Art

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Kinetic Finish Line Photos

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2018 at 7:14 PM

Team CRABBA and others celebrated a glorious crossing of the Ferndale finish line. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • Team CRABBA and others celebrated a glorious crossing of the Ferndale finish line.

All over Humboldt County, Kinetic Grand Championship racers are likely still icing their quads from the 50th annual three-day human-powered sculpture race over land and water that ended on Ferndale's Main Street on Monday. In the end, the Grand Championship trophy went to Team Trilo Bike and its diner on wheels. But ACE awards (for carrying everyone and everything you need along the journey with you the whole time, among other strict rules) and just plain dragging your team over the finish line in the Memorial Day sunshine are worthy of celebration. Enjoy Mark McKenna's photos of the glory-fest in the slideshow below. Then get back in the garage and start building your rig for next year.


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Monday, May 28, 2018

Splashdown! Photos from Kinetic Day 2

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2018 at 11:34 AM

Yabba-Doo-Ya hit the water hard. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • Yabba-Doo-Ya hit the water hard.
Hang onto your paddles, the Kinetic Grand Championship's 50th annual Humboldt Bay crossing made a splash with the amphibious leg of the race yesterday. Photographer Mark McKenna was there to catch the flipping, floating and fun. Enjoy the highlights in the slideshow below — from outside the splash zone.

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Rolling Through: Photos and Video from Kinetic Day One

Posted By on Sun, May 27, 2018 at 7:32 PM

Mary Jane the Hippypotamus rounds the Arcata Plaza. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • Mary Jane the Hippypotamus rounds the Arcata Plaza.
On Saturday, May 26, crowds gathered on the Arcata Plaza to see the blend of art, engineering and madness that is the parade of Kinetic Grand Championship teams and their wild rides. Around midday, after a kind of show and shine with spectators checking out the amphibious marvels and their brave crews, participants looped the plaza in the annual brake test and headed onto the course.

2018 Kinetic Sculpture Race from North Coast Journal on Vimeo.

Enjoy the slideshow below and marvel at Mark McKenna's photos of the rolling sculptures (still shiny and new) on the plaza and Sam Armanino's shots from the infamous Dead Man's Drop in the dunes.


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Friday, May 25, 2018

Will We Ever Get Out of Here? A review of Dell'Arte's Let Me Out!

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2018 at 1:24 PM

Actor Linnea Ytterlid on the immersive set of Let Me Out! at Dell'Arte. - PHOTO BY TUSHAR MATTHEW
  • Photo by Tushar Matthew
  • Actor Linnea Ytterlid on the immersive set of Let Me Out! at Dell'Arte.

Let Me Out! explores what happens when theater meets role-playing game meets escape room, wrapped up in a murder-mystery evening that may or may not be trapped in an endless repeating cycle. The outcome of a year of research and development by Dell’Arte graduates Eric William Jones, Marguerite Boissonault and Linnea Ytterlid, Let Me Out is totally immersive theatre, playing for only two more performances, Saturday, May 26 and Sunday May, 27 at Dell’Arte’s Taylor Way building in Blue Lake. And it is mesmerizing.

Audience size for Let Me Out! is very limited, maybe 15 people max, and for good reason — because everyone has a part to play. Of that audience (in the language of the production, “witnesses”), six are chosen as “players” to participate fully as defined characters in the production. These players are led off to be briefed by the three creators, who are also players, shortly before the action begins. Meanwhile we remaining witnesses are led into the performance area. Here, we are invited to select our seats from among the random chairs scattered around the “room,” which has the feel of a long-abandoned part a long-abandoned house; all the walls are covered with broken-down cardboard boxes and a large cabinet sits in the middle of the floor.

We are each given several cards with instructions to be acted upon during the performance: When X happens, give this card to Y or do Z, and we're asked not to speak again; we may move but must remain on the perimeter, bearing silent witness, no matter what happens. We are “the firing synapses of the mind.”

At first, all we hear is dirge-like music. Then we become conscious of people walking about. Dana, the central character (Marguerite Boissonault), approaches and opens the cabinet, ushers a second woman (Linnea Ytterlid) inside and locks her in. Dana lies on the floor and the lights go out. The remaining players enter, led by Gary (Eric William Jones) and guided by a flashlight, as a giant digital clock projected onto the wall starts counting down. Suddenly lights begin to flash, strange and disturbing sounds fill the space, and Dana begins to rise, as if awakened from a dream.

Let the (mind)games begin.

Everyone has a strange feeling they have been in this place before. They feel that they know each other but do not (yet) know how or why. As they explore their surroundings, each player begins to uncover pieces of his or her past (“hey, we must be married!” “I was a manager at Target!”), but there is no sense of time having passed. Dana waits for someone to recognize her and tell her who she is.
A panicked cry emerges from the cabinet. The players must figure out what combination of letters will open the lock (which they eventually do), and the woman, who goes by Sylvia, staggers out, crying that she has no idea how long she’s been trapped. Then Gary pulls a large, rusted object from the cabinet, which sets in motion the life stories and relationships of all the characters, as they gradually unfold before us.

Each set of interactions between the characters builds not just an aspect of those characters but adds a piece to the living puzzle that is Dana. We, the witnesses, add color as we set in motion different actions (“dance like Elvis!”) that reflect a particular life stage. The characters draw on a multiplicity of found objects in their environment to set off new memory-trains — a copy of Pride and Prejudice, a bottle of Zoloft — as the human synapses begin firing every which way. And at every turn, we find ourselves wondering what is real to us, to the players and to Dana. And then there’s Sylvia. As Shakespeare once asked, “Who is Silvia? What is she …?” By art or by design, it leads us to another and, in the context of this performance, very appropriate slice of Bardly wisdom:
“To die — to sleep / To sleep — perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub! / For in that sleep of death what dreams may come / When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, / Must give us pause.”

But when we pause, do we finally die? Or do we begin the dream again? And again? And again?

Let Me Out! Is an extraordinary experience and one that I hope will continue to live, evolve and expand to allow many more people the privilege of entering its alternate(?) reality.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Live Art on E Street

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 10:54 AM

Jonathan DeSoto painting a utility box on the corner of E and Fourth streets in Eureka. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Jonathan DeSoto painting a utility box on the corner of E and Fourth streets in Eureka.

Artist Jonathan DeSoto has his headphones on, so don't feel like you have to honk in support. He's under a pop-up tent against the morning mist, painting the first of two utility boxes on E Street in Eureka as part of the Eureka Box Art! program, beautifying grim utility boxes with public art sponsored by local businesses and organizations.

DeSoto steps around the pastel-smeared drop cloths pooled at the base of the half-painted box, the same colors smudged on his jeans. He says he signed up to take on the project because, "One of the best things about art is that it can be a community exchange of ideas," and a painting that will live on the corner, in the middle of town, seems like a perfect fit for that ideal. It's a labor of love for those painting boxes around town, as the $500 stipend includes the cost of materials and the artists' considerable hours.
The wraparound design for one of the boxes, to be echoed by the other one. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The wraparound design for one of the boxes, to be echoed by the other one.
The still untitled image, which will be echoed on the smaller box just a few yards away, will include stylized images from Humboldt County's natural landscape, like mountains and trees. The foreground will feature androgynous figures, women of color in hijabs. DeSoto says the idea is to communicate an openness to all people, especially the most marginalized. These boxes are sponsored by Papa & Barkley Co., which approved DeSoto's design but had little input.

But he's realistic about the looming prospect of graffiti — the piece already got a few scratch marks etched into it last night. A final coat of enamel should help protect the painting from all but the truly determined once it's finished at the end of the week. 
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Monday, February 12, 2018

All the Marbles

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 5:49 PM

Artist Geoffrey Beetem's marbles were among the scores of glass creations on display at the Humboldt Marble Weekend. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Artist Geoffrey Beetem's marbles were among the scores of glass creations on display at the Humboldt Marble Weekend.

The Humboldt Marble Weekend attracted a large crowd of marble fans of all ages to Redwood Acres in Eureka over the weekend to watch 46 glass artists display their creative work (not just marbles) and also conduct glass-making demonstrations. See the photo slideshow below for highlights.

"We started the fun Thursday night, raising $1,540 for the Humboldt County Search and Rescue Posse at the Marble Makers Ball fundraiser," said event organizer Topher Reynolds, of Copius Glass in Eureka. "A donation at the ball got you a free drink and a handmade 'hider marble' to to place somewhere for Sunday's Massive Marble Hunt."

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Cool Ink, Hot Wings and Hot Dogs

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 7:49 PM

Tattoo artist Megan Franklin, of Springfield, Missouri, had Tye Harris, of Kyle, Texas, add a realistic tattoo of her grandparents on their wedding day to her arm at the Inked Hearts Tattoo Expo at Blue Lake Casino and Hotel this past weekend. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Tattoo artist Megan Franklin, of Springfield, Missouri, had Tye Harris, of Kyle, Texas, add a realistic tattoo of her grandparents on their wedding day to her arm at the Inked Hearts Tattoo Expo at Blue Lake Casino and Hotel this past weekend.

The ninth annual Inked Hearts Tattoo Expo at the Blue Lake Casino & Hotel in Blue Lake last weekend wrapped the usual work of more than 30 talented tattoo artists around a few new features. Event organizers Ted and Amy Marks added the Hot Wings of Death Challenge and the all-bulldog Super Bully Bowl Pageant to the usual line up of the Hot Guy/Hot Girl Contests, daily tattoo contests and live music.

The bulldogs were not judged on their tattoos. See a slideshow of the contests and some prize-worthy body art below.


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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Kicking Third Street Gallery to the Curb?

Posted By on Sat, Jan 13, 2018 at 11:22 AM

HSU's Third Street Gallery's windows are papered over as exhibits change. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • HSU's Third Street Gallery's windows are papered over as exhibits change.
In an email addressed to “Friends” with the subject line "Pawning Off HSU's Crown Jewels" this week, Humboldt State University’s Third Street Gallery Director Jack Bentley announced his planned retirement at the end of July to pursue other interests. He also shared an Oct. 31 university memo outlining 33 potential cost-cutting measures under consideration, including a proposal to shut down the Third Street Gallery. Bentley urged people to write to 23 members of the HSU Resource Planning Committee in support of maintaining the off-campus art venue.

HSU’s Third Street Gallery, formerly First Street Gallery until its hop a few blocks away, founded in 1998, was conceived as a training venue for students to learn about running a gallery, while sharing work by local and visiting artists with the community. The gallery, an Arts Alive! anchor with double-feature shows that run a broad aesthetic gamut, doesn’t fall under the auspices of the art department, instead operating as its own department with a separate budget. According to Bentley, some 26,000 visitors a year gaze at the curated exhibitions on its walls, floors and pedestals.


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Friday, December 1, 2017

Gifts for the Nice and Naughty Part 1: Native Dolls

Posted By on Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 1:32 PM

The sale of these Flower Dance girl dolls benefits Native Women's Collective. - PHOTO BY CUTCHA RISLING BALDY
  • Photo by Cutcha Risling Baldy
  • The sale of these Flower Dance girl dolls benefits Native Women's Collective.

Let’s remember in this season of giving, gifts are a way of showing people we love and appreciate them. Of course, presents can also be passive-aggressive weapons, tools of shade that help us work through/embrace our petty grudges and judgments. Both kinds of giving are even better when you’re helping a good cause.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll showcase some great gift ideas for the nice and naughty on your list. First up …

Gift: Native Flower Dance girl dolls
Humboldt State University professor Cutcha Risling Baldy (a contributor to this paper) handmade the dolls' maple bark skirts, pine nut necklaces and dentalium halos. Each doll holds hazel sticks and is dressed for a Flower Dance, the women's coming of age ceremony. "Maple bark skirts were the 'everyday' wear of Native women in Northwest California," Risling Baldy says. "Now, young women wear them during the Flower Dance." She made the dolls to sell at a fundraiser but also because she knows how much they could mean to a child. "I was gifted a doll like this after I was part of a Flower Dance. I've also seen other community members who will take dolls and make traditional regalia pieces for the dolls. It's been an important way of providing a doll to our young people that represents their culture. When I was growing up, I had my own doll which had a traditional buckskin dress and I carried it in a doll-size baby basket. It was really meaningful to me that I had a doll like this because it represented a part of me that I didn't really see in stores."


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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Duane Flatmo's Dragon Heads for the Smithsonian

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 3:45 PM

Artist Duane Flatmo's "Tin Pan Dragon" will soon be heading to D.C. - PHOTO BY GRETJEN HELENE COURTESY OF DUANE FLATMO
  • Photo by Gretjen Helene courtesy of Duane Flatmo
  • Artist Duane Flatmo's "Tin Pan Dragon" will soon be heading to D.C.
How do you pack a giant, flaming scrap-metal monster on wheels? Artist and Burning Man regular Duane Flatmo has done it plenty of times with his iconic fire-spouting octopus "El Pulpo Mecanico." But now he's shipping the fiery dragon he built in 2009 to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

The museum will display the gleaming beastie along with work by other artists in its March 2018 exhibition No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man. The sculpture leaves Eureka in pieces in December, though Flatmo won't be assembling it for its six-month residency at the Renwick Gallery until February of 2018. Unlike the massive "El Pulpo" or the more recent pile of toothy creatures on wheels "Rabid Transit," Flatmo's first pyrotechnic kinetic sculpture "Tin Pan Dragon" will fit in the gallery space. Video of those other pieces in action will play during the exhibition but evidently you can't fire up a monstrous cephalopod that close to the White House. Go figure.

For now, Flatmo is polishing the roughly 15-foot-long dragon with a wire brush and chopping the wings and head off to fit into a custom crate that will be stacked onto an 18-wheeler with some five or six other machines.

"They cover all your expenses, but you need to pay it out," says Flatmo with a low chuckle, adding that the government paperwork alone is a daunting task. And at least he's not alone, as he notes, "I'll have my friends down here helping me put it in a crate." Other installations will be created on site at the Smithsonian by artists like Michael Garlington and Natalia Bertotti, whose structures are burned at the annual festival held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

Flatmo says his years participating in the Kinetic Grand Championship "really prepared me to go do this bigger stuff." He adds that he's excited the Smithsonian wants to show "this thing that was born in Humboldt County out of pie tins and scraps."
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