Jody Alexander's art seems perfectly fitting for someone who has degrees in both art history and library science.
Several of her works feature discarded books that she has combined with chairs, bookcases and other household furniture to create sculptural installations. The idea is that even though the tomes are no longer read, they now become woven into the very fabric of a home.
This series, called "Sedimentals," explores "the relative ephemeral nature of humans in comparison to the belongings that we accumulate and carry with us through life," Alexander said in a press release. She notes that books, valuable to us as storytellers and record keepers, become part of a household's "sediment" in her works.
Alexander is also a Santa Cruz bookbinder, papermaker and librarian. "Sedimentals" is now on exhibit through May 31 at the Community School of Music and Arts, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View. Mohr Gallery hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 3. Admission is free. Go to http://arts4all.org or call 650-917-6800, extension 306.
'Illustrated Title Pages'
You can't judge a book by its cover, but you sure can appreciate one for its stylish title page. A new exhibition now at Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center traces the evolution of title-page illustrations from 1500 to 1900, showcasing etchings, lithography, drawing, wood engraving and photography.
While title pages used to show just a tome's title and author, they became increasingly embellished during the 16th century, according to a museum press release. Books currently being shown at the museum include works by Chaucer, Aristotle and Dante, as well as editions of the Bible. Artists represented are Pierre Bonnard, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, James McNeill Whistler, Odilon Redon and others.
Two other exhibitions centering on books are also scheduled to open at the museum on June 1: "The Art of the Book in California: Five Contemporary Presses" and "Monuments of Printing, from Gutenberg through the Renaissance."
The Cantor Arts Center is off Palm Drive at Museum Way, open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays until 8. Admission is free. Go to http://museum.stanford.edu or call 650-723-4177.
Americana for a cause: That's the focus of the 2nd Annual PTA Palooza Bluegrass Benefit Concert on May 13. The concert is being planned to raise money for Palo Alto's Juana Briones Elementary School PTA's art and music programs.
Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands, known for bluegrass, folk and country sounds featuring fiddler-singer-songwriter Laurie Lewis, are scheduled to perform. Also on the bill are Palo Alto's Tuttle family with A.J. Lee, and Snap Jackson & The Knock On Wood Players. The concert is sponsored by the Northern California Bluegrass Society.
The performance is planned for 7 p.m. at Spangenberg Theatre at Gunn High School, 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto. Tickets are $10-$65. For more information, go to http://schoolbenefitconcert.ticketleap.com/pta .
The San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra brings its strings to Palo Alto this Saturday, April 30. Their focus: a Baroque setting of the emotional medieval poem "Stabat Mater."
The Saturday concert program is composed of this single poem set to music by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi in 1736. Originally in Latin, the poem is about the thoughts that Mary had at the foot of the cross while Jesus was dying, said Nicola Swinburne Bocus, artistic director of the orchestra.
The community group is a plucked-string orchestra that features members of the mandolin family — mandolin, mandola and mandocello — together with double bass, harp and guitar. For "Stabat Mater," two singers will perform with the orchestra: soprano Susan Gundunas and alto Twila Ehmcke.
Saturday's concert is planned for 4 p.m. at All Saints' Episcopal Church, 555 Waverley St., Palo Alto. Tickets are $12 general and $7 for students and seniors. Go to http://sfmandolin.org .
Peninsula Open Space Trust talk
Jonathan Waterman is a man who knows his waters. He's followed the Colorado River from the Rocky Mountains to the Mexican border, paddled the Sea of Cortez and kayaked across the Northwest Passage. He's also an author, photographer and current National Geographic Society grantee involved with the Southwestern Rivers in Drought Project.
Next Monday, May 2, the explorer is scheduled to give a lecture in Mountain View as part of the Peninsula Open Space Trust's Wallace Stegner lecture series. He'll bring images and anecdotes about the Colorado River and his work on saving water as a resource, with a Q&A and book signing scheduled for after the talk.
Waterman's books include "The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict," published with National Geographic photographer Peter McBride; "Kayaking the Vermillion Sea"; and "Arctic Crossing."
The talk is set for 8 p.m. at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts at 500 Castro St. Tickets are $22. Go to http://openspacetrust.org/lectures or call 650-854-7696, extension 316, for more information.
Choreographers, composers, playwrights, musicians, filmmakers, designers and other Stanford University student artists get the Dinkelspiel Auditorium stage all to themselves this Saturday, April 30, for the 2nd Annual Student Works Festival.
The event, which is free to the public, allows a variety of faculty-nominated student artists to show off their art, including Robert Moses and dance division students; Derek Miller and the Stanford Opera Workshop; Aleta Hayes and her dance group The Chocolate Heads; graduate design students Anisha Jain and Laura Martini; and many others.
The festival is organized by Stanford Lively Arts, the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa) and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. It features both live performances in the auditorium and installation, web and video creations in the lobby.
Performances begin at 6 p.m., with a reception with the student artists scheduled afterward at 7:30. For more information, go to http://livelyarts.stanford.edu .