Highlighting artists, community and cultural events in Bakersfield, CA.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Prep Guide

BOO! Did I scare ya? Whether or not you celebrate Halloween, it is certainly that ghoulish time of year. With a bevy of brewings going on in Bako that are spook-related I thought I’d give you my top picks for the rest of the week to get you in the spirit.. err.. mood.

Wednesday, October 28th: Head to Metro Special Events, 2801 F Street, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. for The NeverEnding Comedy Show. Not only will you get laughs from local talent Brian Ross, Dane Forst, Ernesto Gomez, James Mongold, and Joe Alaniz, your holiday tie-in includes Witches! The continuing Burn the Witch all female group art show will be on exhibit to enjoy during the comedy performance. Admission to the 21 and over show is $5.00 and beer is available for only $2.50. Proceeds from the show benefit BECA (Bakersfield Emerging Contemporary Artists). Go get your ha-ha!

Thursday, October 29th: Need an adrenaline rush? This might be a good night to head to Talladega Frights, located at Fruitvale-Norris Park (6221 Norris Road), and let the cast of crazy characters at this haunted house scare a little life out of you. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. every night this week. Admission is $12.00 at the door, but you may still be able to find $2.00 off coupons at one of the attraction’s sponsors. Visit http://www.talladegafrights.com/ for more information.

Friday, October 30th: FLICS at the Fox returns with a vampire-themed presentation that will thrill and chill you. Although the film includes young actors in the lead roles, this bloody but beautiful movie (according to on-line reviews) is not a children’s film—Let the Right One In is rated R. This is sure to be a popular draw—you may wish to get there well before the 7:30 p.m. showtime. Admission is $5.00. The Fox Theater is located at the corner of H and 20th Streets.

Saturday, October 31st: It’s Halloween! Grab your costume and head to the closing reception of Burn the Witch IV at Metro Special Events, 2801 F Street, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Check out the eclectic, the weird, the beautiful, the serene, the passion and the expressions that our local women artists have created. This is a great opportunity to purchase local artwork at very reasonable prices and support BECA (Bakersfield Emerging Contemporary Artists) and The Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. A costume contest is also on the agenda—along with food, wine and live entertainment. Admission is only $5.00.

After Burn the Witch, join the patio crowd at Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar, 3310 Truxtun Avenue, Suite 160, where Cinema Saturdays ends its October run with a zombie double-feature: Night of the Living Dead (original version) at 7:00 p.m. followed by the comedy-horror spoof, Shaun of the Dead at 8:45 p.m. Sit on the patio, meet some cool Bako peeps (or Tweeps!), enjoy a glass of wine, a delicious chocolate souffle or even a full course meal served by a most attentive and hospitable staff. Wear a costume & you'll even receive a sweet treat--A perfect end to your trick-or-treat week!

Happy Halloweenie! See you out there!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hey! Where ya been?

Bottleneck Brain. A condition referring to the conflict between having waited too long between writing and a plethora of events, ideas, moods, weather patterns….etcetera, floating around which could readily be adapted into material. Common to bloggers, journalists, writers et al.

First off, my apologies for taking the last week “off.” Although I was on hiatus attending to personal business, Bako certainly didn’t take a vacation! There were openings, presentations, concerts, film screenings, festivals, readings, art classes—you know, the norm for our bustling cultural hive. Some things are over, but lucky for me (and you) some things continue:

Larry Jason’s exhibit, “Body Language,” at JP Jennings (corner of 17th and Chester), runs through November 15th. Passing by the storefront windows, colorful, larger-than-life faces and figures visibly invite one inside to take a closer look. Jason’s canvases of bright, painted suits are a temptation to stick one’s own head above the silk-screened torsos in order to create a new artwork. (Although, as much as I really want to, I don’t think I’ll try this in person.) Stop in to see these bold graphics, as well as paintings of classic cars—their muscles flexing at sexy angles—and other artwork from local artists adorning the walls of the framing shop/gallery. JP Jennings is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30(ish) p.m. (Tip: Call first if it’s getting close to closing time: (661) 323-1622.)

On October 17th, Burn the Witch IV, sponsored by BECA (Bakersfield Emerging Contemporary Artists), broke out on the scene amidst some controversy, mystery and just a touch of chaos. But, as should be expected from an all-female group art collaborative in Bako, the real story is amazing, beautiful artistry from many wonderfully creative women. So far I’ve only seen photographs, but even in pictures the pieces are inspiring, fun, eclectic and have whetted my appetite for more. Thankfully, the opening is not to be outdone by the closing—Halloween, from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.—at Metro Special Events, 2801 F Street. Admission is only $5.00 and benefits Alliance against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. Wear a costume! Support art in Bakersfield! And psst…. I’m proud to say, there’s even a few photos from yours truly in the exhibit. See you there!

Okay, I’ll be posting more soon along with a new Go.See.Do. and photos from some of the coolest happenings in Bakersfield, California. Check back sooooon….

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Weekend Shooting Schedule--Just need YOU!!


The Highway 99 Cruise 'n' Show begins Friday night and continues all weekend through Sunday afternoon. Come downtown for the festivities--dress for the sockhop and enter the Nifty 50's Costume Contest at Caffeine Supreme (20th & F), or let your dog wear the poodle skirt for the Nifty 50's Best Dressed Doggy Contest at Biscuit Doggy Boutique (1617 19th St). There's even a 50's Dance Contest, Fire Station One Birthday Party, Rockabilly Concert, kids area and pumpkin patch plus plenty of awesome cars.

Also Saturday and Sunday, make time to head over to The Marketplace to catch Via Arte 2009.  Now in its 11th year, the event is sure to be fantastic as always. Professional, amateur and student artists will be creating chalk masterpieces in the parking areas in front of Starbucks and Tahoe Joe's and an area open for children to create their own pieces of sidewalk art will also be available. Live music and entertainment is scheduled throughout the event including Saturday's offerings of smooth jazz with Tony O'Brien, Claydoh the Clown, Bahiyya Almas Belly Dancers, Thee Majestics, The Beagles and Mento Buru . On Sunday, AKA, Chesterfield King & the Sultans of Swing as well as Claydoh the Clown and Bahiyya Almas Belly Dancers will be performing.

Another interesting suggestion is the 2nd Annual Coptic Festival at St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church of Bakersfield, 9200 White Lane. Saturday and  Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. festivities will include, food, childrens's activities, photo opps with "The Kings and Queens of Egypt", books, crafts, gifts, church tours and an informational film. The Coptic faith is the largest denomination of Christianity in Egypt. Expand your cultural horizons with a visit to the Coptic Festival--admission is free!

And if you like quirky films, Saturday night don't forget to stop by Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar, 3310 Truxtun Ave, Suite 160, for "Cinema Saturdays". Free wine-tasting at 8:45 p.m. (Get there early 'cause when it's gone, it's gone!) and free show at 9:00 p.m. "Harold and Maude" will be playing this Saturday; additional movies will be scheduled each Saturday in October.

Don't you dare say there's nothing to do in Bakersfield!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend Recap/What's coming up!

So, First Friday I decided to stray a bit from my usual routine of sticking to the galleries and instead spent some more time experiencing a few of the businesses on 19th Street. I wandered into Ellie Jaye’s Boutique, 1608 19th St., and was immediately impressed with the creative spirit of the store. This is the kind of shop you’ll want to check out if you need a unique gift for a child or a fun, fashionable outfit for your little girl or guy. You can also shop on-line at http://www.elliejayes.com/. Although the store is the main attraction, the owners are expanding their space with the addition of a licensed massage therapist within the building (Simply Jerry Massage Therapy 661 619-6121) as well as a photography studio which is currently being built upstairs (Solorzano Photography 661 827-8279).

After some sweet snacks at Ellie Jaye’s, I headed over to Kuka’s, 1609 19th St., where the warmth of the Mexican folk art, fine gifts and furnishings awaited. I sampled the delicious variety of chips, dips, salsa and crackers being offered, and just had to take home a package of dip mix for future munching. The distinctive way Kuka’s bags your selection is a signature flourish that makes any purchase feel decadent–even if it’s just a dip mix! Go to http://www.kukasfolkart.com/ to see many of the beautiful items for sale in the store.

Warmed up and ready for a meal, I headed over to the Spotlight Café, inside Spotlight Theatre, 1622 19th St., where each First Friday the Café serves a pasta meal for only $6.95. There was a crowd inside the theater waiting to see the opening night of Evil Dead: The Musical (now playing weekends during October), but I found a place on the patio which was perfect for people watching and enjoying the amazing weather. All the options sounded excellent, but I chose the fettucini with chicken and zucchini. Yummy! Apparently this is a First Friday routine for some–I will happily follow their tradition.

Lest I forget, however, I did begin the evening at MetroGalleries, 1604 19th St., where a new exhibit of photography featuring collage work from Susan Reep (Altered Landscapes) and a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of soldiers in Afghanistan by Michael Fagans (Unguarded Moments) will be on display until November 28th. It is a fascinating mix of the real and surreal with an invitation to decide for yourself which is which. Check it out. While at Metro, I sampled delectable appetizers from Valentien, 3310 Truxtun Ave., #160,  and visited with one of the owners of that restaurant and wine bar, Jennifer Sanderson. During October, she tells me, Valentien is playing host for “Cinema Saturdays,” which features a different film each week. La Dolce Vita and Amelie were two of the previous offerings and Harold and Maude will be playing this Saturday at 9:00 p.m. The wine bar and kitchen will also be open for late night noshing and imbibing.
On Sunday, I stumbled upon one event while waiting for another to begin. Central Park, 19th and R Streets, was the place to be to enjoy an afternoon of perfect weather, art and community. Looking forward to seeing the Cuauhtemoc Aztec dancers, I noticed the park was filled with people, booths and the sounds of live music. The event was, "Meet Your Special Neighbors," and vendors from around Kern County who serve those with special needs were on hand to share information and resources. One of these agencies, Autism Society Chapter-Kern Autism Network is sponsoring a free screening of the movie, The Black Balloon, Thursday, October 15th, 7:00 p.m. at the Fox Theater, 2001 H St. The movie stars Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine) and is based on a true story. Guest speaker, Dr. Stephen Shore, will also be discussing his own experience with autism and answering questions for the public. The movie is rated PG-13; for more info call 661 588-4235 or email kernautism@gmail.com.

Also coming up, Wednesday morning, October 7th, from 9:30 to 11: 00 a.m., John Harte, long-time Bakersfield Californian staff photographer, now semi-retired, will be speaking and sharing multi-media pieces in a presentation entitled, "The New Photojournalism--How the Internet Empowered America's Visual Story Tellers."  The event is part of Bakersfield Museum of Art's "First Wednesday," program. BMOA is located at 1930 R St. Admission is free to members, $4.00 for seniors and $5.00 for the general public. Side note: John is also the guy I like to blame for the creation of BakoArtistConnect as he teaches the Multi-Media class which I attend at Bakersfield College and for which this blog is an assignment! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This weekend in Bako!!

This weekend: First Friday, new theater shows , FLICS at The Fox, the opening of Talladega Frights Haunted House, Oktoberfest on Saturday, $1.00 admission at Bakersfield Museum of Art featuring the Aztec dancing of “Cuauhtemoc” on Sunday and of course, the final days of the Kern County Fair! Here's a peek at what to do Friday, for the rest, keep checking Go. See. Do. in the sidebar of this page.
It feels like we just celebrated First Friday but already here we are in the month of October and that means another party downtown! The Arts District will be hopping this First Friday, October 2nd, as the photographers have their day with an opening at MetroGalleries, 1604 19th Street. Featured photographers are Susan Reep (Altered Landscapes) and Michael Fagans (Unguarded Moments). After checking out this new exhibit, make sure to stroll over to the many other businesses whose doors will be open for shopping and browsing including: smoothies and coffee drinks at Caffeine Supreme, Mexican folk art at Kuka’s, Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa for pet fanciers, fashion at Jezebelle’s, gifts and décor at Charisma Boutique, and of course, the awesome art at Surface Gallery. Shops and galleries will be open late with exclusive specials, free food, live music and art on the sidewalk. DO NOT MISS IT!!

Also downtown on Friday: Spotlight Theatre, which will be serving Pasta on the Patio for $6.95 during First Friday’s events, opens a new show just in time for the spooky month of October—Evil Dead, the Musical, directed by Jarred Clowes. This fun, horror-themed show will be playing October 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 29, 30 & 31 at 8 PM and Sunday October 25 at 2:00 PM. Parents be advised this show features adult language and violent themes that may not be suitable for all ages. Contact Spotlight Theatre for ticket info & reservations: (661) 634-0692.

Film buffs rejoice: FLICS at The Fox continues on Friday with another international offering, Laila’s Birthday. This film is not rated; for more info including a synopsis, go to http://www.flics.org/. Show begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are just $5.00.

And if being scared out of your wits is your idea of fun, why not head over to Talladega Frights located at Fruitvale Norris Park, 6621 Norris Road, with its haunted house and cast of freaky characters? Friday is the opening, but the show will run several dates during October. $12.00 at the door gets you your fill of frights. For more info, head to http://www.talladegafrights.com/.

That’s it for now—Saturday’s “TO DO” coming up next!