Local High Schooler's Mural Contemplates Time

New public art project pairs Notre Dame senior with professional artist. Read More

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Local High Schooler's Mural Contemplates Time

When one of her teachers came around asking if any students wanted to work on a public art project, Jamie Friedman says she was immediately interested. "I was excited about it," the senior at Notre Dame High School says of her involvement in the mural-an initiative of the San Jose Downtown Association and the Property-Based Improvement District. In fact, as she recalls, her excitement was initially unmatched by any of her peers. "I was the only one who took it seriously." The mural, which was completed earlier this month, is elevated by stilts and now overlooks South Second and San Carlos streets. Painted on two large, wooden boards-one facing the Tech Shop, the other facing the U.S. District Court building-the work is meant to symbolize » Read More

Opposites Attract in 'I and You'

City Lights Theater's latest production, I and You, explores death, mortality, poetry and the unlikeliest of adolescent pairings. The story opens abruptly on teenaged Caroline (played by Ivette Deltoro), sitting in a messy room filled with dirty clothes, teddy bears and prescription bottles. As she browses her computer, a strange boy unexpectedly opens the door, sending her into a manic state. After he can explain himself-his name is Anthony and he's there in hopes of getting help on a class project-Caroline relents slightly and lets him in. Anthony explains further that he needs to finish his project on Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass for a class that Caroline once attended. » Read More

Pear Theatre's 'Slices' Festival Back For 13th Year

Mountain View's Pear Theatre is continuing its long-running festival of one-acts written by local playwrights. This year, the 'Pear Slices' festival has doubled in size, requiring the company to split the showcase into two separate programs of seven plays each- 'Anjou Pears' and 'Bosc Slices'-to play on alternating nights. One begins to suspect that seven is an auspicious number for this theater company, when learning that a total of seven actors fill all of the roles in the 14 plays directed by Robyn Ginsburg Braverman and Troy Johnson. The Pear's mission statement promises 'wonders on a shoestring.' However, the set-which changes from play to play, with chairs and tables brought in and out to suit the purposes of the narrative-is » Read More

Wingrove's Dance Company Celebrates 35 Years

Margaret Wingrove is hitting two significant milestones this year. First, the longtime choreographer and head of the Margaret Wingrove Dance Company is celebrating her troupe's 35th year of presenting quality dance programming in San Jose. Second, Wingrove celebrated her 80th birthday earlier this year. This Thursday and Friday, May 19 and 20, Wingrove debuts her latest show, Heart on Fire-a selection of three premiers, including 'Moments,' 'We Have Flowers,' and 'Janis,' a depiction of the iconic rock & roll singer Janis Joplin. The pieces will feature Wingrove's signature blend of classical and modern choreography. A variety of guest artists will be joining the company for Heart on Fire. There will be musicians from the San Jose Chamber » Read More

High Concept Street Art: 'Graffuturism'

A new group show at Anno Domini presents some of the world's most famous graffiti artists working outside of their comfort zones-with both marvelous and jarring results. When artist and curator Poesia started Graffuturism as an art blog more than six years ago, he never imagined it would evolve into the 75-member art collective it is today. Rather than seeking to codify a discrete aesthetic, Graffuturism intends to rally its members and audience around a shared ethos. The graffuturism is a community consists of dedicated and forward-thinking street artists and graffiti artists, explains Poesia, who is known only by his nom du plume. 'We all come from a graffiti background, but we all work in different styles,' he says. While there is no » Read More

Celebrating Cinco: Chicano Art, Culture, Music

With its large Chicano population and many Latino-oriented community organizations, Silicon Valley always has Cinco de Mayo covered. The holiday commemorates Mexico's victory over French forces on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla, but the day more often focuses on cruising the city streets, blasting loud music and celebrating in style. Here are a few events. U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera (see page 42) has frequently written about the immigrant experience. He appears as part of the Legacy of Poetry Day. » Read More

Stanford's Beautiful Map Collection

The thought of printed maps may bring you back to the tedium of a 5th grade history class, but the new David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford University is like no geography lesson you ever had. The collection of more than 150,000 rare maps, globes, atlases and other cartographic paraphernalia was donated in 2009 by longtime map collector David Rumsey a San Francisco real estate developer and chairman of Luna Imaging. With artifacts dating back to the 15th century, the Rumsey Collection is a veritable compendium of cartography. Physically, the Center seems both expansive-almost spare-yet filled to the brim with visual information. While the space is rich with with visual history, context and synthesis comes alive through the Center's two » Read More

Silicon Valley Open Studios Shares Art With Local Community

For 30 years, Silicon Valley Open Studios has connected South Bay and Peninsula artists with members of the communities where they create. Next month's three-weekend event features more than 350 artists working in just about every medium imaginable: watercolor and oil paint; mixed-media, jewelry and assemblage; mosaic and glass; sculpture and woodworking; and photography. StartedLaunched in 1986, the event coordinates with artists who voluntarily open their studios to art patrons, collectors and anyone who is interested. It gives art lovers the chance to meet with artists working in their own backyards and gain an understanding of the artistic process. Many of the exhibitors show their work in the very studios where they create, and » Read More

Meet SJ Museum of Art's New Curator

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is one of the largest museums in North America. With an impressive collection and the vast resources of the federal government behind it, working at the prestigious institution is likely on many an art professional's short list of dream jobs. However, according to Lauren Dickens, it's not for her. 'The National Gallery is an internationally renowned institution with almost unmatched scholarship,' says Dickens, who recently left her position as curatorial consultant at the National Gallery to take over as head curator of the San Jose Museum of Art. 'But it's such a large institution, I very much felt like a cog in the wheel there.' She says that the real draw of working at a smaller » Read More

Opera San Jose Takes on 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

Opera San Jose's newest production is a clever reimagining of the classic Tennessee Williams play, A Streetcar Named Desire. The show opens with a bare set, sparsely populated by smoking, greasy men. Enter Blanche DuBois, who, after losing her family home, has come to New Orleans to stay with her sister Stella Kowalski in a two room flophouse. Little does she know that Stella has become a slave to her crude and vicious husband, Stanley. As she settles into her new life she meets Mitch, one of Stanley's kinder, gentler friends. But the environment is toxic, the men manipulative and Blanche is quickly swept up into the mess. By the end of it all, Stanley's vicious and violent actions leave Blanche in a fugue state, teetering on mental » Read More

'Catch-22' is Difficult for Los Altos Stage to Define

Although originally adapted for the stage in 1971 by the author himself, it took more than 46 years for Joseph Heller's Catch-22 to finally see the lights of Broadway. Now, a decade later, this 20th century classic is seeing the stage again, this time in a light-hearted, dreamy reimagining presented by the Los Altos Stage Company. The play opens with Yossarian, a WWII Army Air Corps pilot stuck on a military base off the coast of Italy, grappling with the concept of a 'Catch-22'-a fictional army rule, which keeps him and his fellow airmen flying suicidal bombing missions. The circular logic of the Catch-22 dictates that only soldiers proven insane may be sent home; however, the rule also states that claiming to be insane is proof of one's » Read More

'Permanently Improvised' is Dadaist Propaganda

Anno Domini has a knack for finding innovative and thought-provoking artists from all over the world. But more importantly, the gallery also manages to get those artists to display their works here in San Jose. Gallery AD's latest show is 'Permanently Improvised' by Various & Gould, a Berlin-based street artist duo. A selection from an ongoing series by these two artists entitled 'Rabotniki'-Russian for 'workers'-the show is a vivid collage-like exploration of the beauty of everyday life, with an emphasis on the working man's experience. Although it seems almost digital, all the work in 'Permanently Improvised' is handmade, and in many cases, to an incredibly detailed degree. Using mixtures of acrylics, spray paint, and elaborately » Read More

New Quilt Museum Exhibit Makes a 'Statement'

The adage 'everything old is new again' certainly applies when viewing the current exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. 'Blanket Statements' is a color-saturated display of both historical quilts from the 18th and 19th centuries and the recent work of contemporary fabric designer Kaffe Fassett. On view until July 3, the 20 new quilts and 15 vintage quilts present a wide range of technique and subject matter-a sort of visual history of this old and venerable medium. The exhibition was created by the York Quilt Museum and Gallery in England and has been presented at two other venues in the United States. » Read More

Symphony SV Performs 'Godfather' Score

Continuing their tradition of performing classic movie scores live beneath the big screen, Symphony Silicon Valley is tackling The Godfather—playing Nino Rota's revered compositions while Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Diane Keaton and the rest of that star-studded cast bring Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Mario Puzo's gangster epic to life. Matching revered films with the dynamics of a live orchestra might seem a throwback to the silent film era. But, according to SSV's general director Andrew Bales, the marriage of live music and talkies is a new-but increasingly popular-art form. The demand for such productions is growing around the world, Bales says, pointing to the recent success Symphony Silicon Valley had live-scoring The Lord of » Read More

Mr. Harada's Darkly Comic Drawings

It's a telling that Jeremiah Harada prefers his artistic nom de plume, "mr. harada," spelled sans proper capitalization. The subjects of his simplistic line drawings tend to be sad sacks, wallowing in the midst of existential crises. And why bother with grammar when the world is a series of cruel jokes at your expense? His new show at Seeing Things Gallery, "I'm a Joke," may just coax a crooked grin out of those with a certain, twisted sense of humor, his. It will surely prompt some knowing grimaces, as his darkly comic, cartoonish drawings explore feelings of despair, angst and embarrassment. Like Seeing Things director Jai Tanju, Harada is a member of the TiltMode Army-a group of San Jose skaters who, since the mid '90s, have developed a » Read More

San Jose Museum of Art Celebrates Valley's Art Pioneers

Borrowing Blockbuster exhibitions in order to increase visibility and bring patrons through the door has been standard operating procedure for art museums for many years. Recently, however, curators at the San Jose Museum of Art discovered that hidden gems, locked away in storage for decades, can draw a crowd, especially when the story they tell is compelling. Specifically, the exhibition celebrates the artists who lived and worked in San Jose in the 1960s and who expressed their own personal reactions to the prevailing art movements: pop, abstract expressionism and minimalism. » Read More

New Online Journal Amplifies Voices from the 'Wasteland'

Is San Jose sometimes dubiously called "The Capital of Silicon Valley," indeed a Valley of the Heart's Delight? Or might it be more accurately described as a Valley of Ashes? It all depends on who you ask. These are the questions at the heart of the new place-based online literary journal, Cheers From the Wasteland. The journal, founded by fourth-generation San Jose native Li Patron, recently released its first issue online, collecting works from ten different artists and authors, all of whom have lived, or currently live, in San Jose. » Read More

Exhibit: 'Digital Spaces and Future Parks'

Legendary New York- and London-based Pace Gallery has made its way to Menlo Park, and it hasn't arrived quietly. Located in a former TESLA dealership, the exhibit, titled "Living Digital Space and Future Parks" is a pop-up gallery-an appropriate term in this case, considering the impressive computer-visual art installation was installed and outfitted in just eight weeks. "It was crazy," says Elizabeth Sullivan, the project's director. The set-up began over the holidays and was further complicated by the city's permitting process-all "fun stuff" for the 20-year art gallery veteran. » Read More

SV Ballet's Curtain Call

After 30 years of operation, the majority of which was spent in San Jose, the Silicon Valley Ballet has announced it will be shuttering its operation for good. "It's so sad for us," says Millicent Powers, executive director of the ballet, who last week, along with the organization's board of directors, made the "very, very difficult decision" to hang up their proverbial dancing slippers and tutus. Powers says that the ballet has been struggling for some time. "It's no secret that the company has had problems over the years." » Read More

'Border Cantos' highlights life in the transitory space between the U.S. and Mexico

The call and response of photographer to composer and back again informs the collaboration of Border Cantos. The photographer is Richard Misrach; the composer Guillermo Galindo. The subject is the border between the United States and Mexico. With his snapshots, Misrach captures the vast desert expanses, along with the fences and walls that divide the two countries. Galindo composes sonic landscapes using one-of-a-kind, hand-made musical instruments, which he has fashioned from various materials and personal objects found strewn about the scrubby, wind-swept terrain that straddles the border. The exhibit explores the geographical, political and psychological ramifications of life on the border. Through photography and music, both artists » Read More

Gideon Rubin Tells Human Stories With Faceless Figures

The title of Gideon Rubin's first public solo show in the U.S. is taken from a line of poetry. In "Delivering Newspapers," the Chinese poet Bei Dao alludes to the disposable nature of news: "The nation has lost its memory/Memory goes as far as this morning." In this digital age of taking, sharing, scrolling through and ultimately disposing of myriad selfies, the collective unconscious has become a blurred record of far too many faces frozen in rictal grins. Peruse Rubin's new collection of faceless portraits and you'll find an artist actively looking at our profound ability to forget. Class of 1947 is a grouping of twelve small paintings, which together mimic a page from a high school yearbook as they hang close together on the wall. In » Read More

Civil Rights Icon Ruby Bridges will Receive Steinbeck Award at SJSU

For the first time in the 20-year history of the Steinbeck Award at San Jose State University, the accolade will be given to a person John Steinbeck actually wrote about. When civil rights icon Ruby Bridges receives this year's award in the Student Union on Feb. 24, the circle will complete itself. In 1960, Steinbeck was almost done writing Travels With Charley and went out of his way to visit New Orleans, where a 6-year-old African American girl was about to break the color line by attending an all-white elementary school. U.S. Marshals escorted her. It was national news. When Steinbeck arrived at the event, he went incognito to observe angry white women the press had called 'the cheerleaders.' The women were theatrically screaming » Read More

Club Lido: Wild Eyes & Occasional Dreams

A homemade comic book, dilapidated and covered with dime-store sequins, appears on a pedestal at Empire Seven Studios. It opens up with graffiti-style lettering that quotes a 2007 Metro story by Dan Pulcrano: 'To the eye, San Jose embodies a bastion of suburban banality, with a low profile downtown of '80s highrises surrounded by '70s subdivisions and '90s condos.' But underneath that banality, a seedy and unapologetically garish crossover of Mexican and Vietnamese subcultures thrive in a dumpy two-story paradise. A new exhibit by Angelica Muro and Juan Luna-Avin documents the scene. 'Club Lido: Wild Eyes & Occasional Dreams' is proactive in its gaudiness and authentic in its depiction of marginalized San Jose heroes. » Read More

Mannerist Prints at Cantor Arts

Cantor Art Center's major winter exhibition is a carefully curated collection of engravings, etchings and woodcuts dating from the 16th century. "Myth, Allegory and Faith" consists of prints from the private collection of one individual, Kirk Edward Long. Working closely with the Cantor curator Bernard Barryte, Long has acquired over 700 works from the Mannerist period, which dates roughly from 1520 to 1580. The exhibition, which will be on view until June 20, features 180 such prints. For those unfamiliar with the Mannerists, a primer: Mannerism (derived from the Italian maniera, as in "style" or "elegance") took place after the Renaissance and prior to the advent of the Baroque period. Although influenced heavily by Michelangelo and Raphael, » Read More

Review: 'Carmen'

In the world of opera, suffice to say Gypsy culture is a lot more visually interesting than the lives of the European gentry. Smoky, colorful rooms and mystical tones occupy much of Carmen, the classic story of an irresistible Spanish seductress. Scored by French composer Georges Bizet, Carmen originally premiered in March 1875. Though it didn't catch on at first, it is recognized today as one of the most popular operas ever—both for its scandalizing plot and effervescent music. Opera San Jose's highly detailed and dynamic adaptation of Carmen, brings the classic tale of a rapacious and doomed Gypsy woman to the California Theatre in San Jose. The character of Carmen, played by Lisa Chavez, is masterful. She fully inhabits the role; her » Read More

Anno Domini's Quartet for the End of Time

Composer Olivier Messiaen wrote and premiered his Quartet for the End of Time as a war prisoner inside Stalag VIII-A, near Gorlitz, Germany, in what's now Poland. Rather than attempting escape, Messiaen devoted all his spare energy to the piece-playing piano and enlisting other POWs to play clarinet, violin and cello. The work debuted in January 1941. Many experts situate the quartet near the top of 20th-century chamber music, not only for the catastrophic circumstances surrounding its inception, but also for Messiaen's reverent Catholic faith, his use of medieval modes and Hindu rhythmic cycles, and his disregard for all sense of linear time. While other musicians in the camp plotted to escape, Messiaen chose to stay and write music in » Read More

'Tigers Be Still' Balances Darkness and Light

"Comedy" and "depression" may not always go hand in hand, but in the case of Tigers Be Still, the new production by City Lights Theater Company, the two blend together in humorous, touching ways. Anyone who's graduated from college only to struggle with grown-up life can identify with protagonist Sherry (Melissa Weinstein), who earned her master's degree in art therapy but fell into a funk after failing to find a job. The other women in her family aren't doing any better. Her elder sister, Grace (Akemi Okamura), caught her fiancé cheating, suffered a breakdown and moved back home. She spends her days commiserating with Sherry and their mother, watching Top Gun while crying into a bottle of whiskey, and stealing things from her ex's condo » Read More

'Marc D'Estout: Open Investigation'

TWO SCULPTURES by Marc D'Estout, Muse and Abused Muse, appear to complement each other. Both are made from fabricated steel and both are mockeries of Mickey Mouse hats. Together they constitute an unabashed ridicule of every way in which Disney has infected the youth of America. The shiny silver-colored Muse is nickel plated and appears to be upside-down. If one bashed on Muse as a musical instrument, the sculpture might sound like some crazed Tibetan singing bowl turned industrial. In fact, the piece already looks like someone playfully bent Mickey's ears in the wrong direction. Abused Muse, on the other hand, is not shiny. It doesn't have the nickel plating. The ears hang down, as if someone yanked on them. » Read More

Arrow: Engineering Thrills

There they were: a handful of black and white photos documenting the first test run of the modern looping roller coaster. I look at the other crewmates, giddy and smiling from ear to ear, says Kris Rowberry. This is the only proof it ever happened, and I'm holding these photos, a real piece of Americana. Rowberry has spent the last year digging up gems like these for his forthcoming documentary, The Legacy of Arrow Development, which chronicles a surprisingly neglected facet of amusement park-and American-history. » Read More

California's Promise and Failings

Sitting at the edge of the American frontier, California has long been viewed as a land of milk and honey. The Spanish sought mythical cities in the region, but settled for the "saved" souls and forced labor of Native Americans. The 49ers risked life and limb, crossing the Great Plains and braving the journey around Cape Horn in pursuit of gold. Most recently, techno-utopians have flocked to Silicon Valley and packed themselves into rented garages, hoping to write some code worthy of a repartee-laden biopic. But California's promise has always been undercut by a far less glamorous reality. For each Golden State success story, there are dozens of tales of failure and aborted attempts at reinvention. » Read More

Screaming Hand Exhibit Honors The Iconic Skateboarding Illustration

With its toothy, agape mouth; wildly undulating, mid-scream tongue; and desperate, clawing fingers, everything about Jim Phillips Sr.'s Screaming Hand demands attention. The cool electric blue of its skin, contrasting with the red drops of blood, jagged bone and flailing sinew, are easily recognizable as one of Santa Cruz Skateboards' longtime logos. Created by Phillips in 1985, it is arguably one of the most iconic pieces of graphic art of the last 30 years-and certainly makes the short list for the most famous pieces of skateboarding art, ever. Now, after three decades of inspiring skaters and artists alike, the Screaming Hand and its legacy are on a 30th anniversary world tour, and will be making a two-week stop at San Jose's Empire » Read More

New Cantor Arts Center Exhibit Features Sketches Taken At The Battle of Little Bighorn

Consider the life of General George Armstrong Custer. On the one hand, we have a new biography, Custer's Trials: A Life On The Frontier Of A New America, by National Book Award winner T.J. Stiles. Stiles, during a recent appearance on NPR, thoughtfully attempts to rehabilitate Custer's reputation, "Don't make him bear the weight of American history.' He also humanizes him by quoting from a letter to Custer's cousin Augusta Ward: 'So far as the country is concerned, I, of course, must wish for peace and will be glad when the war has ended.' If you weren't a Native American, the argument probably holds weight. » Read More

'Pippin' Comes To San Jose Center for the Performing Arts

On a recent visit to downtown San Jose, the actress Adrienne Barbeau, a South Bay native and alumna of Del Mar High School, reminisced about the start of her musical comedy career at the Montgomery Theater. Although she still has family in Los Gatos, Barbeau was brought to town this month to play the part of Berthe in the touring production of Pippin. In 2013, the musical was entirely reconceived from its original 1970s, Bob Fosse-choreographed incarnation. This high-flying, updated version of the Broadway show went on to win four Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. » Read More

The 10 Best Stage Productions In 2015

Silicon Valley has no shortage of theater companies-from larger groups, like the Palo Alto-based TheatreWorks and Broadway San Jose, to the more nimble outfits, such as City Lights and The Pear. All do excellent work, and it would be impossible to choose a definitive list of the 10 best stage productions in 2015. That said, here are 10 great shows we saw this year. » Read More

A New MACLA Exhibit Explores the Shaping of the Latino Identity

The immigrant experience is one of perpetual reinvention, as well as enduring remembrance. It is a constant struggle between the desire to assimilate into a new culture and retain a sense of what came before. In an effort to strike a balance betwixt the traditions of the motherland and the customs of their new home, immigrant communities invariably create hybrid languages, new genres of music and unique styles of art. » Read More

TheatreWorks' 'Jane Austen's Emma' Returns to Lucie Stern Theatre

TheatreWorks' musical adaptation of Jane Austen's romantic comedy of manners, Emma, has returned to the Lucie Stern Theatre, the site of its 2007 world premiere. Jane Austen's Emma boasts quite the pedigree: with music, lyrics and book by the Tony Award-nominated Paul Gordon, it is the most successful production in TheatreWorks' 46-year history. It's easy to understand why. Jane Austen's Emma is a sterling adaptation of the novel, featuring excellent acting, top-notch singing and immersive stagecraft. » Read More

Former Silicon Valley Ballet Dancer Takes a Crack at 'The Nutcracker'

Karen Gabay was eight years old when she first saw The Nutcracker. Correction: Gabay was eight years old when she first appeared in a production of The Nutcracker. It was that formative experience-of being in a production rather than simply watching a performance-that inspired her current role in Silicon Valley Ballet's newest iteration of Tchaikovsky's holiday ballet: she's the choreographer. Until 2013, Gabay had been a beloved principal dancer with SVB (formerly Ballet San Jose) for decades. » Read More

The Tabard Theatre Brings a Live Radio Play Version of 'Miracle on 34th Street'

For Christmas, the Tabard Theatre is doing a play about a radio broadcast of a film. In a Miracle on 34th Street, the ensemble portrays actors reading scripts through old-timey microphones to a studio audience. Meanwhile, a stage manager and sound effects man (Patrick DeRosa) bangs on a typewriter, raps on a small door or prompts blings and clunks from a rotary phone to match the action, manually creating the sonic illusion we outsourced to computers long ago. » Read More

The 'Earth Stories' Exhibit Quilts Address Environmental Issues

In the minds of many, the word "quilt" likely conjures images of pastel patchworks arranged in geometric patterns. They are purely utilitarian objects, sewn by grandma-meant to keep you warm in the winter and to lay folded at the foot of the bed the rest of the year. This is not the case with the quilts on display at "Earth Stories," a juried exhibition of 24 art quilts currently on display at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. The environmentally themed show is offered in conjunction with Studio Art Quilts Associates, an organization dedicated to promoting the art quilt through education and exhibitions. It will run through February. » Read More

'Figaro' Is Delightfully Bawdy, Yet Still Refined

When endeavoring to describe opera, some begin combing through a thesaurus in search of highfalutin adjectives and impassioned verbs. But in Opera San Jose's production of Mozart's classic-and bawdy-The Marriage of Figaro, many of the usual operatic tropes are delightfully subverted, satirized and outright mocked. Set in a Spanish castle, the story occurs in a single, emotionally explosive day. » Read More

Jim Campbell Goes Lo-Fi At The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art

The dark gallery is full of people. Some are sitting on the long wooden bench at the back of the room. Others mill about, shifting back and forth on the balls of their feet, comfortable position after another. Everyone is staring straight ahead at the black box centered in the middle of a white wall. They murmur to each other: What is behind the box? Why is it emitting a kaleidoscope of colors? A few move forward to peer behind the box, unable to let the mystery be. » Read More

'Missing Persons': A New Exhibit at the Cantor

Missing Persons is the name of their thought-provoking new exhibit at the Cantor, and visitors can feel its impact almost immediately upon examining several silhouettes from the 19th century on display. These black shadows were once connected to individuals. In this context, however, surrounded by dozens of other thematically similar photographs and paintings, the silhouettes quickly turn into symbols of someone's absence. » Read More

The Blues Brothers Coming to Campbell's Heritage Theatre

There have been many Saturday Night Live spin-offs over the course of the sketch comedy show's 40 years on the air. Plenty are forgettable-like A Night at the Roxbury and The Ladies Man. Some are tolerable in their quirky context. Coneheads comes to mind. Wayne's World, of course, is truly a gem. » Read More

Silicon Valley Honors Its Ancestors at Multiple Dia de Los Muertos Celebrations

Much like the religious traditions that predate Halloween, the traditional Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos-Spanish for "Day of the Dead"-is tied to honoring family, friends and loved ones who have passed on. Also, like Halloween-which scholars believe to be the result of pagan European harvest festivals being taken into the fold of the Christian church-Dia de los Muertos blends Spanish and Catholic tradition with a centuries-old indigenous celebration honoring the Aztec goddess of the afterlife. » Read More

Seegers Open Liberal Arts School

Back when they were first dating, Dana and Yori Seeger would dream, over beers, about exactly what they would do if they won the lottery. The answer: Open an art school, of course. But not like the schools they'd attended-where they'd experienced complacent faculty, parochial politics and an education lacking connection to the outside world. How can artists create a business for themselves? Who are they in the context of their community, and really, in society? » Read More

Stephen Beal's 'Warp and Weft' Features Geometric Abstractions

At a time when so much of contemporary art is about combining disparate found objects in order to create weird and puzzling assemblage, it is refreshing to find an artist who revels in creating art that celebrates the formal elements and requires-actually invites-close scrutiny. Berkeley artist Stephen Beal has found his niche working within the grid, using it as a formal structure from which to explore geometric abstraction. » Read More