Sharon Caredio had a sort of personal renaissance just before moving to Los Banos.
"I started out normal -- just taking pictures of your kids and landscapes, that kind of thing," the 60-year-old artist said. "It wasn't a challenge; I wanted the action."
The Pacheco High art teacher is the latest focus of the Los Banos Library's local artist exhibit. Caredio's photography captures the action of sporting events like wrestling, rodeo and jousting, while her sculpture takes the shape of animals, masks and even a boot.
"I love working with three-dimensional forms," she said, "taking just a slab or block of clay -- like taking part of the earth -- and just turning it into something."
Originally from San Jose, Caredio worked in a veterinarian's office until about age 30 and then went back to school at California State University, Stanislaus, and the University of California at San Diego so she could become an art instructor.
Caredio teaches a number of photography, drawing and sculpture classes at Pacheco High. The Los Banos Unified School District offered one photography class at Pacheco for the first time in 2011, Caredio said, and she's up to four classes this year.
The popularity of digital photography, she said, means 138 students share the 16 cameras at Pacheco High. The students also rotate use of the computer during the week, as photography classes nowadays come with an element of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, a photo-editing software.
The mother of five and grandmother of 19 said she gets extra pleasure when she can get self-doubting students to produce art.
"Just seeing their excitement is just really great," she said.
Retired art teacher Robert Huddleston, who has known Caredio for two decades, described her as driven and family-oriented.
"She doesn't just leave things to chance," Huddleston said. "She's always intent on being really professional on anything she does."
Patti Ryan, a member of the Friends of the Library and the person in charge of the local-artists program, said the photos and sculptures will be on display until late February.
The next artist on the docket is painter McKenzie Hoskins.
Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at email@example.com.
Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanos enterprise.com.