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Cover | Kenton Nelson

A Long Wait (oil on canvas). Kenton Nelson's crisp, alluring, and provocative paintings depict a symbolic, stylized world, an American dreamscape made up of trim houses, manicured yards, and swimming pools, populated by men in dapper suits and women in nipped-waist swimsuits and dresses. These idealized images, he notes, "are intentionally derived from personal experience: the soft propaganda of the advertising of my lifetime, the staging, fashion, and lighting of Hollywood movies and television, and a narration and set-up, influenced by the writers that I most admire." Nelson was born and raised in Los Angeles and has worked out of his studio in Pasadena for more than three decades. In addition to exhibiting his paintings across the United States and in Europe, with recent shows in Vienna and Berlin, he has translated his work to the public sphere in form of mosaic murals, and has been featured several times as a cover artist for The New Yorker. This image is courtesy of Caldwell Snyder Gallery, 341 Sutter St., San Francisco, 415-392-2299, and 1328 Main St., St. Helena, 707-200-5050.

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NEXT MONTH: Film critic Michael Fox digs deep into Berkeley filmmaker Rick Goldsmith's new documentary, Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw. Plus, Farro is back with another gardening adventure, and Angela Beth Zusman shares unique oral histories of African Americans.

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June 2015 Issue:
Table of Contents

SUMMER ESSAYS |  This Left Me Speechless
Death, meditation, positivity, grace, bliss, invisibility, and atrocity prompt introspection and deep emotions in the summer essay contest. Essays by
Melody Ermachild Chavis, Stacy Appel, Kathy Hrastar, Flossie Lewis, John A. McMullen II, Julia Park Tracey, and Russell Yee.  

CULTURE | Arts, Events, and Diversions 
LITERATURE | Books Aplenty at Bay Area Book Fest
The inaugural Berkeley event goes two days and brings 225 authors to town. In other words, it's a big deal.
By Julia Park Tracey

DINING REVIEW |  MeloMelo Kava Bar
A Berkeley newcomer introduces the Bay Area to Polynesia's favorite mind-altering, take-no-prisoners drink.
By Anneli Rufus.

The Kilduff File |  W. Kamau Bell
The Berkeley socio-political comedian lets the funny come out. 
By Paul Kilduff

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Editor’s Note:
a look at this month’s issue and commentary on life in the East Bay

Letters: reader responses to The Monthly’s stories

Be East Bay: an introduction to interesting people, places and events in your community

Critics Choice: highlights of this month’s happenings in art, theater, film, dance and music

Boutique Bazaar: distinctive small shops in the East Bay

Food for Thought: local caterers and food and wine purveyors

Dining Guide: a selection of East Bay restaurants

Marketplace Home: a catalog of services for your home and garden

Marketplace Services: a catalog of personal and creative services

Kartoon Korner: editorial cartoons to entertain and agitate

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