From a high wall overlooking my kitchen, the Angel of Purses and Keys monitors my distraction and does her best to keep me on track. Or at least that's what I would imagine she does if I were prone to angels.
But just looking at her in the morning makes me consider: black purse in left hand, set of keys in right, smart red heels, red dress, brown hair, massive white wings. She stands on black-and-white tiles at her open front door. Behind her, beyond the tidy rooftops of Manila, puffy clouds of steam drift sideways from the (now-dead) pulp mill. "Be prepared as you walk into the world each day," she seems to say. Mostly, her goofy aspect makes me smile.
I bought this colorful small painting directly from the artist, Joy Dellas, during Open Studios one year. I had thumbed through stacks of unframed work in Dellas' cramped, colorful studio till the angel appeared. There were others (amid the winning cats and stolid dogs) — including a winged male holding a hammer and toolbox, which someone nabbed before I could get it. Dellas told me she had painted my angel literally to remind herself not to forget her purse and keys. I took my painting home, glued it to handmade fuchsia paper and a recycled wood frame, and hung it up.
This is the beauty of Open Studios: You find treasures, and you get to talk to the artists in their own habitat (which sometimes includes chickens).
The 15th Annual North Coast Open Studios is this weekend and next weekend, June 1 and 2 and June 8 and 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. You will find a directory of artists, a map to their studios, images of their work and more at northcoastopenstudios.com. Be aware that some artists only open their studios for one weekend, others for both.
This Saturday, June 1, young lemonade stand entrepreneurs will be out in force to quench your thirst.
Launched in Houston, Texas, in 2007, Lemonade Day aims to make the lemonade stand experience an enriching one, giving young people a taste of establishing and running a business.
The young entrepreneurs have been planning and preparing for a while, with the help of their families, event organizers, volunteers and local businesses. For example, at a workshop at Jefferson School in Eureka on May 15, youngsters heard from last year's entrepreneurs, discussed stand location and visibility, and shared ideas for preparing lemonade. The Jefferson School workshop gave kids a chance to practice serving customers, tracking expenses and revenues, and, of course, playing with lemonade. Participants experimented with gusto, mixing lemonade with fresh juices and herbal infusions to get ideas for variations on a theme.
It should be easy to include a lemonade stand in your itinerary on Saturday. Expect to see stands at the Arcata Farmers' Market, the citywide yard sale in Fortuna, the Pony Express Days Parade and Festival in McKinleyville, Old Town and Henderson Center in Eureka and many other locations. And when you buy some lemonade, remember, the youngsters are encouraged to donate some of their proceeds to good causes. More information: humboldt.lemonadeday.org.
For those who were turned away from the standing-room-only performances of A Midsummer's Night Dream in 2011, you are in luck. Director Heather Sorter has restaged her original ballet — a dance version of Shakespeare's romantic comedy of errors — for the large venue of Eureka High Auditorium.
This soiree into the Bard's land of enchantments crosses the great cultural divide of toe shoes versus barefooted dancers. Sorter mixed it up by inviting Bonnie Hossack, a modern dancer, and Leslie Castellano, an aerial-silk artist, to choreograph sections of the show. Flurries of winged fairies, bona-fide ballerinas, court entertainers dangling overhead, a pack of randy hounds skulking in real fog, sword fighting, classical lovers' pas de deux — it's all there.
For an added bonus, two of the male leads are members of the Robert Moses Dance Company in San Francisco. The local dancers come from many studios, including Sorter's own The Upper Studio in Bayside.
A Midsummer's Night Dream is presented by The Upper Studio and the Humboldt Dance Alliance, a DreamMaker project of the Ink People Center for the Arts. Friday, May 31, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 1, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Eureka High Auditorium, 1915 J St. Tickets — $15, $10 for children — are available at Berliner's Cornucopia, Threadbare and Wildberries. More information: 360-791-4817.
Glorious weather for the Kinetic kickoff!
Bob Dylan's Birthday Bash
Mad River Brewery, Blue Lake. Photos by Josephine Johnson.
Danny Furlong will be leaving North Coast Dance after 11 years as artistic director, the dance company announced today. During his years at the dance company, Furlong worked to make dance classes more accessible to the community, teaching dance with College of the Redwoods and helping get scholarships for dance students.
In addition to staging "The Nutcracker" annually, Furlong created a number of other shows at North Coast Dance, including "Gabriel's Garden," "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "To Pluto and Back."
The North Coast Dance Board of Directors also announced today that the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts will be open for this year's staging of "The Nutcracker" in December and its "March of the Ballet Zombies" and membership gala in October.
The Journal wrote about Furlong's first production of "The Nutcracker" in 2002.
Read the full press release below.
It's not often you see grown men pedaling giant insects through the middle of Old Town, but this is one of them. The Kinetic Grand Championship (the Sculpture Race, to most people) has been rolling along, in one form or another, for over 40 years now (probably due to a lack of friction, yes, physics!). Every Memorial Day weekend, northern and southern Humboldt County are united over their love for person-propelled, papier mache machinery. This year promises to be as kinetically captivating and ridiculously rivalry-filled as always.
Think of the Grand Championship as an Iron Man triathlon but with bicycle lobsters and a DIY flare. Competitors will pedal, float and coast through a 42-mile track, starting at the Arcata Plaza and ending in the Victorian Village of Ferndale. In case you're unaware, 42 miles is a lot of miles. This is a distance most Humboldtians won't drive, let alone self-propel themselves through. There's a show in Eureka, and you live in Arcata? Too far. A multi-city, semi-manic, three-day parade?! Yes, please.
The race kicks off at the noon whistle on Saturday, May 25, from the Plaza in Arcata. From there, entrants trundle through the dunes in Manila to the infamous, 100-foot sand dune that is "Deadman's Drop." Have you ever bicycled through sand? In a giant dragon? This is no easy feat, but some of these racers have been perfecting their sand-pedaling skills for years, and the competition is fierce. The first day of racing ends at the Gazebo in Old Town Eureka, with bars conveniently located in all surrounding areas. After a long day of dragon-pedaling, everyone needs a cold drink.
Day two picks up right next to where day one left off. At 10 a.m., the sculptures take to the waters of Humboldt Bay at the Wharfinger Building, finally lending credence to the idea of a fish needing a bicycle. Once across the water, they cross the Samoa Bridge and head to Hookton Hill, where they pedal for about a mile up a fairly steep incline (7 percent; ask your engineer friends what that means. I know I did). The competitors end the day with a much deserved, private camp out.
Rested and relaxed from their night in tents and sleeping bags, the racers start the last leg at the mouth of the Eel River. Here, they cross through the mud and sludge of Morgan Slough, finally ending on dry and solid ground. After 1 p.m. the sculptures start to cross the finish line on Main Street in Ferndale. Once they've crossed the finish line, it's generally a minglefest right up to the Glorious Final Awards Dinner at the Ferndale Fireman's Hall.
Spectators are welcome to view and cheer along most of the race track, but extra caution must be taken to ensure the safety of the racers and the accompanying traffic. Basically, keep your spectating to the rural, backwoods part of the race, or the starts and finishes of each day. Avoid following the sculptures as they travel along major roadways. Safety first! And let the kinetic festivities begin!
Pick up the print edition of the Journal this week for a special Kinetic pull-out section.
Theater manager Carly Robbins confirmed that the news was handed down from Security National — Rob Arkley’s real estate and investment company — last week, but said any further information would have to come the company directly.
Dance performances are scheduled through June. In a press release quoted by the Times-Standard, but not sent to the Journal, Security National indicated the theatre will close in July for repairs and is expected to reopen in 2014.
Humboldt's got some strong women, some fierce women, some powerful women, some outrageous women, but even so, our badass women don't always get the recognition that they're due. Trinidad musician Maria Bartlett noticed that lack of recognition in our music scene, and so she did something about it.
Bartlett launched a monthly women-only performance series at the Westhaven Center for the Arts that concludes this weekend with a Saturday night performance and a Sunday workshop.
The seeds were sown when Bartlett noticed that an event up at Moonstone was a real sausage fest — men doing sound and men doing music. So she conceived the Women's Music Night series as safe space for women musicians to come together, perform and honor those who have passed on.
The series launched in 2012, featuring all ages, all performance levels and all genres. For its final evening, local women perform all-original material in a variety of styles. Expect to hear Kahish (she goes by one name, like Madonna), Josephine Johnson, Eileen Hemphill-Haley and Sarah Torres.
The next day, Kahish will host a three-hour workshop for songwriters of all levels at the Westhaven Center. Kahish is a certified hypnotherapist with over 40 years of songwriting experience, so she's practiced in the art of putting people at ease and facilitating creativity. She can practically write songs while unconscious.
The Women in Music finale at the Westhaven Center for the Arts is this Saturday, May 18, at 7 p.m., and admission is $5 to $10 on a sliding scale. Kahish's songwriting workshop is Sunday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and admission is $10. Call 677-9493 or 637-5382 for more information, or visit www.kahishsworld.com.
Graduation: that final, traditional hurdle between a priceless education and decades of paying off student loans. It's the magical time of year when justifiably proud parents struggle to understand exactly what the deal is with Arcata, while their matriculated children try to understand exactly what the deal is with their parents. On Saturday, May 18, after campus maps have been doled out and free parking has been secured (that's right, the only time of year when HSU doesn't charge an arm and a leg to park), parents will flock to the Humboldt State Redwood Bowl for hours and hours and hours of exhilarating, graduation antics: speeches, lists of mispronounced names and more speeches. Three separate ceremonies unfold throughout the day, one for each college within Humboldt State University. The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences kicks off the day at 8:30 a.m., the College of Natural Resources and Sciences has its turn at noon, and the day draws to a close with the College of Professional Studies ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Each ceremony takes approximately two hours, and will feature music and a commencement speaker or event (no, not Alexander Von Humboldt, no matter what you've heard). Be sure to give yourself at least 30 minutes to find decent parking, and include some extra time for the uphill walk to the Redwood Bowl. Humboldt State is like the campus Escher built: Everywhere you go requires you to walk uphill, regardless of the laws of physics. For more information about the commencement ceremonies (including restrictions on beach balls and other tomfoolery), head over to www.humboldt.edu/commencement.