MENDOCINO Co., 11/14/22 — This week we are featuring four unique events that represent the diverse cultural tastes of Mendocino County. On the coast, you’ll find the eccentric artistry of a Comptche artist, a blues legend in concert, and the fascinating traditions of Mendocino burial customs. Inland presents the return of modern dance to the live stage after two years. It’s also one last chance for a touch of creativity and calm before Christmas obligations fill our calendars. Don’t miss my weekly roundup of live music here.
Thursday, November 17: Embrace your inner weirdness at this Fort Bragg art exhibit
Swedish-born, Comptche-based assemblage artist Hans Bruhner died earlier this year, and Partners Gallery is organizing a retrospective of his work titled “Odd is Good.” Bruhner traveled the world acquiring found items from junkyards, antique stores, garage sales, and back alleys. He brought his discoveries to his Comptche’s study, which his wife Anne Bruhner I call “a junk shop”, and created mythical creatures from old wood, leather and metal, as well as Dada-style wall pieces with photos and fabrics. Bruhner’s work is surreal, fascinating, and shows how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. “Odd is Good” will be available until December 2, 2022 at partner gallery at Fort Bragg, Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday, November 18 – Explore the art of modern dance in Ukiah
After a two-year hiatus without live performance, the Mendocino College Repertory Dance Company returns to the stage with “Perspectives,” a collection of new choreographic works. Whether you’re an avid fan of modern dance or new to the kingdom, this night of dance is an opportunity to orient yourself to the art form, which casts a wide net across genres, music, and techniques.
The performance is a who’s who of Mendocino County dance talent: Trudy McCreanor, director of the Mendocino Ballet; Kara Starkweather, director of the Mendocino Dance Project; Paloma Rodríguez, a native of Puerto Rico and teacher of the Mendocino Ballet; and Eryn Schon-Brunner, who was born and raised in Willits and teaches dance at Mendocino College. “Perspectives” also includes new works by Cirque du Soleil collaborator Stefan Haves. The show includes works that explore physical interactions after years of social distancing and the complexity of visual impairment. Also includes a comic Christmas and seasoning mix and a Brazilian Lambada dance party. All ages, 7 pm, $10-$15, 7:30 pm, CPVA Theatre, Mendocino College, 1000 Hensley Creek Rd, Ukiah. The show will run until Sunday, November 20. buy tickets here.
Saturday, November 19: A blues legend graces the stage at Point Arena
The Arena Theater continues its Blues on the Coast series with two-time Grammy-nominated Chicago blues icon John Primer. Born in Mississippi to a family of sharecroppers, Primer moved to Chicago when he was eighteen and began working on Maxwell Street, where Chicago blues was born. He formed his first band in 1964 and eventually became a staple of the Chicago music scene, singing and playing guitar alongside Buddy Guy, the Rolling Stones and Magic Slim. He was also the leader of the Muddy Waters gang. Primer has been awarded two Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards and is a member of the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. As Primer says about himself: “You can’t paint the blues without Primer.” He will be joined by harmonica player Bob Corritone. All ages, 7 pm $25, Arena Theatre, 214 Main St., Point Arena. tickets on sale here.
Sunday, November 20: Explore the macabre world of Mendocino’s dueling customs
Halloween may be over, but the cycle of life continues and humanity’s fascination with death remains. That concern and the rituals behind it is the focus of the Kelley House Museum’s “Good Mourning” exhibition. The exhibit showcases Mendocino County burial customs from the county’s various cultures, including the Pomo, Chinese Taoists, and Victorian pioneers. Highlights include artifacts and the history behind Cannarr Funeral House, a woman-owned funeral home in Mendocino; the dramatic feud between two pioneering undertakers; and Pomo basketry used in funerary practices. Add a private tour of the Mendocino Pioneer Cemetery ($20 per person, minimum two people) during which you’ll learn the stories behind those buried there. I recently took a tour with curator Marguerite O’Brien, and it not only provided additional context to the exhibit, it changed the way I view Mendocino’s architecture and history. “Good Morning” will be available until November 27, 2022 at the Kelley House Museum. Admission is free with a suggested $5 donation. The Kelley House Museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm, (707) 937-5791, 45007 Albion St., Mendocino.
Do you have an event you would like me to consider for listing? Email me at [email protected].