WALNUT CREEK

California Symphony executive director Collins departs

Walter E. Collins, executive director of the Walnut Creek-based California Symphony Orchestra since January 2011, is leaving to become vice president of advancement for Pacific Union College, Napa Valley's only four year college.

In a statement released last week, the 42-year-old Collins said he was making the move in large part to spend more time with his young children.

In his statement, Collins mentioned how, in the past three years, the California Symphony reclaimed its National Endowment for the Arts award and garnered two prestigious distinctions, the Getty Foundation/League of American Orchestras Award (the only one awarded to any Bay Area orchestra), and a Taproot Foundation Award. Additionally, we launched Sound Minds, the Bay Area's only El-Sistema inspired music education program sponsored by an orchestra.

Collins had previously been executive director of the Redlands Symphony Orchestra for six years and marketing director of the Riverside Philharmonic Orchestra for nearly two years.

Youth Theater Company to perform 'Legally Blonde Jr.'

Civic Arts' Youth Theatre Company was chosen from hundreds of young people's theater companies to produce the world premiere of "Legally Blonde Jr.," with performances June 28 at 7 p.m. and June 29 at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Del Valle Theatre in Walnut Creek.

YTC has been granted special rights by Musical Theatre International's Broadway Jr., the world's leading theatrical licensing agency, and iTheatrics, one of the top five Broadway schools for young people in New York. This never-performed script is a 70-minute version of "Legally Blonde" that is appropriate for younger performers and audiences. YTC has a history of producing Broadway JR. scripts with Teen Theatre presenting "Beauty and the Beast Jr." in April and its Junior Theatre presenting "The Little Mermaid Jr/" in May.

For tickets to the June premiere of "Legally Blonde Jr.," call 925-943-SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.

C.S. Lewis' 'Screwtape Letters' comes to Lesher

The stage production of C.S. Lewis's bestselling novel and masterpiece of religious satire "The Screwtape Letters," directed by Max McLean, comes to the Lesher Center for the Arts' Hoffman Theatre June 21-23.

"The Screwtape Letters" explores the theme of spiritual warfare from a demon's point of view. This theatrical adaptation could change the way you think about the problems in your everyday life.

Walnut Creek performances are Friday, June 21 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 22, at 4 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, June 23 at 3 p.m. Ticket prices range from $39 to $59 (students with ID, $25.) For more information, go online to http://screwtapeonstage.com/san-francisco or call 925-943-7469.

Gerry Severson featured at Valley Art Gallery

The newest works of featured artist Gerry Severson will be on exhibition at the Vallery Art Gallery through Friday, June 21.

A native of Humboldt County, Severson captures both the beauty of the coastal California landscape and the mood of the day in his work. He graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in commercial art and began his advertising career in art direction in San Francisco, moving to New York to work for several agencies over the next 30 years. His art direction won numerous awards -- including a commercial that resides in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent advertising collection.

Bedford to host kids' 'Art Makes' classes

The Bedford Gallery will host free drop-in art classes for kids on Saturday, June 26, from 2 to 4 p.m.

For each show the Bedford hosts, docents offer a free "Art Make" project for children of all ages. To help introduce young people to the creative world of art, projects will highlight the theme of the current Bedford exhibition and offer children an opportunity to engage with art in a hands-on, educational and creative way.

In June, the docents will turn their attention to "Larger than Life," a show that will explore the role of scale and size in contemporary art. Art projects will be offered free with the price of admission.

For more information, go to www.bedfordgallery.org

Lafayette

Town Hall's 'Measure' through June 15

The final show of Town Hall Theatre's 2012-2013 season, William Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure," will be performed through June 15.

Chris Hayes, Town Hall's technical director, brings us to In Shakespeare's Vienna, the local government -- feeling the populace has descended into moral decay and depravity -- introduces a host of laws to control the behavior of its citizenry, with mixed results.

Remaining performances will be Thursday, June 13; Fridays June 7 and 14; Saturdays June 8 and 16, and Sunday June 9 (a 2 p.m. matinee). All other performances begin at 8 p.m. at the theater, 3535 School St. in Lafayette.

For more information call 925-283-1557 or go to www.townhalltheatre.com.

Lafayette Gallery artists' market this Saturday

Lafayette Gallery is hosting an artist's market from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the picnic area and parking lot in front of the gallery, 50 Lafayette Circle in Lafayette.

The area will be transformed into an outdoor marketplace with a variety of artists exhibiting, demonstrating their techniques and selling their work. Lafayette Gallery members will be there, and outside artists too -- a total of 12-14 artists per show. On exhibit will be photography, fine art, a weaver, candles, garden art and more.

For more information call 925-284-2788 or go to www.lafayettegallery.net

'Celebrate Summer' exhibition now open

The new exhibition "Celebrate Summer" exhibition at the Lafayette Gallery reflects the joy, warmth and relaxation that summer brings.

Starting this week, the gallery is full of an all-new selection of paintings, photography, prints, cards, ceramics, jewelry and sculpture, available in a wide range of prices, and all designed to enhance your home with the evocation of the warm, sunny outdoors. These are handcrafted works by local artists that are bright, warm and relaxing, perfect for you wall or garden!

Also, the Lafayette Sculpture Garden is now open for the summer. The Sculpture Garden is unique in the Bay Area, filled with works that vary from the whimsical to the earthy to the elegant, all in an outdoor setting.

— a cool and shady refuge in the heart of downtown Lafayette.

The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunda 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

MORAGA

'Points of View' comes to Saint Mary's

The work of two of the East Bay's most vibrant contemporary landscape painters, Mary Lou Correia and Paul Kratter, will be shown through Sept. 22 at the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art.

A reception with Correia and Kratter takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2 at the museum's art patio. It's free with museum admission, and all are welcome.

With Artists: Sunday, June 2 from 2 to 4 p.m., Art Patio, Free admission Before embracing plein-air painting as a full-time occupation, Correia designed book covers for UC Press, and then became Director of Publications and chief designer for Saint Mary's College.

Sports and wildlife were Kratter's early passions, so he was fortunate to begin his career in advertising design for the National Football League and Major League Baseball clubs. He moved on to children's book illustration and wildlife illustration for zoos and the Nature Company.