STYLE, ART, CULTURE, + EVENTS OF THE SOUTH VALLEY SEPTEMBER 2017
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THE TIESIERA HOME
Visalia’s American Ninja Warrior
Inspired by Hospitality
Taking her newfound celebrity in stride—and using her platform to encourage others toward healthy lifestyles.
8 Letter from the Executive Editor 10 WordPlay 12 Refl ections of Visalia: Visalia’s Most
TASTEFUL TRANSITIONS Tazzaria
Chef Ryan Lucas of Tazzaria blends the refreshing bites of summer with the warm fl avors of fall.
Famous Jail Break 34 Traveler's Trek: Sitka, Alaska 45 Trend: Health Food Trends— A New Era 48 Charity: College of the Sequoias’ Giant Pantry Makes a Huge Impact 54 Happenings
BRIANNA LEE Visalia Artist Mines the Past to Rewrite the Present
42 4 LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
COVER: A 45-foot-tall Eiffel Tower overlooks the Tiesiera’s backyard, which was designed and landscaped by Lonnie. TOP: The Tiesieras recently updated the exterior of the home by painting and implementing stacked rock on the pillars.
Executive Editor Creative Director Art Director Senior Designer Web Designer/Designer Contributing Writers
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DMI Agency 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 Karen Tellalian Greg Bitney Marcie Vagnino Chris Bly Kaci Hansen Diane Slocum Lisa McEwen Aaron Collins Kelly Lapadula Ryan Lucas Sue Burns Terry L. Ommen Malkasian Accountancy LLP Gary Malkasian CPA Jeffrey Malkasian EA Maria Gaston Sales@DMIAgency.com 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • Fax 559.738.0909 Lifestyle@DMIAgency.com www.VisaliaLifestyle.com Issuu.com/LifestyleMagazine Facebook.com/LifestyleMag Instagram: visalialifestyle
RACK LOCATIONS DMI Agency Evolutions Fitness Center, Tulare
Exeter Chamber of Commerce Tazzaria Coffee & Tea The Lifestyle Center
Visalia Chamber of Commerce Visalia Convention Center
COUNTERTOP LOCATIONS 210 Cafe AMCC Arts Consortium Arts Visalia Ashoori & Co. Jewelers Blend WIne Room Bravo Farms Smokehouse Café 225 Chad Clark Hair Salon Charcuterie Chelsea Street Boutique Citizen's Bank CreekSide Day Spa Skin & Laser Center Downtown Visalia Alliance Ed Dena Auto Center, Visalia Exeter Chamber of Commerce
For Such a Time Boutique Franey's Design Center Fugazzis Glick's and Co. ImagineU Children’s Museum Janeen’s Furniture Gallery Kaweah Delta Hospital Keller Williams Reality Max's Cookies Metropolis Day Spa Michael's Custom Jewelry Monét’s, Exeter Pacific Treasures Premier Medical Clinic Renaissance Salon Sage Salon Salon 525
Sherman & Associates Tazz. Coffee The Gardens at Cal Turf The Looking Glass V Medical Spa Velvet Sky Visalia Ceramic Tile Visalia First Assembly Visalia Fox Theatre Visalia Marriott Visalia Medical Clinic Watson's Wildflower Café, Exeter Williams, Brodersen & Pritchett, Attorneys at Law Windows Plus, Inc. Wyndham Hotel
Visalia Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and is distributed via direct mail to nearly 13,000 homes in the upper-middle and high-income neighborhoods in Visalia. An additional 2,500 copies are distributed at various distribution points around Visalia, Tulare, and Exeter. Views expressed in columns are those of the columnist and not necessarily those of DMI Agency or its advertisers. Circulation of this issue: 15,500 © 2017 DMI Agency
Lonnie and Laurie Tiesiera acquired the 45-foot-tall Eiffel Tower at an auction for Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia. Now, it sits on the west end of their property and serves as a great backdrop during events and fundraisers. 6 LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
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resident John F. Kennedy once said, “the life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of a nation, is very close to the center of a nation’s purpose—and is a test of the quality of a nation’s civilization.” Yet throughout most of the country he once served, we fight for art’s existence. In our own community, organizations such as Arts Visalia and the Arts Consortium contribute greatly to the cause, holding events and showcasing local and regional artists. At times we turn out in numbers to sample the wine and visit with friends. But more than our attendance at these social events,
appeared on the hit TV show, “American Ninja Warrior.” For the rest of Zhanique’s Lively Living story, turn to page 16. Even without the official “Ninja Warrior” title, a lot of warriors display acts of heroism throughout our nation. Fires surround us in California, while our friends in Texas and Florida suffer the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey amd Irma. Just when circumstances are the most bleak is when Americans with true grit and compassion show up. From neighbors helping neighbors who have lost everything to the Cajun Navy from Louisiana coming to the rescue in boats, these warriors offer assistance
Viewing and buying art encourages other artists to establish roots in our community, which in turn attracts other businesses and professionals to the area. E X E C U T I V E
E D I T O R
K A R E N
T E L L A L I A N
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SUBMIT A STORY IDEA, CONTACT ME AT KAREN@DMIAGENCY.COM
local artists need our support where it matters most—with our checkbooks. Viewing and buying art encourages other artists to establish roots in our community, which in turn attracts other businesses and professionals to the area. Supporting the arts helps our economy and our culture. This month’s Art Now subject, Brianna Lee, is doing her part to gain footing with her new studio here in Visalia. Brianna’s work echoes themes only a handful of other contemporary artists have expressed, making everything old new again. Turn to page 44 for a snapshot of Brianna’s first-ever solo show, Brianna Lee: Beauty and the Sublime, on view at Arts Visalia through September. Many of us have a hard time getting to the gym three days a week. Okay, ever. Not so for Zhanique Lovett, Visalia’s American Ninja Warrior. At 5-foot, 6-inches, the 31-year-old wife and mother of three spent a grueling year of athletic training and recently 8 LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
without compensation and without reward, other than a tearful thank you from those unable to help themselves. We all like to give support to our local charities, as we should. Sometimes we want to do a little more, but we don’t know where to start. There’s a lot of misinformation on the Internet about the organizations taking contributions to help with disaster relief. If you’d like to help, but are not sure if your money will make it to those who need it, visit Charity.Navigator. org. Personally, I like Convoy of Hope and Samaritan’s Purse, but the Charity Navigator website can help you wade through all your questions. The staff at Lifestyle Magazine hopes that by the next issue, all the fires in our area will be contained, and the waters in Houston will have receded so people can begin to rebuild their homes and their lives.
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WO R D PLAY News on writing, books + the world of publishing
eptember is National Honey Month, marking the end of the honey collection season for many beekeepers. With the deaths of millions of bees in recent years, it is a good time to reflect on the importance of these beneficial insects—and enjoy some books in which they are featured. The History of Bees, Norwegian author Maja Lunde’s literary debut (Touchstone, August 2017), tells the story of three beekeepers, starting with William, a biologist in England in 1852, whose goal is to build a better beehive. A more contemporary George struggles in the United States in 2007 against modern farming techniques. After bees have long-since disappeared, in 2098 China, Tao paints pollen on blooms by hand. While a stark reminder of how much our survival depends on bees, the story also offers hope. Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees has been around awhile (Viking, 2002), but for anyone who hasn’t read it, even if you saw the movie, it can be a powerful story. Lily Owens is 14 years old in 1964 South Carolina and wants to learn more about her mother’s death. She and her black housekeeper escape from her abusive father and white racists and come to live with a trio of black beekeeping sisters. While the book isn’t strictly about bees, from page one, Lily forms a connection to bees and parallels form in their lives. For information on current bee problems, the book by the USDA (published in April) needs no further description other than its title: Honey Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD): Latest Official Information on the Role of the Varroa Mite, Neonicotinoid Pesticides, Bee Management Stress, Genetics & Breeding. 10 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
Coming out in October is Where Honeybees Thrive: Stories from the Field (Penn State University Press) by Heather Swan. The book explores the world of beekeepers, urban farmers, mead makers, and southern African researchers. VALLEY WRITERS Randa Jarrar is one of the winners of the 2017 American Book Award sponsored by the Before Columbus Foundation. The awards are intended to honor literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories or ranking of winners. Awards
pages of stories from those years in his book, A Life beyond Infinity (iUniverse, Feb. 2017). His stories include his encounters with Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Carter as well as singers and actors such as Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, and Milton Berle. BOOK TALKING Pike’s Peak Library District offers advice on book talking. According to the tips, this is not a book report or a review—it is mostly intended to convince the listener to read the book. The tips are aimed at teens, but this would be a helpful skill for authors to learn, and it can be used by any reader who would like to share the joy of a book he or she has read. A few of the tips include: Read the whole book. If an idea comes to you while you are reading, jot it down. Don’t be afraid to do something new and outrageous. For more ideas go to: ppld.org/ teens/booktalking-tips. HAPPY BIRTHDAY This month marks the 470th birthday of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote and many short stories, plays, and poems.
will be presented on Oct. 22 in San Francisco. Jarrar’s winning entry, Him, Me, Muhammad Ali (Sarabande Books, 2016), is a short story collection with stories ranging from gender politics to magical surrealism. “Zelda the Halfie” is about human/ibex hybrids. Another story considers the relationship between an Egyptian feminist and her young intern. Randa was the featured writer at the Respite by the River last month. Elvin C. Bell met a lot of famous people during his years as a politician and a journalist. He has put together 1,111
Also, William Faulkner would be 120 on Sept. 25. Faulkner wrote more than 100 short stories and 19 novels, most notably, The Sound and the Fury. The youngster in this group is Stephen King who turns 70. Some of King’s books are The Green Mile, Stand by Me, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Shining. THE LAST WORD “Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.”—James Russell Lowell (1819–1891).
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16 4 4 S . C o ur t S t r e e t , V i s ali a
The Tulare County Jail was on the northeast corner of Oak and Church streets. In 1917 it was replaced by the jail building that currently houses Jack & Charlie’s restaurant. The jail shown here had an entrance that faced Church Street. Circa 1895.
VISALIA’S MOST FAMOUS
ail escapes in the old west were not uncommon. Poor jail construction, inadequate staffing, sloppy visitor
most famous prisoners, made his escape.
16, he was an experienced fighter
After his departure, James Hume, well-
and “had whipped every boy his
known and respected lawman and Wells,
age…nobody much liked him, but
screening, and lax security in general
Fargo & Co. detective, examined the jail
everybody was afraid of him.”
combined to make many of the old
and said, “Why I have been in every jail
Grat would make occasional trips
prisons leak like sieves.
on the coast and am familiar with all of
to California to visit a brother living
Visalia’s lockups were no exception,
them. I have been acquainted with jails
near Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo
especially the Tulare County jail built
the great part of my life, and I do not
County. By January 1880, Grat had
in 1890 at a bargain price of $30,000.
hesitate to pronounce the Visalia jail
made California his home and ended
When the Italian style building was
the worst constructed one I ever saw.”
up in the San Joaquin Valley. The move
finished, it was described locally as
Grat, born in 1861, was one of 15
to the golden state did not mellow him
“architecturally perfect,” and it was
children born to Lewis and Adeline
at all. One brother described Grat as
called a model for jails all over the coast.
Dalton. The family lived in Belton,
the worst of his siblings, adding that
But after a year, this architectural dream
Missouri and later moved to Indian
if he could not “win in a poker game,
turned into a community nightmare
Territory, now Oklahoma. According
he would start a quarrel, grab stakes,
when Grattan Dalton, one of Visalia’s
to one of his brothers, when Grat was
including most of the money in sight,
LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
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kick over the table, and start a fight.” By 1888, Grat had fought in saloons all over the San Joaquin Valley, and soon more serious crimes would follow. On February 6, 1891, a Southern Pacific train left Alilia (now Earlimart) heading south. Two masked men boarded the train, and with cocked pistols, forced the engineer to stop the train about halfmile south of the town. The messenger in the express car refused to open the door, which started a gun battle. In the shootout, the fireman on the train was mortally wounded. The two would-be robbers fled the scene empty handed, except for the blood on their hands. Tulare County Sheriff Eugene Kay and his posse pursued them, and eventually, Grat and William Dalton, his brother, were implicated in the crime, arrested, and lodged in the Tulare County Jail. Grat went to trial and was found guilty of involvement in the attempted Alila train robbery. William was luckier than his brother. The jury, in a separate trial, found him not guilty. Even though he was found guilty, Grat proclaimed his innocence and while in jail awaiting sentence, he told the guards he would not be going to state prison. Sheriff Kay, obviously concerned about Grat’s intentions, increased the guard. In September 1891, the sheriff received a credible threat to break Grat out of jail. Sheriff Kay telegraphed California Governor Henry Markham asking for National Guard assistance in protecting the exterior of the jail. The governor never responded, so the sheriff personally asked the local National Guard commander for help. Several members volunteered as individuals, not
LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
guardsmen, for perimeter security. The assault on the jail never materialized. Grat seemed to like all the attention he was getting and continued to let it be known that he would be escaping from the Tulare County Jail. This bold and belligerent attitude continued to intimidate the authorities. Was this baseless bravado, or did the outlaw have a plan? On the evening of Sept. 27, 1891, the answer came. Undetected for several days, he and other inmates had sawed away bars while other prisoners sang loudly to muffle the noise. Under the cover of darkness, Grat and two other inmates, William Smith and John
Beck, slipped out. The fugitives stole a nearby horse and buggy and fled. The investigation determined a hacksaw blade had been smuggled into the jail, and on the outside wall, a ladder had been strategically placed, as had a Winchester rifle and ammunition. After the Dalton escape, the county jail suffered serious humiliation. Criticisms of it and Sheriff Kay were openly talked about. In response to the complaints, on Oct. 29, 1891, the Tulare County Times wrote, “That the present construction of our jail calls for a much needed change there is no doubt, and if some of our county friends will only bestow a little more attention to this
important matter, and less injustifiable [sic] criticism on Sheriff Kay and his officials, the general public shall be considerably benefited thereby.” Sheriff Kay and his posse began the search for the men and both Smith and Beck were captured. Grat remained illusive. In December 1891, Sheriff Kay and Fresno Sheriff John Hensley received word that Grat was camped in the mountains north of Visalia. They had a brief gun battle with Dalton, but again, he got away. The mountain where the shootout occurred became known as Dalton Mountain, and still is today. Grat made his way to Oklahoma where he, some of his brothers, and other confederates practiced their outlaw trade. On Oct. 5, 1892, Grat and the gang attempted to rob two Coffeeville, Kansas banks at the same time. Grat and other gang members were shot to death by the townsfolk. Grat’s lucky streak had run out. The Visalia Daily Morning Delta reported on the ferocious gunfight, “… yesterday’s battle in Kansas, although the loss among its [Coffeeville’s] citizens was heavy, accomplished a good work in removing these desperadoes from the earth.” The much-aligned Tulare County jail building was torn down in 1917, just 27 years after it was built. It was soon replaced by the jail building that currently houses Jack & Charlie’s restaurant on Oak and Church streets.
LEFT: Booking photo in about 1891 of Grattan Dalton. RIGHT: Sheriff Eugene Kay a number of years after he left office. Circa 1930.
LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
VISALIA’S AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR T E X T
hanique Lovett packs more into one day than most people can fit into a week. At 31, she is a wife, mother of three children, part-time personal trainer, and frequent church volunteer. And this summer, she added the title of television star to her growing list of talents. After a year’s worth of grueling athletic training, Zhanique appeared on NBC’s hit show “American Ninja Warrior” in June. Her nimble performance made Visalians proud as she became the first woman to conquer LIVELY a majority of the LIVING brightly-illuminated obstacle course and reach the warped wall—all with her trademark beautiful smile. Now, when the 5-foot, 6-inch, 135-pound athlete is shopping for groceries or running errands around town, she stops to take photos with her fans, signing autographs in the aisles of Costco. “I want to make the point to make each person feel special,” Zhanique said during an interview at the dining room table of her Visalia home. “I want to take the time to talk to them, because every person is important. I care about people and their ideas. I want to stay humble, and I don’t want the show to ever change me.” Despite falling short on the warped wall, which stood 14 feet, 6-inches tall, and missing a chance to push the final buzzer, Zhanique is taking her newfound celebrity in stride— P H O T O S
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and using her platform to encourage others toward healthy lifestyles. A LIFETIME OF ATHLETICISM As a teenager, Zhanique played basketball, ran track, and lifted weights. But her childhood was tumultuous—she had a drug-addicted mother and friends who influenced negative choices. At 17, she became pregnant with daughter Dayzhanay. After her daughter’s arrival, healthful eating and regular physical activity
remained at the forefront. A vegetarian since age nine, Zhanique signed up for physical education classes each semester she was enrolled at College of the Sequoias. (She earned her Associates of Arts degree in Liberal Arts, with a concentration in Physical Education, in 2016). “I figured I might as well make my time worthwhile by getting a workout in while I was on campus,” she said. In one class, she ended up lifting weights with members of the football
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Zhanique practicing on a warped wall at the ninja gym in Fresno.
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team—and beat some of them. “That gave me the confidence I needed that I could compete with the guys,” she said. “I know a woman can do anything a man can do. And sometimes even better.” Watching season after season of “American Ninja Warrior,” Zhanique began to think, “I can do that!” HER BIGGEST SUPPORTERS In an English class in 2007, Zhanique locked eyes with a fellow student named Joseph Lovett. Leary of men after past hurts—and knowing she had a young daughter to consider—Zhanique and Joseph spent a year being friends, getting to know each other, and attending church. Slowly, they incorporated Dayzhanay into their time together and it soon became apparent that marriage was the next step. “He’s perfect for me, he completes me,” Zhanique said sweetly. “We had similar childhoods. God couldn’t have given me a better man.” The couple has since added two more children to their family—Joseph, six and Malakai, five. Being physically fit has been a constant in the family. As soon as Zhanique was cleared by her physicians to resume workouts after childbirth, she would play Pilates or Gillian Michaels workout DVDs at home and exercise while her babies watched from their swing or playpen. “They’ve watched me work out
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Zhanique's fans at her American Ninja Warrior competition.
Zhanique Lovett, Visalia's Ninja Warrior.
since they were babies,” she said. “It’s something fun you can do with the entire family.” Naturally, all the children are physically active and regularly hold fitness contests in the living room. Zhanique is proud to say all can hold a plank position for at least a minute, and their spacious, shady backyard is full of play equipment, not to mention two favorite “Ninja” training tools: a warped wall and a salmon ladder. During filming in Las Vegas, little Malakai wowed audiences with his backflips and enthusiastic sideline support. To find the boys spider-climbing down the hallway to their bedrooms is nothing new, Zhanique says with a smile. RIGOROUS TRAINING & DIET While many adults aim to squeeze three hours of physical activity into their schedules each week, Zhanique manages about 15 with a combination of ninja-type training at gyms in Fresno and Clovis, rock climbing, and strength and agility training. To do this, husband 18 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
Zhanique at the American Ninja Warrior competition with her biggest fans.
Joseph takes over responsibility for their children at least two evenings a week. She also adheres to a strict meal plan, as she recently switched to a vegan diet. (The rest of the family has chosen a pescatarian diet, which incorporates fish into a vegetarian diet). Avoiding all animal products was in part prompted by a desire to protect herself and her family from chronic illnesses plaguing American society, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. She watched the documentary “What the Health” earlier this year and decided to follow a plant-based diet. She has traded in her former breakfast, of three egg white one egg yolk-scrambles, for oatmeal and her protein is consumed in the form of nuts, seeds, peas, and organic tofu. She admits a fair portion of her time is spent prepping and cooking from-scratch meals for her family. For example, on the evening of this interview, her family was to enjoy eggplant and hummus wraps. Zhanique shares her lifestyle choices
with her clients at Five-O-Fitness in Visalia. But living in Tulare County, where milk production is the top agricultural commodity and cows outnumber humans, Zhanique doesn’t try to sway people’s choices. Instead, she teaches her clients that even if they choose to eat meat or animal products, portion control is the most important detail. She is even considering opening a business in the future to help clients achieve their fitness and diet goals. LOCAL, NATIONAL COMPETITIONS Although Zhanique hit a high point in her fitness career this year, she isn’t slowing down. She continues to travel to Ninja competitions around the state, which help her stay in shape for her next audition of American Ninja Warrior. Through it all, she intends to encourage others on their own fitness journey. “I feel like God chose me to be on the show, not the producers,” she said. “He’s putting me on a platform to encourage.
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ITALITY THE TIESIERA HOME
The Tiesieraâ€™s home features an open floor plan with the dining room, kitchen, and family room all in the same space. LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
PICTURED: Recent updates to the Tiesiera’s home include the built-in entertainment center, a modern fireplace, and hardwood floors.
hen Laurie and Lonnie Tiesiera started building their “forever” home in 1999, one thing was clear—they wanted an open floor plan with plenty of space to host family and friends, both indoors and outdoors. After building two previous family homes, they shied away from anything too extravagant or grand, so the design was inspired by their love of comfort, hospitality, and a great outdoor space. For Lonnie, the latter aspect was of most importance. As a former pool builder with a history in construction, he had always enjoyed working outside with his hands, so having an outdoor space that could serve as a creative canvas was his dream. “I’m an outside guy,” said Lonnie. “I’ve always enjoyed landscaping and designing my own stuff. So when we came out here, it was fun to see what I could really do with this property. I enjoy doing it, so when I had a big enough canvas, I just went with it.” Thanks to Lonnie’s hard work over the years, what used to be two acres 22 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
of dirt has been transformed into a backyard oasis. From the expansive lawn and par-3 golf hole to the picturesque pond, each corner represents a piece of Lonnie and his passion for landscaping. “It was so fun to watch him because it really is his gift,” said Laurie. “We’ve
been here 17 years, and you could almost say every little part of the yard represents a different year. There was a year when he did the pond, there was a year when he did the golf hole. I have pictures of him on a tractor with a
cigar hanging out of his mouth working on the backyard,” laughed Laurie. “It has been a dream project for us.” The dream they’re living now, however, wasn’t always part of the plan. In fact, the Tiesieras had purchased a completely different property where they were planning to build, when Lonnie suddenly stumbled upon an empty lot in Tulare. “I was literally in the Uhaul moving stuff from our previous home to a rental, thinking we were going to build at the other location,” explained Laurie, “when I got a call from Lonnie. He said, ‘I just passed by an empty lot with a sign down covered by brush, I called the company, and I’m buying it. We’re not moving to the other house.’ At first, I was devastated.” But it didn’t take long for that devastation to turn into one of the best things to happen to the Tiesieras. Not only were they able to build their forever home, but Lonnie finally had enough space to create an outdoor paradise where their growing family could gather. INSET: A quaint breakfast nook sits just off the kitchen.
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The kitchen features quartz countertops with pounded edges, “perfectly imperfect” pendant lighting, glass tile backsplash, three ovens, and a warming drawer.
A large grandfather clock greets guests as they enter the home.
24 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
Pizano’s Wood Fired Pizza in downtown Visalia.
When they first moved into the house in 2000, they had a daughter graduating from high school and a son who wasn’t far behind her. Since they didn’t need many extra bedrooms with two kids getting ready to go off to college, they focused on creating a home that would serve as a great place to host and entertain their extended family and friends. Now with four grandchildren, they are able see that dream come to fruition. “We have a lot of family who live out of the area, but my mom and dad still live
here and open up our yard to charity events as well.” One of those upcoming events will be a “Harvest in Paris” fundraiser for Tulare and Kings County Senior Care, which is part of AMP Ministries. Since Laurie sits on the steering committee for the ministry, she thought she would open up their backyard for the annual fundraiser. The “Harvest in Paris” theme for the event was actually inspired by a very unique feature in the Tiesiera’s backyard: a 45-foottall Eiffel Tower, which they won at a fundraiser auction
The Tiesieras have plenty of outdoor seating to host family and friends.
The Tiesieras gave the home a facelift by updating the original round pillars to their current square shape, and by implementing hardwood borders in their tile.
in Tulare, so when everyone comes out for a family function, we come to this property because it’s able to handle the whole family,” said Lonnie. In fact, during the week of Lifestyle’s photo shoot, they were preparing to host dozens of family members and close friends at their home to celebrate Lonnie’s parents’ 90th birthdays. “Tomorrow we have a 90th birthday party for Lonnie’s parents,” said Laurie. “They both turn 90 within a twomonth period, so we will have 60 family members here. Having this yard really helps with such large groups, plus we do some fundraisers
for Kaweah Delta Hospital. While Laurie and Lonnie never intended to have a Parisian-influenced backyard, their inadvertent winning bid on the Eiffel Tower structure has resulted in a beautiful addition to their yard, as well as a really great conversation piece. “At the fundraiser, they had this huge Eiffel Tower set up in the Visalia Convention Center for everyone to take pictures under, and to our surprise, they were going to auction it off,” said Laurie. “I knew what our budget was, and since I like to drive up bids at fundraisers, I raised my fan first. But nobody else bid, so we got it, which turned out great because LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
The master bedroom sits on one end of the house, separated by the main living space.
we have a fabulous place for it.” Standing tall on the west side of the property, the tower lights up at dusk, reflecting serenely in the water garden below. “At night it is absolutely beautiful,” said Laurie. “We’re really happy that we have it and get to feature it at different fundraisers and events.” With all of the events and family functions hosted at their home, and in an effort to be environmentally conscious, the Tiesieras installed a 148-panel solar structure in their yard, which has powered everything on their property for the last nine years. “It’s a green home,” said Lonnie. “Honestly, I wouldn’t build a house without solar. It has been the best thing we could ever do. It has kept our costs way down, and our monthly energy bills are zero.” That savings has been invaluable, especially for people who entertain as much as the Tiesieras. From outdoor lighting during fundraisers to the use of their kitchen’s three ovens during holiday gatherings, they haven’t looked back since. When initially designing their home 17 years ago, the couple 26 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
constructed many aspects of it with the holidays in mind. For Laurie, it was important to have a kitchen that opened up into the family room. “I love my kitchen, especially during the holidays,” said Laurie. “I’ve got three ovens and warming drawers. The best part is that the kitchen is
open and I can be part of the party while I’m cooking. Especially when we have 35 of our closest friends and family over, I do not want to be stuck in a galley kitchen in another room.” Other features in the kitchen include unique quartz countertops with pounded edges, a glass block subway tile backsplash, and “perfectly imperfect”
pendant lighting above the island. Many aspects of the house have been updated over the last five years, including the kitchen, family room, flooring, and the master bedroom and bathroom. When the home was first built, the Tiesieras implemented several of the designs that were popular in the early 2000s, including nitches in the family room, round pillars in the hallway, and a stone hearth for the fireplace. As styles have changed, Lonnie and Laurie replaced the nitches with builtin cabinets, swapped out round pillars for square pillars, traded carpet for hardwood flooring, and installed a modern electric fireplace in the family room. During the renovation, they were also careful to make sure the home had a cohesive look throughout, so when they redid their flooring in the family room and kitchen, they implemented hardwood borders into the preexisting hallway tile. “We really wanted to bring everything up-to-date, both in the kitchen and in the family room,” said Laurie. “Back in 2000, everything was nitches, so last year we added the built-in cabinets when we redid the family room.” INSET: The theater room inside the Tiesiera home.
When it comes to the style of their home, the Tiesieras say they just go with what they like rather than any particular style or genre. Some might say the interior of the home has an old-world flair with its pillars, rustic kitchen features, and wrought iron decor pieces. Looking back at their home and how they got to this point in their lives, the Tiesieras say they can see God’s careful handiwork in bringing them to where they are supposed to be. Originally from the Bay Area, Lonnie and Laurie
of course difficult because I moved away from my mom and my siblings, I had an 18-month-old and was pregnant, and Lonnie was building his business. But then as our kids got into school, it got better, and I always say it was a great place to raise children.” Laurie also became immersed in the Tulare County community while working for the UPS Corporate Credit site for 30 years and participating in the Visalia Sunset Rotary Club. In fact, both Laurie and Lonnie have served as
The front patio overlooks a beautifully landscaped yard.
came to Tulare County in 1983 when Lonnie’s dad, Will—of Will Tiesiera Ford in Tulare—needed work done on his car dealership. Only planning to stay short-term, Lonnie and Laurie never imagined they would be here nearly 35 years later. While adjusting to life in Tulare County was difficult at first, Lonnie’s natural business sense turned out to be a great fit for running a car dealership, and Tulare eventually became a great fit for the Tiesieras. “I’m telling you, Lonnie has such a business mind, so it was really a God-thing,” said Laurie. “At first it was
rotary presidents throughout the years, furthering their involvement in Visalia and Tulare. Through their work and service in the community, they feel it has been a privilege to open up their home to coworkers, friends, non-profits, and of course, family. “We really wanted to make our yard available for people to be able to raise money,” said Laurie. “And we wanted this house to be, not necessarily our ‘dream’ home—because it’s not huge or overly extravagant—but a really nice and comfortable place to be, both inside and outdoors. It’s our retreat.”
28 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
Lonnie himself designed the water garden.
With plenty of space to play, the Tiesieraâ€™s four grandkids enjoy swimming, playing on the playground, and running around the expansive green space.
It was always Lonnieâ€™s dream to have a golf hole in their backyard.
The newest addition to the backyard is an outdoor kitchen, complete with a pizza oven and fire trough feature.
LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
TASTEFUL TRANSITIONS R E C I P E S
R YA N
L U C A S ,
hile September is typically the time of year when weather starts cooling down as fall takes the place of summer, the Central Valley seems to be the exception. Despite our collective pining for autumn temps, we still have another month of extreme heat to go. Thankfully, the chefs at Tazzaria had this in mind when they created several light and refreshing dishes to ring in the end of summer. These healthful recipes bring together the best of two worlds: the refreshing bites of summer with the warm flavors of fall.
30 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
TA Z Z A R I A
P H O T O S
TAY L O R
J O H N S O N
P H O T O G R A P H Y
PIADINA SALAD WRAP A piadina is an Italian flatbread that doesn’t use yeast, so it is faster to make. It’s thinner and crisper than pizza, but has the same scorched bread flavor. Piadinas are typically made at Italian cafés as a wrap with a variety of fillings, including meat, cheese, and vegetables. Recipe makes 4-6
PIADINA INGREDIENTS 4 C (500 grams) flour ½ T baking powder 1 tsp salt 2 T olive oil
DIRECTIONS Mix together the flour with the baking powder and salt, and gradually add enough water to make dough that is soft and somewhat sticky. Add the olive oil and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and leave to rest for about 30 minutes. Divide the dough into four to six pieces and flatten each ball into a round to fit your griddle or frying pan (it should be about 3 mm thick). Prick each piadina all over with a fork to prevent it from puffing up. Heat your griddle or frying pan until it is very hot, then cook each dough round on both sides. Lightly charred spots on the dough are normal. Keep each piadina wrapped in a towel to stay warm.
ASSEMBLE When it comes to assembling your piadina and selecting your fillings, the sky is the limit. We prepared three different variations, including:
Greek style with kalamata olives, feta cheese, fried chickpeas, and onions Blackened steak with creamy blue cheese dressing Grilled salmon salad
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CURRY CARROT SOUP This wonderful autumn soup is easy to prepare at home. It takes just about an hour to make, but tastes like you were in the kitchen all day.
INGREDIENTS 8 C of diced carrots 2 T oil 2 T butter 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced 2 C diced Roma tomatoes 5 T curry powder 1 T turmeric Salt and pepper, kosher or sea salt A few basil leaves, torn 8 C of veggie stock
DIRECTIONS First, warm some oil in a pan and add a few tablespoons of butter (the oil will keep the butter from burning). Add the sliced onions and basil and sauté until translucent. Then add the carrots, tomatoes, and more basil. Cook until they are soft, about 20 minutes on medium heat. Once the carrots are tender, add the stock, salt and pepper, and spices. Allow the flavors to meld for another 20 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and either blend with a hand mixer, or let it cool completely and then blend in your blender if you want a really smooth texture. When the soup is ready to serve, you can garnish it with whatever you like—grilled chicken, salmon, fried chickpeas, or roasted garlic. We used Tiger prawns and a dollop of crème fraiche to give it a creamy texture.
32 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
IN-HOUSE ROASTED COFFEE, TEA, FRESHLY-MADE SALADS, BOWLS, AND PASTRIES
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LOOKING FOR ADVENTURE BUT SHORT ON TIME? MAKE IT A WEEKEND IN ALASKA
y weekend adventure actually started two years ago when my good friend from high school, Michael Ivie, now a professor of entomology at the Montana State University, heard I wanted to go to Alaska—You know, the normal places like Anchorage, Juneau, or Fairbanks. “You don’t want to go to Anchorage,” he said. “Go to Sitka.” Michael has traveled to every country in the world, so my instinct told me to trust him. Sitka wasn’t even on my radar, and admittedly, I had to look it up on a map. Tucked into the most Southeastern part of the state, on
Baranof Island, Sitka is accessible only by boat or plane, but I figured it was doable. After being forced to cancel not one, but two weeklong trips, I had about given up on the idea of visiting the former capital of Russian America. But this year, as my birthday approached, I phoned my friend, Darlene, to see if she would like to go for a long weekend. Fifteen minutes later, we had our flights and hotel bookings secured. It wasn’t long before I received an enthusiastic text message from Darlene about doing a daylong hike
T E X T 34 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
K A R E N
of Mt. Edgecumbe. That text led me to a little research, where I found this on the SitkaTrailWorks.org website: Description: Accessible only by boat. Strenuous hike to the summit of the extinct volcano with several steep climbs. Distance: 6.7 Miles (one way) Time: 4-6 Hours (one way) Elevation Gain: 3,200 Level of Difficulty: Difficult. Muddy and wet in places. Last three miles steep climb. Last mile above tree line is extremely steep and on loose pumice. Bears may be present.
T E L L A L I A N
Crescent Harbor, one of five gorgeous fishing harbors in Sitka, attracts yachts during the summer months.
Sitka blessed us with plenty of sunshine and calm seas for our afternoon fishing excursion.
Was she crazy? If the words, “strenuous, steep, difficult, and muddy” were not enough, maybe she didn’t understand that in Alaska, “bear” most often means Grizzly. No way. We would find something else to do. Salmon fishing was my activity of choice. Many of the professional fishing companies in Sitka offered all-inclusive experiences, but we wanted to see more than the open seas, so we nixed the idea of a fishing lodge. We did find a couple of reputable freelance guides, but all of them required a party of four. After sitting on a few waiting lists, we worried we would miss other opportunities, so we moved forward with plans to hike and take a short boat trip to explore a nearby island. I only agreed to the hike after we hired a local, professional guide with expert knowledge of the area…not to mention, an ample supply of bear spray. Flying to Sitka was easier than it sounds. We left Fresno at 6 a.m., stopped for a short layover in Seattle, and arrived promptly at 1 p.m. Our prearranged taxi driver did not show up. We soon learned that was the norm. With one exception we stumbled upon our last day, no matter what assurances they make, taxi drivers in Sitka do not care when or if they pick you up. Looking for a little serenity, we stayed at Otter’s Cove, a few miles from the center of town. With a clear view of Mt. Edgecumbe, the sound of the waves slapping against the rocks acted as a buffer to the rest of the world. When we arrived, the owner was about to head into town, so we splashed a little water on our faces and piled in the back seat, which
we shared with her two Chihuahuas. Once in town, we headed straight for St. Michael’s Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox Church, located right in the center of downtown. Beautifully ornate, the original Cathedral was constructed between the years of 1844 and 1848 and serves as the major representation of the Russian influence in North America in the 19th century. From the time of
construction to about 1872, Sitka was the seat of the Russian Orthodox Diocese, which governed all of North America. The present cathedral is a careful reconstruction of the original building, which was consumed by fire and burned to the ground in 1966. Nearly all of the original icons, pieces of
INSET: There’s such rich history inside St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
Russian Orthodox art, and religious objects were salvaged by 100 townspeople forming a human chain. These treasures are now displayed in glass cases for visitors to view. I found myself wanting to sit quietly for a few minutes to look at gilded doors leading to the altar. The contrast of the walls lined with simple sailcloth pay tribute to mariners who have lost their life at sea. The next morning, I awoke at sunrise, which this time of year is just before 4 a.m. I walked outside to breathe in fresh air and gaze at the calm waters. With my camera in hand, I spotted an eagle soaring from tree to tree. Snapping away at his approach, I suddenly realized he was getting awfully close to my head. I’m not sure, but I might have let out a little scream as I ran for cover, thankful my hands held a camera rather than a salmon burger. The next adventure began at Sitka Alaska Outfitters, where we were properly fitted with floatation suits. On the water with our guide, we saw sea otters, puffins, and eagles aas we circled St. Lazaria Island. The seas were like glass and the sun was shining bright— just about as perfect a day as it could be. Then, our guide said the chilling words. “There’s been some whale activity right over there—let’s see if we can find them.” Terror set in. I’m deathly afraid of being that close to whales, especially in a five-person raft. It’s not that I fear being attacked or swallowed whole, but I suddenly had a vision of a whale breaching underneath our vessel and flipping us into the open ocean. While Darlene begged the guide to get LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
Darlene and I returning with Greg, our rafting tour guide from Sitka Alaska Outfitters.
One of the whales we saw that day, close enough to get this photo without a zoom lens.
The very rugged looking St. Lazaria Island, a nesting bird colony located in the Sitka Sound.
us closer and closer, I quietly prayed the whales had moved on. They had not. Watching them one at a time, then two, then three, I finally relaxed enough to pull the camera from my bag. They were magnificent. These large animals, breaching and smashing their tails against the water, putting on a show as if they knew they were being photographed. Back in town, we grabbed chowder and bread from Ludvigs Chowder Cart and headed to the marina for an afternoon of fishing. You might recall we’d not been successful in securing a fishing trip. However, here’s what happened. On our first night in Sitka we stopped by the Sitka Hotel. Once inside, we found a newly renovated, quaint inn with a small bar and unique menu of drinks. Libations included the Eclipse, a mix of Olmeca Altos Reposado, Cherry Heering, Aperol, Lemon, Whiskey 36 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
The bar inside the Sitka Hotel offers a variety of handcrafted, specialty drinks.
Barrel-Aged Bitters, and a Mezcal Float. Apparently it’s a local favorite, so that’s what we chose. What really got our attention was watching the bartender mix it. Served in a champagne glass, floated around one large ice cube with a lemon peel twisted until drops of oil appeared, the concoction was set on fire and fiery droplets spilled into the glass. Soon, we struck up a conversation with a few locals sitting next to us, and as luck would have it, they were commercial fishermen. Upon learning we were not booked to fish, they offered to take us the next day. Writing this now sounds rather crazy, but if you had been there you would know this wasn’t too far fetched an idea. However, I did give my business card to the bartender so she’d know who we were and could send people looking if we didn’t return. When fisherman Mike, who was about my son’s age, mentioned his mother could help us get our haul
to the airport, I set aside my “spidey” senses for the chance of a lifetime. We walked a few blocks to the local sporting equipment store and bait shop, where Mike signed us up as deck hands on his boat. Once again, I gave my card like dropping breadcrumbs. The next afternoon we met Mike and his buddy, Ivan, at the marina where we boarded his 47-ft 1943 trawler. The only “ladies room” onboard was a bucket. Suddenly, we were not the least bit thirsty. We ventured about eight miles off shore. Rigged for commercial fishing, the trawler was loaded with everything you need to catch about 40 fish at a time. We wanted to use poles so we could experience the rush of reeling and landing fish. Big fish. Rockfish, Ling Cod, and Pink Salmon were released back into the ocean. Then, we hit the jackpot. First was a nice Coho Salmon. Then, a 22-pound
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Mike and Karen high-five after successfully landing a king salmon
One of the roughly 20 totem poles found wandering down the Totem Trail in the Sitka National Historic Park.
A beautiful waterfall rushes downstream along the Herring Trail.
Darlene weighing one of the King Salmons we caught that day.
Mike helped with the netting and bringing the fish onboard so they could be stored on ice.
Was she crazy? If the words, “strenuous, steep, difﬁcult, and muddy” were not enough, maybe she didn’t understand that in Alaska, “bear” most often means Grizzly. No way. We would ﬁnd something else to do K A R E N T E L L A L I A N King. Then another. Then another. Darlene and I took turns while receiving instructions from the professionals. “Get him over here to the boat, closer, closer,” said Mike, as we fought with the Kings who had other ideas. Once along side the boat, he scooped them with a net and brought them into the boat. With every fish caught, we got a huge fist pump and accolades that we girls were, in fact, catching deep-sea fish! This was not Darlene’s favorite part of the trip. Her first time ever to fish, she was surprised to learn they didn’t always look like they do in the grocery store. It was my favorite part of the trip, and it brought back so many childhood memories of fishing with my dad. Ivan’s job was to clean and prep our salmon for shipping. As he gutted and cut into filets, I swabbed the 38 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
deck. After all, I was hired crew. Dropping us back in town, they left with our precious salmon, promising to vacuum seal and freeze. We were unsure they’d deliver on their promise, but the next morning Mike’s mother met us with a large freezer box that we could check as baggage on Alaska Airlines. We tried many times to pay the fishermen and now the mother but none would take our money. We brought back several pounds of Wild Alaskan King Salmon, all because of the generosity of two people we met by chance. I am not sure if this was merely Sitka hospitality or our dumb luck. What I do know is that experiences like this do not happen from a cruise ship. Meeting locals and spending time on the ground is why I choose to fly, stay, and search for restaurants frequented by the people who live there.
The following day, Darlene and I felt a little tired, but this was our day to hike. Our guide from Specialized Tours of Alaska called for us promptly at 8:45 a.m. Although our first two days in Sitka were sunny and warm, this day was drizzly. The top of the mountain was fogged-in, shrouding the scenic view. We chose another, shorter hike starting at Herring Cove and continuing on the Beaver Lake Trail. Steep in parts with narrow walkways that rimmed lakes and streams, the trail was very well maintained, with only a few sightings of bear scat. Sitka Trail Works volunteers do a great job keeping on top of the most popular areas. The scenery was spectacular; complete with waterfalls and wild berries our guide encouraged us to try. Looking back, I wish I’d paid more
attention to our surroundings and less time on the lookout for bears. Our next stop was the Fortress of the Bear, a safe haven for orphaned bears in Sitka. Taking in its first residents in 2007, the Fortress is now home to about eight rescued bears that otherwise would have been destroyed. Alaska doesn’t have a bear rehabilitation program, so orphaned cubs are routinely shot by the Department of Fish and Game. Viewing the bears at a safe distance from the top of the Fortress was not close enough for Darlene. Once she learned we could participate in a “meet and greet” and actually feed the bears, of course we had to do that. A large brown bear, Killsey (the name was not lost on me), approached the iron
gate. Carefully offering dog biscuits through the bars, she daintily plucked them from our trembling fingers. From there we headed to the Sitka National Totem Pole Park where we learned about traditional Tlingit life. Tlingit artists demonstrate their skills in the cultural center. Their totem poles line the park's coastal trail, which lured us on another mile and a half hike. As we entered, I couldn’t help but notice the “bear warning” as one had been spotted on the trail the day before. Fortunately, today’s bear sightings happened only at the planned meet and greet. Although Sitka is not what I’d call a foodie town, we actually had several great meals during our short stay. Ludvigs, the parent restaurant to the
chowder cart, offers fresh local seafood from Sikta’s fishers. We opted to sit upstairs and have Tappas consisting of Calamari, Spanish cheeses, duck sausage and hummus. Also noteworthy was the Channel Club, (they offer free pick-up and return shuttle service) where I tried White King Salmon. It was delicious, more delicate and slightly more oily than the deep pink salmon normally associated with Alaskan Kings. Due to our limited time, we crammed a lot of adventure into just a couple of days. Often I find myself without enough time for a long getaway, and end up not going at all. This trip was proof you don’t need to spend a week or longer traveling great distances in order to have a memorable vacation.
At the entrance of the Fortress of the Bear, with Debi from Specialized Tours of Alaska, and Jeff, our hiking guide.
Darlene hiking a narrow path along the Herring Cove Trail.
One of the many bridges we crossed on our hike in Sitka.
Karen feeding a treat to Killsey during a meet and greet at Fortress of the Bear.
LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
MINES THE PAST
TO REWRITE THE PRESENT T E X T
A A R O N
C O L L I N S
n Brianna Lee’s first-ever solo show, on view at Arts Visalia, the artist makes the case that not only is
A R T W O R K
B R I A N N A
L E E
handful of contemporary artists have
remain averse to rehashing spent art
taken, especially over the past three
gambits, Lee doubles down on the
decades—most notably by the notorious
classics, offering her own redeeming
painting not dead or even past, its
Norwegian Rembrandt acolyte, Odd
twist. Her work suggests that to remain
techniques and concepts were not
Nerdrum—to stay the course should they
vital and expose the complex psyche of
especially enfeebled. Everything old is
feel tempted to chase the novel, to court
our modern times, painting might need
the fashionable, to abandon painting’s
to toy with the viewer’s expectations,
historical tropes and techniques, as
if only just a bit. And perhaps toss
mythological dislocations, and
so many have in search of relevance
aside art history’s rampant, persistent
other standard meticulously-crafted
to contemporary culture. Artists first
sexism in the process, with intent to
devices converge in paintings on
dropped en masse its presumably
assert new narrative possibilities more
view in Brianna Lee: Beauty and
musty catechisms more than a century
in-step with our times. That latter
the Sublime through September.
ago and have continued ever since.
intent is where Lee succeeds best.
To that end, various anachronisms,
Lee’s work echoes the license that a 42 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
But whereas many present-day artists
In a year when women marched by
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past” THE OFT-QUOTED FAULKNER FAMOUSLY WROTE
the millions in cities across America,
Lee’s strongest hand is less when
feel more and more familiar and ofthe-moment the longer one looks.
Lee’s work dodges the nostalgia bullet
she exhumes earlier styles and more
in works like Enchantment of Circe, a
because she posits that alternative to
However, despite the appearance of
painting based on the Greco-Roman
art history’s male slant. In Lee’s works,
the term “sublime” in the art show’s title,
myth of a sorceress who bewitches
the dislocating effects of contemporary
that can be quite a fraught pursuit, even
men that crash on her island. “I have
times and attire intrude on serene
for a devoted historicist like Lee, as she
always loved mythology and often
settings. Isolated mythological figures
readily admits. Defined in Aesthetics as
use it as a springboard for inspiration,
ascend the skies as they transcend
a quality of greatness beyond the sum
however, I like to turn the themes
prosaic agricultural lands below. The
of intent, measurement, calculation, or
on their head and challenge the
predominantly female figures are strong,
skill, the sublime that would transcend
archetypes. In this painting, I wanted
often in reverie, seemingly invulnerable
formula often proves elusive for artists
my viewer to almost be unsure who
to the viewer’s gaze: especially the
plying these waters. The show perhaps
was more dangerous: Circe or the
male gaze. Coquettish damsels of the
beasts that surround her,” said Lee.
Victorian era these are not. The subjects
to which current-day artists may
Nocturn. Charcoal, Oil, and Silver Pigment on Panel
LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
succumb. That’s because really there are two concurrent shows in play; the alla prima, or additive works (those achieved more readily and quickly via a more direct additive process), and the heavily glazed, more laborintensive works whose process results in the luminous, transparent sorcery of Rembrandt and his fellow Dutch masters of olde. Lee is at her technical best when she pulls out the stops and employs this latter technique. But artists must make a living and be resourceful with their time, so the more readilyachieved alla prima works fit a business niche. Same as it was for ambitious, entrepreneurial artists in prior centuries. Nonetheless, the two techniques occasionally sit somewhat uneasily juxtaposed in Beauty and the Sublime. And the centuries do stack up, where conceptual gambits are concerned. When artists have attempted nearly everything under the sun, they must walk a fine line. Kitsch and ridicule are the peril and potential fate of the lesser-gifted. Lee seems to flaunt this line with the occasional use of metallic underlays, straddling the line of the sacred and profane in terms of modern tastes. But like Nerdrum, who wears his kitsch charges like a scarlet K, Lee might seem to have walked the full circle from art’s antiquity, past its fixation with the modern, right through the novel and the never-beforeseen, and straight into the past. 44 L I F E S T Y L E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7
But that is only at first glance. Upon more careful scrutiny, her work reveals that it is somewhat more than the sum of its sepia-toned, finely-rendered, and luminous Rembrandt glazes of yesteryear. The Golden Age Dutch and Bouguereau may be her O.G.s, but Nerdrum is her latter-day spirit animal.
Artist Brianna Lee
“To put it simply, I live in 2017, not the 15th-19th centuries, and feel it is only appropriate to seek out subjects that are contemporary,” said Lee. “All of my historical influences painted models in the clothing of their day. They painted milkmaids, peasants, and people playing card games. While I may not be
interested in genre scenes as much, I do find beauty in modern life, fashion, and styles. I also think it demonstrates that I am building on a historical tradition, not just pining for the past. I know artists who paint subjects in togas and classical clothing, and that is fine. Many of them have a reason for doing so, like illustrating a historical period. However, I feel that if you are going to do that, you need to have a reason for it.” The persistent art-critical claim that painting is dead persists zombie-like and insistent, despite painting’s stubborn refusal to die. But neither artists like Lee nor the art market have given up traditional narrative painting and portraiture, nor have an entire subgenre’s worth of artists like her who are toiling away in 2017. In fact, painters have all along employed various academic mannerisms while Abstract Expression, Minimalism, Post-Modernism, and various other Modernist juggernauts did their best to shove classical painting aside. Hopper, Kent, Parrish, and Rockwell proved that artists could make a-go of representational painting— even amid shifting mid-Century tastes—toward the purely abstract. Let’s hope that Lee, who established her Visalia studio just a year ago, can similarly gain her career footing here in the quieter eddies of the art world, an area not especially known to handsomely reward its few serious artists.
LEFT: The Glade. Charcoal and Gesso on Panel. RIGHT: Enchantment of Circe. Oil and Metal Leaf on Panel.
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T R E N D S
A NEW ERA
one are the days when health fads revolved around the latest meal replacement or calorie counting program. While in 2017, some emerging trends may seem a little strange, the conversation has shifted from portion control to being more mindful about the effect food has on our bodies. From high-fat diets to natural remedies, here are some of 2017’s greatest health food trends.* Ugly Produce. More than just a trend, purchasing and consuming ugly produce is a movement toward being stewards of the environment in an increasingly wasteful world. While
absorption and detoxification tool, it’s important to consume with caution as it doesn’t always distinguish between toxins and vitamins or medications. Collagen & Bone Broth. The concept might sound disgusting, but the results are worth it to many men and women. The fibrous protein in collagen or bone broth works to improve skin, hair, nails, and digestion. Rather than using topical solutions, consumers are turning to internal remedies to nourish their bodies from the inside out. Derived from cows, chickens, fish, and sometimes plants, collagen powders are being added to smoothies, coffee,
items like hemp and pea proteins as a viable method of obtaining protein. Plant-based proteins are not only nutritious, but they are sustainable and often affordable. Some research even suggests that plant-based protein can help you live longer than diets rich in meat-based protein. High-fat is the New Low-fat. You read that right. Everything you learned in the ‘90s about eating low-fat, low-calorie diets to maximize your weight-loss efforts is being debunked by several new diets. From the Ketosis (Keto) diet to the Whole30 program, people are putting down the carbohydrates and
protein shakes, water, and more. Golden Lattes. Have you heard the news? Turmeric is taking over the world. Well, the health world, anyway. Hailed for its anti-inflammatory healing “powers,” turmeric has been gaining popularity over the past year. Many choose to drink turmeric as a “golden latte” or warm milk beverage. While there are different variations, golden lattes often include almond or coconut milk, turmeric powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, honey, and even cayenne or black pepper. We hear Starbucks may even be jumping on the “golden latte” bandwagon. Plant Protein. While vegetarian diets are nothing new, the movement is gaining steam when it comes to plant protein. Athletes, vegans, and more mainstream consumers are using
swapping them out for meats, eggs, and other healthy fats. The idea behind this diet is that once you cut out the carbs, your body will look for other sources of energy. That’s where fat comes in as the body’s primary source of fuel. Let the fat-burning begin! Coconut Everything. The coconut trend has been around for several years, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Despite the AHA’s recent report advising against the consumption of coconut oil, many nutritionists and health experts still stand by it as a healthy fat. From coconut milk to coconut flour and coconut aminos (a soy sauce substitute), there’s plenty of coconut still being passed around. *Before trying any of these health trends, be sure to consult your doctor to make sure they are right for you.
there may be a stigma that “ugly” or misshapen produce is somehow less flavorful or nutritious, in reality, there’s no difference other than its appearance. There are even food delivery services, like imperfectproduce.com, that will send subscribers a discounted box filled with “ugly” produce that may have otherwise been tossed out. Activated Charcoal. No, this food craze isn’t about consuming a bag of charcoal briquettes. Rather, foodgrade activated charcoal comes from heating coconut shells until they are carbonized and made into ash. While health enthusiasts have used activated charcoal for years as a detoxifier, it more recently hit the mainstream as a way to create Instagram-worthy black food products (black ice cream, anyone?). Though activated charcoal is a great
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COLLEGE OF THE SEQUOIAS’
GIANT PANTRY MAKES A HUGE IMPACT T E X T
A N D
t’s widely known that hunger and food insecurity are critical issues around the country and in the Central Valley, but college students may not come to mind as being among those increasingly affected. While the rising enrollment of low-income and non-traditional students at colleges represent positive change, it has also transformed the term “starving college student” from a semi-joke to a very serious matter. Students who must choose between tuition, books, rent, or food often end up compromising their health or their education— sometimes both. The Giant Pantry at College of the Sequoias has been actively addressing these challenges by providing access to emergency food for students in need for almost four years. Serving
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Health Center in 2013 showed that 37 percent of the students experienced some form of CHARITY food insecurity, a task force comprised of administrators and staff formed to develop solutions. Among the first steps was a partnership with FoodLink of Tulare County in early 2014 to bring their fresh fruit and vegetable market program “Nutrition on the Go!” to the Visalia campus. A partnership with Community Food Bank began in 2016, bringing their monthly fresh food market to the other two campus locations. The Giant Pantry was launched 811 students in the past fiscal year (a in Oct. 2014 with 600 pounds jump from 452 the previous year), of food collected in the first annual it’s clear that the pantry has made an “Together We Can” on-campus food indelible impact on the campus and drive. Through ongoing COS Foundation those who benefit directly from it. grants, community donations (including When a survey taken by the college’s money for a refrigeration unit from
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The results of the 2016 "Together We Can" Food Drive.
the Gilman family), and the CHARITY annual food drive, the pantry
is able to serve an expanding number of students each year. Health Center staff currently manage the pantry, but there will be opportunities for students to volunteer in the future. Cynthia Norvall, R.N., Student Health Center Nurse at the Visalia campus, calls herself the "mom" of the food pantry, having been instrumental in its creation and a key player in its ongoing success. In August she presented information about the Giant Pantry at the fall kick-off for new students. "I told the students, ‘Please don't make this something that it's not;’ the pantry is simply another student service, and there’s no reason to be embarrassed or hesitant to ask about it. We endeavor to remove any stigma that may be assigned to it." (The service is confidential for those who use it.)
During an interview with Lifestyle, Cynthia helped a student shop in the pantry, bagging her items and suggesting additional foods for her family. Students are encouraged to take what will be of use to them.
Visits to the pantry are geared to be very need-specific, with some students visiting once each month, while others are there weekly. Alejandra and Anna are both students
who use the Giant Pantry and mothers who were struggling to provide the food their families needed. Anna, a divorced single mom of two boys ages 10 and 14, came to the college in the spring semester. The amount she receives from welfare and food stamps compared to the actual cost of living leaves a void that is difficult to fill. She had been on campus for a week when she saw a sign about the food pantry; she completed the interview form and had a confidential meeting with Cynthia where she provided details about her circumstances. In addition to confirming her ability to receive support at the Giant Pantry, Cynthia informed her about student employment options on campus, food distributions on all campuses, and food pantries in her city. Anna was anxious to share her story because she believes that open and frequent dialogue will empower students to ask for the help they need.
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From hygiene products to canned food items, the pantry provides necessary items for students in need.
the Nov. 28 Giving Tuesday Campaign to encourage cash donations from the local community and beyond. A luncheon will be held on Oct. 4 for invited potential Community Ambassadors who would like to build support for the Giant Pantry through their social media networks. Student representatives will be there to share about their experiences with the pantry, helping potential ambassadors "put faces to names and meet the people we are endeavoring to serve." For Anna, Alejandra, and hundreds of COS students, the Giant Pantry has helped to fill a financial void and reduce the stress of how to pay for the foods they need. With relief from the burden of hunger and food insecurity, they are able to focus on their studies and move toward a brighter future. For more about the Giant Pantry and how you can help, visit www.cos. edu/About/Foundation/Pages/GiantPantry.aspx, or call (559) 737-6241.
“We have so CHARITY many students
going hungry. Students need not be embarrassed or afraid…they need to focus on themselves to get where they need to be.” Alejandra, a mom of three young boys, began taking English as a Second Language (ELS) classes in May, 2016. Although she and her husband had been discussing more children and employment for Alejandra, she made school her priority, confident that education would help her obtain a better job. Just before classes started, her husband lost his job, and though he quickly found a new one, he was injured at work and had to take time off. Under the stress of making ends meet and providing food for her family, Alejandra met with Cynthia and was given access to the food pantry and counseling to help her cope with her stress. Although the ESL curriculum in the second
and third semesters is very difficult, Alejandra has not only excelled, she is also 20 pounds lighter, feels healthier, and her children are learning about eating a balanced diet. She started her last class in August and will finish this December, after which she will pursue a job that will help move her family toward financial—and food—security. In addition to the upcoming October food drive, Cynthia is preparing for
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T H E AT R E & A R T S
DIVERSIONS & EXCU R S I O N S
BRIANNA LEE: BEAUTY AND THE SUBLIME AT ARTS VISALIA Arts Visalia is pleased to present an exhibit featuring the art works of Brianna Lee. The exhibition is called Beauty and the Sublime, a series which investigates the point at which beauty transfigures into the sublime, touching on something central to our existence. Brianna Lee was born and raised in rural Visalia. She is an artist with a love of beauty and the human form. When: Now-Sept. 29 Where: Arts Visalia, Contact: artsvisalia.org
DOWNTOWN VISALIA FARMER’S MARKET Every Thursday evening this spring and summer, stop by downtown Visalia to shop local at the Farmers Market. Buy fresh produce, plants and flowers, and a variety of goods and handcrafted items. Also, check out the year-round Farmers Market on Saturdays at the corner of Caldwell and Mooney Blvd. PACIFIC ARTIST SERIES: MAESTRO SOLER—“POET OF THE GUITAR” Join FPU for their Pacific Artist Series, now through March. In October, FPU welcomes an internationally recognized performer, Francesc de Paula Soler, who has been hailed by critics as one of the most notable guitarists in the world. He has received numerous prizes and awards in recognition of his artistic merits and role as cultural ambassador.
When: Thursdays, now-Sept. 21, 5-8 p.m. Where: Downtown Visalia at Church and Main Streets Contact: visaliafarmersmarket.com
When: Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. Where: McDonald Hall Atrium, Fresno Pacific University, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno Contact: email@example.com
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BEEKEEPING & HONEY MAKING AT CONGREGATION BEIT SHALOM Presented by beekeeper Darren of Kingsburg, come learn about the lifecycle of bees, beekeeping as a hobby, and honey making. There will be honey tasting as well. This event is free for children of all ages and $5 for adults. Dessert is to follow. When: Sept. 16, 6 p.m. Where: Congregation Beit Shalom, 115 E. Paseo Ave., Visalia Contact: 308-1333
WAITERâ€™S RACE Join the Visalia Breakfast Lions Club for another exciting Waiters Race taking place on Main Street in downtown Visalia. Servers from local restaurants have a chance to win prizes and bragging rights, so come cheer on your favorite waiters and waitresses. When: Sept. 21, 5-8 p.m. Where: Main Street, Downtown Visalia Contact: visaliabreakfastlions.org
WOMEN'S HEALTH AND WELLNESS DAY This special day is designed to inspire women to connect and learn about womenâ€™s health services available in our community. Come relax, have fun, get fit, and be pampered. Activities will include free health screenings and education booths, local vendors, and more. When: Sept. 23, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: Therapy Specialists, 820 S. Akers St., Suite 200, Visalia Contact: kaweahdelta.org/ womenshealthday
OKTOBERFEST For nearly a decade, Oktoberfest has been one of the largest crowddrawing events in the Central Valley. Enjoy samplings from various restaurants, beer tasting from local breweries, and incredible live entertainment at Vossler Farms. When: Sept. 29, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Where: Vossler Farms Pumpkin Patch, 26773 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: visaliachamber.org
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EXETER’S 104TH ANNUAL EXETER FALL FESTIVAL
Don't miss Exeter’s 104th annual fall festival with the theme “Homegrown Harvest Fun.” This event features family fun, arts and crafts, a parade, food, a car show, mini train rides, a bratwursteating contest, an antique street fair, live music from Run4Cover, and more.
EXETER’S 6TH ANNUAL SCARECROW CONTEST For the entire month of October, Exeter businesses, organizations, youth groups, families, and individuals will line the charming streets of Exeter with artistic, creative, and lively scarecrows following the theme of “Homegrown and Out of this World.” You can vote on your favorite scarecrow by going to facebook.com/exeterscarecrows. com or at any participating location. When: Oct. 1-31 Where: Around Downtown Exeter Contact: Exeter Chamber of Commerce, 592-2929
When: Oct. 14, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Exeter City Park & Downtown Exeter Contact: Exeter Chamber of Commerce, 592-2919 TASTE OF DOWNTOWN VISALIA During The 24th Annual Taste of Downtown, a fabulous community of restaurants open their doors and offer a taste of their favorite menu items. A ticket admits you to all of the participating downtown restaurants, as well as entrance to wine and beer tasting. When: Oct. 3, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Where: Downtown Visalia Contact: downtownvisalia.com
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TRUNK OR TREAT AT VISALIA NAZ Come out to the Visalia Nazarene Church for a fun night featuring bounce houses, train rides, decorated cars with loads of candy, food vendors, and more! This event is free to the public, except for the food. When: Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m. Where: Visalia Nazarene Church, 3333 W. Caldwell Ave., Visalia Contact: 734-1117
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C H A R I TA B L E EVENTS
SAUCY SEPTEMBER EVENING Saucy September is a celebration of Hunger Action Month and Food Literacy Month, featuring a pasta sauce tasting and competition, live music, dinner, a silent auction, and a raffle. The event benefits both Congregation B’nai David and FoodLink for Tulare County. When: Sept. 16, 6-10 p.m. Where: Congregation B’nai David, 1039 S. Chinowth St., Visalia Contact: 732-3600
CRUSH PARTY The Tulare Chamber of Commerce and the COS Foundation will be holding their 4th annual Crush Party. Join them for tasting local wines, spirits, cheeses, and other delicious eats. When: Sept. 22, 6-9 p.m. Where: COS Tulare College Center, Building B, 4999 E. Bardsley Ave., Tulare Contact: COS.edu/Foundation
BOUNTY OF THE COUNTY Join the Farm Bureau for their 8th annual Bounty of the County event, where guests will enjoy an evening of culinary bites, delicious drinks, and samples of specialty products, all centered around Tulare County’s number one industry: agriculture! The event will take place at Seven Sycamores Ranch in Ivanhoe. When: Sept. 29, 6-9 p.m. Where: Historic Seven Sycamores Ranch, 32988 Rd. 164, Ivanhoe Contact: tulcofb.org
FROMAGE FROLIC Come out to Garden Street Plaza to partake in the second annual Fromage Frolic grilled cheese cook off event, hosted by the Visalia Parks & Recreation Foundation. Enjoy a delicious and unique grilled cheese cook-off.. When: Sept. 23, 5-10 p.m. Where: Garden Street Plaza, downtown Visalia
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LIFEST YLE | SEPTEMBER 2017
TULARE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY ANNUAL BBQ FUNDRAISER Join the TC Historical Society for their annual BBQ fundraiser with music by the local band “Take Cover.” Enjoy a delicious tri-tip and chicken dinner and dessert provided by Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Tickets are $50 per person. When: Oct. 1, 3:30-6 p.m. Where: Tulare County Museum in Mooney Grove Park, Visalia Contact: tularecountyhistoricalsociety.org
8TH ANNUAL WINE & WAGS GALA You're invited to attend Valley Oak SPCA's 8th Annual Wine & Wags Gala where you will enjoy a delightful evening of wine and food tasting as well as live and silent auctions. Proceeds from this event support our no-kill, nonprofit animal rescue mission.
VEAC FOOD PANTRY PRESENTS “EVENING ON THE RED CARPET” Join us as we walk the red carpet with local and national celebrities during the Visalia Emergency Aid Food Pantry’s second annual “Evening on the Red Carpet.” The event includes both silent and live auctions, fine food, and dancing. Proceeds benefit the food pantry. Tickets are $75 per person. When: Oct. 14, 6-10 p.m. Where: Giant Chevrolet & Cadillac showroom, Visalia Contact: veac.org
When: Oct. 8, 6 p.m. Where: Visalia Wyndham, 9000 W. Airport Dr., Visalia Contact: email@example.com or vospca.org
HANDS IN THE COMMUNITY 8TH ANNUAL DINNER & AUCTION You are cordially invited to join Hands in the Community for their 8th annual "Planting Seeds, Growing Together" auction and dinner to benefit Hands in the Community. HNC is a Visaliabased non-profit that provides crisis and referral services to those in need. The event will feature donated items in both a silent and live auction. When: Oct. 21, 7-9 p.m. Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE 22ND ANNUAL BUNKO PARTY The 22nd annual bunko party is to be held at 11 a.m. with a salad luncheon starting at noon in the Blue Room in the basement of Kaweah Delta Hospital. When: Oct. 21, 11 a.m. Where: Kaweah Delta Hospital Blue Room, 400 Mineral King Ave., Visalia Contact: Donna, 972-1880
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