This is the question that spawned the book idea, born from the hearts and minds of Kat Alves and Nikiya Schwarz who found each other during a photo shoot and immediately discovered they had a mutual desire to capture the unique cultural and artistic heritage of the community in which they grew up. They wanted to dig deeper into the stories of the people around them, to gather imagery of their homes and homesteads, to understand their own cultural heritage in a deeper way. Their mission is twofold. On the one hand they want to represent the narratives of the multitude of artists and makers residing in the Sierra Foothills. On the other, they want to create a visual tapestry of the hand-built structures that dot the rural landscape, often works of art in themselves. Most of these places can't be seen from the road. They are backwoods, off the map, sometimes off the grid, handmade, and stunning in a way unique to the period in which they were built.

After the Gold Rush of 1849, the natural and cultural landscape was changed forever. Since then the Yuba River canyons have continued to attract a hungry and spirited crowd, albeit in search of a different kind of gold. They are artists and musicians, farmers and midwives, doctors, lawyers, teachers, radicals and hermits, Buddhists and atheists, and everything else imaginable and unimaginable. They are each beloved integral pieces of the tapestry, even the ones who don't want to be bothered. Change is inevitable, but to the extent that they are able to capture a lifestyle that has shown incredible perseverance over many decades, they intend to try. Their hope is to produce a living homage to Nevada City and the greater Yuba River Watershed community as well as to to illustrate how deeply a place informs its inhabitants. See FOLKTALES for a more intimate look inside the world of those we have so far documented. And check back! New projects in the works continuously. 

PS: If you or someone you know would like to be featured, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you.