'Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln' tonight
Master storyteller, author and Lincoln historian Arnold Kunst will present a special program, "The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln," Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m., at the Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway.
Kunst, known for his presentations "Introducing Abraham Lincoln to the 21st Century" and his book "Lincoln 365," will present Abraham Lincoln as a man very comfortable in his own skin, and one who managed a touch of humor to his wisdom -- and a touch of wisdom to his humor, even in the darkest days of the Civil War.
This program is a compliment to the national traveling exhibit "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War," now on display at the Walnut Creek Library through Feb. 8.
The Arnold Kunst event is free, but registration is recommended. To reserve a seat, go to www.WCLibrary.org.
'Viva Arts' fundraiser goes to 'Havana'
A five-piece Cuban band, catering by Havana Restaurant and Wilma Lott Catering, and Cuban Mojitos will highlight "Midnight in Havana," this year's fundraiser for the Friends of Civic Arts Education Foundation to be held starting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane in Walnut Creek.
Money raised from this event provides scholarships for both children and adults to attend Civic Arts programs as well as needed equipment and supplies. Last year, "Viva Arts!" raised nearly $30,000, and Friends President Michael Weiner hopes to increase the total this year.
"This is our first sit-down dinner, and we have a professional auctioneer, Damon Casatico, to direct both the live and cocktail auctions," Weiner said in a news release. "There will be complimentary wine and beer and, of course, the featured cocktail Cuban Mojitos."
Los Boleros, a professional Cuban band, as well as students from CAE's Youth Theatre Company and instrumental ensembles will provide entertainment.
For more information, call 925-939-2787 or go to www.friendsartsed.org.
'Broadway Revealed' reveals itself at the Bedford
"Broadway Revealed: Behind the Theater Curtain" is scheduled to run through Feb. 17 at the Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts.
It reflects the breadth, ambition, and showmanship of New York's iconic theater district to the gallery with a behind-the-scenes look at world-class theater production via artist Stephen Joseph's photographs of some of Broadway's most critically acclaimed productions.
The performance images are bolstered by photos of theatrical props, costumes, and other artifacts.
The exhibit is designed to showcase the complex support network of design, lighting, directing, and staging that come together to create the magic world of the theater.
The artists of "Captured" have been committed to exploring the unfamiliar and unknown creatures and environments that share our world. That exhibit demonstrates the complex dialogue between the arts, scientific exploration and organic, found materials is being expressed in a contemporary context.
The gallery, in the Lesher Center for the Arts, is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and from 6 to 8 p.m. on dates of evening performances at the Lesher.
Central Contra Costa
'Homage' nudes exhibit through Jan. 26
With "Homage to the Nude in Art," at the art Cottage in downtown Concord from Jan. 2-26, several Contra Costa County artists (including representatives from Walnut Creek and Lafayette) aim to show that capturing the essence of the human form is akin to artistically recording the beauty of nature.
The exhibition will feature drawings and paintings -- from realistic to abstract -- representing the beauty of the human form. Artwork includes quick gestural drawings and long studies, some in pencil and pastel, others in watercolor, oils and acrylics.
There will be an artists' reception Saturday, Dec. 5 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the art Cottage, 2238 Mt. Diablo St., Concord. Gallery hours 9-5 weekdays; 1-5, weekends. Jan. 5. Call 925-381-9584, or go to aRtCottage.com.
'Tokens of Affection' land for Valentine's Day
When it's cold outside, come in and enjoy the warmth of Lafayette Gallery's winter show "Tokens of Affection," on exhibit through March 9 at the gallery, 50 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette.
Cards and gifts, ceramics, paintings, prints, glasswork, jewelry and photography, all created by local artists who love what they do, will be on display and for sale. Valentines cards and more have arrived.
A free champagne and chocolates reception will be held Friday, Feb. 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the gallery; all are welcome.
A night of 'Petty Theft' at Town Hall Jan. 26
Petty Theft, a Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band, makes its return to Town Hall Theatre for one night only, Jan. 26, for a show of Petty music ranging from his revered classics to his most current hits.
Lois Reynolds Mead exhibits with her art, and her father's
This month, the Orinda Library Gallery presents a father-daughter art show featuring Charles "Chang" Reynolds' drawings and paintings along with daughter Lois Reynolds Mead's own collages and ceramics. The show not only links two generations of artwork created by members of the same family but also highlights the differences -- and similarities -- between how art was produced then and now, said Reynolds Mead.
"My dad used a sketchbook to record his favorite subjects, and now I'm using an iPhone to record mine," she said.
The library gallery is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. A reception for this show will be held Jan. 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the library; all are welcome.
Saint Mary's museum of art honored
The Saint Mary's College of California Museum of Art were honored with a 2012 Arts Recognition Award by the Arts & Culture Commission of Contra Costa and the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors -- a nod to its contributions to the cultural heritage of the Bay Area, and to Contra Costa County in particular.
Museum director Carrie Brewster said she is "thrilled" with the honor.
Darwin Marable, chairman for the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County, said "the Saint Mary's Art Museum was honored for its permanent collection, including its William Keith Collection, and noteworthy one-person exhibitions which bring local, national and international known artist to Moraga and Contra Costa County."
For 17 years, Arts & Culture Commission has been recognizing arts leaders in area communities through the Arts Recognition Awards, which honor individuals, charitable institutions, businesses and charitable organizations
'Princess and the Pea' for the kids in January
The Saint Mary's College Performing Arts Department will present a stage adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story "The Princess and the Pea" Jan. 30-31 at the college's LeFevre Theatre, 1928 St. Marys Road, Moraga.
This is the department's annual fairy tale performance, which are popular and often sell out before Jan. 1. The short story is made into an almost-full-hour of children-focused entertainment, all aspects carried out by Saint Mary's College students enrolled in the "Jan Term" Children's Theatre course under Michael Cook. Staying faithful to the Andersen text, the students will add their own imagination, theatricality, acting, sets and costumes.
Performances are: Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. All tickets are $8; call 925-631-4670 or go to brownpapertickets.com for more info.
'Carnaval!' exhibition begins Feb. 2
The exuberant creativity, color, and pageantry that is Carnaval comes to the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art in a spectacular exhibition opening Saturday, Feb. 2.
The sights and sounds of Carnaval in New Orleans, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil, Trinidad, Italy, Spain and Switzerland will be on display. Costumes, headdresses, masks, musical instruments and videos of performances and parades, show the history and traditions of Carnaval and its often outlandish and ribald behavior.
Carnaval is a rich tradition of partying before Lent's 40 days of penance. In Carnaval, everything shifts -- the social order is overturned as masks and elaborate costumes conceal identities. The poor and powerless can become kings and queens for a day. Everyone-rich or poor, young or old-breaks loose in spectacular ways. Yet it is distinctly different in each region, and the Carnaval exhibition will show this diversity.
Opening Day -- Saturday, Feb. 2 -- will also feature a documentary by Robert Jerome, an award-winning, internationally published travel photojournalist who specializes in topics related to folklore and culture. Over the past 30 years, Jerome has photographed Carnaval celebrations in more than 20 countries.
The film will be part of the exhibit's artists reception, Feb. 2 from to to 4 p.m. in Studio 105 at the Museum of Art on the Saint Mary's campus in Moraga.