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
It can be frustrating to explain who you are. "Who are you? Who are you?" Anthony Michael Hall famously asks in the 1980s teen film classic The Breakfast Club. The question, asked by an uninterested authority figure, inspires Hall's character to stick two pens in his mouth and respond rhetorically, "I am the walrus." At "Present Tense Biennial: Chinese Character," 31 artists respond, essentially, to the questions "What is Chinese? What is Chinese-American?" The resulting visual answers are, like Hall's gesture, cheeky, poetic, sad, and funny. They are also gorgeous, and brilliantly curated by Intersection for the Arts program director Kevin B. Chen, who presents the work not only in a gallery across the street from Portsmouth Square, but also in scattered storefronts throughout the area. With that, "Present Tense" effectively turns Chinatown itself into a gallery, or more precisely, culls all of Chinatown as part of the exhibit, and turns the neighborhood itself into art. (Which makes us think of Wayne Wang's charming, sharp 1982 film Chan Is Missing.) Some of our favorite local artists are featured, including Kenneth Lo, Suzanne Husky, and Charlene Tan. But many names are new to us, some hailing from China, some from elsewhere: Sean Marc Lee is from San Bruno, and his photography features his fabulously stereotype-busting father, while part-time Beijing resident Fang Lu produces a video called Straight Outta HK, which Chen calls "a real culture fuck."
May 1-Aug. 23, 2009