Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - April 15, 2011

A glimpse of the roots of art

Writers, composers and others from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program speak on 'Where Art Originates'

by Rebecca Wallace

Texas artist Laurie Frick mines the minutes of her life for inspiration. The details she finds in her sleep charts and daily-activity logs become patterns in collages, drawings and installations.

A former high-tech executive, she now uses visual art to explore "science, compulsive organization and the current culture of continual partial attention," she says in her resume.

This year, Frick is spending some time in Silicon Valley, but not in the high-tech world. She's one of the many artists who come from all over to create in the hills near Woodside with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.

Frick and 12 other Djerassi artists will also give free talks in Palo Alto over the next six months about the creative process. Visual artists, composers, writers, a choreographer and a media artist will speak at the Palo Alto Children's Theatre as part of the "Where Art Originates" series, which is also presented by the Palo Alto Art Center (currently closed for renovations).

All talks are scheduled for Monday evenings at 7, with a question-and-answer period following. Some artists will perform or give demonstrations as well.

This year's series begins on April 25. That night, the two artists scheduled to speak are Edmonton poet Jenna Butler, who draws inspiration from Western Canada's prairies and mountains; and visual artist James Barsness of Athens, Ga., whose complex, layered paintings blend elements of drawing and collage.

The next lecture is on June 6, featuring New York short-story writer and novelist Aaron Hamburger speaking together with visual artist Lena Lapschina of Lagenlois, Austria.

On July 11, Budapest composer and pianist Krisztina Megyeri is scheduled to speak along with Montreal visual artist Karen Tam, whose media include video, sequins and rice bags.

Poet Cliff Forshaw, who teaches in the English department at the University of Hull in England, will give the Aug. 15 lecture with New York photographer Rosalind Solomon, known to many for her portraits.

Sept. 19 brings choreographer Andee Scott of Austin, Texas, and media artist Simon Zoric of East Bentleigh, Australia.

The final lecture, on Oct. 24, features three artists: Laurie Frick; San Jose composer Hafez Modirzadeh; and visual artist Katherine Sherwood of Rodeo, Calif.

Info: All lectures are at the Palo Alto Children's Theatre at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 650-747-1250. For more information, go to http://djerassi.org .

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