The turn of season from summer into fall is a marker of powerful energy in many traditions. From the Assumption of Mary—just past on Aug. 15, the summer festival of my family and ancestors—to Dia de los Muertos after the autumn equinox, themes of harvest and afterlife and death make this time of year fertile for artistic endeavor. The spirit races.
Many excellent such events are being offered throughout the North Bay. It’s time to do art, see art, be art.
Perhaps the first art form was dance. The art known as Ballet Folklórico is performed at An Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Celebration at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center by El Valle de St. Helena. The St. Helena based non-profit Mexican folk dance group teaches the traditional dances of Mexico to learners of all ages.
“Ballet Folklórico has been danced for hundreds of years and can be traced all the way back to ceremonial dances of Indigenous people,” says the event website. Known as the Dance of the People, the style incorporated traditional dance forms from throughout Mexico.
“Mexican Mariachi music is made to move you. It is direct, driving and designed to instill emotion,” say the event’s promoters. “El Vallé creates an intoxicating and joyful way to experience Mexican culture by way of folkloric dance traditions.”
Ballet Folklorico, El Valle at 2pm, Sunday, Sept. 17. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center, 390 Morris St. For tickets, go to seb.org/hispanic-latinx-heritage-celebration.
Stand-up Comedy Matinee plays every Sunday at the Barrel Proof Lounge, Santa Rosa. Not often talked about as an art form, stand up comedy remains one of the most connected and vibrant creative outlets. Local artists of all performing disciplines learn artistically from doing comedy and its cousin, improv.
Being a regular at an event like this is a way to follow local artists developing their chops. Audience members can see comedians from across the Bay Area perform while drinking off that morning brunch. Or for those who haven’t eaten before, they can get Tipsy Tacos, right next door. Mimosas and beers are available during the show, with hosted trivia after.
Any event that has on its schedule both piccolo players and a Punch and Judy show is bound to whet the creative palate.
Featuring 50 wineries and brewers, not to mention hard cider, the 27th Annual Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival is a West County event that has all the pleasures of a wine and food fair, along with a wealth of entertainment.
Behind the little tiny curtain at the Punch and Judy show is Brian Patterson, son of the Renaissance Faire’s original producers. Patterson has been performing the puppet theater classic since 1990, after a childhood of intense regular exposure to “theater and puppetry, including Punch and Judy,” said the artist. A traditional slaptick of intramarital mayhem, Punch and Judy arose in the 1660s United Kingdom.
Event goers can listen to multi instrumentalist Pascal Bokar use voice and guitar to connect American music of the South to the Ngoni, the traditional four-string instrument from West Africa. Bokar also plays the West African balafon, an ancestor of the xylophone, which has a multi sonic rhythm.
The festival sports three stages for the packed schedule of entertainment, including a kid-friendly comedy stage, as well as activities.
“A portion of the proceeds goes to Stewards of the Coast & Redwoods, the non-profit working in tandem with the California State Parks in the Russian River region, and the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department,” said event promoters.
There may be unicycles.
10am-5pm Aug. 26 and 27. Watts Ranch, 16855 Bodega Hwy., Bodega. Buy tickets at bodegaseafoodfestival.com. Prices vary.
Santa Rosa’s Art House Hotel’s first exhibition is coming to a close on Aug. 31. The calligraphy, art and poetry of Sherrie Lovler provide a look into the inner world of the artist and indeed all artists. That is to say, all humans.
The Cherry Street district hotel began the rotating art exhibitions as a way of “showcasing the incredible artistic talent of Sonoma County and enhancing your experience at the hotel,” said promoters. New shows will continue through the fall and winter.
‘Inner Work: The Art and Poetry of Sherrie Lovler’ will hang in the Gallery Lounge through Aug. 31. All work is available for purchase. Those interested may inquire during business hours at the Art House Hotel, 620 7th St., Santa Rosa.
The preview show for the upcoming season of 2023 Sonoma County Art Trails will take place at Corricks in downtown Santa Rosa. In the stationery’s gallery, which housed Art Trails artists throughout the year, selected art from the 20 new and 97 returning 2023 Art Trails artists will be displayed. The Sonoma County art community institution is continuing its mission to use “art to revive connection” by bringing people into artists’ creative spaces.
Sonoma County Art Trails Gallery at Corrick’s September-October 2023 Art Trails Open Studios Preview Exhibit Receptions are 5-7pm Friday, Sept. 1, and 5-7pm Friday, Oct. 6 at Corrick’s, 637 4th St., Santa Rosa.
Santa Rosa Junior College Theatre Arts season opens on Sept. 29 with a mystery classic.
Clue, directed by Reed Martin at the Burbank Main Theatre, is based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn, written by Sandy Rustin, with additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price.
“Clue is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery” that is “based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie, which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game,” according to promoters. The comedy whodunnit has fans of all ages, with famous twists and turns of the plot designed to engage newcomers as well as long standing fans.
For those ceramics artists ready to take the next step in creating the perfect piece, the Nimbus art studio pass system gives expanded access to open studio workspace. The Studio Art Pass holders will “have access to our studio spaces, tools and materials, one on one advice with professional artists and technical assistance,” according to the group’s website.
The studios offer mosaic work as well as ceramics. All they ask to be considered is to “share your artistic experience and background with us” or take one of the studio’s many classes.
For more information about scheduled studio arts pass fees, hours and availability, contact [email protected]. For classes, check out nimbusarts.org/class-camps.