When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
Llewelynn Fletcher's immersive sculptures beguile the senses. Sasha Petrenko's site-specific installations and performances strive to capture a dynamic, living planet. Austin Thomas hides heady themes in seemingly austere drawings, photos, and sculptures. She also cobbles together site-specific social spaces which she calls "perches," but which are obviously kick-ass treehouses, minus the trees. These and other artists are contributing super-sized works for "Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" at the University of San Francisco's Rooftop Sculpture Terrace. "Just Passing Through" promises to challenge notions about how we inhabit or pass through space, or at least provide a lovely respite in a busy city.
"Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" is open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 11 at Kalmanovitz Hall, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., S.F. Free; 422-5178 or usfca.edu. More
Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 11
Weird little marvels are the works of Ron Nagle, the ceramicist whose work has helped prove that a sculptor who works in clay can be a serious presence in the art world. Nagle has been making vessels and intimate-sized sculptures since the 1960s, when he was associated with the norm-busting California ceramics movement and studied with one of its prime forces, fellow abstract-expressionist Peter Voulkos. A species of one, Nagle has continued to create compelling and painstakingly crafted pieces that are elegant yet unsettling. His sculptures contain puckered surfaces, unusual textural juxtapositions, amorphous shapes, and a surreal look. His cups, some of which have been overglazed and repeatedly fired, appear to have come from a tea party on Mars. With diverse influeneces, including ceramicist Ken Price, abstractionist Cy Twombly, still-life painter Giorgio Morandi, and California cool-car culture, Nagle is a distinctive artist and a San Francisco spirit. To learn more, come hear his lecture at the San Francisco Art Institute — his first appearance there since his 1978 Adaline Kent Award exhibition.More
BayTaper.com, an online multimedia documentary featuring live audio recordings, videos, and photography has been tirelessly capturing live jazz and acoustic music in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2005.
Were not sure how our nations founders defined patriot, but in the past few decades a group of (mostly) men has mutated the word to mean person whos blindly devoted to right-wing policy and to hell with San Francisco. But we know that love of country is a more complex affair. It involves looking at all aspects of the nation, the light as well as the shadow, the glory as well as the horror, with the aim to expose and change whats shadowy and horrific. By that definition, the ideal embodiment of patriotism is the San Francisco Mime Troupe, a pack of politically absurdist performers who not only expose the shadow and horror but laugh in its collective face. In the mid-1960s, they blindsided Jim Crow in A Minstrel Show, or Civil Rights in a Cracker Barrel. Before the 2008 presidential election, they shook fear and hatred by the lapels in Red State. After the economic meltdown, they bankrupted the financial sector in Too Big to Fail. Now they look at what it takes for an arts group to get by in (they say its no longer a) recession in 2012 The Musical! In the play, theres this small theater troupe, you see, and its politically motivated. Its members, however, wonder whether they should keep trying to change the world through their performances or be the mouthpiece for the Man by accepting corporate commissions. They get an offer by a so-called green company to make a play. But what is the purpose of the production? And who is putting up the money? Can a politically minded troupe sell out just a little bit? Count on the Mime Troupe to find out.
Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: July 2. Continues through July 4, 2011