Walnut Creek

'Gourmet Gallop' benefits Diablo Ballet

Walnut Creek's Diablo Ballet presents its fourth Gourmet Gallop, a one-night gourmet walking tour adventure from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 7, to include wine tasting, cocktails and nibbles at some of the city's finest restaurants. Diablo Ballet dancers and pianist Justin Levitt will join the fun.

The event is a benefit for Diablo Ballet's acclaimed PEEK youth outreach program, bringing arts education to 5,000 underserved East Bay elementary school children annually.

Among the participating establishments are Lark Creek, Massimo, Walnut Creek Yacht Club, Opa!, Hamachi, SF Creamery Company, Lottie's Creamery, Silk Road, The Counter, We Olive, Peet's Coffee, L'Artisan Gourmet Parisian, 54 Mint and Forno.

Tickets are $35/person by July 24, and $45/person after that date. Go to www.diabloballet.org or call 925-943-1775.

Centennial 'Paint-Out' pieces on display through Aug. 7

The work of 27 area artists who took part on a special "Paint-Out" depicting various signature Walnut Creek scenes will be on display at Valley Art Gallery, 1661 Botelho Drive, Suite 110, originally set to be on display through July 26, will now be viewable through Aug. 7.


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All participating artists had their canvases time-stamped at the Valley gallery and then had one week (June 21-27) to complete plein air paintings 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, the Shadelands Museum and others. The paintings were featured at Civic Park on July 4, as part of the city's Independence Day celebrations.

A watercolor titled "Magnificent Mt. Diablo" by Leslie Wilson was voted "Best in Show" by popular vote, earning a cash award.

Walnut Creek Library discussions of the Muslim 'counternarrative'

In response to research that shows almost a quarter of the Bay Area's 250,000 Muslims have been victims of hate crimes since 9/11, leading Bay Area scholars are urging civic organizations to fight negative portrayals of Muslims in the media and popular culture.

Hosting such a "counternarrative" is the Walnut Creek Library, which has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, in cooperation with the American Library Association, to offer "Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys," a five-part community reading and discussion series led by nationally renowned scholar Dr. Hatem Bazian (UC Berkeley, Zaytuna College).

The first for discussion program is Aug. 27, with an exploration of the book "Prince Among Slaves" by Terry Alford.

There also will be supplementary programs, including a kickoff event at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 16 as presenter Todd Javadi and musical group Shabahang host "An Afternoon of Rumi," an immersive experience focusing on the 13th century poet's works in the original Farsi and with English translation. Register at wclibrary.org/event/rumi/.

Subsequent discussion programs will run Sept. 10 ("The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United States," edited by Edward E. Curtis IV); Oct. 8 ("Acts of Faith: the Story of an American Muslim" by Eboo Patel; Oct. 22 ("A Quiet Revolution: the Veil's Resurgence from the Middle East to America" by Leila Ahmed); and Nov. 12, with "The Butterfly Mosque" by G. Willow Wilson.

All these free discussions are designed to encourage community interaction across cultural boundaries. All take place in Walnut Creek Library's Oak View Room at 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. For more information, go to wclibrary.org/event/roads/.

Bedford Gallery's 'Skull Show' now open

Closing its season, Bedford Gallery will examine the role that skulls have played in the historical register, as memento mori, traditional religious icons, and vanitas themes in still life paintings.

It's "The Skull Show," which also will highlight the role the skull has played in the contemporary arts, exploring its appearance in countercultures such as skate, surf, tattoo, as well as urban graffiti projects. The exhibit will be on display through Aug. 31.

The Bedford Gallery is in the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, in Walnut Creek. For more information, go to bedfordgallery.org

LAFAYETTE

Clay and glass artists' exhibition opens Aug. 5

The Association of Clay and Glass Artists holds its annual juried exhibition at the Lafayette Art Gallery Aug. 5-Sept. 6. The show will be juried by John Toki, noted ceramic sculptor and retired faculty member California College of the Arts.

This year's exhibit is entitled "Making the Everyday Unique: Functional Clay and Glass from ACGA." The gallery will show some of the best functional ceramics and glassware that California artists have created, including teapots, casseroles, bowls, serving dishes and vases from more than 20 selected artists.

An artists' reception will be held at the gallery Aug. 8 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Founded in 1945 to promote ceramic arts, the ACGA and its more than 500 artists reflects the wide diversity of ceramic artists from all over the state.

The clay and glass artists' show will augment the current exhibition at the Lafayette Art Galley, "Unique Art, Unique Homes."

ORINDA

New library gallery displays for July

On exhibit for the month of July at the Orinda Library Art Gallery are mixed-media paintings by Ann Marie Tabaloff, pieces provided by The Art Connection; and various wood pieces crafted by members of the Bay Area Woodturners Association/

Library hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

MORAGA

Moraga Art Gallery's 'Luminous' exhibit

The floral photographs of Lucy Beck, and fruit and vegetable bowls and jewelry by Margaret Dorfman are featured in the new Moraga Art Gallery show "Luminous -- Nature Revealed and Reimagined."

The show is running through Aug. 9. The gallery is located at 522 Center St. in the Rheem Shopping Center, and is open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

For more information, visit the gallery's website at www.moragaartgallery.com, call 925-376-5407 or email moragaartgallery@gmail.com.