by Jan Cox
Moving to the Susanville area in 1990 has had its advantages for artist Norma DeBaker. Here she has expanded her love of art by attending classes in ceramics, glass design, pottery and sculpture. She is quickly becoming locally recognized for her multi-cultured hand sculptures, masks and ceramic figurines, silver-wrapped dichroic glass jewelry and fused glass art.
Norma began drawing Disney characters as a young child of 7, and went on to win art competitions. Encouraged by her mother in her love of art, she studied commercial, medical, and fine arts in Texas. Moving to California, she received her first career opportunity in the arts by working for GE as an illustrator in their Nuclear Energy Division.
She and her husband and son moved to Alaska during the building of the pipeline where she continued a full time job illustrating for the U.S. Department of the Interior in public affairs. Norma also expanded her career by becoming a freelance artist, creating murals, brochures, displays and other technical art and by teaching classes to children and adults while illustrating children’s books on the native culture.
DeBaker and her husband have built a home in the Elysian Valley of Janesville where she continues to create the art she loves. Past accomplishments include the Westwood Agriculture Display, Lassen Capitol Display, Sacramento State Fair Display, Bilingual Brochures for the Department of Health and Human Services, and window designs for local businesses. Currently you will find her work at Artisan Coffee in Janesville and Studio I Salon and Juwanna Tan in Susanville. She also exhibits from 4-8 pm at the Janesville Farmer’s Market, located in the parking lot of Artisan Coffee, each Tuesday through September. If you missed her this summer, watch for local holiday art shows, call her for private showings at 530-253-3681 or set up a show in your home featuring Norma DeBaker’s art.