Arts Day Highlights

Celebrating local arts and artists, El Cerritans and neighbors enjoyed music, film, poetry, fine arts, hands-on crafting and more at the 2015 Arts Day Festival sponsored by the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission (ACC).

Arts Day Festival

Calligrapher and artist Douglas Jones showed his paper sculpture “Barrett Bob,” which won the ACC ribbon at the El Cerrito Art Association annual art show.

Douglas Jones

String trio Florian Altvater on violin, Milda Martisius on viola, and Andrew Ritchie on cello, performers with the Kensington Symphony Orchestra, filled the antechamber with lovely classical music.

Arts Day Festival classical music

Outside, the Del Mars played rousing surf music for an enthusiastic crowd.

Del Mars surf music

We even had food art in the form of delicious and beautiful cupcakes by local gourmet cake and cupcake bakery Encorecake.

Encorecake local gourmet cake and cupcake bakery

WhipOut! Food Truck , a favorite at El Cerrito’s Off The Grid on Wednesday evenings, fed the hungry artists and audience.

Whipout! food truck at Arts Day

Chalk artists drew masterpieces on the sidewalk in front of City Hall.

Arts Day sidewalk chalk art

ACC member Deb Danziger delivered an artist’s talk about her current exhibit in the City Hall Gallery Space, “Beyond & Below.” If you were wondering about the ACC’s banner (the first photo in this blog post), yes, Deb designed it!

Deb Danziger exhibit in Gallery Space

For a hands-on activity, we reprised the upcycling creative reuse booth that was so popular at the July 4th Festival. We filled three tables with materials I scavenged from the El Cerrito Recycling Center and tools to upcycle the old books, fabric and other discarded or well-loved but no longer useable ephemera into unique treasures.

Upcycling at Arts Day

With a bit of glue, crafty hocus-pocus, and unlimited imagination, discards were transformed into stickers, envelopes, postcards, magnets, bookmarks, and more!

Upcycling at Arts Day

ACC member Paul Fadelli, who was on the sub-committee that planned Arts Day, admired creations made by his daughter and her friend.

Arts Day upcycling crafts

For those who despair about the demise of books, I happily report that bookmarks were the most popular project by far.

Upcycling crafts at Arts Day

Community Development Director Melanie Mintz helped a young friend sew an old button onto her bookmark, while Melanie’s daughter (at left) and Pinole Artisan Nan Yarborough (at right) worked hard on their collages.

Arts Day upcycling crafts

A budding artist perused the offerings while her younger sister enjoyed a cupcake.

Upcycled art

Deb’s son gave her a bookmark-treasure as an early birthday gift.

Upcycling crafts at Arts Day Fetitival: Deg Danziger and son

Local actor George McRae, an early advocate for the creation of the Arts & Culture Commission, discussed orchids and cephalopods with Richmond artist/crafter/chef Paula Shiu.

Local actor George McRae and chef-artist Paula Shiu

El Cerrito poet and spoken word artist Kirk Lumpkin entranced with a variety of poems in styles ranging from rap to lyrical which touched on local and global environmental and social issues.
Poet Kirk Lumpkin at Arts Day

ACC member Christopher Sterba introduced Kirk. Chris, a lecturer in the San Francisco State University Humanities Department, is working hard to develop a Poet Laureate program sponsored by the ACC. Stay tuned!

ACC commissioner Christopher Sterba

I missed a lot of the action, including film shorts by Les Blank, puppet show by the Puppet Company of Children’s Fairylanda street photography workshop by Dale Mead, chamber music by the JCT Trio, and exhibits for El Cerrito’s Playland Not-At-The-Beach, The Arts & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County, the El Cerrito Historical Society, the Shadi Holiday Display Committee. and Contra Costa Civic Theatre. And throughout, the head of Arts Day planning sub-committee and ACC Chair Ruth Cazden eloquently introduced acts, performers and artists.

Thanks to my wonderful husband George for his help and this photo of me at the upcycling nook, still neat before the tornado of creativity descended.

Heidi Rand at Arts Day

Hope to see you next year!

 

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