Walnut Creek

Two poetry events coming to library

The Walnut Creek Library Foundation celebrates poetry with a student poetry reading by the winners of the Sixth Annual Student Poetry Contest.

The first-, second- and third-place winners will read their poems in the Oak View Room of the Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway, this Saturday, May 3 starting at 11 a.m.

The 2014 contest theme, "100," celebrates and commemorates the City of Walnut Creek's Centennial. More than 300 poems were submitted by first- through 12th-grade Walnut Creek schools students.

The poetry contest and event are part of the library foundation's annual Poetry Live! program. Ellen Bass and Tess Taylor are this year's featured poets and, along with moderator Cheryl Dumesnil, will be at the Walnut Creek Library on Tuesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. for readings and discussion. The event is supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

For More information, go to www.WCLibrary.org or call 925.935-5395.

'The Beat Goes On' with the Blackhawk Chorus

The 130 voices of the men and women of the Blackhawk Chorus will be presenting two performances of their Spring Show, "The Beat Goes On", a show that features hits that include "Sweet Caroline," "The Look of Love," "Feelin' Groovy" and other 60s-era songs.

Under the direction of Diane Gilfether, the Blackhawk Chorus is celebrating its 23rd year. It has performed at the Lincoln Center in New York City, the Vatican in Rome, and various European countries.

The first performance is Sunday, May 18 at 4 p.m. at St. Joan of Arc Church, 2601 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. On May 21 the chorus will perform at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, beginning at 8 p.m.

Tickets for both performances are available through the Blackhawk Chorus website (www.blackhawkchorus.org) and, for the Lesher Show, through the Lesher Box Office; call 925-943-7569.

The two hours of great music will include numbers by Special Blend and Blackhawk Jazz, vocal groups made up of some of the great voices within the nationally recognized Blackhawk Chorus.

Civic Arts' 'The Wizard of Oz' May 16-17

An enthusiastic group of 5- to 18-year -olds have been busy following that famous yellow brick road as Civic Arts Education Youth Theatre Company prepares its production of "The Wizard of Oz."

"This is the one time each year that all four components of YTC work together on one production," explains producer Rachel Pergamit. "Junior Theatre students play the main parts with Mini Kids, Kids Theatre and Teens playing ensemble roles like the munchkins, Ozians and so much more."

Playing the coveted role of Dorothy is 13-year-old Abby Johnson of Walnut Creek, a student at Walnut Creek Intermediate School.

Performances of "The Wizard of Oz" are at 7 p.m. May 16 and at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 17 -- all are at the Del Valle Theatre, 1928 Tice Valley Road in Walnut Creek. Tickets are $12 to $16.75 and can be ordered by calling 925-943-SHOW or online at www.lesherartscenter.org.

Register for centennial "Paint-Out" competition

To help celebrate the Walnut Creek Centennial, the Valley Art Gallery -- which is also celebrating an anniversary, its 65th year -- is sponsoring a paint-out before this year's Fourth of July Picnic and Band Concert and Ice Cream Social in Civic Park.

This show will be juried by Bryan Mark Taylor, an award-winning nationally recognized plein-air artist.

Registration to take part is limited to 35 artists, who must register by April 30. If accepted, will have their canvases time-stamped June 21-23 at the Valley Art Gallery. They will have until June 28 to do their plein-air painting(s) of one or more of Walnut Creek's many scenic sites, such as Heather Farm Park, Lime Ridge and Shell Ridge open space areas, downtown Broadway Plaza, the Bancroft Gardens, Borges Ranch and historic homes to name a few. Work can be finished in the studio. Only two-dimensional originals painted during the paint-out dates will be accepted.

The paintings will be featured at Civic Park on July 4 as part of the Independence Day celebrations. The painting voted 'best in show' by popular vote will receive a handsome cash award. The paintings will then be displayed at the Valley Art Gallery from July 8-26.

Interested artists can get more information, a full prospectus and register online at ww.onlinejuriedshows.com, under the Valley Art Gallery listing for Walnut Creek Paint Out Prospectus.

Bedford Gallery events on tap

The Bedford Gallery has a number of spring events coming up, including the following:

  • Spring Craft Fest, May 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Bedford will host local artists and crofters selling handmade jewelry, home goods, prints, ceramics, artisan food and more.

  • Open Call for Local Artists -- In honor of Walnut Creek's centennial this year, the Bedford will present "Walnut Creek Turns 100: Celebrating the City Through Art." The gallery is accepting submissions now through Sept. 5 from all members of our community.

  • Public Art Walking Tours, Every third Saturday of the month, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Bedford offers docent-led tours of Walnut Creek's public art collection.

    Walnut Creek, Lafayette

    Two local groups each get $20,000 grant

    The City of Walnut Creek and the Lafayette-based Poston Community Alliance will each receive $20,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts to be used toward specific projects.

    Walnut Creek's grant is in the name of the Bedford Gallery's upcoming project "Blowup: A Short Survey of Inflatable Art," an exhibition and related programming. The exhibition, featuring artists from across the country, will explore the medium of inflatable art and will include imagery that is figurative, conceptual, and abstract.

    The Poston Community Alliance grant is to support production and other related costs for a documentary on the challenges and achievements of four generations of Japanese Americans. "For the Sake of the Children" will explore the legacy of the Japanese American internment, its impact on current generations who are descendants of internees and their search for identity as Americans. Once completed, the film will be screened at film festivals and community centers, and be offered to PBS. An interactive website also will be developed to be used as an online resource.

    Overall, the National Endowment for the Arts will make 132 grants to California-based California-based groups totaling almost $4.85 million.

    Lafayette

    Lafayette Art Gallery artists's market May 17

    The Lafayette Art Gallery will host an artists' market May 17 in the courtyard and fountain area next to the gallery, 3420 Mt. Diablo Blvd.

    The area will be transformed into an outdoor marketplace reminiscent of Carmel, with a variety of artists exhibiting, demonstrating and selling their artwork. Lafayette Art Gallery members will be there, and outside artists too — a total of 12-15 artists per show. On exhibit will be paintings, ceramics, photography, fine art, textiles, candles, garden art and much, much more.

    The event is free, and all are welcome.

    Town Hall's 'Candida' opens May 24

    The main stage at Town Hall Theatre will host a production of George Bernard Shaw's "Candida" May 4-June 13.

    Directed by Molly Aaronson-Gelb, this is the story of a pastor shaken when a young poet catches the attention of his beautiful wife Candida. It is a funny, touching and poignant production on social mores.

    "Candida" will have preview performances May 22 and 23, as well. remains funny, touching and poignant to this day.

    For ticket information, call the Town Hall box office at 925-283-1557.

    Lafayette Art Galley is show's 'Location'

    "Location, location, location" may be the rule of real estate, for the artists at the Lafayette Art Gallery, it also speaks to the gallery's new location at The Forge, built on Mt. Diablo Boulevard in 1946 by the noted metal artist Carl Jennings.

    The Lafayette Art Gallery artists are celebrating with the new exhibit "Location," continues through May 3, featuring more than 100 works of original art by our local members.

    MORAGA

    Gallery hosts paintings by Kerima Swain

    The Moraga Art Gallery announces a new show, "Illuminated by Nature," highlighting the beauty and wonder of the natural world through oil and acrylic paintings by resident artist Kerima Swain of Walnut Creek and watercolor paintings by guest artist Karen Kramer of Oakland.

    The show will run through May 31.

    The gallery is located at 522 Center St., in the Rheem Shopping Center in Moraga. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, go to www.moragaartgallery.com, call 925-376-5407 or email moragaartgallery@gmail.com.