Remember when I said Brad Pitt was rumored to be in the running to play Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane in the upcoming movie “Moneyball?” Well, it’s all official and everything now. With director Steven Soderbergh at the helm, the movie is supposed to be shot in Oakland and Los Angeles. I’m going to start getting used to seeing film crews around here, which has become so common that I stumbled across one the other night at OPD headquarters on 7th street shooting an episode of “Parenthood.” They were filming inside the old jail. It was so strange to see people in there.
The Gamelan Sekar Jaya, one of the oldest Balinese musical-dance groups in the country, is celebrating the big 30. The dancers and music are magical. Performances are scheduled May 22, 23 and 24 at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, in SF. But GSJ is a hybrid of Bali and the East Bay. Tickets: sfiaf.org or 800-838-3006.
Some may same that UC Berkeley basketball forward Jamal Boykin’s moves on the court are a work of art.
But another true work of art are the 44 portraits he drew of President Barack Obama and his family. It was Boykin’s New Year’s resolution to renew his passion for drawing, which he’s been doing since he was a youngster.
After drawing one picture of President Obama in an airport on a Cal basketball road trip, he decided to make it his goal to draw 44 pictures of the 44th president.
It’s his ultimate goal to one day be able to present the drawings to the president. But for now he will show of the color drawings, which also include Michelle Obama and the couple’s children, on Saturday, May 9 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Alphonse Berber Gallery, 2546 Bancroft Way in Berkeley. Boykin plans to speak at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The art includes photography by Cal guard Nican Robinson.
An ABC story on Boykin is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-fbyEZbaCk
Cal basket guard Patrick Christopher will recite poetry at the event, a fundraiser for art supplies at Malcolm X Elementary School in Berkeley. Boykin’s drawings will also be shown at galleries in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. in the future.
Boykin is a 6-7, 230-pound forward who was the California state player of the year as a high school senior. He transferred to UC Berkeley from Duke University in 2007.
Thanks to LOTS of public pressure from assorted bloggers (dto510, Becks from Living in the O, etc…) and downtown neighbors, Oakland’s elected leaders decided late Tuesday night that maybe a temporary (until June 2011) surface parking lot with only 110 spaces wasn’t perhaps the best use of a prime piece of property on Telegraph Avenue next to the Fox Theater. Especially since it was gonna cost $400,000 or $500,000 (paid by developer Forest City) and be months before it would be ready for use.
Besides the wealth of alternate ideas that folks had for the space were just so darn great (park, plaza, large sculpture space, pee-wee golf), the council couldn’t help but take notice, apparently.
So last night the council voted to give the community two weeks to develop a plan to transform the dirt lot into a spot to display large public art, a la Burning Man-sized creations. Like IT by Michael Christian??? How cool would that be???
Could great art like this be headed downtown? Stay tuned.
So word has it that a group called FirstFridays.com (or something similar) is saying that no one can use the double-F moniker. The group, which was East Coast based but recently opened a branch in SF as I understand it, went so far as to call up the East Bay Express to complain about its list of First Friday venues. If the story and threat are true, the group is going to have a whopper of a time weeding out all the First Fridays around the country. A Google search for First Fridays brings up cities from Las Vegas to Kansas City to Philly. Even our Oakland Museum and the LA Museum of Natural History host First Fridays.
Art galleries carefully guard the “Art Murmur” label already. So other cities are turning to First Saturdays (in Berkeley) and Second Fridays (in Alameda) and the “Estuary Art Attack” (an Alameda-Jingletown corridor). We could go for Fridays First if that’s not taken too. I have to look up the sites listing the trademarks to see what the validity of the company’s claim is.
Farley’s East is giving friends and family a little preview of what looks like will be a fantastic addition to the West Grand corridor near Luka’s, Pican, Ozumo and upcoming Era (I know I keep mentioning Era but I am dying for a club!). The official opening at 33 Grand is June 1, according to owners and Oakland residents Chris and Amy.