Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - October 12, 2012

Worth a look

Art

'Dames and Posies'

A delicate ankle, a flutter of cyclamens, a red-and-white hat on the beach. These details make up the world of Nancy Wulff's ink drawings and watercolor paintings: people and places, rich with mood, many sketched from life.

Wulff, a longtime South Bay artist who has taught at Palo Alto's Pacific Art League, is currently showing her work in a solo exhibition titled "Dames and Posies" at Gallery 9 in Los Altos. While she has a business background, she more recently earned a bachelor's degree in art education at San Jose State University, and now teaches drawing and watercolor at Quinlan Community Center in Cupertino.

The exhibition runs through Oct. 28 at 143 Main St. Admission is free, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4. Go to gallery9losaltos.com or call 650-941-7969.

Book Arts Jam 2012

After many years at Foothill College, the annual Book Arts Jam is moving to Palo Alto this time around, celebrating the beauty and versatility of the book at the Lucie Stern Community Center. On Saturday, Oct. 20, artists will display art books of all materials, shapes and sizes (including miniature); hand-marbled paper; letterpress work; and other creations related to books, paper and printing.

Jone Manoogian of Palo Alto is a founding member of Bay Area Book Artists, which puts on the event. Other local artists include Jamila Rufaro, Dena Mosser, Daniela Barnear, Carol Matre and Nancy Welch. Some use unusual materials. Welch, for instance, favors handmade papers fashioned from garden clippings and other fibers. San Mateo artist Judith Hoffman works in copper, brass and silver.

Events during the day will include talks by such artists as Mary Risala Laird, on fine-binding and letterpress; and Darius B'Alexander on origami art and "paper engineering." Kids and adults will be able to participate in art activities as well.

The jam runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1305 Middlefield Road. Admission is free. For more information, go to bookartsjam.org.

Film

Silicon Valley African Film Festival

More than 30 films from many African countries will be shown this weekend in Mountain View at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival. Presented by the Oriki Theater together with the Community School of Music and Arts, the annual festival is in its third year.

Feature-length and short films, together with animated movies, will represent both new and emerging African filmmakers. The variety of stories will include Khaled Sayed's 92-minute documentary "Stories from Tahrir," which profiles dozens of people living in Egypt today, on many sides of the big issues facing the country. A lighter option is "Yarawtis Digis (The Animal Party)," a 10-minute animated movie by Ethiopian filmmaker Ezra Wube based on a folkloric tale.

This year, the festival will give special honors to Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani, the "2012 Africa Reel Award," in recognition of his substantial body of work. Kelani's new feature film, "Maami," will be shown; it follows Nigerian soccer star Kashimawo dealing with his past of poverty and his present of success and fame.

After an opening ceremony starting tonight, Oct. 12, at 5:30 p.m., screenings are planned for Saturday and Sunday, with a closing and awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Sunday. Workshops, dance performances, African drumming and talks by filmmakers are among the other activities planned.

All events are at the Community School of Music and Arts at 230 San Antonio Circle in Mountain View. One-day passes are $20 general and $15 for students and seniors; full-festival passes are $30/$25. Go to arts4all.org or call 650-917-6800, extension 305.

Music

California Bach Society

Fittingly, the California Bach Society sings J.S. Bach for its season-opening concerts this month, taking on a major masterpiece: the Mass in B Minor.

This complete setting of the Latin Mass has inspired many adjectives over the centuries. Earlier this century, National Public Radio commentator Ted Libbey called the work "lofty," and wrote, "It represents an attempt to both summarize the tradition of the mass in a single perfect specimen and leave a statement on the nature of sacred music as a bequest to the future."

The Palo Alto-based chamber chorus' interpretation of Bach's tour de force will also feature a Baroque orchestra, including trumpeter John Thiessen, oboist Molly McDolan and violinist Katherine Kyme. Vocal soloists are: soprano Jennifer Paulino, mezzo-soprano Danielle Reutter-Harrah, alto Paul Flight (who is also artistic director of the society), tenor Brian Staufenbiel, and baritone Christopheren Nomura.

Locally, the group will perform the Mass at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto, at 8 p.m. Oct. 13. Other performances are scheduled this weekend in San Francisco and Berkeley. Tickets are $30 at the door, with discounts available for seniors, concert-goers under age 30, and people who purchase in advance. Go to calbach.org or call 650-485-1097.

Talk

Natalie Batalha

Kicking off the 13th annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, Natalie Batalha, mission scientist for NASA's Kepler Project, will give a free talk on Oct. 17 at Foothill College. Designed as an illustrated, non-technical lecture, the talk is titled "Finding the Next Earth: The Latest Results from Kepler."

The Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009 as part of the continuing search to find planets orbiting other stars. Batalha plans to talk about the planets that have been found, which include one with two suns. She'll also cover the techniques that the Kepler team uses to identify such planets.

Also a research astronomer at NASA Ames Research Center, Batalha has a doctorate from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Exoplanets have become an increasingly hot topic for her.

The lecture series is organized by the college, NASA Ames, the SETI Institute and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Wednesday's talk is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at 12345 El Monte Road in Los Altos Hills. Visitors must buy parking permits for $3. Go to foothill.edu or call 650-949-7888.

To hear past lectures in the series, go to astrosociety.org and click on "Resources and Education," then "Programs."

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