The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Never give up
Joan Kudin, City College administrative assistant works in the PRIE department//Mahalie Oshiro//[email protected]

THE SINGER STEVIE WONDER once said, “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”Joan Kudin, a City College administrative assistant in the Planning, Research & Institutional Effectiveness department, who once met Wonder, while working at a record store, has spent her creative life working to improve her abilities as an artist and says she believes that never giving up is the most important motto in life. Kudin is an accomplished nature, art and band photographer whose works appeared at the Komen Artists for the Cure
event Oct. 4 and at Body Tribe Fitness, a gym in Midtown, over the summer.

Her work was also recently displayed at the Sacramento Arts Festival at the Convention Center in Sacramento the first weekend in November. Two of Kudin’s photography pieces have been selected to show in the art exhibit titled, “Natural Magic” starting Dec. 11 and running through Jan. 14 at the Viewpoint Gallery in Sacramento.

But visual art isn’t Kudin’s only medium—she also once sang with a punk band and occasionally still sings around town.

Through everything that she has accomplished, she says she has never given up.

“If you’re still alive, there’s still hope,” she says.

Kudin also says she believes if people continue to work toward progress, then they are accomplishing something, and they should never settle while working toward their goals.

“I never expected or planned on taking up photography. It just happened,” Kudin says regarding her photography career.

Kudin received her first camera as a birthday gift in 2010. Soon she fell in love with the art.

“I primarily stick to subjects other than human,” Kudin says. She enjoys taking pictures of nature because she does not have to talk to the object. Kudin says she cherishes the silent relationship between her and the object.

Born and raised in Rancho Cordova, Kudin attended Cordova High School for a year and a half and after her parents’ divorce, and struggled in school. She transferred to Kinney High School, a continuation school where she was able to have more one-on-one time with the teachers.

After her 18th birthday Kudin started working at Tower Records in Sacramento. In 2002, when Kudin was in her late thirties, she moved back to Sacramento after working in New York City with Tower Records. She enrolled at City College and received an Associate of Arts degree in Music Performance and then transferred to Sacramento State in 2006 to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies, with an emphasis in public relations.

In 1983, while working at Tower Records in New York City, she met music sensation Stevie Wonder. She recalls that she was sorting records on the top of the mezzanine in the store, when she saw Wonder walking toward her with his guide.

“It was the most surreal thing,” Kudin says.

Wonder asked Kudin if the store had a certain record, and Kudin says she frantically looked all over the store for the record, but it turned out that the store did not
have the record.

Instead of leaving right away, however, Wonder stayed and chatted with Kudin.

“He was rubbing my handin between hishands…I thinkhe was sensing me or something,” she says.

No one was around to interrupt the two, and Kudin remembers it as a deeply memorable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She says she can’t imagine that any other
Legal Issues It is 100% legal to use generic free prescription viagra . This could have some excellent implications for many couples who are using these pills for the treatment of lacking strength of erection. cheapest price for viagra As it is formulated using natural ingredients, there is no risk of contracting botulism from Botox, it must be remembered that it is a drug, buying cialis in spain not a cosmetic. Smith, a reporter who has claimed to follow Iverson for some order levitra time, wrote a column on the player this week in the Philadelphia Inquirer. celebrity would sit and talk and share his or her wisdom with her privately.

Other more concrete opportunities started to appear for Kudin after she was offered a job in London to work at Kenwood Manor House in 1986. She worked at the house, which was used in the 1999 film “Notting Hill.”

But she was never far from music. She also worked for the Greenbelt Music Festival in England as a backup vocalist on the main stage for singer and Palestinian activist, ] Garth Hewitt. “Those were good times,” she says.

In the 1980s she also sang in the band, Still Life, which played hardcore punk music in Sacramento. “We only performed once in public, and then I moved to New York City, so the band broke up,” Kudin says.

She has reconnected with the band since then via Facebook but says there is no plan to reunite and play another gig. These days, she still sings cover songs at Old Ironsides and Torch Club with her friends in Sacramento. “I sometimes sing [with] Bill Mylar at the Hippie Hour on Fridays at Old Ironsides,” she says.

She also performs at other area bars. Sometimes it’s blues at the Torch Club or traditional Irish music at the Fox & Goose. Some of Kudin’s favorite songs to perform include “Angel from Montgomery” and “Give Me One Reason.”

Kudin has now lived in Sacramento for 12 years and says she enjoys being a mother to two sons and a daughter. One son is in high school, her eldest son works in the music department at City College and sings in an indie band, and her daughter dreams of becoming a pro skateboarder. She also loves walking along the American
River with her German shepherd, a rescue dog, Captain.

But Kudin says she recently had an eye-opening experience that made her rethink her place in the world. Her mother had bought tickets for her and
a big group of friends with Kudin’s credit card. This landed Kudin on the Sacramento Kings season ticket holder’s list and she received an invitation to an exclusive event at Arden Hills Country Club in support of the Kings.

She and her two sons, dressed casually after work, went to the event. Much to their surprise, the room, she recalls, was filled with businessmen in fancy suits and women with pearl necklaces and “shoes that cost more than the amount of money I made this month. It was awkward.” They stood there in jeans and T-shirts, embarrassed by what they were wearing.

When she went home after the lavish event, she told her daughter, “I felt like I was measuring up to a failure or a loser since I couldn’t afford season tickets.”

Kudin says her daughter taught her an important lesson.

“Impressing people with money is really shallow,” her daughter told her. “Value isn’t in what you own or what you have. It’s in who you are and what kind of person you are.”

Kudin says her daughter’s words of wisdom hit home.

“I had to stop and listen to my own daughter telling me that [money] isn’t important,” she says.

Now, Kudin hopes to inspire at least one student to follow his or her dream and to always work toward a goal, and to do it with passion and humility.

“When you give up, that’s when you start to die,” Kudin says.

See Joan Kudin’s photography at her website: www.

Donate to The Express

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sacramento City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Express