Author: andres@davidperry.com

Consulate of Sweden

Kronos Quartet Receives Esteemed Polar Prize

Kronos Quartet Receives Esteemed Polar Prize from King of Sweden

Consulate of Sweden

www.swedenabroad.com/sanfrancisco

30 August 2011 — SAN FRANCISCO: It is one of the most prestigious awards in the artistic universe: The Polar Music Prize (www.polarmusicprize.org). Today, San Francisco’s own Kronos Quartet (www.kronosquartet.org) receives the honor in a ceremony in Stockholm, presented by their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

“There is no more prestigious cultural honor in Sweden than the Polar Prize, and no greater example of American culture than San Francisco’s own Kronos Quartet,” said Swedish Consul General Barbro Osher. “As a Swede and a San Franciscan, I am doubly proud of this year’s award.”

A source for the paintings, reflected in the show’s title, is the legacy of noted naturalist painter John James Audubon whose depictions of birds and nature have become iconic and almost sacred.  Interestingly, however, Audubon never traveled further West than the Mississippi Valley. He relied for his depictions of Western species on specimens procured for him and shipped stiff and lifeless.The Polar Music Prize carries a monetary value equivalent to approximately $155,000 ($1m Swedish Kronor). Receiving the 2011 Polar Music Prize along with Kronos Quartet is singer/ songwriter/poet Patti Smith. The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, publisher, lyricist and manager of the legendary pop group ABBA and is endowed by the Stig Anderson Music Award Foundation. Previous Laureates include Björk, Pierre Boulez, Bob Dylan, Renée Fleming, Valery Gergiev, B. B. King, György Ligeti, Miriam Makeba, Joni Mitchell, Steve Reich, Sonny Rollins, Ravi Shankar, Isaac Ste rn, and a host of others representing a wide range of countries, cultures and continents.

“Wanting to give Western birds their due, I conceived of fleshing out the visual record,” says Long.  “Plus,  I also wanted to introduce elements of contemporary ecological awareness, the history of humankind’s impact on nature, and possibly a bit of allegory.”“For almost 40 years, the Kronos Quartet has been revolutionizing the potential of the string quartet genre when it comes to both style and content,” reads the Polar Music Prize citation. “The same type of chamber music ensemble—two violins, a viola and a cello—for which Mozart and Beethoven wrote can also be used to comment on international politics, interpret avant-garde rock and incorporate music from every corner of the world.”

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, publisher, lyricist and manager of the legendary pop group ABBA. Previous laureates include Björk, Steve Reich, Joni Mitchell, Pierre Boulez, Bob Dylan, Renée Fleming, Valery Gergiev, B. B. King, György Ligeti, Miriam Makeba, Sonny Rollins, Ravi Shankar, Isaac Stern, and a host of others representing a wide range of countries, cultures, and continents.

The celebrations for Polar Music Prize Week 2011 began last Thursday with the opening of the Polar Music Prize Exhibition at Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården. The outdoor exhibition features photos of previous Polar Music Prize Laureates taken by photographer Baldur Bragason and runs till tomorrow.

The Honorary Consulate General of Sweden in San Francisco represents Sweden in California. Its mission is to provide assistance to Swedes and to promote Swedish interests in the Bay Area. In addition to handling passport and consular issues, the Consulate facilitates exchange between Sweden and the U.S., organizes and promotes events and provides information about Sweden and Swedish activities in California. www.www.swedenabroad.com/sanfrancisco. In November, the Consulate will sponsor a celebration marking the 110th birthday of Sweden’s Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize, honoring the Nobel Laureates of California.

Jeff Long

Jeff Long’s The Birds of California: Beyond Audubon

Jeff Long’s The Birds of California: Beyond Audubon

Jeff Long

Meet the Artist Receptions

June 16 at Berkeley’s David Brower Center

July 7 at Toomey Tourell Gallery, San Francisco

July 14 at TransAmerica Center, San Francisco

Sales from Exhibits benefit Nonprofit Earth Island Institute

www.jefflong.com

31 May 2011 – Sonoma, CA:  Jeff Long’s work isn’t for the birds….that is, until now. Next  month, the internationally known and widely collected artist takes flight with a vivid series of watercolors — Jeff Long’s The Birds of California: Beyond Audubon —  sales of which benefit the nonprofit Earth Island Institute.

“I have to admit, my gallery was a little nervous with this new focus for me,” quipped Long (www.jefflong.com) whose multi-layered abstracts are highly prized and highly marketable. “Seriously, though, this work is a return to realism for me. I was always very graphic in my approach, and this allows me to use my love of the great outdoors as a jumping off point.”

A source for the paintings, reflected in the show’s title, is the legacy of noted naturalist painter John James Audubon whose depictions of birds and nature have become iconic and almost sacred.  Interestingly, however, Audubon never traveled further West than the Mississippi Valley. He relied for his depictions of Western species on specimens procured for him and shipped stiff and lifeless.

“Wanting to give Western birds their due, I conceived of fleshing out the visual record,” says Long.  “Plus,  I also wanted to introduce elements of contemporary ecological awareness, the history of humankind’s impact on nature, and possibly a bit of allegory.”

Long started the project with depictions of local vignettes, particularly on the three-acre piece of ground in Lake County, California, where Long has a weekend studio.  Soon, he began adding in visual references to episodes he had witnessed in travels to such places as the Great Plains of North America and the wild areas of Africa.  With nature as the theme, Long reached out to the respected Earth Island Institute, headquartered in Berkeley.

For 25 years, Earth Island Institute has been a hub for grassroots campaigns dedicated to conserving, preserving, and restoring the ecosystems on which our civilization depends. Its Project Support program acts as an incubator for start-up environmental projects, giving crucial assistance to groups and individuals with new ideas for promoting ecological sustainability. Since its founding in 1982 by legendary environmentalist David Brower, Earth Island Institute has provided fiscal sponsorship to more than 100 projects around the globe.

“To concentrate one’s awareness on the forms of life with which we share our habitat is to be amazed by many things, including a near miraculous tenacity, adaptability, intelligence, and visual splendor,” Long continues. “The process of painting these subjects reminds me, that for all our divorcement from nature, these living things are still recognized across cultures as a shared language of associations for humans.”

One of the works from Jeff Long’s The Birds of California: Beyond Audobon  will be seen at a reception at 6pm on Thursday, June 16 at Berkeley’s David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way) as a component of the larger showHello Tomorrow: Bay Area Artists Envision the Future. a group show featuring 20 Bay Area artists on environmental themes.

“I think it’s fitting that my birds are first seen here,” said Long, “as Brower was the founder of Earth Island Institute in addition to a number of environmental advocacy groups.”

The full solo show of Jeff Long’s Birds of California: Beyond Audubon will have two openings: The first at Long’s usual gallery, San Francisco’s Toomey Tourel (49 Geary Street) from July 5 – August 13, with a public reception on Thursday, July 7, 5:30pm-7:30pm; the second a week later in San Francisco at the TransAmerica Center (505 Sansome Street), where a reception on Thursday, July 14, 5:30pm-7:30pm, will preceed a run through the end of August.

Sausalito Artists @ Work “Labors of Love for Labor Day”

China SF

Sausalito Artists @ Work “Labors of Love for Labor Day”

Northern California Local Arts Collaborative Holds 4th Annual Open Studios

 Labor Day Weekend, September 3, 4 & 5 

www.sausalitoartists.com

31 May 2011 – Sausalito, CA: Why travel the world when you’ve got a local legacy of world-class art right in your own backyard? Over the leisurely Labor Day Weekend, discover the art next door (and just over the Golden Gate Bridge) at one of California’s most creative collectives, Sausalito Artists @ Work (www.sausalitoartists.com).  

“Our work is literally a labor of love, for Labor Day. The Bay Area is a leader in how to shop local for food, so what better than to shop local for art,” says artist Sue Averell, an internationally recognized artist and the founder of Sausalito Artists @ Work, celebrating their fourth annual open studios September 3, 4 & 5.  “Visitors to the Sausalito ICB Art Studios at Gate 5 Road will have a chance not only to see artwork produced by local artists, but see and speak with the artists in their studio environments where they create their work.”

Sausalito Artists @ Work are part of “the most artistically vital spot in Sausalito” (Marinscope): the ICB. Born in the spring of 1942, out of the pressing needs of the War effort, the ICB – Industrial Center Building — rapidly became a center of ship building in the district that came to be called “Marinship.”

“This is the definition of turning swords into plowshares,” said Averell.  “As artists, we heal the world with every brush stroke, every chip of our sculptors chisel. Working in this space, with so many other colleagues, is a powerful experience.”

The last Marinship launching took place 1945.  Now, more than 65 years later, the 110,000 square foot ICB is known for launching the careers of artists. Noted for its generous and flexible industrial style spaces, the ICB has become the creative and commercial home to dozens of painters, sculptors, fabric artists, jewelers, photographers, multimedia producers, sound studios – the members of Sausalito Artists @ Work.

“This will be an unprecedented weekend for the arts in Marin,” said Averell, noting that the famed Sausalito Arts Festival will be taking place just a short distance away from the ICB. “The Sausalito Arts Festival always features a high caliber of nationally located artists. Our locally-based Sausalito Artists @ Work collective is a wonderful counterpoint. We’re encouraging arts lovers to visit both.”

Sausalito Artists @ Work is comprised of Chris Adessa, Sue Averell, Deborah Bertola, Ellen Levine Dodd, Cynthia Duncan, Miriam Ellingson, Frances Galli, Elizabeth Gorek, Bonnie Himberg, Brian Huber, Carol Jacobsen, Kathleen McMahon, Sherry Miller, Cheryl Rabin, Dani Roach, Anna Noelle Rockwell, Joanne Salz, Darcy J. Sears, Hillary Sloss and Gail Sterling.  The Sausalito Artists @ Work Open Studios has no admission fee and is open to the public. Open studios run Saturday, Sunday & Monday, September 3, 4 & 5, 11am ‘til 6pm. Featured will be paintings, photography, sculpture and fibre art by more than 25 “Sausalito Artists @ Work.”  www.sausalitoartists.com