Women Artists Open Show, Sale on Park Street


Alameda Women Artists, a group of women artists who come together for mutual support around their creative projects, opens its special holiday show and sale this evening.

The exhibit kicks off from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, at the Artistic Home Studio & Boutique, 1419 Park Plaza in the Park Street mall area. (The store owners are JaYing Wang & Rachel Ging.)

A second reception is set for 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13.

Some of the participating artists were part of AWA’s recent show at the Alameda Museum, which featured works by Lily J. Abraham, Kate Anderson, Gretchen Blais, Bonnie Randall Boller, Jane Crescent Brundage, Renee Doty, Patricia Edith, Mi’Chelle Fredrick, Wendy Lee Gadzuk, Teddy Goldsworthy-hanner, Deborah Griffin, Miriam Infinger, Barbara James, Deborah Kimsey, Colene Leong, Mary Loughran, Christine Lyons, Karen McCloud, Glenna Mills, Jeanie Moran, Thelma Richard, Joan Tharp, Loretta Franke Valero, Leah Virsik, Nicole Wakeman abd Linda Weinstock.


Ice Rink’s Grand Opening Day Is Here

Ice Rink 2

It’s time to hit the ice: Alameda’s Little Ice Rink is back.

The 3,000-square-foot rink opens at South Shore Center–near Petco–tonight (Friday, Nov. 8) and will stay open seven days a week through Jan. 20in the afternoons.

The Perforce Software Foundation is providing financial support for the rink in cooperation with South Shore Center. (The foundation has raised $2.3 million for charities since its inception.)

“Alameda is home to the company, as well as to many of our 200 Alameda employees, and it’s been my residence for 25 years,” said Christopher Seiwald, CEO of Perforce Software. “We like to invest where we live.”

According to South Shore, the Little Ice Rink will schedule events with local dignitaries and skating celebrities on Friday nights. There will also be Stroller Skates at 2 p.m. each Tuesday, and the San Jose Sharks mascot Sharkie should stop by.

South Shore owner Jamestown says it “takes pride in creating traditions that the whole family can enjoy, year after year,” according to a statement from Jamestown COO Michael Phillips. “The rink, along with our Santa House and Winter Wonderland, will be the site of many community-focused activities this holiday season and memories for years to come.”

The concept for an ice rink in town came up at the office a few years ago “as a bit of lark,” Seiwald says. “When the lot at Park Street and Tilden opened up, it presented an opportunity to really do it!”

That was in the winter of 2011-12. A year later, the rink moved to South Shore, where some 15,000 skaters hit the ice during the holiday season.

“We never imagined it would have such a positive impact,” the executive said. “Last year, as I watched the skaters, a woman who lives alone in Alameda said she came down every day to watch the skaters and stay connected to the Island community. That’s a great example of what the rink can do.”

According to South Shore, the Little Ice Rink will schedule events with local dignitaries and skating celebrities on Friday nights. There will also be Stroller Skates at 2 p.m. each Tuesday, and the San Jose Sharks mascot Sharkie should stop by.


Free Movie, Artist’s Reception Come to Alameda Main Library

Coming up on Monday, Nov. 4, is a free showing of the gothic horror classic “The Devil’s Backbone,” set for 5:30 at the Main Library. The film was directed by Guillermo del Toro.

It tells the story of a 12-year-old whose father died in the Spanish Civil War and then discovers that his orphanage is haunted. An acclaimed director, Del Toro also made “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

On exhibit this month at the Main Library are ceramic and mixed-media creations from Alamedan Susan Galleymore. A former marketing professional, Galleymore has turned her focus to colorful and unusual work, including unique ceramic tiles.

A reception with the artist will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, when she will discuss her work and share refreshments.


Crown Beach Meeting Scheduled

Scout 4

There is a community meeting set for 7 p.m. tonight, Monday, Nov. 4, to discuss the ongoing construction efforts at Crown Beach.

According to the City of Alameda, residents are asked to attend and share their views on the East Bay Regional Park District’s request for extended construction hours.

EPRPD needs input on noise, light and safety issues associated with these expanded construction times, especially from community members who reside near Crown Beach.

The venue for the meeting is the City Hall Council Chambers at 2263 Santa Clara Ave.


Home Restoration in Focus

After San Antonio

The Alameda Architecture Preservation Society presents a talk on historically appropriate additions and alterations at 7 p.m. tonight–Sunday, Nov. 3–at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1420 Lafayette St.

The event’s keynote speakers will be Alameda resident Stephen Ryerson of Ryerson O’Brian Architects, who will share case studies of restoration work involving small projects, as well larger homes. Tickets are $5 for the general public and free for AAPS members.

Ryerson took a class in the mid-1970s at UC Extension about Victorian architecture.

The course, taught by Alameda’s Judith Lynch and the late Gary Kray, gave him the chance to focus on walking tours of Alameda’s top historic homes. He went on to study design façade restoration and “found his calling,” according to the AAPS.


Alameda, Piedmont & Other Young Musicians Take Stage for Two Weekend Concerts in El Cerrito


The Berkeley-based Young People’s Symphony Orchestra is kicking off its 77th season with two concerts this weekend featuring guest pianist Norman Krieger, who teaches at the University of Southern California, and young talent from Alameda, Oakland, Piedmont and 29 other Bay Area cities.

The orchestra, which includes 100 musicians from age 12 through 19 and is led by musical director and conductor David Ramadanoff, will play Aaron Copland’s “El Salón México,” Jennifer Higdon’s “Blue Cathedral” and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor” at El Cerrito High School on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

Krieger, a professor at the University of Southern California, has played with many American and European orchestras. He and Ramadanoff have worked together before through the Vallejo Symphony. They first met briefly at the Juilliard School in New York in the 1970s.

“It’s been a dream of mine my whole life to play” Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3, the talented pianist said in a statement. “It reflects the human condition on an epic scale.”

Despite the seriousness of the piece and his role in the performance, “Krieger doesn’t bring an overly dramatic character but rather a lot of personal touches to it and interesting phrasing,” said Vanessa Li, the group’s concertmaster and a senior at Piedmont High School. “The piece also features huge cadenzas that aim to showcase his technical abilities and how he dramatically interprets the melodies, especially when the orchestra stops playing.”

Bassoonist Isaiah Chiu, a junior at Alameda High School, agrees. “I like the piano concerto the most, because I especially like Russian music. The piece features the soloist, and the three movements have a range of dramatic moods.”

Still, Chiu says, the Copland piece has real audience appeal. “It’s contemporary,” he explained. “And I think people may be a bit surprised at how much they will like it and how great it can be.”

Copland’s “El Salón México” is the favorite of percussionist Ben Esposito, a seventh-grader at Lincoln Middle School. “It’s fast, and I get to play the wood block, which is really fun,” he said.

For Michelle Zhang (in above photo) , a senior at Alameda High who plays both the violin and keyboard, Higdon’s “Blue Cathedral” is both interesting and extremely modern. “It’s a great opportunity to play something beautiful and that involves instruments that aren’t typically used by members of the orchestra,” she said. “I like how it sounds.”

Conductor Ramadanoff, who has been directing the group since 1988, strives to introduce young musicians to new works, such as those written by Higdon. For “Blue Cathedral,” string players like Zhang will be featured shaking Chinese healing reflex balls, while the low brass and horns players will use their musical skills to make sounds from crystal water glasses, he says.

“This is a very unique piece,” said Li, the leader of the violin section, “because it incorporates lots of interesting elements. The author wrote it to commemorate the death of her brother. It includes a huge solo that I play, which is very expressive. The general tone of the piece is very special, contemporary and also emotional.”

What: Young People’s Symphony Orchestra Fall Concert
When: 8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 2; 3 p.m. Sun., Nov. 3
Where: El Cerrito High School Theater, 540 Ashbury Ave., El Cerrito
Cost: $10-$14
Info: 510-849-YPSO or www.ypsomusic.net