Foothill College photography instructor Ron Herman is making it a mission to educate his students about Cuba — firsthand. He's now taken groups of students from his advanced courses to the island nation three times to capture the faces, free enterprise, vintage cars and general everyday life.
Next Wednesday, Nov. 28, a new show of works from the third trip, called "Cuban at Heart: A Photographic Exhibition," goes up at the Krause Center for Innovation (KCI) Gallery, spotlighting the photos of 16 students and their teacher. Local participants include Le Lu, Susan Neville and Lisa Van Dusen of Palo Alto and Ann Eddington of Menlo Park.
On their blog, which is at cubanatheart.wordpress.com, the students wrote about being warmly and openly received by the Cubans. They also said they felt this is a momentous time to visit the country.
"Newly introduced free enterprise, entrepreneurship and redevelopment are taking hold ... These changes are impacting the look of Cuba, which has appeared frozen in time since the 1950s. A Ford automobile from the '50s and an age-old game of dominoes might be seen right next to a modern skyscraper," they wrote. "We felt an obligation to capture this romantic, timeless Cuba of contradictions before it is gone."
The show of 39 photos will be up through Jan. 16, with an opening reception set for Nov. 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. The gallery is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 5 (closed Dec. 17 through Jan. 6 for the holidays). The college is at 12345 El Monte Road in Los Altos Hills; go to foothill.edu.
Before the show opens, visitors have one last chance to check out a show of photo-based works by Cuban artist Jose Manuel Fors in the KCI Gallery: on its closing day, Monday, Nov. 26.
Meanwhile, Stanford Art Spaces also has a Cuban theme to its current exhibit. Bay Area photographers who have taken trips to the country with Redwood City photographer Charles Anselmo in recent years are showing their work through Jan. 17 at the Center for Integrated Systems at 420 Via Palou, the adjacent David Packard Building, and the psychology offices at Jordan Hall, all at Stanford University.
The spaces are open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is free. A reception is planned for Nov. 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. Go to http://cis.stanford.edu/~marigros/ .
Californians may not be that familiar with the vivid combination of snowy days and sudden bursts of sun, but Nancy Calhoun's new painting exhibition can give them a taste of it in watercolor. Her solo show, called "Winter Sun and Bear Trails," will be up next month at Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos.
Calhoun has often been inspired by the Southwest, and many of her paintings in the series depict Santa Fe scenes, with warm-hued buildings and pueblo views. With a background in oil painting, she switched to watercolor for its "freshness," and now works sometimes on paper, sometimes on clayboard, she wrote in an artist's statement.
"No painting ever ends up the way it was planned," she said. "Somewhere during the process the painting asserts itself and takes over and I have to be ready to take advantage of this moment and follow where it leads."
Calhoun's paintings, which also include images of bears, will be up in the gallery at 315 State St. from Dec. 4 through Jan. 5. A reception is planned for Dec. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 to 3. Go to http://viewpointsgallery.com or call 650-941-5789.
The New Esterhazy Quartet
Turkey and pie will be followed by healthy helpings of Beethoven and Haydn this Sunday afternoon for audience members at All Saints' Episcopal Church.
The Bay Area-based New Esterhazy Quartet is serving up a post-Thanksgiving meal featuring Beethoven's six-movement Quartet in B-flat, Op. 130, which includes the renowned, expressive "Cavatina." Also on the program are Haydn's Quartet in G, Op. 17, No. 5; and Anton Ferdinand Titz' Quartet No. 5 in D Minor. The musicians note that the "Cavatina" was chosen as part of the "golden record" sent into space in 1977 with samplings of music, languages and other sounds from Earth.
The four musicians — violinists Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violist Anthony Martin and cellist William Skeen — founded their quartet in 2006. Its name is a tribute to the noble Esterhazy family, patrons to Haydn.
The concert begins at 4 p.m. at 555 Waverley St. in downtown Palo Alto. Tickets are $25 general, with discounts available for students and seniors. Go to http://newesterhazy.org or call 415-520-0611.
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