Walnut Creek

'What Four' barbershop concert Jan. 12

What Four?, a men's barbershop quartet from Rossmoor, will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12 at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Blvd. in Walnut Creek.

The group will perform golden oldies of men's a capella four-part harmonies, and they often intersperse their songs with brief (and corny) witticisms. The group consists of lead singer Roger Hadlich; tenor Brian Woolf; baritone Larry Chizmar; and Don Nelson singing bass. Many of the singers in the group have for many years been associated with Rossmoor's Ashmolean Singers (Hadlich is an original co-founder of that group).

'New Neon' now at Bedford Gallery

The Bedford Gallery's exhibit "New Neon: Light, Paint & Photography" opens today at the gallery, 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek, and is set to run through Feb. 23.

Taking its cue from the re-emerging popularity of this distinctly Californian medium, "New Neon" will examine the ways in which neon has been repurposed -- in both paintings and sculptures -- to reflect the cadence and drama of the modern media-saturated cultural landscape. More than 30 artists -- from the Bay Area, Southern California and beyond, including Australia -- will be showing pieces.

Admission is $5; enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres hosted by the Bedford Gallery Guild.

For more information, go to http://bedfordgallery.org

Holiday collection at Valley Art Gallery

The 48th Annual Holiday Collection at the Valley Art Gallery features one-of-a kind gifts that support for local artists and the local community.

On hand through Dec. 31 are special holiday gift items plus a huge variety of works from more than 100 other Bay Area artists on the gallery's 30 rolling walls. Visitors can enjoy moving the walls and viewing the works at their own pace, or with the assistance of gallery volunteers; this extensive collection in different artistic styles, mediums and prices offers something for every art lover's taste and budget.

Also, art pieces can be rented for three-month periods, and the first year's rental fees (minus tax) can be applied to eventual purchase.

The gallery, at 1661 Botelho Dr., is open this month Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays and Mondays from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, go to www.valleryartgallery.net or call 925-935-4311.

Lafayette

'Heart of Art' at Lafayette Art Gallery

"The Heart of Art" currently on view at the Lafayette Art Gallery features warm and emotional works by both the current and new gallery members -- paintings, prints, photography, ceramics and jewelry designed to make perfect gifts.

In its new space in The Forge building at 3420 Mt. Diablo Blvd., the Lafayette Art Gallery has added a new focus on ceramic art; the gallery now be features an award-winning group of sculptors and ceramic artists including a number of well-known artists from San Francisco and other venues.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

MORAGA

New Saint Mary's exhibitions open Feb. 2

New exhibitions open Sunday, Feb. 2 at the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art. they include:

  • "From Swords to Plowshares: Metal Trench Art from World War One" -- During the "Great War," soldiers crafted art from artillery shells, bullets, aircraft parts, shrapnel and other salvaged military detritus. Works in the exhibition are brass, made between battles in France and Belgium. The works tell tales of bravery, grief, loneliness, boredom, fear, faith, hope, despair and patriotism.

  • "Songs of the Patriot: How Music Helped Win World War One" -- Through original chromolithographic cover illustrations of popular songs, sheet music and lyrics, this exhibition gives viewers a sense of life on the home front by exploring how music publishers, songwriters, cover artists, and singers generated support for troops overseas. "Music will help win the war," declared Leo Feist, major publisher of popular music in the 1910s and 1920s, "because a nation that sings can never be beaten."

  • "Illuminating Divine Word Anew: Heritage Edition of the Saint John's Bible" -- The entire new Heritage Edition of the St. John's Bible, the first hand-written illuminated Bible manuscript commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in more than 500 years, is on display in the Saint Mary's Museum this spring. Individual books and pages will be rotated and turned weekly throughout the exhibition.

  • Power Point Lecture: "The War Within the War: 1914-1918," by Adam Hochschild, whose newest book newest book "To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918" is a narrative of World War 1, retold as a struggle between generals, cabinet ministers and ordinary soldiers who were fighting in the trenches, versus war resisters who refused to serve.

    This lecture is at 2 p.m. Feb. 2 in the campus' LeFevre Theater -- free admission.

    Moraga Art Gallery features 'Capturing Light' through Jan. 4

    The Moraga Art Gallery's "Capturing Light: Lens and Glass" highlights photography by resident artist Wenda Pyman, and cast sand glasswork and framework by guest artist Janice Peacock.

    Pyman is a landscape, nature and travel photographer. She is basically self taught but honed her skills by taking workshops from some of the greats, starting with Ansel Adams in 1978. Peacock started working with hot glass in 1992. Much of her work is focused on the creation of items that look ancient -- masks used in traditional ceremonies, vessels unearthed from the sea, and treasures gathered by explorers from centuries ago.

    The show will run through Jan. 4.

    ORINDA

    'Glover Group' exhibit closes Tuesday

    An exhibit of current works by 21 members of the Glover Group is now open at the Orinda Library Gallery, 26 Orinda Way in Orinda, and will remain open through Dec. 31.

    The gathered works are by students of Pam Glover, one of the foremost acclaimed local landscape painters of the Bay Area and an instructor at the Orinda Community Center for 25 years. Glover died in 2010 at the age of 88.

    Glover herself was a student of the work of the "Society of Six," a recognized group of East Bay outdoor landscape painters whose impressionist techniques and style were passed on to Glover. And after Glover's death, her students -- many now successful artists in their own right -- continued as the Glover Group. The reception will include paintings by Pam Glover from her family's private collection.