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Artful Dodger: Five Visual Arts Happenings This Month

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Promo image for Jenifer K. Wofford's 'MaxiPad' performance event. (Courtesy: Southern Exposure)

Even though the year is drawing to a close, the Bay Area art scene is cranking it up, with a number of not-to-miss shows and events over the coming weeks. November may be time for cozy sweaters and mulled beverages, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit at home paging through the Lands’ End catalog. Get yourself a travel mug and check out some art.

Detail of work by May Wilson.
Detail of work by May Wilson.

Oct. 29 – Nov. 29: Some other sense of time and space at Interface Gallery, Oakland. Interface Gallery, one of the converted stables lining Oakland’s quaint Temescal Alley, will contain just one painting by Linda Geary and one sculpture by May Wilson in this two-person show. Geary builds up and sands down layers of intense color in her large-scale works on panel. Wilson’s tubular sculptures combine industrial materials with pleasantly slumpy forms. References to (slumpy) bodies and the physical act of making art abound, even in this pared-down display. Plus, there’ll be plenty of room in the gallery for you to enjoy the opening reception on Friday, Nov. 6, 6-9pm. FREE!

Thursday, Nov. 12, 6:30-8pm: Mississippi Records at THE THING Quarterly, San Francisco. Eric Isaacson of Mississippi Records, a record shop in Portland, OR and the issuer of some of the best compilations of rare punk, Americana, international tunes and just-plain weird stuff you won’t find anywhere else, swings into town to tell “A Cosmic and Earthly History of Recorded Music according to Mississippi Records.” This “instinctive” and “idiosyncratic” event is a combination of film, slide show, lecture and soundscape, hosted by the purveyors of the most idiosyncratic quarterly publication around, THE THING. $10, tickets here.

Promo image for Jenifer K. Wofford's 'MaxiPad' performance event.
Promo image for Jenifer K. Wofford’s ‘MaxiPad’ performance event. (Courtesy: Southern Exposure)

Sunday, Nov. 8, 3-4pm: MaxiPad at the Morcom Amphitheater of Roses, Oakland. In conjunction with the Mills College Art Museum’s Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s–Now (on view through Dec. 13), San Francisco nonprofit Southern Exposure commissioned two new works from Bay Area artists. The first of which, subtitled Templum de Mysteriis finds Jenifer K. Wofford and a host of fellow performers engaging in a “promenade of fetish worship, lyric poem and ceremonial pantomime.” Expect absurdity, creative and possibly uncomfortable uses of public space, and pure unabashed entertainment. FREE!


Nov. 11, 2015 – Mar. 21, 2016: Missing Persons at the Cantor Arts Center, StanfordThis exhibition, curated by Stanford PhD candidates and drawing primarily from the institution’s permanent collection, focuses on the unnamed, unspoken, ignored and underrepresented. A distinct social justice angle runs through the curatorial premise, with artists like Kara Walker, the Guerrilla Girls, Ana Mendieta, Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Glenn Ligon in the mix. Don’t miss the opportunity visit Stanford’s bucolic campus and see important works thoughtfully organized, for free.

Rhonda Holberton, 'MIDNIGHT: Sign the number '12' upside-down in the 'night' position,' 2015.
Rhonda Holberton, ‘MIDNIGHT: Sign the number ’12’ upside-down in the ‘night’ position,’ 2015. (Courtesy: The artist and City Limits)

Nov. 20 – Dec. 19: Cold Storage at City Limits, Oakland
The outpost-like gallery on the edge of Jack London Square continues to prompt its artists to try “something completely different.” For this two-person show, Rhonda Holberton and James Cordas create an immersive installation based on the idea of a computer’s “cold storage,” a place for back-up data accessible only through human intervention. Tantalizing hints at what this might look like include: vessels and imprisonment (from Cordas), sign-language and hand gestures (from Holberton). Bring your cozy sweater. Again, FREE!

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