Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

“ART” and friendship at City Lights Theater Company

Serge (Jeffrey Bracco) and Yvan (Max Tachis) checking out the all-white painting in "Art" by Yasmina Reza. Photo by Mike Ko /

Serge (Jeffrey Bracco) and Yvan (Max Tachis) checking out the all-white painting in “Art” by Yasmina Reza. Photo by Mike Ko /

ART is a Tony Award winning play (1998 Best Play) now showing at City Lights Theater Company in San Jose.  Directed by Veronica Drake and starring Kit Wilder, Jeffrey Bracco and (always my favorite) Max Tachis, it is both a very humorous and very French show.  Playwright Yasmina Reza is also known for the plays Conversations After a Burial, Winter Crossing, and God of Carnage, and to be honest, she is not my favorite playwright.  City Lights however has gathered a very talented cast and manages to pull off a show that had the entire audience laughing throughout.

Serge, Marc and Yvan have all been friends for many years until one day Serge buys a very expensive piece of art.  He is delighted with his purchase, and shows it proudly to Marc, who promptly calls it “Sh!t” and then loses his mind when he finds out that Serge has paid 200,000 francs.  Why is Marc so upset?  Because the painting is a 5′ x 4′ canvas that has been painted white.  All white.  And while you can see three very very light diagonal white lines and one white horizontal line on the white background, the painting is indeed, entirely white.

What follows is 90 minutes of Marc belittling and berating Serge, Serge feeling very hurt and offended by Marc’s opinions, and both of them having little patience for young Yvan who appears to take whichever side is easiest at the moment. They angrily debate whether the painting is actually entirely white, or whether there are shades of grey, yellow, or even red in it.  The arguments get more and more vehement, hurt and broken feelings rise to the surface, relationships within and without are questioned, and three friendships are soon on the rocks.

I have been awed by Max Tachis’ talent since I saw him starring in  Renegade Theatre‘s 9 Circles; he also voiced a character in The Smell of The Kill, and wrote the play Perishable, Keep Refrigerated which is still playing at Renegade Theatre Experiment (Hoover Theater) through September 27.  Nine Circles was a traumatic, cathartic performance, but here Tachis plays a more humorous role, and does it splendidly, with the most hilarious expressions and body language.  He is an amazing local talent we are all very lucky to have. Kit Wilder and Jeffrey Bracco inhabit their more serious roles very well also, playing well with the three very different character personalities.

This play is for anyone interested in how relationships form and unravel or how the ties that bind in friendships can also lead to great pain.  If you enjoy God of Carnage you will likely also love Art as they are very similar in tone, experience, and some themes.  It is a quick, fast paced show with no intermission, and the audience on opening night had an excellent time!

Through October 19
City Lights Theater Company
529 South Second Street, San Jose

Serge (Jeffrey Bracco), Marc (Kit Wilder), and Yvan (Max Tachis) in City Lights Theater Company's production of Yasmina Reza's "Art," translated by Christopher Hampton. The show runs Sept. 18-Oct. 19 at 529 S. Second St. in San Jose. Details:

Serge (Jeffrey Bracco), Marc (Kit Wilder), and Yvan (Max Tachis); photos by Mike Ko/

Chalk Art Festival in Luna Park

lunapark-chalk-art-festivalOn Saturday, September 20 Backesto Park comes alive with the 7th annual Luna Park Chalk Art Festival.  The festival is an all-volunteer run event created to provide a family-friendly, accessible venue to showcase the talents of local artists and students, foster awareness of the critical need for arts in schools and organizations serving youth, and to raise funds for providing grants and scholarships to meet that need.

No longer a tiny neighborhood event, the festival has grown, bringing in talented performers and musicians, vendors and food trucks, including some of my favorites, Hill Country BBQ and Waffle Amore! The dancers from  Movimiento Cosmico Indigenous Dance will be there too with their stunning ceremonial dances.

Check out the Flickr feed for the Luna Park Chalk Art Festival for more photos and follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter too.

If you’d like to participate as an artist or support the festival as a volunteer or sponsor , registration for all artists, artist/vendors, schools, and nonprofits is located here.

Experience Modernist Cuisine at The Tech

Mushroom Swiss Burger Exploded diagraom

If you love food photography and the science of cooking, you’re going to love this event on Friday 8/22 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM at The Tech. You’ll be able to explore the Photography of Modernist Cuisine exhibit and:

  • Get a  behind-the-scenes look at the exhibition from Scott Heimendinger from the Modernist Cuisine team. 
  • Learn modernist techniques from experts with hands-on components throughout the night inspired by Modernist Cuisine
  • Have some of Nathan Myhrvold’s favorite local food. (The former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer is also the tech leader and visionary behind the wildly successful Modernist Cuisine company).
  • Have a cocktail or head to the rooftop terrace of the museum for wine tasting with a spectacular view of the downtown San Jose skyline. 

Here’s a  quick tour of the exhibit. See you there!

Event information:

August 22, 2014 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. $25 non-members/$20 members in advance $30 non-members/$25 members at the door $10 for wine tasting on the roof Get your tickets here.

Judy Chicago: A Butterfly for Oakland

The Oakland Museum of California presents a retrospective of artist, author, feminist, educator, and intellectual Judy Chicago’s work. Digitized images from A Butterfly for Oakland, Chicago’s 1974 site-specific installation on the shore of Lake Merritt, will be on view.

A Butterfly for Oakland was created using a combination of commercial fireworks and road flares. The displays were then lit by hand, resulting in a “painting” of colored smoke.

Photographers documented the display, the images have been digitized and a selection will be on view in OMCA’s Gallery of California Art.

A Butterfly for Oakland
through November 30, 2014

Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, Oakland 94607
888-OAKMUSE (625-6873) – Toll-free

Wednesday – Thursday, 11 am – 5 pm
Friday, 11 am – 9 pm
Saturday–Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday

Admission rates
$15 general
$10 seniors (ages 65+) and students, with current ID
$6 youth, ages 9 – 17
Free for children 8 and under and for OMCA Members.
Note: Admission is free the first Sunday of every month.

Enter the Museum parking garage entrance on Oak Street between 10th and 12th streets.
 Parking is $1/hour with Museum validation.
 Parking without validation is $2.50/hour.
 Take your ticket to the Ticketing booth on Level 2 for validation.

Two-wheel tour of San Jose’s Art Boxes

One of the great activities at last month’s Luna Park Chalk Art Festival was a bike tour of 24 of the “art boxes” recently created around San Jose. The art boxes are city-owned utility boxes that have been painted by local artists, each in the artist’s individual style. Decorating the boxes has turned these eyesores into public art, and is also expected to deter graffiti (and in case it doesn’t, each box is triple-coated with an anti-graffiti coating).

The bike ride was led by San Jose Bike Clinic, and was originally planned as a one-time event. But Art Box project leader Tina Morrill has shared the route with us, and it’s now available on Box in two parts: a map with directions and a list of boxes and artists.

The ride is 15 miles long and passes 19 of the project’s 34 or so completed boxes in the Northside, Japantown, the Alameda, and Willow Glen. An optional 8-mile extension covers five additional boxes in the Berryessa area. The directions are given for starting and ending at Backesto Park in the Northside, but it would be easy to start anywhere along the route and complete the loop.

Given San Jose’s flat geography, the ride should be reasonable for most people or families to do in an afternoon, but as always you should keep your personal fitness level in mind when planning to ride. Also be sure to ride safely, wear a helmet, and obey the rules of the road.

Zero1 [e]merges

Silicon Valley’s premier art event, the Zero1 biennial, kicked off last night with a street festival dubbed [e]merge.

The festival featured live music and numerous art exhibits including performances and interactive displays.

The biennial’s theme this year is “Seeking Silicon Valley”, and the art on show at the festival last night did show a return to the art/technology blend of the first Zero1 event, in contrast to the 2008 and 2010 biennials where the focus seemed to have broadened into more traditional art media.

The Zero1 biennial continues through October 3 December 8. There will be continuing exhibitions at the Zero1 Garage in South Hall (439 S First St). There will also be ongoing public art displays around town. The Urban Screen will continue to show interactive projection projects tonight (Saturday, Sept 15, at 300 S First St).

SubZERO lets it all hang out

I had a fantastic time at the annual SubZERO art festival last night. The festival has been getting a lot of press in the Mercury, Metro, etc., calling it the best thing going in San Jose, the highlight of the year, San Jose’s best street festival, and so on, and it did not disappoint.

What seemed to attract the most attention were artists who made art of themselves:

Lots more photos after the break!

ArtHouse opens museums to kids in downtown San Jose

Five South First Area museums and galleries hosed a fun event this afternoon, called ArtHouse. MACLA held a poetry slam (pictured) and painting workshop by a local artist. The Stage Theatre hosted Notre Dame High School’s improv comedy players. The ICA gallery held a filmmaking workshop. Numerous artists had prints available for sale. The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles had free entry to their exhibit of tapestries designed by Bay Area artist Mark Adams.

It was a pretty quiet event, on a warm, still day; but I’d love to see it grow in future years.

Tonight at the BRUNI Gallery

Al Green - Cover by BRUNI

The Bruni Gallery is celebrating its One Year Anniversary tonight in downtown Willow Glen.

Bruni’s work on display along with the work of Mark Gray and Kristina Sablan.

Wine tasting offered by the Thomas Fogarty Winery

Live Jazz by Guitarist Tim Volpicella


1171 Lincoln Ave. San Jose, CA. 95125

Feb. 18th, 2012

NOW – 10pm


Admission is Free



We stopped by REI at El Paseo De Saratoga for the first time this morning. They do carry impressive sports equipment, and classes are offered on how to best use some of it.

Also, there are events in which to participate, volunteer opportunities, and much more. I recommend a visit.

While there we noticed breathtaking photography on display. Any one of which would make a beautiful gift for any occasion.

Mark Wiens Photography


Note: When visiting the photography site click on the first photo etc. – to view more.

400 El Paseo De Saratoga
San Jose, CA 95130

(408) 871-8765

Hours: Sun 11am–7pm; Mon-Fri 10am–9pm; Sat 10am–7pm
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