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Hayward art exhibit features ‘Places We Have Never Been’

"Awaiting Death"

“Awaiting Death”

By Bruce Roberts

Imagine an art display combining the wackiest, most imaginative of three-dimensional work, along with a shattering array of children’s art focused on the horrors of war: imagination and reality, a combination that startles a viewer’s consciousness.

Foothill Gallery of the Hayward Arts Council is hosting this unique combination from Jan. 15 to Feb. 6 in the show “Places We have Never Been.” The 3-D works are by James Pridham, a man with a long Bay Area career of putting things together—“assemblage” in the world of art.

The children’s drawings and paintings are from Paintbrush Diplomacy, which encourages the exchange of children’s art from around the world. Executive Director Joan Sieber, a Hayward resident, has loaned these pictures, simple in their design, but complex and chilling in their subject.
James Pridham’s work is amazing, crafted with consummate skill and intricate detail. His miniature seaport took 4,000 hours of work, creating every building, every boat, every knot in a His mysterious devices made of found materials challenge the viewer to break out of old categories.

Many are steampunk creations. Steampunk has been defined as Victorian futurism, a sort of “Jules Verne meets Rube Goldberg.” Others have distorted allusions to classical stories and ideas. Fans of J.R.R.Tolkien will love his “Encounter in the Mirkwood” and “Middle Earth Pridham’s flights of fancy are balanced with the serious and tragic pictures created by real children from war zones.

The Paintbrush Diplomacy artwork focuses mostly on art by children caught in the Croatian War of the 1990s, by artists from 8 to 16 years old. A recurring theme is groups of people surrounded by barbed wire, many of them faceless, as if their humanity has been erased.

In other scenes, tanks roll over flowers, armed paratroopers descend through the sky, a large, blood-red hand reaches toward a city. In one particularly violent image, two white doves—traditional symbols of peace—fly before a city exploding with red billowing clouds, while underneath,  a black-hooded figure with slits for eyes and a long gun fires upward.

This thought-provoking exhibit is on display at Foothill Gallery, 22394 Foothill Blvd., Hayward, in the Center for History and Culture. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. The artist’s reception is from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24.

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Hayward: Free improv Jan. 15

HAYWARD — Douglas Morrisson Theatre is having a free night of improv Thursday. Did we mention it’s free?

It will feature members of Made Up Theatre who will use audience suggestions to create improvised skits.

Made Up Theatre will have two different formats of improv during the show: Laugh Track City for the first half of the evening and 5 Play for the rest.

Laugh Track City is a fast-paced short-form improv similar to television’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” The Laugh Track City cast plays a series of improvised games and scenes based on audience suggestions.

Then using a made-up title provided by an audience member, 5 Play will create an improvised “movie.”

It starts at 8 p.m. at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre, 22311 N. Third St., Hayward. www.dmtonline.org, 510-881-6777.

 

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Hayward: Morrisson Theatre Chorus holiday concert Dec. 11-14

HAYWARD — The Morrisson Theatre Chorus will perform its annual holiday concert Dec. 11-14.

“Holiday Concert: Special Songs for a Special Time of the Year” will include classical works, popular holiday songs, Gospel and spiritual pieces and audience sing-along favorites. The chorus is directed by Cesar Cancino

The concerts will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 11-13 and 2 p.m. Dec. 14.

Tickets are $18 adults, $15 senior and $12 junior/student. Douglas Morrisson Theatre is at 22311 N. Third St., next to the senior center and Japanese garden.

The theater’s box office is open from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and can be reached at 510-881-6777. Information is also available at www.dmtonline.org.

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Hayward: Day of the Dead exhibit opens Oct. 8

A.Villegas Dead End Road

“Dead End Road” by Angela Villegas.  Acrylic on canvas.

HAYWARD — A “Day of the Dead” exhibit opens Wednesday, Oct. 8, in the Hayward Area Historical Society’s Center for History & Culture.

The exhibit will feature altars created by local artists and residents. The altars range from traditional to contemporary representations of the holiday, according to a press release. They include photographs to paintings on canvas and leather skateboards to tattoo-style decorative plates.

“It’s fascinating to see the traditional altars mixed with contemporary art and how the holiday is becoming more and more mainstream,” said Amanda Bateman, the society’s community gallery coordinator, in the release.

A free exhibit reception with no-host food and bar will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9. A free public program Saturday, Oct. 11, will include decorating of sugar skulls, face painting and crafts. Admission to the museum will be free that day.

The museum is at 22380 Foothill Blvd. For more information, call 510-581-0223.

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Free play at Hayward park Sept. 7

HAYWARD — “O Best Beloved” will be staged for free Sept. 7 at East Avenue Park.

The family-friendly production is an ensemble adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Just-So Stories.

The play was named “Best of Fringe” at the 2013 San Francisco Fringe Festival.

According to the ensemble’s website: “Rudyard Kipling wrote these tall tales about the beginnings of the world in the voice of a narrator addressing a youngster that he or she calls ‘Best Beloved.’ Kipling wrote the Just-So Stories for his own best beloveds: his two small daughters, who insisted that he tell the stories the same way every time, or ‘just so.’ They’re full of silliness and wordplay, and are delightful when read aloud.”

The ensemble has been performing at area parks and outdoor venues. The Hayward stop is sponsored by the Douglas Morrisson Theatre. It starts at 2 p.m. at East Avenue Park, 3221 East Ave. Those attending should take blankets or lawn chairs.

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Galapagos Islands photos on exhibit in Hayward

IMG_5910_Sea_Lion_Wake_Up_Call_on_Isla_EspanŞola IMG_7002_Galapagos_Hawk

HAYWARD — Photographer Tom Debley is showing some of his work shot in the Galapagos Islands at an exhibit at the shoreline interpretive center.

The exhibit, “In the Footsteps of Charles Darwin,” runs through Oct. 5 at the center, 4901 Breakwater Ave. An artist’s reception is 1-3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 510- 670-7270.

Below is a press release from the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District:

Ever since Charles Darwin first described life in the Galápagos Islands for the world in 1839, they’ve remained an enchanted place. The artist, in this show of photographs of the diverse life and volcanic scenery of the Galápagos archipelago, seeks to capture the spirit of Darwin’s observation that “no one can stand in these solitudes unmoved.”  Enjoy images ranging from those of a Blue-Footed Booby to the Galápagos hawk to the Galápagos giant tortoise. The artist pursues the philosophy of the late Dorothea Lange that “the camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”

Tom Debley first studied photography at California State University, Los Angeles as an undergraduate journalism major.

Over the years as a reporter and editor, including a stint at the Hayward Daily Review, he frequently shot news photographs, winning a California Newspaper Publishers Association statewide award for spot news photography.

Later, as an award-winning public affairs officer at the University of California and Kaiser Permanente, he often oversaw photography for news releases, web sites and publications.

Debley returned to his avocation of photography a decade ago, planning to become an artist in his retirement in 2011.

He has attended many workshops with nationally recognized photographers and taken part in numerous photography competitions.

His work has received honors from the Alameda Photographic Society, Northern California Council of Camera Clubs, Marin County Fair, Photographic Society of America, Photographer’s Forum Magazine, Friends of the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge and the Road Scholar Travel Program.

Debley’s work has been published by newspapers, magazines and websites, and shown at the Commonwealth Club of California and the University of Maine Museum of Art, among other venues.

Debley lives in Oakland. He is a past president of both the Alameda Photographic Society and the Northern California Council of Camera Clubs.

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Hayward: Gospel choir concert at All Saints

HAYWARD — A gospel choir concert takes place Friday, July 18, at All Saints Catholic Church.

The concert will feature four choirs, four soloists and two instrumentalists.

Tickets are $10 or a donation; proceeds will fund scholarships for students graduating from the church’s parochial school. The concert is 7 to 10 p.m. at the church, 22824 Second St.

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Cherryland public art meetings

CHERRYLAND — This unincorporated area is getting a community center and new fire station, and both projects will include public art.

A series of meetings are being held to let residents view the art proposals and give feedback. The next one is 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 24 at the Cherryland Community Center Design Process meeting.  It will be at the Eden United Church of Christ’s Oliver Hall, 21455 Birch St.

The artwork also will be discussed at the Cherryland Community Association meeting Tuesday, July 8. That meeting starts at 7 p.m. and also will be held at Eden United Church of Christ.

Comments can be submitted online through July 9 at http://tinyurl.com/cherrylandart.

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Castro Valley: Aitken senior center to celebrate 25th anniversary

CASTRO VALLEY — The Kenneth C. Aitken Senior and Community Center will marks its 25th anniversary with entertainment by Stagebridge Senior Theatre on Friday, June 20.

Stagebridge, an Oakland senior acting group, performs musical revues, improv sessions, radio dramas and music.

The free celebration will be 1 to 3 p.m. June 20 at the center, 17800 Redwood Road in Castro Valley. The public is invited, and light refreshments will be served.

For more information, go to www.haywardrec.org or call 510-881-6738.

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Hayward: Douglas Morrisson Theatre announces 2014-15 season

HAYWARD — Douglas Morrisson Theatre’s 2014-15 season focuses on journeys.

The season begins with “Wonder of the World” by David Lindsay-Abaire, which runs Aug. 28-Sept. 21. “Candide,” with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Richard Wilbur, will be Nov. 6-30.

Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” plays Feb. 12-March 8, followed by “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” by Randal Myler and Mark Harelik April 16-26. Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth” closes out the season May 21-June 14.

“Every play this season tells the story of a journey, whether it’s to teeter on the brink of Niagara Falls, to find the true meaning of life, to escape a small town, to climb to country music fame and fortune, or even to time-travel through all of human history,” wrote artistic director Susan E. Evans in the theater’s brochure.

The theater’s Alt. Mondays program features Bare Bones staged readings series; Telling Tales, which are storytelling evenings; and a Broadway sing-along night.

Season tickets are available in a variety of packages, with an early-bird discount through June 20. For more information, call 510-881-6777 or go to www.dmtonline.org. The theater is at 22311 N. Third St.