local makers and artists who supply the shop with their handmade items.

Their website details no less than 15 different American-made brands that they currently stock ranging from Buck knives to Green Toys.

There is a pleasing mix of products, all carefully curated with the gift giver in mind.

“We really try to focus on the task of stocking great gifts for any occasion,” said Jeannette McDonald, who co-owns and runs the store with her mother, Terry Scott.

One of their best-selling customer favorites is their house-made line of small batch soy wax candles and essential oil