Tuesday, March 21, 2017

“Dialogues in Drawing" group exhibition features contemporary women artists at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery, S.F. through May 13

In honor of Women’s History Month, this mixed-media, group exhibition features works by contemporary women artists Damali Abrams, Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze, Amy Cutler, Donna Dennis, Torkwase Dyson, Anna Sigmond Gudmundsdottir, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Rosemary Mayer, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Ebony G. Patterson, Adrian Piper, Tracey Rose, Alison Saar, Simone Shubuck, Shinique Smith, Sam Vernon and Saya Woolfalk. 

With diverse backgrounds and from varying generations, the women all share a connection through drawing at the core of their creative process and utilize it as a way to explore aesthetic, cultural, political and social issues.


"Beautiful Dreamer," (2015), acrylic, ink, fabric and collage painting on paper. Shinique Smith.


"Starfish," (2016), ink, graphite, fluorescent acrylic and photo transfers. Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze




"Dock and Ship," (2016), gouache and watercolor on paper. Donna Dennis.




"Fossa," (2016), graphite on paper. Amy Cutler.

Jenkins Johnson Gallery, 464 Sutter St., S.F. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday. (415) 677-0770, jenkinsjohnsongallery.com

Images courtesy of the Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

-Stephanie Wright Hession

Monday, March 20, 2017

Local artist Jane Kim creates “Flora from Fauna” murals in downtown Redwood City

Visual artist and science illustrator Jane Kim is currently in the midst of working on “Flora from Fauna,” six interactive murals where bald eagles, squirrels, deer, a great blue heron, a fox and even a domestic dog dwell. 

A detail from “Flora from Fauna,” a series of six murals being created by artist Jane Kim.
Utilizing acrylic paint and latex exterior house paint as her media, Kim began the project on March 15 and expects to complete it by the end of April, weather permitting. Her murals will be located on the exteriors of La Tartine, Arthur Murray Dance Studio, Polam Federal Credit Union, Marshall Street parking garage, 870 Jefferson and on a bench near city hall.

A celebration of the natural world, the purpose of the murals are to instill in the community a desire to love and protect the earth through art. It's Part of the Redwood City Improvement Association’s efforts to bring beauty to its downtown.

-Stephanie Wright Hession




“Urinetown, the Musical,” opens April 8 at the Berkeley Playhouse


A clever, irreverent and humorous commentary on corporate greed as well as an ode to Broadway musicals, “Urinetown, the Musical,” takes place in an urban town in the near future. There, water is scarce and the Urine Good Company and its president Caldwell B. Cladwell regulate all of the restrooms through a corrupt, corporate system.

Pennywise (Jessica Coker) (center) confronts (L-R): Little Sally (Brittney Monroe), Mr. McQueen (Neal Pascua), Bobby Strong (Nikita Burshteyn), Old Man Strong (Phillip Percy Williams) and Josephine (Melinda Meeng) in Berkeley Playhouse’s production of “Urinetown, The Musical.”

The situation creates an unexpected hero, Bobby Strong, a young attendant at Public Amenity #9, a facility utilized by the poorest in the city. When his father can’t afford the daily bathroom fee and suffers terribly because of it, Bobby rises up and sets the scene for a revolt, a love story and toe-tapping musical numbers.

Bobby Strong (Nikita Burshteyn) and Hope Cladwell (Andrea J. Love) in Berkeley Playhouse’s production of “Urinetown, The Musical.”


(L-R): Old Man Strong (Phillip Percy Williams), Josephine (Melinda Meeng), Bobby Strong (Nikita Burshteyn), Little Sally (Brittney Monroe) and Mr. McQueen (Neal Pascua) in Berkeley Playhouse’s production of “Urinetown, The Musical.”


“Urinetown, the Musical. April 6-April 30. $22-$40. Julia Morgan Theater, 2640 College Ave., Berkeley. (510) 845-8542, www.berkeleyplayhouse.org

Photos by Ben Krantz Studio

-Stephanie Wright Hession

Paula Vogel’s “The Baltimore Waltz” opens March 22 at the Magic Theatre, S.F.

With “The Baltimore Waltz,” playwright Paula Vogel takes the audience on an imaginary, satirical journey with schoolteacher Anna and her brother Carl as they escape to Europe. Spurred by Anna’s diagnosis of the fictitious and fatal acquired toilet disease, (ATD), the pair set out in search of a cure and on a sexually adventurous romp through Paris, Amsterdam, Munich and Vienna. 

In reality, the two never take the trip and the setting is actually a Baltimore hospital room where Carl is dying. The play is a poignant tribute to Vogel’s brother Carl, who invited her on an excursion to Europe, which she was unable to take with him. She didn’t know at the time that her brother was HIV-positive. A year after his death in 1988 from AIDS-related complications, Vogel wrote the play while at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire.


Playwright Paula Vogel. Photo courtesy of Magic Theatre.

“The Baltimore Waltz,” directed by Jonathan Moscone. March 22-April 16. $50-$85. Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, 2 Marina Blvd., Building D, S.F. (415) 441-8822, www.magictheatre.org

-Stephanie Wright Hession




Friday, March 10, 2017

Jacob Hashimoto’s “My Own Lost Romance” opening March 11 at the Anglim Gilbert Gallery, S.F.

For his sculpturescreated with a melange of petite, paper discs rendered with graphics and bright hues Jacob Hashimoto employs ancient, Japanese construction techniques, Western sculpture and painting traditions and the digital era’s modular language.

An opening reception from 4-7 p.m., Saturday March 11 celebrates 
“My Own Lost Romance,” his solo exhibition at the Anglim Gilbert gallery.


"My Own Lost Romance, Invocations and Afterglows," (2017), paper, wire, wood and mixed media. Jacob Hashimoto.



"Into This Strangely Fretted Light," (2017), paper, wire, wood and mixed media. Jacob Hashimoto.

Images courtesy of the Anglim Gilbert Gallery.

“My Own Lost Romance,” March 11-April 22. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. Anglim Gilbert Gallery at Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota St., San Francisco. (415) 528-7258, www.anglimgilbertgallery.com



-Stephanie Wright Hession





Monday, March 6, 2017

Robert Minervini’s “Improvised Gardens” opening March 18 at the Rena Bransten Gallery, S.F.

For this solo exhibition, Robert Minervini continues his study into the complex relationship people have with both natural and constructed environments. 

Drawn from walks the artist took throughout San Francisco, the emphasis for much of this body of work is on small, improvised garden spaces. Through these new pieces, he explores how space is controlled in the midst of densely populated, urban areas as a way to bring in some of the natural world.


“Improvised Garden II (Water Street)” (2017), acrylic on canvas. Robert Minervini. Image courtesy of the artist.

“Improvised Gardens,” March 18-April 22. Opening reception, 5-7 p.m., Friday, March 31. Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment. Open until 8 p.m., the first Saturday of each month. 

Rena Bransten Gallery, Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota St., S.F. (415) 982-3292, www.renabranstengallery.com


Town Hall Theatre Company presents “Smokey Joe's Café” through March 25

With music and lyrics by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Smokey Joe’s Café features songs including “On Broadway,” “Poison Ivy” and “Stand By Me.” The Town Hall Theatre Company production is directed by Lauren Rosi.

 (L-R): Glen Riggs, Elizabeth Curtis, and Branden Thomas in “Smokey Joe’s Café” at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette.



(L-R): Cadarious Mayberry, Jamail Davis, and Branden Thomas in “Smokey Joe’s Café” at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette.



(L-R): Jacqueline Dennis and Branden Thomas in “Smokey Joe’s Café,” at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. 

(Front): Jamail Davis and (Rear, L-R): Glen Riggs, Jacqueline Dennis, Katrina McGraw, Elizabeth Curtis, Cadarious Mayberry and Natalie Buster in “Smokey Joe’s Café,” at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette.

Photos: Jay Yamada

“Smokey Joe’s Café,” through March 25. $25-$32. Town Hall Theatre Company, 3535 School St., Lafayette. (925) 283-1557, www.townhalltheatre.com

Monday, February 27, 2017

"The Christians" at San Francisco Playhouse through March 11

Pastor Paul (Anthony Fusco) with his congregation.

While Pastor Paul’s church has grown into a megachurch during the last decade, he's also experiencing a personal crisis of faith. This prompts him to share a shocking revelation during a sermon, which challenges the core beliefs held by the congregation. 

Making its Bay Area premiere at the San Francisco Playhouse, with Anthony Fusco in the lead role, this provocative play by Lucas Hnath examines faith in America and its ability to bring people together or tear them apart. Directed by Bill English.

L-R: Pastor Paul (Anthony Fusco) gets ready to start his service alongside Associate Pastor Joshua (Lance Gardner), Elder Jay (Warred David Keith) and Paul's wife, Elizabeth (Stephanie Prentice). Photos: San Francisco Playhouse

A congregant, Jenny (Millie Brooks), takes issue with Pastor Paul's (Anthony Fusco) sermon.

Photos courtesy of the San Francisco Playhouse.


“The Christians” through March 11. $35-$125. San Francisco Playhouse, Inside the Kensington Hotel, 450 Post St., S.F. (415) 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org.

-Stephanie Wright Hession


Saturday, February 25, 2017

“Monet: The Early Years,” opens today at the Legion of Honor, S.F.

The first major exhibition in the United States focused upon the beginning of Claude Monet’s career, “Monet: The Early Years,” features approximately 60 portraits, still lifes and landscapes from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other public and private collections. 

Created by Monet during a 14-year period starting in 1858 with the first painting he exhibited at the age of 17, these particular paintings offer insight into his growth and development as an artist. Through his observation of how light interacted with surfaces and the exploration of painting textures, Monet began to discover and solidify a revolutionary style of painting, which would help fuel the Impressionism movement.



“Photograph of the young Monet,” (1865) by Étienne Carjat

The exhibition ends with works completed in 1872, the same year that he would join fellow artists including Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro for their first exhibition together in Paris. The group garnered the name Impressionists, after art critic Louis Leroy wrote in a review that the paintings were simply "impressions." 



“View Near Rouelles,” (1858), oil on canvas, Claude Monet. Marunuma Art Park. 



“Luncheon on the Grass, Central Panel,” (1865-66), oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay, Paris


“Adolphe Monet Reading in a Garden,” (1866), oil on canvas. The Larry Ellison Collection.






“Jean Monet Sleeping,” (1868), oil on canvas. Ny Carlsbery Glyptotek, Copenhagen. 



“La Grenouillère,” (1869), oil on canvas, Claude Monet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. H.O. Havemeyer collection.


“On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt,” (1868), oil on canvas. Claude Monet. Art Institute of Chicago. Potter Palmer collection.


“The Pointe de Hève at Low Tide,” (1865), oil on canvas. Claude Monet. Kimbell Art Museum.




“Quai du Louvre,” (1867), oil on canvas. Claude Monet. Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands.

“Monet: The Early Years.” Through May 29. $35 adults; $30 Seniors 65 +; $26 Students, $20 Youth ages 6-17, free children five years and younger, to museum members and to the general public on the first Tuesday of every month. 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., Lincoln Park, S.F. (415) 750-3600, www.legionofhonor.famsf.org.

-Stephanie Wright Hession





"Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show" at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, S.F. through June 25

The first solo museum exhibition and career survey of his work,“Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show,” features almost 350 scribbled, painted text-based pieces created throughout the last three decades. 

With this retrospective, Leibowitz, also known as Candyass, examines identity, queer politics and more from the viewpoint of a gay, Jewish person. 


“Attention All Art Critics,” (1990). Latex on wood panel by Cary Leibowitz. Courtesy of the artist and Invisible-Exports, NYC. 






“Modern Art 5 Cents,” (1995), latex paint on wood panel by Cary Leibowitz. Courtesy of the artist and Invisible-Exports. 




“Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Mediocre,” (1992), latex paint on wood panel by Cary Leibowitz. Courtesy of the artist and Invisible-Exports. 


"Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show." Through June 25. $12-$14, free for 18 years old and younger. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday-Tuesday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F. (415) 655-7800, www.thecjm.org