Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Richmond's Annual Downtown Holiday Festival

Richmond, CA - With wreaths and snowflakes adorning the street lamps along Macdonald Avenue, Downtown Richmond is starting to look a lot like the holidays. The neighborhood is also gearing up for a fantastic celebration of the season at the annual Downtown Holiday Festival on Wednesday, December 14 from 4pm-8pm, thanks to a continued partnership between two cornerstone agencies-Richmond Main Street Initiative, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts with support from the City of Richmond.

Visits and photo opportunities with Santa will take place from 4pm-7pm. Giveaways for children include books donated by West County Reads and gift bags for young children (while supplies last). Families will also have opportunities to enjoy live music and caroling outside and in the Community Theater, performed by East Bay Center students and faculty artists.

Upstairs, in the Iron Triangle Theater, audiences of all ages will enjoy A Richmond Nutcracker, a unique and spectacular performance telling the story of The Nutcracker through a Richmond lens. Classic characters, stories, and dances will be presented in traditional and distinctly Richmond interpretations. Performances are scheduled for 5pm and 6:30pm (running time approximately 45 minutes).

Following the second performance, a procession will lead guests to the corner of 11th Street and Macdonald Avenue for group caroling and the ceremonial illumination of the holiday lights.

Admission is free and made possible through generous support from the City of Richmond, Mechanics Bank, Sims Metal Management, and individual donors. More information about the festival, making a contribution, or volunteering can be found at www.richmondmainstreet.org or by calling (510) 236-4049.

What:    Downtown Holiday Festival and Holiday Lights Illumination Ceremony
When:    Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Time:     4pm - 8pm
East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th Street Richmond

Friday, December 2, 2016

Do your Christmas shopping at Creativity Explored

Indulge in mischievous gift giving at Creativity Explored.

Naughty & Nice Holiday Art Shop
December 2 - 30, 2016

Shop Creativity Explored's annual Holiday Art Shop this season. Bring your friends (and have fun) while supporting local artists with developmental disabilities. One-half of the proceeds from the sale of every artwork go directly to the artist.

The Gallery and Studio is stocked with affordable gifts for everyone on your list. Select from original drawings, paintings, textiles, ceramics, mixed media, framed art, and a collection of products featuring designs by Creativity Explored artists.

Opening WeekendSaturday, December 3 & Sunday, December 4
12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Holiday Gallery Hours
Monday – Friday         10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday – Sunday     12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Also open by appointment

Main Studio / Gallery / Offices

3245 16th Street (at Guerrero Street)
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 863-2108


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Italian Christmas Market at the Museo Italoamericano

Italian Christmas Market at the Museo Italoamericano  

The Mercatino di Natale is the cheeriest Italian tradition in the Bay Area, inspired by the famous Christmas markets in Northern Italy and throughout most of Europe.

Come join our community in the celebration and pick the perfect gift for family and friends: artisanal food, handmade jewelry, latest Italian fashion, trendiest accessories and more. All unique items are made by Italian Artisans. We can't wait to give you a hug!

Time and place: 10:00 am - 6 pm Saturday; 10:30-5:00 Sunday
Museo Italo-Americano, Fort Mason Center BLDG C, San Francisco.

In collaboration with Forchette Tricolori, a vibrant cooking club where, originally, women shared recipes and celebrated good eating. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

SF State 29th Annual Stillwell Student Juried Exhibition

 Leo Stillwell Self Portrait
Courtesy SFSU

The majority of the exhibition at the SFSU Fine Arts Gallery features art students’ latest work in a variety of medium.  The most moving piece in the exhibit is a Golden Gate Bridge replica sculpture, titled “Crisis Line: (415) 781-0500,”  referring to the San Francisco Suicide Prevention Crisis Line, composed of bright red miniature plastic people fused together.   

Nearby was a laugher, a bulging circle made from hundreds of emoji stickers, titled, “Please Just Call Me.”

One wall of the exhibit showcases letters and drawings by watercolorist and oil painter Leo D. Stillwell Jr, who died in 1948 at age 22.    The letters, which include drawings, were written by Stillwell to his friend Russell Hartley.   Beautiful small paintings and drawings also adorn the backs of the envelopes.  The letters were found about 25 years ago in a dumpster on Duboce Street by Alan Perry, who recently donated them to the University.    Stillwell’s mother donated 500 of his works to SF State in 1987, although her son never attended SFSU.  Bay Area journalist and former SF Chronicle writer Jesse Hamlin wrote about the exhibition recently in the Chronicle.

I arrived at the exhibit 15 minutes before closing, so I was in a hurry and didn’t take notes.   The Gallery does not allow photographs.    After I left, I saw signs directing me to another gallery several hallways and doorways away.   When I got there, it was closed.  I passed by some large pottery workshops finding my way on the way out of whatever building I ended up in.    Not to go all John King here, but hopefully when the new SFSU buildings go up on 19th Avenue after the Muni revamp, there will be easier access to public spaces, less need for outsiders to wander the campus, and more people seeing the art being created here.

San Francisco State University
Fine Arts Building, Fine Arts Gallery
Wednesday, November 09, 2016 to Thursday, December 01, 2016
Gallery hours: Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11am to 4pm. 
The gallery will be closed for Thanksgiving break, November 23 through November 26. 
E-mail: gallery@sfsu.edu
Phone: 415-338-6535

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Frank Stella at the de Young and Bruce Conner at SFMOMA

The museum visitor could not ask for a great contrast in styles and philosophy than the two retrospectives now up in San Francisco; Frani Stella at the de Young and Bruce Conner at SFMOMA. Stella specializes in bright, bold, non-expressive art, just right for that expensive loft, big corporate office or museum wall. He was crowned "Art King of NY" right out of art school and has consistently remained popular.

Bruce Conner's huge retrospective, now at SFMOMA, is a polar opposite. A deliberate outsider, a Peck's Bad Boy of art, Conner adored being angsty, depressive, grim, an avant guarde practice of art sketched in black. By the time he died at age 74 in 2008, the San Francisco–based artist had created films, collages, photograms, performances, assemblages, drawings, and paintings. He avoided celebrity like the plague and reveled in his outsider status. If Stella's work deliberately avoids emotion and any definition of self, Conner positively played with both ideas to the point where he announced his death....twice, before actually dying in 1974.

Conner told Kenneth Baker (then art critic for the SF Chronicle), "My entire history as an artist coincides with the history of the bomb," he told me in 2000, "and it's colored almost everything I've done. But I also don't see why you can't have a good time and be aware of your own mortality."

Frank Stella at the de Young through Feb 26, 2017

Bruce Conner at SFMOMA through Jan 22, 2017