Press Release: Placer Sheriff's sergeant lends artistic talent
September 10, 2009
Bradford R. Fenocchio
PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
Date: September 10, 2009
Public information Officer
Assistant District Attorney
PLACER COUNTY SHERIFF’S SERGEANT BECOMES
A “GO-TO GUY” WHEN IT COMES TO DRAWINGS
When folks in Placer County need a good charcoal drawing or the painting of a mural these days, they’ve been calling the law.
Specifically, they’re contacting Sgt. Ty Conners of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, who has turned his hobby of art drawings into a side venture during his off-duty hours.
Conners, a 14-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, was commissioned this month to paint a mural in the Placer County Multidisciplinary Interview Center in Roseville.
The center, better known as the MDIC, consists of trained professionals who interview child victims of sexual abuse or other felony mistreatment.
MDIC officials felt there was something missing in the room where they interview children under the age of 10. It was eventually decided that the room needed some artwork on the bare walls to make it a bit more “child friendly.”
Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Reed, who had worked with the MDIC as a detective, quickly recommended Conners.
“I’d seen his work before and he is an exceptional artist,” Reed said. “He’s also very good with kids and I knew he would be supportive of the project.”
Conners is now in his second week of painting a colorful, acrylic mural on the walls of the interview room.
He is incorporating culturally-sensitive drawings of children playing in a backdrop of some of Placer County’s more historic elements, such as the American River, forests and the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Also in the drawing are the Auburn Firehouse, the Historic Courthouse, the No Hands Bridge, a locomotive and the statue of the gold miner that greets motorists at the Maple Street exit in Auburn.
Scattered within the mural are animals that are indigenous to Placer County, such as a bear, a deer, a raccoon, a mountain lion, a squirrel and a skunk. An owl sits in a treehouse and fish are depicted in the river.
Recreational aspects are also included. There’s a drawing of a skier and another of a runner, and still another of a boy flying a kite.
Both Scott Owens, assistant district attorney, and Fiona Tuttle, coordinator of the MDIC, are excited with the work being done by Conners.
“He’s done an excellent job of capturing the essence of Placer County while also creating a pleasant environment for child victims during the interviews,” Owens said.
“One of our accreditation standards requires us to provide a safe, child-friendly environment,” Tuttle said. “This mural will provide comfort and ease for children. It has many colors in it and this will help the child identify colors and shapes.”
Conners will also try a 3-D effect by hanging fake leaves from the ceiling as if they are coming from the drawings of the trees. Replica gold nuggets will be placed in the drawing of the gold miner’s pan.
“I’m also going to paint hidden pictures within the mural so that the kids can try to spot them,” Conners said. “This will keep the child’s mind occupied.”
Conners, a native of Redwood City, said he caught the bug to draw pictures when he was in elementary school. It also helped that his mother was an artist, he said.
In high school, he took an art class and “that’s when I got hooked,” he said. His specialty became charcoal drawings.
As a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, he painted a mural in a hangar at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento. It was a picture of cartoon character Yosemite Sam riding atop an airplane.
But he didn’t get serious about his artwork until three years ago when he created his side venture called Art Creations by Conners, he said. Mostly through word of mouth, he’s become a sought-after artist in Placer County.
“I’ve probably done over 100 paintings now,” Conners said.
At the Sheriff’s Department, Conners will be moving into the patrol division this weekend after working for several years at the Placer County jail.