All posts tagged: Gohar

George Kelham’s Castles

Contribution by Peter Garland. When one day I realized that many of my favorite buildings in the Bay Area were designed by the same architect, George W. Kelham (1871-1936), I sought his story and found no one had ever written it.  Nor had he left any papers or memoirs from which to put such a story together.  However, with the help of the staff of the San Francisco History Room at our Main Library (Kelham designed the old Main), who guided me to the San Francisco Chronicle’s on-line historical files (1865-1922) as well as further guidance from the staff of the Environmental Library of U.C. Berkeley, I was able to piece the jigsaw puzzle together. I found an astonishing story of an American Renaissance prince and his princess-like wife who lived a life of such incredible success and polish that they seem the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of the architectural world. On May 15, 1871, George W. Kelham was born in Manchester, Massachusetts, the son and grandson of furniture merchants. He graduated from Harvard and …

Three Decades of Dance in the Mission

In 1980, Sears moved out of its building on Army street (renamed Cesar Chavez in 1995) and the building became legally zoned as ‘live/work’ – a major coup for artists at that time.  Deborah Slater’s friend, Judith Lit, heard the news by chance, and the two were able to visit the building and pick their studio. Founded by Jenny Debouzek, Deborah Slater, Judith Lit, Michelle Larsson and soon joined by Helen Dannenberg, the space was named Studio 210 and very quickly became a favorite rehearsal location for San Francisco-based dancers, theater troupes, musicians, and other performing artists.  Since then, more than two hundred artists have used the space for various purposes. Currently, the studio has a few main functions: It houses Studio 210 Summer Artist Residency Program, established in 2012. They offer space, mentorship, and performance opportunities to emerging and established artistic talent in the Bay Area.  It is also home to Deborah Slater Dance Theater, founded in 1989 and offers space for classes in improvisation, rehearsals of all stripes, and the Bare Bones Butoh Festival. Deborah Slater Dance …

On the left, Haig Patigian with the bust of Helen Wills and on the right, Helen Wills. 

Greatest Bohemian

Contribution by Peter Garland. Peter Garland, a native of Dublin, Ireland, became interested in San Francisco history through the statues of Haig Patigian while living in North Beach. He researched the sculptor’s life and career and for many years lead two walking tours of Patigian’s works around San Francisco (Patigian created more of San Francisco’s statues than any other artist). When Haig Patigian was six years old, he told his twenty-three-year-old mother, Marine Hovsepian Patigian, “I want to be a sculptor.” He was particularly interested in human figure. His wish would be granted, often against a background of bloody persecution and death, both for his own family and for the Armenian people. His father, Avedis Patigian, was interested in visual art, too. He was the first person in Van to take up the fascinating new pursuit of photography. When the Turkish authorities spotted him walking about photographing  the picturesque city, surrounded with tall rocks that make it look like a castle, they accused him of selling photos of the towns fortifications to the Russians. Avedis Patigian, in 1888, …

“How Others See Us”

I’ve been following the work of photographer Ken Holden since the day I saw his exhibition at the de Young Museum’s Kimball Gallery in San Francisco a few years ago. The range and potential of the artist were overwhelming, considering he was a relatively unknown fine art photographer. At the exhibition, I realized that I had seen Ken wandering the museum almost every Saturday, (I used to take my kids to a Saturday morning art class there), and shoot non-stop, visitors, architecture, and textures, but not the artwork on display. Ken was also interested in how people looked through a shattered glass windowpane, or through a raindrop covered plastic tent, or the slow environmental changes throughout the museum – through this, through that as he studied the environment. It’s hard to talk about what this artist likes. But it’s rather easy to figure out what he doesn’t like: the obvious and perfect reproduction of reality. Ken doesn’t photograph the “postcard” image. Rather, he captures what lies in our imagination on the sidelines of our vision. Ken and …

Music Festivals in SF Coming Up!

Get over your fear of crowds, packed public transportation, port-a-potties and get to one or both of October’s music festivals this year! San Franciscans are used to seeing large numbers of people flocking to the city, whether for standard tourist fare or to the many technology events hosted here each month. But it’s not only the tech events that bring out crowds to SF. Massive music festivals draw the crowds, including Hardly Strictly Bluegrass October 2, 3 and 4, and Treasure Island Music Festival October 17-18. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is a big, three-day festival in the Golden Gate Park and it’s FREE! The festival is a love child of philanthropist Warren Hellman who founded the festival in 2001. Just be prepared for a lot of people. The crowd is eclectic: locals, tourists, old hippies, nomads, hipsters, children, etc. Treasure Island Music Festival is considered the smallest and one of the best music festivals by many. You get to enjoy a great line-up, sweeping views of San Francisco with both bridges and amazing sunsets. Don’t forget …

Big Book Sale Coming Up!

2015 Big Book Sale September 16 – 20, 2015 | 10 am to 6 pm Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, SF FREE More than half a million transactions at The Big Book Sale—combined with online auctions, two used book stores and annual events—will raise approximately one million dollars to benefit the public library’s free programs and neighborhood branch upkeep efforts. The Friends of the Library, as one of the nation’s largest used book distributors, is proving that ‘the book’ is not dead. Everything is $3 or less – $3 hard cover books – $2 paperback books – $1 DVDs / CDs / Books on Tape / Vinyl On Sunday, the final day of the sale, everything is $1 If you’d like to volunteer follow the link below for all the details: http://sf.funcheap.com/volunteer-sfs-big-book-sale-free-books/

News vs. Entertainment

The Bay Area can be regarded as one of the most important economic and cultural regions in the nation, a region generating news about politics and society because of its role as a center of change. It hosts a few broadcast news channels and newspapers. But do these media outlets help people understand the reality of critical situations here and around the world? Jamal Dajani is a San Francisco based Peabody Award-winning news producer, journalist, filmmaker and Middle East analyst. He is the co-founder of Arab Talk Radio. His Twitter and Facebook page have become a trusted news source for a large number of followers and the numbers are growing each day. This is the reason we reached out to him in this short interview: G.B. As a journalist what drives your curiosity? J.D. The lack of global news covered on mainstream media. TV coverage tends to be US-centric. Look at what you currently see on CBS, CNN, FOX, etc. these days…more than 50% of the coverage focuses on Donald Trump, while we a have a refugee …

Motti Lerner: I am trying to deal with fear

Motti Lerner is an Israeli playwright whose more recent plays have been rejected in Israel, and staged only in Europe and US for dealing with controversial political issues (including Coming Home, Pangs of the Messiah, The Murder of Isaac, and Benedictus). In SF Motti Lerner’s works have been produced by Golden Thread Productions and I had the honor of taking production photographs and observing the playwright at work. A couple of months ago, Motti held a three-day writer’s workshop at the Playwrights Foundation. I had the pleasure of meeting him again and chatting about literature, his plays, Chekhov’s influence on his work, love and life in general. G.B.  How would you describe the creative process? M.L. I never use the word creative process for it, but rather, hard work. Not because there’s no creativity but because it’s mostly hard work. In writing there’s a lot of research and learning involved. Of course there’s a moment when you start creating the characters and the creative ideas come from associations, but the hard work is to choose among all …

Path and Patterns in Art, Spirit and the City

I saw Paz de la Calzada’s labyrinth installation at the de Young not that long ago and couldn’t keep her name or the art out of my mind. By chance we went to the same event hosted by Burning Man’s Black Rock Arts Foundation in San Francisco and had an opportunity to chat a bit about her work and life. She’s doing an artist residency in Crete and will be back in SF end of August. I’m looking forward to new installations by the artist.  We corresponded by email: You have explored hair in your work. What does hair signify for you?  For me hair is an icon and a reference of the human body. I have a special interest in patterns, both in nature and in the industrial world. Hair is an organic natural pattern that I have used to create a dialogue with the urban architecture, questioning sometimes the rigidity of its forms. In this sense I have used mostly feminine hair to cover a building or to playfully engage with it. I …

burgers Grazzy restaurant

Artful Pairing

Q is a man of many interests: acting, writing, motorcycling, cooking, entrepreneurship.  After leaving his home in Iran more than 35 years ago to get a degree in the US (BS in agriculture, MA in Agricultural Engineering), Q has made the Bay Area his home. How would you describe yourself? I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve always had my own business. I’ve done so many things. Worked as a general contractor, opened a garage on 98th street in East Oakland. Back then the situation was pretty bad. My business partner and another owner of a gas station got shot. That got me to move out of that area and open my first café in Berkeley. It was a place to hang out. Everything was happening at the café; painting classes, cooking classes, history class, lot’s of partying. We did “open café” nights where people would bring their own drink and food to share and talk politics, art, history, etc. Back then there was no Facebook or Twitter, people loved to hang out and meet new members of …