Sacramento native Paula Wenzl-Bellacera is a contemporary artist who is a painter and print maker. She works in oil, mixed media, and photography. Ms. Bellacera received her art and training at various colleges and universities in Northern California after completing a Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since 1990 she has been exhibiting her work domestically and internationally including in Chicago, Katmandu, San Francisco, and Seattle. She has won several awards and has been published in books and magazines. She has received public art grants and been commissioned to create collections of work. Her pieces are included in private and corporate collections throughout the country.

Ms. Bellacera comments about her latest series of cactus paintings, “As an artist, I am often aesthetically inspired by the day-to-day world in which I live. I find uncommon beauty in the most ordinary subjects. I spend much time reflecting in my garden, which happens to contain mostly cactus and succulents. After years of observing these hardy denizens of my yard, I found myself drawn to the mystery and primitive aspects of these plants.” In some of Ms. Bellacera’s cactus paintings, the close-up view is taken to the point of abstraction. The repetitive patterns of spines set up a sequential, rather obscured, idea of space. In other paintings the cactus plants appear more figurative as the paddles seem to kiss and caress in tender moments.