Thursday Tunes: A LEGO Playlist
Posted by BG Staff // December 17th, 2015
We'll be sad to say goodbye to The Art of the Brick + Became by Jud Bergeron when the exhibition closes this Sunday, so we put together some music to lift our spirits. Breaking up is hard to do, but don't worry - we'll never LEGO in our hearts.
Kicking it off with a LEGO metaphor: The Commodores - Brick House
An ode to LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya's stunning creation: Sugababes - Red Dress
For all you AFOLs out there: Ben Folds Five - Brick
Your soundtrack to completing any big build: Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall
Better than a shot of espresso: Tegan & Sara - Everything is Awesome
Dedicated to new parents: Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy
Satisfaction after a good build: James Brown - Get on the Good Foot, Pt. 1 & 2
Thanks for listening!
Where to Drink in the Creek
Posted by BG Staff // December 10th, 2015
Celebrate the upcoming holidays by hopping into one of Walnut Creek’s local watering holes—here are a few of our favorite seasonal drinks.
Warm up at Coffee Shop
Escape from the cool breeze inside this cozy new coffee haven where you can choose from a pumpkin latte made with one of their locally featured roasted espressos, hot apple cider steamed on a Slayer espresso machine, or a peppermint mocha with house-made chocolate and peppermint syrup and topped with a marshmallow.
Grab a pint at Pyramid
This Western brewing company has been making their Snow Cap Winter Warmer Ale since 1986. Full-bodied, smooth, and brewed in the spirit of British winter ales, you’ll find notes of roasted chocolate, caramel malts, and hops.
Head over to the bar to try one of this swanky locale’s cocktails made with house-made syrups and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Our pick for the season is the El Oso—a mix of lost republic bourbon, butternut squash and bacon syrup, clear creek cranberry liqueur, and lemon juice boker’s bitters.
Artist Spotlight: Jud Bergeron
Posted by BG Staff // December 3rd, 2015
Work from Jud Bergeron’s Became series is on view until December 20th in the Alcove Gallery in conjunction with The Art of the Brick show. The following is an edited excerpt from our Exhibition Guide, available in the gallery.
“There are equal parts joy and fear in parenting and sometimes the thing that feels safest is also the most dangerous.”
San Francisco artist Jud Bergeron is known for his work in paper, wood, bronze, stainless steel, and mixed media. His work encompasses wall reliefs, small- and large-scale sculptures, and public art installments. Bergeron’s body of work seamlessly moves from abstract pieces to more narrative sculpture. His life informs his work; for example, Bergeron created a series of pieces that pay homage to renowned sculptor Stephen De Staebler (1933-2011), with whom he worked during the 1990s. More recently, his Became series captures the overwhelming, joyful, and whimsical feelings of becoming a parent. “There are equal parts joy and fear in parenting and sometimes the thing that feels safest is also the most dangerous,” he says. Many of these works are playful and toy-like and inspire a feeling of levity and fun. For Bergeron, toys are shorthand for childhood. They capture a moment in our kids’ lives, but also mark the inevitable march of time.
“There is such a joy in the accumulation (of toys) and also a deep sadness in their inevitable disrepair,” Bergeron says. “The imagery in toys can be hopeful innocence like that of the rubber duck, or menacing terror like many action figures that depict evil bad guys. By using them to create art, I can bring the viewer directly into the narrative and we are all immediately on the same page.”
Jud Bergeron was born in 1972 on a Navajo reservation in Winslow, AZ and grew up in Guilford, CT. He comes from a long line of artists; Bergeron is the first sculptor in his family. “Not sure why sculpture ended up my thing, it just always felt right,” he says. Bergeron has worked with a wide range of materials, but favors those that are permanent and archival. For his works in the Became series, his material of choice was plastic and it had to be flawless to drive the childhood narrative.
Bergeron studied at Old Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Connecticut under a student of French sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, who was a student of Rodin. He spent five years in New York—the city had a profound effect on his work in a way he describes as “not quantifiable.” He has also been deeply influenced by the psychedelic art of San Francisco and the pure beauty of the west coast. He returned to San Francisco in 2011 with his wife and two children.
Image credits: Top left: Jud Bergeron in his studio; Top right: Jud Bergeron, My Pal Foot Foot, 2012, cast resin with automotive finish, dimensions variable; Middle left: Jud Bergeron, The Crystalline Baby (Fletcher), 2009, fabricated steel and found chair, 48 x 20 x 15 inches; Middle right: Jud Bergeron, Peg Leg Wilson, 2012, cast bronze, 28 x 17 x 12 inches; Bottom left: Jud Bergeron, Candy Series #5, 2012, high fired ceramics on automotive finished panel, 36 x 36 inches; Bottom center: Jud Bergeron, Candy Series #7, 2012, high fired ceramics on automotive finished panel, 24 x 24 inches; Bottom right: Jud Bergeron, Candy Series #3, 2012, high fired ceramics on automotive finished panel, 36 x 36 inches
Curator’s Picks: An Artful Holiday Roundup
Posted By Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions and Programs //November 25, 2015
Once you’ve had your fill of pumpkin pie, take some time to fill-up on art out in the Bay.
We’ve listed a few shows to explore that are thought-provoking and engaging.
Barry McGee: China Boo
At Ratio 3 San Francisco
This show is a must see! This new collection of works from local artist Barry McGee features brightly colored paintings, images of spray cans, used surfboards, ceramics, and found pieces of furniture.
On view thru December 19 **The gallery is closed November 26 & 27
Looking Back: 45 Years
At John Berggruen Gallery San Francisco
This museum-quality exhibition celebrates Berggruen’s 45 years in the art bus, and he has brought together a beautiful composition of artworks—many of which have rarely been seen publicly.
The show includes a drop-dead gorgeous Mark Rothko, a raucous and sassy Lichtenstein, and a poetic stain-painting by Helen Frankenthaler. The show also includes art world giants like Frank Stella, Georgia O’Keefe, Willem de Kooning, Alexander Calder, Frida Kahlo, Philip Guston, Robert Motherwell, and Joseph Cornell. It’s also a good chance to check out this gallery before it moves to a new space in the Dog Patch in 2016.
On view thru December 19
Public Works: Artists' Interventions 1970s–Now
At Mills College Art Museum Oakland
Hats off to guest curators Christian L. Frock and Tanya Zimbardo for their beautifully crafted show Public Works. The exhibition begins outside the museum with a heartfelt installation of Susan O’Malley’s text-based piece and continues inside with a rock-solid collection of work by women artists who use social sculpture to address socio-political issues and ideas. Curators Frock and Zimbardo include early posters by our beloved Guerrilla Girls, as well as the 1977 community-based performances by Mierle Laderman Ukeles, the first artist-in-residence at the NY City Department of Sanitation. Budget some time for this show, there is a lot to see!
On view thru December 13
And don't forget - if you haven't seen the hit exhibition The Art of the Brick yet, the Bedford will be open Friday - Sunday this weekend!
Public Art Pick:
Leo Bersamina’s Warming Up in California, 2015
Posted by BG Staff // November 19th, 2015
This Public Art piece is one of many on our new Public Art Walking Tour App! You can listen HERE to learn more about artist and teacher Leo Bersamina, introduced by the Bedford’s own Curator of Exhibitions, Carrie Lederer. Bersamina explains his process and inspiration for his newest public art piece for the City of Walnut Creek, an archival print of trees rendered as windows at the entrance to the Ascent Walnut Creek Apartments on N. Main Street.
On the Road with Dean West and Nathan Sawaya
Posted by BG Staff // November 12th, 2015
BG Docent Laura Pellerine talked to award-winning Australian photographer Dean West about his road trip with artist Nathan Sawaya for the making of IN PIECES—a unique multimedia project that combines LEGO® sculptures into hyper-realistic tableau compositions.
Dean West, Tracks, type C photograph, Kodak Endura, 43 x 58 x 2 inches
"The colors were beautiful, pastel blues and yellows."
Tell us about your road trip with Sawaya to photograph IN PIECES.
The initial road trip was about two weeks, and it really was about looking for inspiration. The idea focused on the desolate, minimalist scenes that you can find across rural America.
We started in L.A. (where Nathan was at the time) and we drove out towards a desolate hotel in Amboy, California on the historical route 66. From there we ventured into Arizona, Nevada and then all the way up to Salt Lake, Utah. The trip together really helped us define what the project was going to be about.
"The idea focused on the desolate, minimalist scenes that you can find across rural America."
What moment stands out the most to you from that road trip?
There were so many moments that were important. Getting to know each other, understanding the chaos of Nathan’s life as a famous LEGO artist, and it was also good for Nathan to see how I started shooting some of the background plates.
We took some risks to try and get the perfect backgrounds and at one point in Amboy, I decided to climb up a large antenna—I’m guessing it was about 30 feet, all I know was that I had climbed high enough so that I was almost too afraid to let go and swing the camera around from around my back. Just as I was about to start taking photographs, this guy came out—a large man with a gun and a dog barking aggressively—and he screamed at me to “Get down!” I was trying to climb down as quickly as possible, but it was a really slow and arduous process, I was terrified. [laughs] You know, we just really became friends over that and it created the best foundation for us to produce the series.
"I was trying to climb down as quickly as possible, but it was a really slow and arduous process, I was terrified."
What was it about the idea of the American landscape and postcards that inspired you?
Growing up in Australia, we have this Hollywood perspective of America—especially the West. When I was doing some research, historical American postcards were coming up in my search. Over the years many towns were documented and printed on postcards. What I had discovered were these iconic renditions of America—colored postcards that were originally shot in black and white and then hand colored. The colors were beautiful, pastel blues and yellows. So as we were driving across America we always had that in the back of our minds.
IN PIECES will be on view as a part of The Art of the Brick® through December 20th.
Craft Fest Preview: Olivia Shih
Posted by Ama Wertz // November 6th, 2015
Bg staff member Ama Wertz visited the studio of jewelry maker Olivia Shih, who will be at our Craft Fest this weekend.
From West Oakland’s industrial district, artist and jewelry designer Olivia Shih crafts wearable art with an eye for repurposing materials. A recent graduate of the California College of the Arts, she feels lucky to share studio space with artist friends in the sprawling American Steel Studios warehouse, a network of mainly metalwork and large-scale sculpture studios.
Olivia is currently developing a line of leather necklaces and pouches, forming them over clay shapes she molds by hand. She starts with undyed, vegetable-tanned leather that darkens with age and exposure to sunlight, and she adds subtle color with diluted dyes. She gets several cuts from a single piece of hide; its natural markings and imperfections – usually scratches or mosquito bites – add texture and connect each piece back to the animal.
Her current collection of translucent acrylic jewelry is reminiscent of glaciers, each piece cut from scrap she collected during her time at CCA. She’s also done small collections of enameled art jewelry, like the organic shapes above which can be worn as brooches or pendants.
Olivia is inspired by wearable sculpture design, especially from makers in Taiwan, where she’s originally from. She’s a fan of the contemporary work shown at SF jewelry gallery Velvet da Vinci. “To carry a miniature piece of art with you, wherever you go, [is] fascinating to me,” she says.
A variety of tools – neatly arranged like art objects themselves - carve, file, sand, and polish each piece as it makes its way through a laborious finishing process.
See more of Olivia’s work at oliviashih.com, and don’t miss her table at this year’s Craft Fest!
Craft Fest Preview: Meet your Makers
Posted by Bg Staff // November 4th, 2015
We asked our 26 vendors questions about why it's important to shop local, and what inspires them to create.
Below are a few of the makers' responses. For full vendor list check out our Craft Fest page.
Shop these makers and more at Craft Fest: Sat & Sun, Nov 7 & 8 at the Bedford Gallery from 10am-4pm.