LITCAMP & MCSWEENEY’S LAUNCH A NEW SERIES ON JUNE 6TH!
The Grotto’s own Lit Camp writers conference is partnering with McSweeney’s to launch the coolest literary series in town — and the only one with free beer (and food)! The Basement Series will combine published authors with emerging writers — with the published writers curating the work of the emerging talent.
Join us Friday, June 6 at 7 pm at the Sports Basement at 1590 Bryant Street for our inaugural event. Free beer, free food — and free temporary tattoos! Our published authors will be Grotto member Joshua Mohr and McSweeney’s author Courtney Moreno, reading along with new talent they’ve chosen — all on the theme of ‘Emergency,’ in honor of Courtney’s new novel, ‘In Case of Emergency.’
$5 – $10 sliding scale admission with proceeds split between Dave Eggers’ Scholar Match and scholarships for the Lit Camp writing conference.
MATTHEW CELEBRATES HIS NEWEST, “SUN BEAR” TOMORROW AT UNIVERSITY PRESS BOOKS
Book release party and (short!) reading for SUN BEAR at University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA, from 6-8 pm TOMORROW, Thursday, May 8th. Come by, have some wine and some food and hang out at one of the Bay Area’s best bookstores! The Facebook invite is here:http://www.facebook.com/events/226789204185840/
Congratulations to Matthew!
KATHRYN’S DEBUT NOVEL “A SWEEPING SUCCESS” – LAUNCHING ON MAY 13!
Kathryn’s debut novel launches on May 13! Publishers Weekly calls THE YEAR SHE LEFT US “a sweeping success…not to be missed.” Come hear Kathryn at:
Tuesday, May 13 – 7:30 pm
The Booksmith, SF
Wednesday, May 14 – 7:00 pm
Book Passage Corte Madera
Monday, May 19 – 7:00 pm
Books Inc. Laurel Village, SF
Wednesday, May 21 – 7:30 pm
Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore, Berkeley
Saturday, May 31 – 6:30 pm
Babylon Salon reading series, SF
Monday, June 2 – 7:00 pm
A Great Good Place for Books, Oakland
Tuesday, June 3 – 6:00 pm
Debut Brew Series (buy a book, they’ll buy you a beer)
Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol
Wednesday, June 4 – 7:30 pm
Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park
Thursday, June 5 – 7:00 pm
Bookshop West Portal, SF
Kathryn will also be reading in Portland, Seattle, and Bainbridge Island. Check out her full schedule of events on her website athttp://www.kathrynma.com/
Congratulations to Kathryn!
JOSH SELLS HIS NEW NOVEL TO COUNTERPOINT/SOFTSKULL
Relatively new Grottoite Josh Mohr has just sold his new novel, ‘All This Life,’ to Counterpoint/Softskull! ‘All This Life’ will also be Counterpoint/Softskull’s lead title (in hardcover) next spring.
Huge congratulations to Josh!
PO, DANIEL HANDLER, AND MICHAEL KRASY CELEBRATE THE 100TH ISSUE OF ZYZZYVA TOMORROW, MAY 8TH
Join Grotto co-founder Po Bronson, Daniel Handler, Michael Krasny, and tons of other local authors next Thursday May 8th to celebrate the 100th issue of ZYZZYVA: . Food & drink provided, promises to be a fun time. Artists & Writers tickets are $25, general public $50. It’s at the California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, at 6:30 pm. ZYZZYVA has long supported our west coast writing and arts community, and it’s time to support them.
STANDUP PLANET, DAMMIT FEATURED IN A NATIONAL BROADCAST PREMIERE ON MAY 14
STAND UP PLANET, DAMMIIT! Stand Up Planet lands on Ozy Magazine’s Good Shit section in advance of a national broadcast premiere on May 14! After a sold out premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival Stand Up Planet will begin airing nationally on Participant Media’s new TV channel, Pivot TV and simultaneously on LinkTV and on KCET on May 14, followed by the Stand Up Planet comedy showcase. The trailer and clips and additional airtimes can be found athttp://www.standupplanet.org.
Grotto’s Rachel Levin, contributing editor to Ozy Magazine, caught our Grotto sneak peek screening and assigned an article on Stand Up Planet, landing us in Ozy’s “Good Shit” section:http://www.ozy.com/good-sht/stand-up-planet-dammit/30929.article. Stand Up Planet was created by Grotto writers David Munro and Xandra Castleton, directed by David Munro, co-written and Executive Produced by Grotto Emeritus Mark Decena, with Zahra Noorbash as researcher and more.
Kudos to Xandra, David, Mark, and Zahra!
VANESSA READING FROM “NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH” AT BOOKS INC OPERA PLAZA ON MAY 15
Grottoite Vanessa Hua and others will read from Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God: 73 Women on Life’s Transitions on May 15 at the Books Inc Opera Plaza in San Francisco at 7 pm, an anthology that playwright and activist Eve Ensler calls “a testament to what is possible when we show up for our sisters.”
CHRIS AND ROB ON THE TODAY SHOW TO TALK ABOUT LIFE
Still wondering what to talk about in life? Chris and Rob debase themselves on network television in order to answer that question. Buy their new book to make it stop. And see Chris Colin & Rob Baedeker on the Today Show!http://www.today.com/id/26184891/vp/55054177#55054177
SAVE THE DATE! DON’T MISS THE SHEBOOKS SHEBANG ON MAY 23RD
Shebooks Shebang! Please join the writers and editors of Shebooks.net at their launch party onFriday, May 23, at 518 Valencia St., 6-8 p.m. There will be readings! Raffles! Wine! And your opportunity to donate to our Kickstarter campaign to support women writers. Shebooks are short e-books by and for women, available by subscription starting May 10 at http://www.shebooks.net!
FAITH’S E-BOOK LAUNCHES IN SHEBOOKS WITH A RAD COVER
Faith Adiele’s self-explanatory e-book, The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems, has the distinction of possessing the best title and one of the best covers in the Shebooks.net lineup – check it out yourself at http://shebooks.net/ladyproblems
ZAHRA DIRECTS A 17-YEAR-OLD’S ONE-WOMAN SHOW AT STAGE WERX ON MAY 27
Grotto member, Zahra Noorbakhsh directs 17-year-old Bay School senior, Claire Zager, in her musical, one-woman show debut at the Stage Werx Theater,May 27th, Tuesday at 8pm. Zager is a writer and performer headed to Manhattan College’s Theater Program, but before she’s off, she’s got a few things to say as a self-identified non-expert on all things teen, sex and confidence, in the comedy, “What If I Die a 52 Year Old Virgin?” Tickets and more info available at http://stagewerx.org/
THERE’S STILL TIME TO TAKE A SPRING CLASS AT THE GROTTO – MEMOIR, SHORT STORY, AND SPIRITUAL WRITING!
Our spring writing classes run right till the beginning of June, so there’s still time to sign up for memoir, the short story, even a class on spiritual writing.
YALITZA AWARDED THE STEINBECK FELLOWSHIP IN CREATIVE WRITING AT SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY
Grottoite Yalitza Ferreras was selected for a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing at San Jose State University for the 2014-2015 academic year. She will be working on The Lady of the House, her novel in progress. More information athttp://as.sjsu.edu/steinbeck/index.jsp
Congratulations to Yalitza!
REYHAN AND ANDY’S MODERN FARMER WINS A NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARD
Modern Farmer, the new magazine where a few former Grottoites Reyhan Harmanci & Andy Wright went to work last year, won a National Magazine Award this week. So inspiring! A completely new magazine — about food production — wins an Ellie right out of the gate. Read more about it athttp://mashable.com/2014/05/02/modern-farmer/
MAURY’S ZERO GRAVITY MUSICAL TO BE PRODUCED BY THE PLAYGROUND FESTIVAL
Grotto dweller Maury Zeff’s zero gravity musical Love Spacewalked In was one of six short plays chosen to be produced in the Best of PlayGround Festival. It will run twelve nights in May at the Thick House Theatre in San Francisco. More info athttp://playground-sf.org/bestof/
Kudos to Maury!
ALI’S ESSAY ABOUT MICROSOFT, TWITTER, AND LANGUAGES IN THE ANNUAL OF URDU STUDIES
Ali Eteraz’s essay about Microsoft, Twitter, and languages, The Death of the Urdu Script, was re-published by The Annual of Urdu Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Check it out athttp://www.urdustudies.com/pdf/29/25Column29.pdf
CHRIS WRAPS UP A REPORT FOR OXFAM, OUT THIS MONTH
Christopher Cook just finished a big report for Oxfam that will be out in mid-May, part of a global campaign. Meanwhile he’s been working as campaign manager for Charlie Hardy for U.S. Senate in Wyoming (http://www.runwithcharlie2014.com), and developing some new political essays and book ideas. His communications consultancy, Progressive Message (http://www.theprogressivemessage.org) continues to take on new clients, so drop him a line anytime.
HOW DO YOU SAY “STYLE” IN HAWAIIAN? ASK CONNIE – AND THERE’S A NEW BOOK PROPOSAL WORKSHOP
Connie Hale travels to O’ahu in May to do a “Sin and Syntax” workshop at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival, then to lead a writers retreat on the fabled North Shore. She will be joined there by Grottoites Zoe FitzGerald Carter, Laura McClure, and Bridget Quinn, who are all writers in residence at the five-day retreat. That means they will sit on the beach, listen to the surf, and follow unexpected storylines.http://campmokuleia.com/specialevents.html
For editors seeking new ways to collaborate with writers, Connie is teaching a workshop called “Catnip For Agents: How Editors Can Help Authors Craft Irresistible Book Proposals.” The three-hour intensive shows how editors and coaches can help authors develop sophisticated proposals that demonstrates a savvy understanding of the publishing world. Tuesday, June 3; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fee: $75-85. Visit editcetera to register:http://www.editcetera.com/berkeley-u.php?current=two.
JD’s Art Picks for MAY 2014
Lots and lots of gala artfair events and MFA graduation exhibitions – May is probably the biggest art month of the year!
MFA GRADUATION EXHIBITIONS
Don’t miss the MFA exhibitions happening in the next weeks! Here are links to those at the San Francisco Art Institute, CCA, Mills, Stanford, and UC Berkeley:
Over 70 galleries from around the country will be exhibiting the best of modern and contemporary art at this year’s fair. There will be strong representation by some of San Francisco’s finest galleries including: Catharine Clark Gallery, Brian Gross Fine Art, Patricia Sweetow Gallery, Rena Bransten, Gallery Wendi Norris, Hashimoto Contemporary, Modernbook, Steven Wolf Fine Arts, Eleanor Hardwood Gallery, Ever Gold Gallery, and Fouladi Projects. Adding to this strong local base will be surrounding area galleries such as, Quint Contemporary, and Traywick Contemporary. In addition, there is a solid representation of Los Angeles galleries which currently includes: Mark Moore Gallery, Edward Cella Art + Architecture, Kopeikin Gallery, New Image Art, Walter Maciel Gallery, and Charlie James Gallery.
There will be a variety of works on view made with traditional and new mediums; from oil on canvas to software-enabled works. Some specialized highlights include; Electric Works, Paulson Bott Press, and Shark’s Ink have strong focuses in prints while Mindy Solomon, Pentimenti Gallery, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery will feature inventive sculptures. Exciting emerging art will be featured by newer galleries such as: Romer Young Gallery, Aureus Contemporary, and Ampersand while well-known artists will be exhibited at established galleries such as: Nancy Hoffman Gallery, Richard Levy Gallery, Forum Gallery, and Greg Kucera. Also, for the fourth year, the San Jose Institute of Art will present a selection of works from their exhibiting artists as well as editions from their prestigious Print Center.
For Rex Ray, the joy of making and viewing art is his continuing motivation. Drawing inspiration from his acknowledged influences—the Arts and Crafts Movement, Abstract Expressionism, organic and hard-edged abstraction, pattern and textile design, and Op Art—Ray playfully combines these formalist concepts with decorators’ tips gleaned from lowbrow publications and sources of popular culture in his pursuit to create beautiful things. Gracefully bridging the gap between fine and applied art, he distinguishes himself in each realm.
As a fine artist, Rex Ray works in a wide range of media, including painting, collage, print works, and photography. His collages grew out of the simple pleasure of cutting shapes from magazine pages, assembling and gluing them to paper to create visually pleasing works that have since developed into sophisticated resin-covered panels. In his large-scale canvas paintings, like the one on view at MCA DENVER, he conceives abstracted landscapes from biomorphic shapes and distinct color combinations as a fresh adaptation of an aesthetic that sympathizes with twentieth-century Modernism.
Ray’s work exudes beauty with a subversive edge that stems from an attitude grounded in alternative subculture. He was an early admirer of punk and new wave music. Music holds a special place in his life. A former record store employee and devoted collector, he has worked with leading contemporary musicians, contributing designs for many album covers and concert posters for artists such as Radiohead, Björk, Nine Inch Nails, Deee-Lite, and David Bowie.
Rex Ray was born in Germany in 1956. He lives and works in San Francisco’s Mission District. Before moving to California in 1981, he was a longtime resident of Colorado Springs and he still maintains his connection to Colorado. In 1988, he received a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, CA. His paintings, collages, and designs have been widely exhibited at galleries and museums, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA, San Jose Museum of Modern Art, CA, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA. He is an accomplished graphic designer with a client list that includes Apple, Sony Music, and The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY. [Written by Cydney Payton]
YOGA: THE ART OF TRANSFORMATION AT THE ASIAN ART MUSEUM
This fascinating exhibition has been lauded by the New York Times as groundbreaking in its perspective on the ancient art of yoga. “As diverse artworks on view confirm, ancient adepts of yoga, especially of its inner and mystic disciplines, aroused as much fear as admiration in a world convinced that supernatural influences impinged constantly on mundane existence,”remarked art critic Kenneth Baker. Yoga: The Art of Transformation goes beyond postures and delves into how yoga has evolved into a global phenomenon through an exploration of its visual history. Borrowed from 25 museums and private collections in Europe, the U.S. and India, the artworks featured in the exhibition date from the 2nd to the 20th centuries. Images ranging from benevolent deities and gurus to Tantric goddesses and sinister yogis reveal how yoga practices — and perceptions of them — have transformed over time and across communities. Exhibition highlights include stunning masterpieces of Indian sculpture and painting; pages from the first illustrated book of yoga postures (asanas); and a Thomas Edison film, Hindoo Fakir (1902), the first American movie ever produced about India. The Asian Art Museum is the only U.S. West Coast venue for this exhibition, which is on through May 25th. More information athttp://www.asianart.org/exhibitions_index/yoga
THE POSSIBLE AT THE BERKELEY ART MUSEUM
The Possible is an experimental exhibition that reconceives the museum as a site for creative convergence. You will have the chance to be a part of this evolving exhibition by engaging directly with an exciting array of visiting artists.
As an open platform for shared creativity and the exploration of diverse artistic techniques, The Possible combines studio, classroom, library, gallery, and stage. A multisensory library provides context and inspiration, while the galleries are reconfigured as a series of workspaces: a ceramics studio, dye lab, print shop, and recording studio. Collaborating with one another and the public, a diverse range of guest artists will use these studios to create new work in a public forum. The finished works will filter into a gallery installation, building the exhibition over time. We hope to inspire a spirit of experimentation, improvisation, and play by providing opportunities for artists to go deeper into familiar mediums, experience new practices, and work collaboratively. The studios will function as classrooms during a series of Sunday public workshops and audiences will also be invited to participate in discussions, performances, and field trips during the course of the exhibition. And bring the whole family to Kids Club, a special gallery devoted to engaging children in the creative process that is at the heart of this project.
Disrupting expected images of South Africa, the 25 contemporary artists and collectives featured in Public Intimacy eloquently explore the poetics and politics of the everyday. This collaboration with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents pictures from SFMOMA’s collection of South African photography alongside works in a broad range of media, including video, painting, sculpture, performance, and publications—most made in the last five years, and many on view for the first time on the West Coast. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa, Public Intimacy reveals the nuances of human interaction in a country still undergoing significant change, vividly showing public life there in a more complex light. Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, Downstairs Galleries. Through June 29th. More information athttp://www.ybca.org/public-intimacy
PIER 24’S EXHIBITION
Pier 24 Photography, one of the world’s premier exhibition spaces for photo-base work, presents A Sense of Place, an exploration of how photographs shape the perception of our environments. Together, the exhibited works shift in scale from room size installations to small, quiet photographs, transporting the viewer through a variety of locations, memories, and emotive experiences. Highlights include Lee Friedlander’s America by Car, a series documenting both the everyday and specific eccentricities in the United States from the confines of his car, shifting the viewer to a variety of places from the familiar frame of a car window. Erik Kessels’ installation 24 HRS in Photos creates a cascading room filled – floor to ceiling – with printed versions of every picture uploaded to Flickr during a 24-hour period, allowing the viewer to both visually and physically experience the overwhelming number of photographs shared online. The pictures assembled in A Sense of Place demonstrate what photography does best: engage our attention with the everyday – to what we might otherwise bypass – inspiring us to take another, closer look at the places that surround us. Artists include: Robert Adams, Doug Aitken, Uta Barth, Edward Burtynsky, Eric William Carroll, John Chiara, Jan De Cock, Moyra Davey, Thomas Demand, Jose Manuel Fors, Lee Friedlander, Paul Graham, Andreas Gursky, Todd Hido, Rinko Kawauchi, Veronika Kellndorfer, Erik Kessels, Lucia Koch, Richard Learoyd, Richard Misrach, Asako Narahasi, Stephen Shore, Cinthya Soto, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jeff Wall, and selections from the Sack Photographic Trust. Through May 2014. More information at http://www.pier24.org/exhibition/current.html