Among all the Olympic flurry and excitement, success and underdog stories abound. Painter Tom Montan's portrait of Julia Stamps Mallon tells one such story.
While she was a student at Stanford University, the world-class middle-distance runner shattered her leg in a skateboarding accident and was told she would never race again. In 2011, following years of rehabilitation and rigorous training, Mallon qualified for the Olympic marathon trials.
"Although she didn't make it onto the team she continues to train," Montan said in an email. "Watch out, Brazil, in 2016."
Mallon became Montan's daughter's cross-country coach, and her story became his inspiration. His painting "the sound of white," which depicts Mallon running in front of an incarnation of her former self, is part of a new exhibition, "Figures and Faces," at the Pacific Art League. The show of 46 pieces by 35 artists opens tonight, Aug. 3, with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
The exhibition's juror, Oakland artist Hung Liu, gave "the sound of white" the third-place prize in the show. First place went to Denver art professor Mary Connelly's oil painting "Communion Day," which is based on a black-and-white photo of her mother. Belmont photographer Bill Jackson, a member of the Palo Alto Camera Club, won second place with his dramatic archival digital print "Untitled #2," depicting a seated man with his head leaning on a cane.
The show runs through Aug. 30 at 668 Ramona St. in Palo Alto, open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 to 4. Admission is free. For more information, go to http://pacificartleague.org or call 650-321-3891.
San Francisco Mime Troupe
While New York protestors camp out on city streets decrying Wall Street's abuses, director Michael Gene Sullivan sits at the helm of the San Francisco Mime Troupe's satirical musical "For the Greater Good, or The Last Election" in his own attempt to bring the 1 percent to justice.
Known for its socially conscious theater, the troupe is on tour with its tale of banker and die-hard capitalist Gideon Bloodgood, who faces the threat of socialism and the potential ruin of the free market as the nation's malcontents fight for regulations, economic equality and bus passes.
Sullivan, a member of the mime troupe for more than 20 years, directs Velina Brown, Ed Holmes and Reggie D. White, among others, in the satire, which includes original music by the mime troupe's composer Pat Moran.
"The Last Election" will be performed outdoors at Palo Alto's Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive, on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. The performance is free. For more information, go to http://sfmt.org or call 415-285-1717.
Richard Rodgers Sing-Along
Schola Cantorum's "An Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Richard Rodgers" event is where audience participation meets "Edelweiss."
The Los Altos choir will be hosting a sing-along to the songs of Rodgers, including tunes from "Oklahoma!" and "The Sound of Music." Dawn Reyen will lead the participants on piano, and the lyrics will be conveniently projected on screens throughout the venue.
For those more classically inclined, Schola Cantorum is also hosting another sing-along on Aug. 6. Mozart's Mass in C minor will be presented under the direction of Vance George, with the audience joining in.
General admission is $15, and students up to age 25 get in free. The sing-alongs will be hosted in the Los Altos Methodist Church at 655 Magadalena Ave. on Aug. 6 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, go to http://scholacantorum.org or call 650-254-1700.
The 64th annual Obon Festival, hosted by the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple at 2751 Louis Road, will again celebrate the fusion of Japanese-American culture with food, music and dance.
The public event will span two days and include both Japanese and American food, a Japanese folk-dance performance, live music, tai chi and kendo demonstrations. The festival will also include kid-friendly activities and competitions, as well as adult-friendly shopping and lectures about Buddhism. Visitors can also tour the temple.
The event will culminate at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Bon Odori, a communal dance around the outside gazebo for all festival-goers to watch and participate in.
Events begin at 5 p.m. on Aug. 4 and again at noon on Aug. 5. Admission is free. For more information, go to http://pabt.org or call 650-856-0123.
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