Worth a Look

Impressionist landscapes, a clinical view of Rodin, a 'Fool for Love'

Art: Your own private Idaho (and California)

Working with a palate of toasty golden brown and light, deep greens and light, sky blues, landscape painter Marty Ricks has captured the essence of the rolling hills and gnarled oaks of California's wine country in his latest collection of works, currently on display at the Atherton Fine Art Gallery.

The Idaho native will be displaying his recent works at the Menlo Park gallery and framing shop through May 1. Collectors interested in impressionistic landscapes will find Ricks has a way of bottling the feeling of a moment, with his eye for color and his ability to convey movement -- in the bend of a river, in the flitting about of wind-blown grass, or the lack of movement on a snowy, gray day in the Midwest (half of the collection at the gallery depict scenes from his home state).

The Atherton Fine Art Gallery is located at 700 E. El Camino Real #165, in Menlo Park. The exhibit is free and open to the public during the gallery's hours -- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Friday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Sculpture: Get inside Rodin's hands

Pondering great works of art can teach us plenty about the human condition. In some cases, it can even give clues to a person's medical condition. When Dr. James Chang first encountered Stanford University's Rodin Sculpture Garden he was merely an undergraduate enjoying the work of the famous French sculptor, Auguste Rodin.

Later, as he studied reconstructive and plastic surgery at the university, he began noticing that some of the hands in the garden displayed symptoms of specific medical conditions. Today, as chief of plastic sand reconstructive surgery at Stanford, Chang uses the hands in the undergraduate seminar he leads, called "Surgical Anatomy of the Hand: From Rodin to Reconstruction."

The Cantor Arts Center, in an unprecedented collaboration with Chang, has turned the seminar into an exhibit: "Inside Rodin's Hands: Art, Technology and Surgery."

"I wanted to participate in this exhibition for the same reason I introduced Rodin into my seminar: to get students in the humanities excited about the sciences, and to get doctors to step out of the hospital to appreciate art," Chang said. "I have found that artists and surgeons appreciate human anatomy with equal passion. Hopefully this will engage more students of art and students of surgery to cross fertilize."

Chang said that he looks forward to continuing to work with the Rodin collection even after this exhibit. He plans to continue teaching his seminar and said he has more Rodin hands to catalog and analyze.

The exhibit begins April 9 and runs through August 3 at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, located at 328 Lomita Dr on the Stanford campus. Admission is free. The center is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 650-723-4177, or visit the Cantor Center's website at museum.stanford.edu.

Play: 'Fool for Love'

Mountain View's community black box theater, The Pear, is finishing its 80th production (and its 12th season) this weekend, with "Fool for Love," Sam Shepard's 1983 play about a pair of estranged lovers who recall their former life together in a small motel room in the Mojave Desert.

The Pear Avenue Theatre, which opened in the summer of 2002, is well suited to handle "Fool for Love," which director Ray Renati described as "atmospheric."

"It's more about the relationships between the people," Renati said.

The cast includes Pear veterans Michael Champlin (Eddie) Bill C. Jones (Old Man). James Kopp (Martin) makes his second appearance at the Pear and April Green (May) makes her debut at the theater, costarring opposite Champlin.

In a promotional video for the production, longtime Pear director Renati said he was excited for the play, which he said was suspenseful, with "an air of impending violence at all moments."

The Pear Avenue Theatre is located at 1220 Pear Avenue, Unit K, Mountain View. "Fool for Love" plays April 3 - April 5 at 8 p.m. and April 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $30. For more information visit the theater's website or call 650-254-1148.


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