Delicate water lilies by Jeung H. Kang use a gentle economy of brushwork, while Claudia Stevens' botanical paintings are methodically rendered in the finest detail. "I am fascinated with the architecture and complexity of plant structure," Stevens says in an artist's statement.
Meanwhile, Ichen Wu's art mingles Chinese painting and Western sketching techniques to create landscapes and animal scenes.
These varying approaches combine on the walls of Stanford University's Paul G. Allen Center for Integrated Systems at 420 Via Palou, where the works of these three artists are currently on display in the Stanford Art Spaces program through Sept. 22. The exhibition also continues into the David Packard Building and the psychology office at Jordan Hall.
Stanford Art Spaces shows are on view to the public weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (They also may brighten up the days of the people working in the buildings.) A public reception is scheduled for the current exhibition on Friday, Aug. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Allen Center's reception area.
For more information, call 650-725-3622 or go to http://cis.stanford.edu .
'Sense and Sensibility'
After scoring a palpable hit with a musical version of "Emma" in 2007, TheatreWorks is back in Austentown with another theatrical production based on a Jane Austen novel. "Sense and Sensibility" will soon be on the Mountain View stage with the American premiere of a play written by Roger Parsley and Andy Graham.
The story of the poor but spirited Dashwood sisters will be told anew beginning with 8 p.m. previews on Aug. 24, 25 and 26 and the official 8 p.m. opening on Saturday, Aug. 27. The show runs through Sept. 18 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts at 500 Castro St.
Jennifer Le Blanc ("Opus") plays Elinor Dashwood, while TheatreWorks newcomer Katie Fabel plays her sister Marianne. The story follows them through courtships and confusion, with suitors suitable and not-so. Mark Anderson Phillips, who was also in TheatreWorks' production of "Opus," plays the kind Colonel Brandon, with Thomas Gorrebeeck ("The Chosen") as the soft-spoken Edward Ferrars.
TheatreWorks founding artistic director Robert Kelley directs.
Tickets are $19-$69. For details, go to http://theatreworks.org or call 650-463-1960.
For those hoping to make it in music, or those who just want to watch, a songwriting contest coming to Palo Alto's Media Center could be a good bet.
On the third Wednesday of each month from this October to next July, musicians can play their original songs at the Media Center and be judged on both songwriting and performance, with awards given monthly for the best of each. A special kick-off contest evening is scheduled for Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
The monthly competition is presented by the San Carlos nonprofit West Coast Songwriters, and winning performers will get to play in the WCS playoffs next summer.
West Coast Songwriters has aimed to connect musical people with musical careers since 1979. On its list of past participants is Sara Bareilles, who won a WCS contest before her relative obscurity gave way to mainstream recognition, according to a WCS press release.
Admission for audience members at the Media Center evenings is $5. Songwriters can participate for $15 (WCS members pay $10). Membership, which costs $75 yearly ($40 for under age 21), is required of anyone wishing to be in the running for prizes.
The Media Center is at 900 San Antonio Road in Palo Alto. For more information, go to http://westcoastsongwriters.org . To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 650-494-8686, ext. 11.
Le Jazz Hot Quartet
When guitarist Paul Mehling was 6 years old, he saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. "It was like getting hit by lightning," he later wrote on his website. "I said, 'I wanna do that — make the girls scream and give people the buzz I get from hearing the music."
Nowadays, Mehling's music may give people the buzz, but it's less rock 'n' roll and more swinging and driving. He plays with Le Jazz Hot Quartet of the Hot Club of San Francisco, performing the gypsy jazz that harks back to the late Django Reinhardt and the music scene of the 1920s and '30s. Other musicians contribute fiddle solos, evocative guitar and rhythmic bass.
Le Jazz Hot Quartet comes to town to play a free concert next Thursday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The show happens at Stanford Shopping Center, outdoors on Clock Tower Plaza (near Neiman Marcus). It's part of the annual summer jazz series put on by SFJAZZ, and this is the last concert of the season.
For more information, call 866-920-5299 or go to http://www.sfjazz.org/sfjazz-summerfest .
'History of Recorded Sound'
Jerry McBride, head librarian of Stanford University's Braun Music Library, was profiled in the Weekly in May about one of his favorite projects: the library's Archive of Recorded Sound. He demonstrated a 100-year-old phonograph, picked up 19th-century wax cylinders designed by Thomas Edison, and leafed through countless old LPs.
It was all just a sample of the archive's 350,000 items.
This Saturday morning, McBride will tell even more about the archive. He's scheduled to give a free talk at 11 a.m. on a very large subject: the history of recorded sound. Audience members can plan on hearing a diverse sampling; the archive includes poetry readings, radio broadcasts, musical recordings and speeches by such big names as John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill.
The lecture will be held in the Menlo Park City Council chambers at 701 Laurel St. Free van service is available for Menlo Park seniors and people with disabilities; call 650-330-2512.
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