Let There Be Peace (mixed media), was inspired by artist Elke Behrens’ hope and enthusiasm for the new administration. Born in Germany “under much different circumstances,” Behrens says she rejoices in how far the world has come. The artist’s love of painting has inspired her extensive international travel and exposure to the world’s rich art history. Behrens says these experiences have helped to shape her “weltanschauung,” or world philosophy and guided her artistic sensibility. Behrens turned to painting after suffering several significant personal losses. Now she rarely spends a day without painting. Her images are often whimsical with a child-like simplicity and contrasting depth. Her paintings are densely layered and covered with a mesh of vivid colors and graffiti or scratched images. View more of Behrens’ work at www.elkebehrens.com or at 4th Street Studio,1717 D Fourth St. in Berkeley; www.fourthstreetstudio.com.
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Armed with only a small digital camera in his pocket, world-renowned photographer Raphael Shevelev set out from his El Cerrito home to snap East Bay moments during his favorite season. Shevelev’s glimpses of winter may inspire you to take another look at the landscape we often take for granted. Enjoy The Monthly’s rare photo essay. By Raphael Shevelev
UP FRONT |
Soulful tango singer María Volonté flourished in her native Argentina, winning the U.S. equivalent of the Grammy, producing six CDs and inspiring an international following. She moved to Oakland last year for love and now she’s wowing Bay Area audiences and honing a style inspired by her new East Bay digs. By Reese Erlich
IN FARO’S GARDEN |
The gardener forges an unexpected bond with his friend Vikki’s canine pooch Peggy Lee during a walk through dog heaven. Later, when he helps Vikki transplant a lemon tree, she pulls some unusual fertilizer from her freezer. By R.E. Faro
A mosaic story pole and feather marquee mark the front of a new Native American health-care center in Oakland’s Fruitvale District, a $32-million mixed-used building inspired by American Indian traditions and philosophy. By Lauri Puchall
SHOPPING AROUND |
At 5:30 a.m. when most sensible folk are asleep, participants in East Bay athletic boot camps are already doing push-ups, sprints and squats in an effort to shape up in a short four to six weeks. But read the fine print before signing up because some of these camps will even bar you from uttering the word doughnut. By Elizabeth Kennedy
SHOP TALK |
The newly remodeled M. Lowe & Co. in Berkeley combines an extensive selection of international gems, including Australian colored diamonds and Sri Lankan sapphires, with estate jewelry and contemporary designs.
East Bay designer Erica Varize is passionately attached to her sewing machine at her “cut and sew” boutique, EVarize, in Berkeley, where she offers customers “urban, sexy soccer mom” styles off the racks or custom-sewed.
Mom pals Erin Carter and Keri Levy have recently opened Kid Dynamo, a children’s clothing and toy shop in North Berkeley, featuring nontoxic, green, local, fair-trade products.
The Kilduff File |
The author of It Came from Berkeley—How Berkeley Changed the World explores the nature of the city, touching on Cal’s marching band, tree-sitters and the future of the hippie lifestyle. By
Be East Bay: Go, Meet, Shift, Create, Read
A short section of cool things to try, hot things to read and interesting people to meet in the East Bay.
Marketplace: Home & Garden
Marketplace: Personal & Creative