Fine Arts

Fine Arts (X) - SPARK (X)

Seyed Alavi: Conceptual Art

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For over two decades Seyed Alavi has worked with public institutions to create conceptual works of art to be experienced by passers by. In this Spark video produced by KQED, follow Alavi as he offers a guided tour of his art and working process.

The Crooked Jades: Music

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The Crooked Jades are on a mission to revive some of America's oldest music. Aficionados of "old-time" music, the members of this Bay Area band perform their own take on rural folk music from the days before radio. For the bandleader Jeff Kazor, old-time music offers a way to connect today's world with the country's earliest days -- the songs evoke conjure common feelings of alienation and suffering. As the chief songwriter of the band, Kazor finds his inspiration by listening to old recordings and selecting songs to rediscover and reinterpret.

ODC Dance

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, meet Brenda Way who in the three decades since she founded ODC has directed her dancers and staff to accomplish more than they ever dreamed possible. In the 1970s, a group of dancers, musicians and artists from Oberlin College formed the Oberlin Dance Collective (ODC), a collaborative project dedicated to developing and performing new modern dance works. ODC has since become the premier contemporary dance company of the West Coast, performing for more than 50,000 people a year.

Chris Drury: Visual Arts (Earthworks)

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, climb a tree with Chris Drury whose installations mimic the underlying patterns of the natural world. For more than a quarter-century, internationally recognized British artist Chris Drury has used the materials and processes of nature in his work. Drury's lyrical, often temporary installations mimic patterns that already exist in the natural world. Visit with Drury as he prepares a series of works for a six-week residency at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California, culminating in a show called "Whorls: Installations by Chris Drury," an indoor and outdoor exhibition featuring three site-specific nature-based installations. 

Consuelo Jiménez Underwood: Visual Arts (Fiber Arts)

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In the Spark video produced by KQED, follow Consuelo Jiménez Underwood as she installs new works at the San Jose Museum of Art for the "Un/Familiar Territory" exhibition, addressing the relationships between place and culture and personal identity. Discussing her roles as both artist and teacher at San Jose State University, Underwood raises two important issues that have surfaced in textiles recently -- the contemporary interest in textiles as an expressive art form and the legacy of textiles as a craft traditionally practiced by women.

Amalia Mesa-Bains: Visual Arts

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, explore the meanings and history of Día de los Muertos with internationally renowned Chicana artist Amalia Mesa-Bains as she teaches a class on the holiday's traditions. In teaching these traditions, Mesa-Bains helps her students get in touch with their own histories. Although more than half of Monterey County is of Mexican origin, the tradition of making ofrendas for Day of the Dead has been in great part abandoned as families came to the United States. For some, the tradition is even at odds with the practices of the Catholic Church. But by learning the traditions of Día de los Muertos, many of Mesa-Bains's students are able to reconnect with cultural practices and their own past. 

 

Mariachi Youth Program: Music

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Mariachi, a style that combines Spanish composition with traditional indigenous music, has been passed on orally for generations in the Latino community. Spark drops in on a program that trains youth in trumpet, violin, guitar, guitarrón, vihuela and vocals.  The Mariachi Youth Program, sponsored by the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose, has been available to children in public schools since 1992. 

David Hevel: Visual Arts (Sculpture)

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, get fierce with sculptor David Hevel and his outrageous animal creations inspired by pop icons. Growing up in Missouri, David Hevel was influenced by the inevitable and distinctly American force-feeding of pop icons and television culture. Hevel worked in film/video performance, commercial illustration and painting, eventually finding his niche in sculpture. Using unique materials, Hevel creates fantastical images of animals that represent such American celebrities as supermodel Tyra Banks and pop idol Justin Timberlake. 

di Rosa Preserve: Visual Arts (Collectors and their Collections)

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, learn about how Rene di Rosa transformed his Napa Valley property into an art preserve devoted solely to Bay Area art. The preserve includes three large galleries and a sculpture meadow that are open to the public. Migratory birds, vineyards, ancient olive trees, a 35-acre lake, a 130-year old stone winery and an extraordinary art collection amassed throughout the last four decades makes the di Rosa Preservean unparalleled haven where art and nature share the landscape.

Garry Knox Bennett: Visual Arts (Handcrafted Furniture)

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, meet Garry Knox Bennett, who for more than three decades, has been at the vanguard of furniture making with his unusual tables, desks, chairs, clocks and lamps. Rather than beginning with sketches and drawings, Bennett goes straight to the materials, working them part by part into a finished idea. It is a technique that allows Bennett the freedom to change the direction of a piece several times before it is complete.

Check out the entire collection of KQED SPARK videos here! 

Julia Parker: Visual Arts (Basket Weaving)

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, Julia Parker revives the art form of Native American basket weaving. Weaving baskets connects her to the lives and traditions of her ancestors. She is one of California's most talented weavers, and her baskets can be found in the collections of the Queen of England and the Smithsonian Institution. Original air date: May 2004.

Check out the entire collection of KQED SPARK videos here! 

Kerry Laitala: Visual Arts (Film)

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, meet experimental filmmaker, Kerry Laitala. Laitala hand-builds her films, manipulating the surface of the celluloid and exposing each frame individually to create works that stand at the edge of film and art.

Daniel McCormick: Visual Arts (Sculpture)

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, follow environmental artist Daniel McCormick as he creates temporary sculptures in the creek beds of West Marin.

Gregory Gavin: Visual Arts

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Gregory Gavin is an artist with a social cause. In this Spark video produced by KQED, explore his project called "Riveropolis," which was born out of his interest in bringing inner-city people together in a man-made environment reminiscent of nature.

Joe Mangrum: Visual Arts (Instillation)

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, see how natural found objects are juxtaposed with pieces of technology in Joe Mangrum's design sculptures. Since the mid-1990s, Joe Mangrum has been making temporary installations from found objects. Often exhibiting his designs in public spaces, Mangrum hopes to catch his viewers off guard, inserting something unexpected into their everyday routines. Spark visits Mangrum as he works on a large-scale piece for Red Ink Studios on San Francisco's bustling Market Street.

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