Artists in Bonny Doon are held open studios July 27th and 28th for the second annual Bonny Doon Studio Tour.
Kirby Scudder’s interview with one of the artists, ceramic painter Melissa Leeds is the audio featured at the top of this post.
Leeds says she was a painter until she encountered the ceramics department at her art school. When she met renowned potter Mattie Leeds, she turned in her pains for glazes.
Kirby Scudder speaks with Greg Paroff who performs “ENGEL THE ELDER’S BARD, BEAT$, & BURLESQUE.” The show intersperse stand-up comedy, hip-hop and Shakespeare monologues. It’s one of the shows in the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival July 11-20.
The festival Web site descibes Paroff’s shows with this quote from the Santa Cruz Weekly’s Georgia Perry, ”Let me say this: You certainly do not have to be a fan of Shakespeare to enjoy this show. In fact, Shakespeare-haters may even like it more.”
2013 Fringe Festival Information: Fringe Festival Website
This week’s interview is with Mary Anne Carson, of Santa Cruz County Bank ‘s Arts Collaborative outreach program talking about artist Manuel Santana or Manny as he was most commonly known. Manny passed away at the age of 81 in July of 2008 leaving behind a legacy of community activistism, both through his art and his many contributions to the culture of the Central Coast. Mary Anne along with Manny’s daughter Angelina have put together a county wide retrospective of his work entitled ‘Viva Santana’. ‘Viva Santana’ opened last week in the banks 5 branches and will host the opening reception on June 4th from 5:30 – 7.
In 2008 shortly after Manny passed away Mary Anne opened the county wide ‘All Santana’ show. 5 years later with the help of Angelina Santana ‘Viva Santana’ includes many works never seen before.
Viva Santana came about when Mary Anne and Angelina discussed the idea of showing a range of Manny’s that spanned from his college years to his latest works in 2008
For more information about ‘Viva Santana’ go to http://www.sccountybank.com/art.cfm
Thats Hip Hop Artist Addam White, aka Zig Zag Robinson. Adam started producing Film and Theater in his early 20s and went on to become a hip hop performing artist for the last decade. Zig Zag has performed in venues throughout California and has worked with dozens of local bands creating their own unique sound. Hip Hop is a combination of artistic forms that originated as a specific street subculture during the 1970s in New York City, later spreading its influence to communities throughout the country.
“bangbang” is the latest effort by Zig Zag producing a monthly First Friday Festival. Every First Friday for the next year Zig Zag is organizing multiple bands representing a wide range of musical styles along with visual artists chosen by the parachute collective (a local arts collective. ’bang bang’ brings together performers and visual artists under one roof at the well known local Restaurant, Bocci’s Cellar.
Although Los Angeles and Oakland are the west coast hip hop capitals, Santa Cruz has produced it’s share of National hip hop acts.
Under Zig Zag’s production company Wrench Broadcasting “bang bang” will add a musical component to the hugely successful monthly First Friday Art Tour. While bands rotate on stage, local artists and crafts people will display their work outside in the spacious bocce courtyard. ‘Bang bang’ is keeping the hip hop tradition alive in Santa Cruz.
For more information about Zig Zag Robinson go to www.reverbnation.com/zigzagrobinson
A poetry slam is a competition where poets recite original works, focusing on their delivery as much as their poetry. Construction worker, Marc Smith launched the first poetry slam at the ‘Get Me High Lounge’ in Chicago in 1984. In 1991, the first National Poetry Slam took place in Fort Mason, San Francisco. Since moving to Santa Cruz this past Summer, poet Kevin Devaney, followed his dream and scouted the town for a venue to create a weekly poetry event. He landed at the Tannery Arts Center and found Rebecca’s Cafe which possessed all the ingredients for a great poetry event. Kevin now holds a weekly open mic poetry reading every Monday evening from 6-8 PM with Featured poets from around the country. I spoke with Kevin on the patio at rebeccas cafe about poetry.
Poetry slams started as a way to involve the audience and the poets in a more dynamic exchange.
Kevin’s poetry nights are made up of an open mic component followed by Nationally known featured poets.
In the social setting found at open mics the poets delivery is as important as the words themselves.
For more information about Kevin Devaney go to: http://kevindevaney.wordpress.com/
Interview with Jamie Abbott, above. Interview with Ron Milhoan coming next.
This year Jamie Abbott and fellow artist and teacher Ron Milhoan are retiring after a combined seventy years at the Cabrillo College Art Department. Jamie has taught Sculpture, Three Dimensional Design and Drawing since 1973. The Cabrillo Gallery has titled its current show of Ron and Jamie’s work “Tribute.”
This includes sculptures made over the last year and 1/2 where Jamie spent hundreds of hours collecting and stripping bark from the branches.
The process of gathering the wood became an important part of the final artworks involving friends, colleagues and frequent roadside stops, as well as paintings by Ron.
The 3D department at Cabrillo’s Art Department has tended to have highly productive faculty.
For more information about the exhibit ‘Tribute,’ which continues through April 26th, go to cabrillo.edu.
Six degrees of separation is a theory originally proposed by playwright Frigyes Karinthy and popularized in a play written by John Guare. The theory is that everyone is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. After moving to Santa Cruz nine years ago, I believe the theory is more likely, two degrees of separation. I have often been surprised by how many people are connected to Santa Cruz in some way and yet the only name I haven’t heard mentioned is Kevin Bacon.
Small degrees of separation is the story behind how Internationally renowned, Santa Cruz based, Cellist, Barry Phillips met Internationally renowned, contemporary Indian composer and musician Ravi Shankar in 1996 and spent almost 20 years working together until Ravi’s death at the age of 92 in 2012.
Ravi Shankar spent his youth touring Europe and India with the dance group of his brother Uday. He gave up dancing in 1938 to study sitar playing under court musician Allauddin Khan. After finishing his studies in 1944, Shankar worked as a composer, and went on to become music director of ‘All India Radio’ from 1949 to 1956. In the 1960s through his association with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and rock artist George Harrison of the Beatles, Ravi catapulted onto the world music scene. In 2013 he was posthumously awarded two Grammy awards, one for lifetime achievement, another for The Living Room Sessions Part 1 in the world music category. Barry was there to honor Ravi.
Barry Phillips received a Masters of Music degree in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1990. He went on to be involved with many recordings of American, Celtic and other folk music as cellist, engineer and producer. He has also orchestrated and conducted for several film scores for Orion Pictures and HBO.
In 1996 Ravi was looking for a cellist to play on his “Chants of India” recording. A friend of Barrys, Martin Simpson saw him play cello in Los Angeles and recommended Barry to producer and colleague of Ravi’s, Alan Kozlowski. That lead to Barry’s first meeting with Ravi in his home in Encinitas, CA. where he played him an Irish slip jig. Ravi loved it and so began a long term partnership between the 2 musicians.
If you would like more information about Barry Phillips you can go to barryphillipsmusic.com.
By Kirby Scudder
In 2009 artist and businessman and Davenport resident Roger Knapp came upon an opportunity to lease a 1,700 sq ft space right on Highway 1 in Davenport. The space had been vacant for a long time and Roger felt that this space and location would be the perfect spot for a gallery.
Later that year, after an extensive remodel, Roger opened up the Davenport Gallery which would be a membership driven gallery allowing artists to take responsibility for the gallery as well as participating in the sales of their art. After 3 1/2 years and $150,000 in art sales this week the Davenport gallery closed. I caught up with Roger at the closing reception this past Sunday to talk about what the gallery has meant to him.
The gallery had a membership base of 30 local artists that would share in the responsibility of keeping the doors open and interacting with the public. The gallery’s location at 450 highway 1 is right down the road from the original odwalla plant and next door to the historic road house cafe. Gallery artists benefited from daily tours stopping for lunch on their way from San Francisco to Monterey.
Early in the development of the gallery Roger consulted with other galleries on the Central Coast to gather information on everything from lighting to selling.
Although this chapter of the gallery is now in the past, some of the artists represented in the gallery such as Ed Dickey are pursuing other opportunities in Davenport for exhibiting the work of local artists.
To follow future developments go to http://davenportgallery.org/. I’m Kirby Scudder