Tuesday, 03 October 2023

Arts & Life

Corine Pearce discusses “Divided Lines” by Jacob Meders with students during a field trip to the “Earth, Sky, and Everything In Between” exhibit.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — “Earth, Sky, and Everything in Between,” Lake County’s first contemporary Native American art exhibit, closes Monday, Oct. 10, at the Middletown Art Center.

This Saturday, Oct. 8, you can gain insight into what being a contemporary Pomo basket weaver, jeweler or mixed media artist means to the artists themselves.

Their responses will be varied but include stories that raise awareness about the history and heritage of the first people of this place, who are still here. They carry, into the present and future, the cultural practices of their ancestors using both traditional and contemporary materials.

“Conversations with Artists” will provide an introduction to the final weaving workshop of the year-long “Weaving Baskets, Weaving Bridges” project. The workshop which will focus on basic coiling for basketry.

Activities begin at 11 a.m. and run to 4 p.m. with conversations with artists from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Preregistration for participation at MAC or viewing on Zoom is required. Please visit www.middletownartcenter.org/weaving to learn more and register.

MAC’s year long Weaving Baskets, Weaving Bridges is a cross cultural collaboration that culminated in this unique and powerful collection of contemporary art work by 31 Native artists. Conversations this weekend include artists Robin Meely, Ali Meders-Knight, Eloisa Oropeza, Fred Briones, Denise Davis and Gemma Benton, among others.

During his visit to the gallery, Robinson Rancheria Tribal Chair Beniakem Cromwell said, “It’s wonderful that there is an opportunity for Native artists to display their work in Lake County. It feels like our voice is being heard here, at home.”

In the final weeks of the exhibit, 550 students grades third to 12 have participated in field trips to the exhibit. Led by cultural educators and in partnership with MAC artists, most students toured the gallery, then made collagraph prints inspired by the display using a professional printing press in the MAC studio. These youth now have an increased awareness of the history and original culture of this place.

Experience this unique and historic exhibit Thursday through Monday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and First Friday, Oct. 7, from 10:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. It’s free to the public. For a holistic experience of this powerful and historic exhibit, register for the weaving workshop and artists’ conversations at MAC.

The WEAVING project and Earth, Sky, and Everything in Between exhibit are funded in part through the generosity of Middletown Rancheria, Robinson Rancheria, Big Valley Rancheria, Charlotte Griswold, community members and the California Arts Council, a state agency.

The MAC is located at 21456 State Highway 175 at the junction of Highway 29 in Middletown.

To find out more about Earth Sky and Everything in Between or other programs, events, engagement opportunities, and ways to support the MAC’s efforts to weave the arts and culture into the fabric of life in Lake County, visit www.middletownartcenter.org or call 707-809-8118.

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

There is, of course, no hidden chapter in the “Good Book” that explores sandaled Jesus’ fashion rules, but Cornelius Eady in “Easter Shoes” is being funny and deadly serious.

The poem takes him back to childhood, to the pains of conformity and the forced obedience of being “dressed,” “encased” and “pinched” into decency.

“Easter Shoes” celebrates the petulant act of creative rebellion that he achieves by scuffing the impractical shoes while maintaining the “mirage” of obedience.

Easter Shoes
By Cornelius Eady

In a hidden chapter of the Good Book,
Is there a verse that explains
Why Jesus cares for fashion,
Why my feet must be encased
And pinched? When you're a kid,
It's how someone else dresses you;
You won't grow into these black, shiny
patents, as much as your mother
Wants it. On the way to Sunday School,
You are a mirage, like the new store shine
You scuff, as you obey.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2022 by Cornelius Eady, “Easter Shoes” from Prairie Schooner Winter, 2019. Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2022 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths has written poems and composed photographs in response to the loss of her mother.

She has always been fascinated by the exchange between birth and death that characterizes their relationship.

“Illusion” is doing the same work of connecting the haunting memory and spirit of her mother to her own awareness, her own mortality, and her turn to live and fill the space vacated by her mother.

I typically do not quote poets speaking of their work in this column, but I found this gem by Griffiths from an interview that seems a fit introduction to this poem: “With the death of my mother, the woman (myself) can’t go back out of the world until she mothers herself. I must go forward to my own beginning and to consider my own death.”

By Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Waiting inside of the night,
I could make out the mound
& my mother's eyes, the blank embrace
of innocence when she returned
from the other side of the light
where everything wept
as it was loved & forgotten.
It's your turn, it's always
your turn,
the night says.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2020 by Rachel Eliza Griffiths, “Illusion” from Seeing The Body (W.W. Norton & Company, 2020.) Quote from “Anatomy of Grief: A Conversation with Rachel Eliza Griffiths” By Sarah Herrington, LA Review of Books, October 13, 2020. https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/anatomy-of-grief-a-conversation-with-rachel-eliza-griffiths/. Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2022 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

“Time Has Come: Revelations of a Mississippi Hippie,” with cover art by Bob Minkin Photography.

Lester Chambers, lead singer of the Chambers Brothers of 1960s yore and lately of the group, Moonalice, has released his memoirs.

The Chambers Brothers' anthem of Psychedelia, “Time Has Come Today,” ushered the flower children into The Summer of Love in 1967.

The book is titled, “Time Has Come: Revelations of a Mississippi Hippie,” and is co-authored by local writer Thurman Watts.

The release was announced at the recent KPFZ Moonalice benefit concert, where the 82-year-old Chambers exhibited the masterful vocal and harmonica chops that are solely his.

The foreword of “Time Has Come” is written by Robert Darden, professor of journalism and new media at Baylor University.

He is also the former gospel music editor of Billboard Magazine and makes several spot-on observations about the Chambers Brothers, including, they were too rock for folk, too secular for gospel, and too raw, real and passionate for rock.

The book traces the origins of the Chambers family back to 1830 but focuses on the mid-20th century when their family escaped from the farm that they sharecropped on that was owned by a leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Landing in California, the Chambers Brothers eventually signed a recording contract with a major label, only to discover that they were still sharecropping — for the label.

Through Lester Chambers’ lens, this story details the mercurial rise of the Chambers Brothers and the decision by Lester Chambers to go it alone.

Glimpses of larger-than-culture figures like Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Reed, Miles Davis, Betty Davis, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Augustus Owsley Stanley II, Bob Dylan, Mahalia Jackson, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and a host of others spring from the pages that span Lester Chambers’ career.

Revisit the hardships of recurring illnesses, the 2013 festival where he was attacked on stage, recovering, returning to the stage and working into his 80s, and the accolades commensurate with the release of the 2022 Grammy-winning documentary, “Summer of Soul,” in which the Chambers Brothers opened and closed the film.

“Time has Come: Revelations of a Mississippi Hippie” is available in paperback and Kindle eBook format. An audiobook will follow in 2003. It is also available at www.lesterchambers.com.

LAKEPORT, Calif. — The deadline for proposals for mid-range to large-scale sculptural and/or innovative, mixed or multimedia installations to be showcased in the new lakefront park development in downtown Lakeport at 800 and 810 N. Main St. has been extended to Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 4 p.m.

Awards to successful applicants will range from $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the scale and budget of the proposed work, which includes materials, artist’s labor, installation needs, and any necessary travel expenses.

Proposals with interactive components are encouraged.

Lake County artists and Black, Indigenous and people of color, or BIPOC, are strongly urged to submit proposals; there are no geographic restrictions for applications.

Proposed art works must be made of materials that can endure the outdoors and extreme weather in a public setting.

All object-based sculptures must be securely mounted to the ground or a plinth base at the designated site; all work must be safe for pedestrian traffic.

The call for artists may be viewed on the city’s website.

The request for proposal includes specific application requirements and a map of the lakefront park with designated spaces for art.

In January 2020, the city of Lakeport was awarded a competitive grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation funded by Proposition 68, the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018. After two years of design, the project is ready for construction.

The new park consists of approximately 6.9 acres and will include, in addition to the public art, a basketball court, splash pad, skate park, concession building with restrooms, shade structures, picnic areas, fitness equipment, a pavilion, lighting, irrigation, and landscaping.

Estimated completion date is Spring 2023.

For more information, contact Jenni Byers, Community Development director, 707-263-5615, Extension 201, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last month, Nexstar Media Group announced that it was taking a 75% ownership interest in The CW Network.

Nexstar claims that, together with its partner stations, it is the nation’s largest local television broadcasting company.

This could be good news for The CW because it is apparently the lowest-rated broadcast network when compared to the big four of FOX, ABC, CBS and NBC. The network has been tagged as appealing only to the younger demographic.

Trade publications like “Variety” reported last month that the Nexstar president stated the average viewer of The CW is 58 years old. Hardly anyone could believe this until Nielsen data backed it up.

How to explain the interest of older viewers to tune into youth-oriented programming like “Riverdale” and “All American?” A plausible answer may be that the younger crowd are watching on platforms other than traditional television.

Now that the fall season is upon us and major networks are launching new series in September, we can take a closer look at The CW’s new slate of programs, all of which will premiere in the early days of October.

One of its most successful franchises, “Supernatural” ran for more than a dozen years. Now along comes “The Winchesters,” a wild-west origin story to this big hit.

Told from the perspective of narrator Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles, “Supernatural”), “The Winchesters” is the epic, untold love story of how John Winchester (Drake Rodger) met Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly).

Putting it all on the line to not only save their love, but the entire world, when John returns home from the war in Vietnam, an enigmatic happenstance sparks a new mission to trace his father’s past.

In his journey, John crosses paths with 19-year-old demon hunter Mary, who is also searching for answers after the vanishing of her father. Together, they join forces with young hunters-in-training to unearth concealed truths about both their families.

The action-packed “Professionals” follows Vincent Corbo (Tom Welling), a top-tier security operative who is paid to protect the interests of wealthy clients by any means necessary, whether legal or not.

After a next generation medical data satellite explodes on launch, Corbo is hired by the rocket’s designer, billionaire futurist Peter Swann (Brendan Fraser), who suspects sabotage.

Complicating Corbo’s gig is his former courtesan and now Swann’s betrothed, medical visionary Dr. Grace Davila (Elena Anaya), who is racing to help avert a global calamity.

As Corbo and his team of veteran security pros investigate the rocket disaster, they expose a poisonous scheme of Swann’s corporate foes, corrupt government officials, and a shadowy crime syndicate, all working to take control of Swann’s empire.

Worse, Corbo must also contend with Swann’s overindulged, mischievous teen daughter (Jazzara Jaslyn) and a rogue Europol agent (Ken Duken), who is hellbent on busting him for past sins.

Set in the late 1800s, “Walker Independence” is an origin story for the current hit series “Walker.” The new program follows Abby Walker (Katherine McNamara), an affluent Bostonian whose husband is murdered while on their journey out West.

After crossing paths with Calian (Justin Johnson Cortez), a curious Apache tracker, Abby arrives in the town of Independence, Texas, where she encounters assorted free-spirited residents running from their pasts and pursuing new dreams.

Quirky burlesque dancer Kate Carver (Katie Findlay) has perhaps too keen an interest in Abby’s origins, and Kai (Lawrence Kao), a soulful Chinese immigrant runs a local restaurant and offers Abby friendship without an agenda.

Abby literally runs into Hoyt Rawlins (Matt Barr), a slippery rogue, thief and con artist with a dented heart of gold who quickly eyes Abby as a mark, until she turns the tables on him.

In seeking justice for her husband, Abby encounters noble deputy sheriff Augustus (Philemon Chambers), and his new boss, Sheriff Tom Davidson (Greg Hovanessian), who she has reason to believe is a very bad man.

Abby and Hoyt soon find themselves precariously aligned, both seeking to discover the truth about the identity of the person who killed Abby’s husband, and vowing to save the frontier boomtown of Independence.

“Family Law” centers around Abigail Bianchi (Jewel Slaite), a high-paid personal injury attorney who’s good at blaming others, particularly when it comes to her own problems.

After Abigail’s husband boots her from the family home because of alcoholism, she goes on a bender, shows up drunk in court and retches on a client. Suspended and fined, she can only practice law if she secures a senior lawyer willing to mentor her for a one-year probationary period.

One man inclined or foolhardy enough to take that risk is Harry Svensson (Victor Garber), the top practitioner of a family law practice, just so happens to be Abigail’s estranged father.

Conflicts arise with half siblings in the firm and a stepmother from Harry’s third marriage. An odd dynamic takes shape at Abigail’s new workplace, but the greatest challenge is working under the thumb of the man she’s spent a lifetime resenting.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

Upcoming Calendar

10.03.2023 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Board of Supervisors
10.03.2023 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
National Night Out
10.05.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
10.06.2023 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
David Arkenstone & Friends in concert
10.07.2023 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Sponsoring Survivorship Breast Cancer Run & Walk
10.07.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
Columbus Day
10.12.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
10.14.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Soap Box Derby

Mini Calendar



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