A special documentary focusing on the history of Alameda's Japanese-American community will be shown from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Main Library, 1550 Oak St. From the 19th Century though World War II, the Island was home to a dynamic Japantown, which featured its own bath houses, baseball teams and businesses.
Using digital tools, the Alameda Free Library recorded a collection of stories told by Japanese-American community members. These stories and more will be shared in the film, which will be screened in the Regina Stafford meeting room.
The library is also full of exciting art, such as work by local artist Felix Fortuna, who paints portraits and landscapes. Fortuna is especially known for his oil paintings of presidents and celebrities.
The artist divides his time between Alameda and Arizona and is inspired by the beauty of the desert landscape, cactus and red rocks of Sedona. This interest in nature has prompted him to paint with acrylics in brilliant and bold colors.
In addition to Fortuna, local artist Luis Octavio Valdez has paintings on exhibit at the Main Library through Dec. 29. Valdez explores the poetry of ordinary objects in his acrylic works, according to organizers of his library show.
Around the corner at the Redux Studios & Gallery, Oakland artist Bunnie Reiss has a new show entitled In-Between, which will be on view through Feb. 3.
The exhibit includes fabric wall hangings, wearable works, paintings, drawings and several other creations. Reiss has participated in and organized many large-scale handmade projects, including the Peralta Junction pop-up carnival in West Oakland.
A reception for Reiss and her work is set for 6-9 p.m. today at the gallery, 2315 Lincoln Ave., and food, beverages and entertainment will be available. Redux and St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County staff members are collecting warm coats for the homeless at the event.
A reception for artist Mark Fisher is taking place at Rhythmix Cultural Works' K Gallery, 2513 Blanding Ave., from 6-9 p.m. today. The show, "No Inconvenience Too Great or Too Small, " includes 12 paintings and runs until Jan. 4, 2013.
Fisher said he draws inspiration from his grandfather's fedora, which resembles a 1955 Studebaker Commander, and a mustache that resembles the car's grill. He has studied and lectured on the Baroque period of art and learned from the work of artist Max Beckman, who pointed to direct observational painting as a healthy way to practice the skill.
Congratulations are in order for boat owners and others who put up decorations and participated in the 2012 Lighted Yacht Parade, held Dec. 1 on the Oakland-Alameda Estuary.
The parade winners this year are: Cliff and Anna Kramer on Boundless; Scott and Liz Harrison on Sunday Diver; Pegasus owned by Peter Hayes; Carl Larkin owned by Kelpies Row; USS Mazapeta owned by Jason Loger and Irin Waid; Fire Marshall John Buhl's Victora; Julia Kinst's Frosty the Snowman; Alameda L'attitude owned by Blane Manchester and Mary Ann Ostrom; and Raymond and Jennifer Reed's Black Pearl.
Thanks to the parade sponsors, supporters and participants, who helped raise money for the Alameda County Community Food Bank and the Oakland Firefighters' Random Acts of Kindness program.
Janet Levaux also writes the Alameda Journal Blog at www.ibabuzz.com/alamedajournal.