From Art to Gaymers to MOM, The South Bay Has Something for All

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ShakesBEERience Your Way (Photo courtesy of ShakesBEERience)


Autumn, more than any other season, reminds me of how quickly time flies. Perhaps it’s the sensation of the days shrinking coupled with the rapid-fire nature of the oncoming holiday season. Charles Bukowski said it best, “The days run away like wild horses over the hills.” So here’s a list of inspired things to do in the South Bay to make the most of these fleeting days of Fall.

Richard Diebenkorn (U.S.A., 1922–1993), Untitled from Sketchbook #13, page 13, c. 1965–66. Pen and ink on paper. Gift of Phyllis Diebenkorn, 2014.13.15. © The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Richard Diebenkorn (U.S.A., 1922–1993), Untitled from Sketchbook #13, page 13, c. 1965–66. Pen and ink on paper. Gift of Phyllis Diebenkorn, 2014.13.15. © The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation (Photo courtesy of Cantor Arts Center)

Richard Diebenkorn: The Sketchbooks Revealed

Sept. 9 – Feb. 8, 2016
The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
Tickets and Information

The Cantor Arts Center recently received all 29 sketchbooks kept by California abstract expressionist Richard Diebenkorn as a gift from his wife, the late Phyllis Diebenkorn. (They met while both students at Standford in 1943.)  On view to the public for the first time, the sketches are a nice reminder that besides his famous signature style of color blocked landscapes, Diebenkorn also went through an early figurative phase and a series of Spades later in life. These sketchbooks are a rare and intimate insight of the artist’s creative process and will be of interest to all those that appreciate this great artist who continues to influence so many artists to this day.

New work by Drew Roulette
New works by Colin Frangicetto & Drew Roulettee (Photos courtesy of the artists.)

Hippocampus Wallpaper new works by Colin Frangicetto & Drew Roulette

Sept. 11 - Oct. 2
Empire Seven Studios
Tickets and Information

Colin Frangicetto & Drew Roulette have shown together at Empire Seven in the past and are returning for another dual show with a focused theme of the fragility of memory and how, like aging wallpaper, remembrances can begin to fade and peel away. Each artist has his own varying degree of esoteric symbolism, which makes for interesting narratives that are at times a challenge to decipher but also hard to forget.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Photo by Susan Mah)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Sept. 17 – Oct. 18
City Lights
Tickets and Information

It’s interesting that most people have never actually read Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson but we all seem to fully understand its premise of the struggle between good and evil that exists in each of us. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, an adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher, is set in Victorian era London and returns to the original novella’s allegory of the human condition. This new twist on the old classic will include the use of three actors and one actress to portray the dark complexities of the amalgam of personalities that is Mr. Hyde.

ShakesBEERience : Your Way
ShakesBEERience : Your Way (Photos courtesy of ShakesBEERience)

ShakesBEERience: Your Way

Sept. 22
Café Stritch
Tickets and Information

It’s not hard to imagine Shakespeare himself raising a pint in a London pub while reading from his latest play to get the townspeople talking about it -- think of it as old school social networking. The ShakesBEERience Company has done an excellent job of making high theater accessible to the masses which is what Shakespeare always intended to begin with. This particular event will be a fundraiser which will enable the group to host free ShakesBEERience events during the 2016 season. The ticket price will get you a delicious three-course meal, a game of Shakespeare Bingo, a turn at Shakespeare Karaoke and a comedic improv play featuring Comedy Sportz SJ who promises it to be “the funniest play Shakespeare never wrote.”

"Liberator by Cody Wilson, printed by James Morgan," medium: 3d print ABS, 2013
"Liberator by Cody Wilson, printed by James Morgan." medium: 3d print ABS, 2013 (Photo courtesy of the artist.)

American Gun Show

Oct. 2 – Nov. 14
Works Gallery
Tickets and Information

Curators James Morgan and Dorothy Santos have put together an impressive exhibition of 22 artists from the U.S. and abroad to visually weigh in on the hot button topic of guns and all the territory that comes with it. The inspiration for the show was Morgan’s personal experience of 3D printing a Cody Wilson “Liberator.” (By the way, Wilson is in a legal battle with the State Department that ordered him to remove the 3D printable files from the internet since the time of Morgan’s printing in 2013.)  “I am both in awe and in fear of the object that is the gun,” admits Morgan. Bringing Santos on as co-curator has sparked much dialogue between the two. She sees the show as her way of “understanding the gun as object and how people across cultures and sub-cultures have imbued this object with their fears, desires, and maybe even hopes.” Both curators want to remain neutral, letting the art work speak for itself, and hopefully engage much needed dialogue about gun violence in our country.

APE vendors Michael Foley and Donbon
APE vendors Michael Foley and Donbon (Photo by Cherri Lakey)

Alternative Press Expo (APE)

Oct. 3 and 4
San Jose Convention Center South Hall
Tickets and Information

San Jose will once again be home to APE as it returns to being under the control of its founding-father Dan Vado, owner of SLG Publishing, who started the convention in 1994. For the last 20 years it has been in the trusted hands of that 800-pound gorilla Comic Con, which did a good job of nurturing serious growth during its time in San Francisco. As of this writing, vendor spaces are already sold out and programming is confirmed for satellite venues in the neighboring SoFA District.

MOM San Jose
MOM San Jose (Photo by Brian Eder)

Motown On Mondays

Weekly on Monday Nights
The Continental Lounge
Tickets and Information

Motown On Mondays got its start in SF in 2009 thanks to Gordo Cabeza and Timoteo Gigante. Since then, the weekly event has caught on in 17 cities across the nation, with more chapters opening soon internationally.  At the helm of the 8 person crew that makes up the MOM SJ Players is the legendary Cutso of The Bangerz. When I asked Cutso what his favorite part of these Soul nights is, he said:  “It’s where I get to channel my spirit animal Rick James.”  All the DJs (Chatos 1013, Shea Butter, The C.M.E., DJ Quantum, Smoovgroovs, Dstrukt and Dandiggity) bring their astute knowledge and best skills to play Motown classics, rarities and remixes. So the next time you have the Monday blues, change it up and get down with the best Soul party in town.

Taiko San Jose
Taiko San Jose (Photo courtesy of Taiko SJ)

Taiko Public Workshops

Oct. 10 and Nov. 15
San Jose Taiko
Tickets and Information

Watch any performance by San Jose Taiko and there will be a moment within you that wants to jump in and participate. The intensity of the rhythm, the disciplined stance and the primal pounding is very appealing and contagious. San Jose Taiko is offering public workshops this fall that are open to everyone, no experience required. In three hours you’ll learn its heritage, proper techniques and a basic song.

OneBeat (Photo courtesy of Montalvo Arts Center)


Oct. 25
Montalvo Arts Center
Tickets and Information

The Found Sound Nation will bring together 25 eclectic musicians (ages 17–35) from 17 countries to the picturesque grounds of Montalvo for a two-week world music fellowship and intensive residency. Extraordinary results can come from vastly different backgrounds when the common language is music. It’s difficult to predict what will happen when, for instance, musicians from far off countries who are keeping their heritage alive collaborate with an experimental sound artist, a progressive indie rocker and or a circus performer that also plays the cumin accordion. Fortunate for us, we’ll get the chance to find out when the finale comes about at the end of the residency with an electrifying free concert.

GaymerX (Photo courtesy of GaymerX)

GaymerX 3

Dec. 11 – 13
San Jose Convention Center
Tickets and Information

“GaymerX began a product of what under-served people in gaming desperately wanted: A space where self-identified "geeks" and "gamers" could enjoy themselves free of the most toxic elements of gaming culture as well as a space for people to experience games in a more thought-provoking way,” says founder Matt Conn of MidBoss. After two years of hosting the convention in San Francisco, the organizers have made a move to San Jose’s Marriott and the San Jose Convention Center, which gives them 50,000 sq feet to play with and the ability to expand their broad programming. Guests and topics will relate to the games industry, tech industry, criticism, activism, and academia. GaymerX aims to raise the bar for gaming events not only for the LGBTQ community but for Everyone and they are making good on their goal.

For music events in the South Bay, check out our recent guide.