WALNUT CREEK

Youth Theater Company to perform 'Legally Blonde Jr.'

Civic Arts' Youth Theatre Company was chosen from hundreds of young people's theater companies to produce the world premiere of "Legally Blonde Jr.," with performances June 28 at 7 p.m. and June 29 at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Del Valle Theatre in Walnut Creek.

YTC has been granted special rights by Musical Theatre International's Broadway Jr., the world's leading theatrical licensing agency, and iTheatrics, one of the top five Broadway schools for young people in New York. This never-performed script is a 70-minute version of "Legally Blonde" that is appropriate for younger performers and audiences. YTC has a history of producing Broadway JR. scripts with Teen Theatre presenting "Beauty and the Beast Jr." in April and its Junior Theatre presenting "The Little Mermaid Jr/" in May.

For tickets to the June premiere of "Legally Blonde Jr.," call 925-943-SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.

Gerry Severson featured at Valley Art Gallery

The newest works of featured artist Gerry Severson will be on exhibition at the Vallery Art Gallery through Friday, June 21.

A native of Humboldt County, Severson captures both the beauty of the coastal California landscape and the mood of the day in his work. He graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in commercial art and began his advertising career in art direction in San Francisco, moving to New York to work for several agencies over the next 30 years. His art direction won numerous awards -- including a commercial that resides in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent advertising collection.


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Bedford to host kids' 'Art Makes' classes

The Bedford Gallery will host free drop-in art classes for kids on Saturday, June 26, from 2 to 4 p.m.

For each show the Bedford hosts, docents offer a free "Art Make" project for children of all ages. To help introduce young people to the creative world of art, projects will highlight the theme of the current Bedford exhibition and offer children an opportunity to engage with art in a hands-on, educational and creative way.

In June, the docents will turn their attention to "Larger than Life," a show that will explore the role of scale and size in contemporary art. Art projects will be offered free with the price of admission.

For more information, go to www.bedfordgallery.org

California Symphony executive director Collins departs

Walter E. Collins, executive director of the Walnut Creek-based California Symphony Orchestra since January 2011, is leaving to become vice president of advancement for Pacific Union College, Napa Valley's only four year college.

In a statement released last week, the 42-year-old Collins said he was making the move in large part to spend more time with his young children.

In his statement, Collins mentioned how, in the past three years, the California Symphony reclaimed its National Endowment for the Arts award and garnered two prestigious distinctions, the Getty Foundation/League of American Orchestras Award (the only one awarded to any Bay Area orchestra), and a Taproot Foundation Award. Additionally, we launched Sound Minds, the Bay Area's only El-Sistema inspired music education program sponsored by an orchestra.

Collins had previously been executive director of the Redlands Symphony Orchestra for six years and marketing director of the Riverside Philharmonic Orchestra for nearly two years.

Lafayette

'Celebrate Summer' exhibition now open

The new exhibition "Celebrate Summer" exhibition at the Lafayette Gallery reflects the joy, warmth and relaxation that summer brings.

Starting this week, the gallery is full of an all-new selection of paintings, photography, prints, cards, ceramics, jewelry and sculpture, available in a wide range of prices, and all designed to enhance your home with the evocation of the warm, sunny outdoors. These are handcrafted works by local artists that are bright, warm and relaxing, perfect for you wall or garden!

Also, the Lafayette Sculpture Garden is now open for the summer. The Sculpture Garden is unique in the Bay Area, filled with works that vary from the whimsical to the earthy to the elegant, all in an outdoor setting.

The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

MORAGA

'Summer Garden Party' to benefit Loaves and Fishes

The annual Summer Garden Party to benefit Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa County, which provides more than 700 meals a day, takes place Sunday, June 30 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Hacienda de las Flores, 2100 Donald Drive in Moraga.

Generations in Jazz musicians John Aczon (sax), Allan Smith and Jim Keefe (guitars) and Cayford Burrell on bass, will perform, as will violist Pamela Freund Striplen and harpist Wendy Tamis.

There also will be silent auctions for prizes including a luxury trip to Hawaii, sports memoribilia and the work of local artists, and beer and wine tastings.

Tickets are $60 per person; they are available online at www.loavesfishescc.org, or by calling 925-687-6760.

'Fest' of works by Osolin, Isaacs, others

"Beauty and the Feast," featuring paintings by Josie Osolin and ceramics by Elayne Isaacs, is now on exhibit at the Moraga Art Gallery, and is set to run through Aug. 10.

Osolin's abstract paintings incorporate broad brush strokes and myriad high-energy color and textures to create a brilliant moment in time. While individual works are distinct and unique, each reflects a common style incorporating the use of vibrant colors and abstract designs.

Isaacs has been working with clay since the 1970s and her passion for the craft continues to this day. She now creates, almost exclusively, functional ware in subtle shades of blue, green and white with a loosely brushed floral motif.

The show also includes works by the gallery's 14 resident artists and several guest artists. Ceramicist Daniel Oliver will show his small elaborate ceramic boxes and other works.

The gallery is at 522 Center St., in the Rheem Shopping Center. It is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.; for more information, go to moragaartgallery.com, call 925-376-5407 or email moragaartgallery@gmail.com

Orinda

Multimedia 'Summer Show' at library

The East Bay Women Artists' "Summer Show," with original paintings, photography and baskets, will be on exhibit at the Orinda Library through June 29. East Bay Women Artists comprises award-winning artists from Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, and the group has been active for about 20 years..

This exhibit is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible to all. The library is at Orinda Way; hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 10 to 6; and Sunday from 1 to 5.

'Points of View' comes to Saint Mary's

The work of two of the East Bay's most vibrant contemporary landscape painters, Mary Lou Correia and Paul Kratter, will be shown through Sept. 22 at the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art.

A reception with Correia and Kratter takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2 at the museum's art patio. It's free with museum admission, and all are welcome.

With Artists: Sunday, June 2 from 2 to 4 p.m., Art Patio, Free admission Before embracing plein-air painting as a full-time occupation, Correia designed book covers for UC Press, and then became Director of Publications and chief designer for Saint Mary's College.

Sports and wildlife were Kratter's early passions, so he was fortunate to begin his career in advertising design for the National Football League and Major League Baseball clubs. He moved on to children's book illustration and wildlife illustration for zoos and the Nature Company.