Thursday, March 2, 2000
Cirkut Photo in Smithsonian Local photographer Steve Shapiro, director of the Focus Photographic Gallery in Carmel, has just had a photo of San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and his staff accepted into the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
In December ''98, the Weekly wrote about Shapiro''s pioneering work with a 1915 Cirkut panoramic camera, a large format, 8-by-10 view camera modified to incorporate a motor-drive and panorama film back, and which uses a motorized tripod mount to produce images with up to a 720-degree angle of view. The camera was developed in the 1880s during the California Gold Rush and used by photographers who "made the circuit" of mining camps and took group shots which they sold back to the miners.
Shapiro''s photograph of Brown and his staff is part of a portfolio he is starting that will chronicle the people of coastal California at the beginning of the millennium. He''s been invited to submit a bid to do a panoramic shot of the San Francisco Supreme Court justices, and he''d also like to do the Monterey County justices and other local notables. On March 21, he will photograph all the students at Forest Grove elementary school, from first through sixth grade, "the first millennium class of the Last Hometown in America."
Shapiro began working with the camera in mid-1998, and is "proud" to point out that he is finally able to produce manually a photograph that the average person could snap with an automatic camera. "I accomplished manually what we can already do with machines," he quips.
Learn to Improvise
The Magic Circle Center for the Arts in Carmel Valley Village is launching "Hero With a Thousand Stories," an improvisational theater workshop that will run for six weeks beginning Tuesday at 7pm. The two-hour classes, directed at actors and non-actors, will be led by John Rebstock, who has facilitated similar workshops in Boulder, Colo. and at the Tamalpa Institute in Kentfield, Calif. The Magic Circle folks say the six sessions will "benefit anyone interested in freeing their imaginations to bring more spontaneity and awareness to their creative process." All that for $45. Call 625-9369.
Performers wishing to take part in this year''s Carmel Performing Arts Festival, held from Oct. 6 to 22, are urged to apply before the March 24 deadline. Both local and out-of-town performers are invited to present their own self-produced works. Call the festival office at 624-7675 to request a proposal application. Proposals will be reviewed during April, and artists will be notified of acceptance by the end of May.
Clothes With Soul
The term "wearable art" can conjure up visions of beaded tigers on T-shirts or luridly painted silk scarves. But an exhibit of "vibrant art clothing" opening Tuesday at Monterey Peninsula College promises to be a fascinating look into the life and politics of Watsonville artist Rachel Clark, who created all the works on display. Clark is a nationally recognized artist and lecturer, born and raised in Tullulah, La., in a family of women who all sewed. She remembers making her first doll dress when she was six. "My mom made baby clothes, my aunt sewed," she says. "It was just a fact of life."
Clark''s creations in cloth employ bold colors and colorful prints, the same combinations she uses for the clothing she makes for herself. But she uses her clothing as more than a fashion statement. An African-American woman, she uses her art as a way to create dialogue about racism, war, sexism, and her other political and social concerns.
Clark''s exhibit can be viewed at the MPC Art Gallery Tuesdays through Fridays. The public can meet Clark March 30 at a closing reception from noon to 2pm. For more information call 646-3060.