Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press
Embroidery and beads on acrylic paint by Merced artist Sofia Prado. 

Presenting The Merced Area Museum Of Community Art

Now Accepting The Work Of Community Artists!


Embroidery and beads on acrylic paint by Merced artist Sofia Prado.


Acrylic paint on resin by featured Merced artist Sofia Prado.



With regard to current shelter-in-place conditions, and the fact that local art museums are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Times has created the Merced Area Museum of Community Art, or better put: “The MA-MOCA,” for art fans of all ages.

“We are interested in sharing positive art creations that celebrate our lives, uplift our spirits, and offer hope to our community,” said Jonathan Whitaker, the Times editor. “We figure many artists and students of all ages are stuck at home most of the day during this frustrating time, and they may be creating works of art they would like to share. The Times wants to do its part to help share these talented works, and bring joy and recognition to the artists and our newspaper readers.”

Last week, the Times print edition featured two works by Merced artist Sofia Prado. One is a special still life piece of embroidery and beads on acrylic paint. The other is a provocative wildlife image involving acrylic paint on resin.
“I love the colors, traditions and culture of Mexico where I am from, and that comes through in my pieces,” Prado told the Times. “I love working with three dimensional mediums I can touch like polymer clay, paper collage and embroidery.”
This week print edition featured three artists — a 26-year-old Merced native who has been drawing for the past decade, and also a mother and daughter from Atwater who were inspired to create art at home.


‘Red’ by Merced artist Stephen Schertz.


‘Blue’ by Merced artist Stephen Schertz.
‘Glitter in the Garden Shed’ by Merced artist Stephen Schertz.



Attention To Detail

Artist Stephen Schertz has a goal to inspire others to be creative, think outside the box, and spread joy to others around. The work that he does is very detail oriented, with many hours behind each of his works.

“Glitter in the Garden Shed” is actually now holding with the Asip Coffee Shop family of downtown Merced. The piece was given to them by the artist as a gift for being so good to the community and always showing love to him.
Glitter in the Garden Shed was drawn with the mindset of holding back emotions — that perhaps sometimes people are afraid to express themselves because they will get written all over.

The works “RED” and “BLUE” are two pieces that overall took approximately 22-26 hours each of drawing. They are completely about patience. Stephen wanted to emphasize the fast paced lifestyle we currently live in, and the idea that often times we are not appreciating the people around us enough, and the everyday little joys that make us who we are.
You can check more of Stephen’s artworks online at:

Reagan Button, 3, helped create this fence art at home in Atwater.


Fence Art by Brittany and Reagan Button.



Fence Art

This week’s second featured artist is actually a mother-daughter team from Atwater.

Brittany Button and her 3-year-old daughter, Reagan, have been busy being creative at home. Last week, they brought together simple things at home — tape, chalk, and a fence — and went to work!

They came with some great “Fence Art” to share with neighbors, friends and all residents.

The Times thanks all the artists for sending in their works of art to the MA-MOCA!

Artists in the area are encouraged to send us jpeg photos of their art, along with a short bio, and explanations behind the work to this email: [email protected]

Editor’s note: Due to limited color space in the Times print edition, we are providing more images of the MA-MOCA’s featured art here on the website.

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