Ten works from Patricia A. Montgomery’s collection of quilted coats honoring heroines of the civil rights movement are on exhibit through March 18 in the San Marco Gallery, Archbishop Alemany Library, at Dominican University in San Rafael. On Saturday, February 11 at 1:30 pm, Montgomery is presenting an artist’s talk in the university’s Guzman Hall. Also scheduled is a closing reception on Sunday March 5, 2-5 pm.
The exhibit and talk are the latest in a string of solo exhibits and juried group shows to feature Montgomery’s work, which she developed through a collaboration with the African American Museum and Library at Oakland and first exhibited there. Montgomery researched stories of women who played pivotal roles in the civil rights movement but who often were overlooked. She then embodied their stories in her innovative coats that draw upon the African American story quilt tradition.
At 6 pm. on Thursday, February 9, at the Roxie Theater, SF Indie Fest is hosting a reception to celebrate the life of filmmaker Lise Swenson. Swenson will be honored posthumously with the SF IndieFest Vanguard Award. At 7:15 the festival is presenting the premiere screening of Swenson’s new film Saltwater. Saltwater also is being shown on February 11 at 2:45 pm following a free 12:30 pm retrospective showing of Swenson’s 2004 Mission Movie, which was developed in collaboration with Southern Exposure and supported by the Creative Work Fund.
SF IndieFest writes of Lise, “As both a filmmaker and professor she pushed artistic boundaries and inspired legions of aspiring and accomplished filmmakers in the Bay Area film community. Sadly, after many years of creating and inspiring others, Lise passed away last year.”
Tickets are available ($12 in advance and $14 at the door).
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation‘s Performing Arts Program is hosting a webinar this Thursday, January 26, at 10 a.m. to introduce a new five-year initiative, the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions. Nonprofit organizations based in the 11-county San Francisco Bay Area will be eligible to receive grants ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 to work with outstanding artists from anywhere in the world to create 50 new works of performing arts of exceptional quality and enduring value and to premiere them in local communities.
Those interested in the Thursday Webinar should register in advance.
The first year of this five-year initiative will support music composition in diverse genres, including, but not limited to: jazz, world music, symphonic, contemporary, and choral music, as well as folk and traditional music. Future years will focus on other performing arts disciplines: theater, dance, folk and traditional arts, and film and media.
The Creative Work Fund is delighted to help spread the word about an exciting program that represents a groundbreaking opportunity for Bay Area organizations and their audiences. Please note that the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions are an initiative of the Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts programs and queries should be addressed to that source — not the Creative Work Fund.
In 2010, the Creative Work Fund awarded a grant to Matthew Passmore and Nathan of Lynch of Rebar to collaborate with Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge on improving the nesting environment for seabirds on islands off the Northern California coast. The challenge the birds faced was that storms and wind were causing erosion on island beaches, where they had long built burrowing nests. Passmore, Lynch, and students at California College of the Arts developed environmentally friendly clay nest modules suited for Rhinoceros Auklets and, with scientists and Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge staff, installed them on Año Nuevo Island. Scientists anticipated that several years might pass before the birds adopted the modules, but they took to them right away.
The team’s work has continued and to date they have deployed clay modules on four California islands, providing safe homes for more than 100 seabird fledglings of four species. Featured here is a Cassin’s Auklet chick that successfully fledged from a new clay nest this year. This new nest design builds off of what was learned with the Rhinoceros Auklet nests supported by the Creative Work Fund.
The Oikonos team now is holding an Año Nuevo campaign to share island results with volunteers and raise much needed donations to continue this work.
In collaboration with Asian Americans for Community Involvement, composer and instrumentalist Van-Ahn Vo developed The Odyssey: From Vietnam to America, a new multi-disciplinary work reflecting the stories of Vietnamese Boat People, which premiered in January 2016 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The work now will be featured on February 4 as part of Kronos Quartet’s “Kronos Festival 2017: Here and Now” February 2-4, 2017 program. All performances are at SF Jazz Center. Tickets are available.
Culminating more than a year of collaboration and project development, Liberian dancer, choreographer, director, craftsman, and costume designer Nimely Napla and Diamano Coura West African Dance are premiering a new ballet, The Forbidden Bush, on November 26 and 27, 2016 at Laney College’s Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center in Oakland. Performances are at 8 pm on the 26th and 3 pm on the 27th. Tickets are available.
On November 11 and 12 at 8 p.m., El Son de la Misión, A Musical Journey from 1960-Present, developed through a collaboration among composer/arranger John Calloway, scriptwriter and lyricist Carlos Barón, and other artists with the San Francisco Community Music Center, returns to Brava! Theater Center for two nights only. This musical suite that tells a 50-year story of San Francisco’s Mission District — illuminating the neighborhood’s social and artistic movements through its musical developments. When premiered in March 2016, El Son de la Misión sold out and producers had to turn away many disappointed would-be audience members. The artistic partners, with help from Brava!, determined to re-mount it.
The November version of the work, developed with assistance from 3 López Productions, features compositions by the lead artists as well as by guest composers Francisco Herrera, Greg Landau, John Santos, Soltron, and Bayonics. The multi-generational cast features actors Carlos Barón and Araceli León, alongside numerous Mission District music students and professional performers.
Tickets are available.
Image by: Carlos “Kookie” Gonzalez
Photographer Robert Dawson and writer/historian Ellen Manchester have spent two years collaborating with the Library and Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County and the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library to photograph libraries, bookmobiles, and literacy programs throughout the county. A photographic exhibition based on the artists’ investigation opens on November 10 at the LH Horton Jr. Gallery at San Joaquin Delta College. Dawson is presenting a free artist’s talk from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the 10th in the Delta College West Forum lecture hall. An opening will follow from 5-7 p.m. in the LH Horton Jr. Gallery and will feature a performance by With Our Words Youth Poets.
The exhibition is the first in a series of public programs and publications by Dawson and Manchester “that seek to provide a realistic context for the challenges facing these communities and to celebrate and honor the efforts of the many individuals and organizations that have dedicated their work to increasing literacy, promoting civic engagement and advocating for programs that broaden the social, cultural, economic and educational well-being of the region.”
Image: “ELL Students” by Robert Dawson
Traditional quilter Patricia Montgomery collaborated with the African American Museum and Library at Oakland to create a collection of quilted coats — each incorporating the story of a forgotten heroine of the Civil Rights movement. Montgomery’s “Claudetta Gets Arrested” (pictured here) won first prize in the wearable art category at the 2016 Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara (October 13-16). Her piece was cited as an “innovative design — vest, jacket, or coat.” Congratulations to Patricia!
Photo by Karen Boutte