KQED

Ed Drew’s ‘Native Portraits’ Drawn from Talking Circles, Fixed on Tintypes

On July 21, Spayne Martinez walked into the California Historical Society at the corner of Annie and Mission Streets in San Francisco. As an Academy of Art University alumna, she probably walked past the building countless times on her way to class in SOMA, but never with a 12-foot picture of her on display in the front windows. Inside, Martinez enthusiastically greeted Ed Drew, the photographer of behind Native Portraits: Contemporary Tintypes, on view at the CHS through Nov. 27.

"Spayne"2014-2015 Tintype by Ed Drew. Courtesy of the artist and Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco.
“Spayne”2014-2015 Tintype by Ed Drew. Courtesy of the artist and Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco.

Martinez beamed as she pointed out her son strapped to her back in the portrait and her cousin’s portrait a few frames down. As a professional portrait photographer herself and a tribal community member of the Klamath Basin, Martinez has a unique insight into the photographic representations of Native people.

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KQED

Primer Stories Saves the Internet from Itself One GIF at a Time

When was the last time an animated GIF left you breathless? (And not just because you were laughing so hard you couldn’t breathe.)

Whether you pronounce the file format with a hard G or a soft J, the medium is undeniable. GIFs often feature a series of still images ripped from popular videos to create an animated loop. The result is easily shareable and usually hilarious, but rarely an example of fine design.

Joe Alterio. Courtesy Primer&Co.
Joe Alterio. Courtesy Primer&Co.
Tim Lillis. Courtesy Primer&Co.
Tim Lillis. Courtesy Primer&Co.

This is where Joe Alterio and Tim Lillis hope to challenge your idea of what the internet should look like. The designers created Primer Stories in 2015 to share thought-provoking articles that integrate text and visuals for an interactive dual narrative. Based in San Francisco and Seattle respectively, Lillis and Alterio both draw inspiration from the Bay Area’s fusion of art and tech culture. . .

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This article was originally published on KQED Arts on 27 June 2016.

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Books, KQED

Book Review: God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls by Jaime Hernandez

For a fan of comics, I have not always felt welcome in the comic book store. A bad experience actually inspired me to write an article in 2014 for KQED Arts called, “No Girls Allowed? Braving the Comic Bookstore.

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I start by writing: “Five years ago I went into a comic bookstore in the South Bay and emerged from its shadowy depths with a sexist Lois Lane comic book from the ’60s and the sense that I was definitely underrepresented and unwelcome.”

If only I had found Jaime Hernandez’s 2012 Ti-Girls first! Although Jaime is in fact a man, his representation of women is so dynamic, I never would have guessed. He is best known for the “Love & Rockets” series. Created with his brother Gilbert Hernandez, Love & Rockets follows primarily Latina teenagers in the 1970s California punk scene.

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With the Ti-Girls, Jaime clearly draws inspiration from his love of female wrestlers. His characters span different cultures, ages and classes. And while each character is pretty damn sexy, they are all drawn to be so in different and equally powerful ways.

We first learn about the Ti-Girls adventures from comic enthusiast Maggie who shares old issues with her friend Angel. What Maggie doesn’t know is that Angel knows all about superheroes, because she has just discovered her own super powers.

While sneaking out as her alter-ego “Boot Angel” she runs into the mysterious Russian woman living in her apartment complex better known as “Alarma” of “The Fenomenons.

But not everyone is so lucky to have super powers and belong to an all-star lady squad. Maggie’s other friend, Penny Century, stirs up some intergalactic trouble when she tries to achieve superdom by any means.

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Three generations of female superheroes come to the rescue and Boot Angel learns more about her own powers from each.

When the young and inexperienced Zolar Bratz fail, and the exclusive Fenomenons refuse to get their outfits dirty, it is up to the aging Ti-Girls to come out of retirement to set things straight.

The best part of this comic, is the rewriting of the superhero canon. Unlike male superheroes Angel’s mother explains that “all women are born with it, but most lose it at a really early age. It’s too subtle to notice because most blossom when much older,”  she continues, “Guys don’t get it. They gotta go out an’ have lab accidents and other stuff to get their cojones but we got it born right in us.”DSC_0401.jpg

Check out this book if you’re a fan of super ladies!

 

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KQED

Read My First Article for Bay Area Bites!

Bay Area Bites is a food blog for Northern California’s Public Media KQED. My first article for Bay Area Bites was published today, and you can read it here! The article is titled: “Pie Ranch Sells Food for Thought at Highway One Non-Profit Farm Stand.”

I first came across Pie Ranch while driving from San Francisco to Santa Cruz along Highway One. It was the first time I had taken the coast for this commute and was enjoying the wonderfully scenic drive. As I neared Santa Cruz, I noticed hand-painted signs for pie & coffee cropping up. There is no one who loves pie and coffee more than I do, so I felt compelled to stop and investigate these claims. I pulled into Pie Ranch and wandered into their farm stand.

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Can you spot the hummingbird in this picture?

Something about the late afternoon light and the surprise of this quaint roadside offering really captured my imagination. Once inside I was impressed by sumptuous produce and socially conscious offerings. I have been able to visit multiple times and have learned more about the farm with each visit.

If you live in the California Bay Area, or plan to pass through during a road trip on Highway One, you’ll want to check out my article to learn about what Pie Ranch has to offer. Their next family-friendly event is happening this Saturday, April 16!

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KQED

Struggling SF Artists Imitate Life in ‘La Bohème’ — and Yes, There’s a Bar

It’s a scene straight out of the headlines: Six artists living in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district sitting in their living room, optimistically trying to scrape together their overdue rent.

Now imagine they’re singing about it in Italian.

A full 120 years after Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème premiered in Italy, San Francisco’s chapter of the high-art-made-accessible company Opera on Tap has reimagined the story, setting their production in modern-day San Francisco. For the local singers performing La Bohèmeat the Tenderloin’s EXIT Theatre, the scene couldn’t be more timely.

“We are all artists who are struggling with trying to make ends meet in a very expensive city, and that’s exactly the story of La Bohème,” explains Indre Viskontas, the founder of Opera on Tap’s San Francisco chapter, who co-manages with four other “divas.”

Viskontas identifies the Tenderloin as a neighborhood where “you can bump into people who are in the tech industry, people who are awash with money, but also people who are really struggling, and just people in general who are really interested in creating something that will change the world… We thought that our audiences would get captured into the spirit of [La Bohéme] just walking up to the theater.”

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Greg Allen Friedman as Rodolfo and Morgan Harrington as Mimi in Opera on Tap’s production of ‘La Bohème.’ (Adrienne Blaine)

But if one can relate to struggling artists, can they relate to opera? This is where Opera on Tap, a national organization with chapters in major cities from Brooklyn to Berlin, is determined to change audience’s minds. “You don’t have to be a millionaire white dude who is in his ’60s to like opera,” says co-managing “diva” Jessie Neilson.

Continue reading on KQED Arts:

Struggling SF Artists Imitate Life in ‘La Bohème’ — and Yes, There’s a Bar

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KQED

Podcast, Will You Be My Galentine?

I love podcasts, especially podcasts created by ladies, for ladies. Galentine’s Day, the day before Valentine’s Day, is all about celebrating the gals in our lives. So consider putting “ovaries before brovaries,” as Leslie Knope would say, in your podcast queue this month.

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Podcast, Will You Be My Galentine?

 

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KQED, Uncategorized

San Jose’s Egyptian Museum Vibes off its Secret Society Roots

In sixth grade, students in the California public school system study ancient Egypt. And every year, thousands of these students visit the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in western North America.

Where? In San Jose at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, of course.

If you didn’t grow up in the South Bay or spend your preteen years searching for meaning in the Metaphysical section of a bookstore like I did, then this particular Egyptian museum and the Rosicrucian Order may be uncharted territory.

Sekhmet figurine: the first ancient artifact in the AMORC collection. (Photo by Adrienne Blaine)
Sekhmet figurine: the first ancient artifact in the AMORC collection. (Photo by Adrienne Blaine)

It all began with an ancient figurine of the lion goddess Sekhmet, which stood on the desk of H. Spencer Lewis one hundred years ago. Lewis, an American occultist, founded the Rosicrucian Order, Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) in 1915.

AMORC is a secret organization, and as such can only be described by outsiders as “elusive.” AMORC defines itself on the Egyptian museum website as, “a philosophical and educational public benefit (501c3) organization.” Others call it a mystical fraternity.

Continue reading on KQED Arts:

San Jose’s Egyptian Museum Vibes off its Secret Society Roots

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