The Art/Life Forum Comes to the Mexican Heritage Plaza

Demone Carter, MALI program coordinator, and Nelly Torres, events coordinator, School of Arts
and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, will bring the Art/Life Forum to the Plaza. Read More

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Silicon Valley Contemporary

On a list of places best known for play-Aspen, the Hamptons, Palm Springs-Silicon Valley stands out as a region proud of its renown for work. The Hamptons Expo Group, which holds art fairs in all of the aforementioned spots, as well as in Houston, zeroed in on Silicon Valley as the next logical spot for such an event, because the monetary rewards of all of that work have created an area filled with potential art collectors. » Read More

Spring Literature 2014

Book reviews by Michael S. Gant. Seventy-five years on, John Steinbeck's masterwork, The Grapes of Wrath, remains potent reading. The opening prose poem about the drought that drives the Joad family to the promised land of California-"The sun faced down on the growing corn day after day until a line of brown spread along the edge of each green bayonet. » Read More

Ladies Comedy Night at Blackbird Tavern

For someone who bills herself an everywoman, Marcella Arguello is hard to miss. It's as much her appearance-slender, 6-foot-something, Salvadoran and afrolicious-as the intangibles, a commanding mix of spot-on wit and self-deprecating candor. "I couldn't help it, I became a comedian," says Arguello, a Modesto-to-San Francisco transplant and erstwhile education major who fell into entertainment instead. » Read More

'War Ink' An exhibit of Iraq and Afghanistan veteran memorial tattoo art

Jason Deitch went under the needle while adjusting to civilian life after a decade serving as a U.S. Army medic. The tattoo on his right forearm depicts a coffin-encased skeleton, its disembodied skull at its feet. Around it, Latin text, which translates to, "Deformed from head to heel." The phrase, from the Roman Legion of the Republic, referred to the view amongst soldiers that their strength came from their diversity, Deitch says. » Read More

Katherine Levin-Lau Combines the Beautiful and Dreadful in New Show

A subject no less than life in all of its complexity is the focus of a new exhibition by Katherine Levin-Lau, at artist-owned and -operated art store/gallery The Arsenal. "I want it to be curious," Levin-Lau says, referring to her intensely colorful, collage-like interpretations of the detritus of the natural world. A native of upstate New York, Levin-Lau moved to Santa Barbara as a child. She gleaned early inspiration from local Westmont College, peeking around unlocked science buildings, taking in the vast array of natural oddities on display. » Read More

Beverly Rayner: Museum of Mesmerism & Psychic Art

Inside the Triton Museum, the lights will be dimmed for Beverly Rayner's art reception. Seemingly a hundred antique artifacts-conjuring and spell-casting devices, mesmeric and illusionist tools, spirit photos, divination equipment, levitation and witchcraft gear, plus items related to alchemy, mystical matters and seances-now occupy one of the galleries at the Triton. The exhibition, titled "Beverly Rayner: Museum of Mesmerism & Psychic Art," opens this weekend. » Read More

Addicted to Creation at Empire Seven Studios

BIEBRACH PARK sits adjacent to the Gardner Community Center, just southwest of the monolithic cement abomination of an interchange where highways 280 and 87 spew off in seemingly every direction. It is not a spectacular 'hood, but I am here, schlepping through the bumpy, waterlogged grass, past the rusty soccer goalposts and straight up to one of the more classic murals in San Jose, a gorgeous Aztec calendar 16 feet high. Local artist Antonio Nava Torres originally spray-painted the mural in 1995 » Read More

The Soul & Spirit of Tea

Tea as a bridge to synchronicities. Tea as the creative muse that harmonizes one's inner conflicts. The similarities between tea, poetry and music. Tea as that which improves solitude or brings everyone together. The relationship of tea to alchemy. Such are the flavors of The Soul & Spirit of Tea: 21 Tea Inspired Essays for the Early Twenty-First Century. After ceremoniously participating in this book, I feel like a native son who's finally come home. » Read More

RAW San Jose presents PIXELS

RAW San Jose's PIXELS showcase draws artists from many different disciplines, whether it's a burlesque-hula hoop tag-team performance, visual artists, fashion designers-or a brand new band. PIXELS kicks off a year of bimonthly artist showcases in San Jose. PIXELS paired up burlesque dancer Mercy Beaucoup and hula-hooper Sarah Anne Howe for their unusual set. » Read More

Linda Ronstadt's Memoir

I can understand several longtime Ronstadt fans disliking her book, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir (Simon & Schuster; $26), because she leaves out huge chunks of her romantic life and omits almost all of her political activities. But that didn't bother me. I was in it for the music. On page 6, for example, she fondly recalls growing up near an army airfield outside Tucson, where her mother had worked nights in the control tower, sending planes off to WWII. » Read More