By: Cindy Hu
The hills are greener. Flowers bloom. Can’t you just hear Simon & Garfunkel singing “April come she will when streams are ripe and swelled with rain” on the radio? Oh, right. On your iPhone.
Whatever you’re listening to, here’s a couple of spring flings:
Bayview Rise, an illuminated mural on the grain elevator and silos at Pier 92 near Third Street in San Francisco’s Bayview district, debuted on Feb. 26, 2014 at a lighting and ribbon cutting ceremony. Fast becoming a new landmark on the city skyline, the scale of the 187-foot façade makes the artwork visible from nearby freeways and hillsides. Through the intersection of color and light, the artist team Haddad|Drugan has created “illumination animation” which results in the appearance of a moving image, representing a community in transformation. The graphic imagery of the mural is rooted in the Bayview’s historic and future conditions, with an emphasis on elements that float, fly, grow and rise.
Intimate, But Spectacular
Seventy paintings from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., will be presented in “Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art” March 29-Aug. 3, 2014 at the Legion of Honor. Featuring the work of 19th century avant-garde painters such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Vincent Van Gogh, the scale of the paintings reflect their intended function: display in home settings. The themes of the paintings also reflect this domestic intent; many are studies of the artists’ favorite places and the works often became gifts shared among friends.
Big Gulp in Golden Gate Park
The carnivores are returning to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, April 11-Oct. 19, 2014. The special exhibits gallery will be transformed into a swampland populated with hundreds of meat-eating plants for “CHOMP! They Came from the Swamp.” These weird and wonderful plants will be accessible to visitors who want to get up close and personal. And be sure to check the schedule for “feeding” times and plant dissections. Large models of several species throughout the exhibit also offer guests a taste of what it might be like to be a tiny insect in a world of towering meat eaters waiting for their next meal.
Are You Listening?
They are the Olympians of the spoken word. The apostles of street creed. They are Youth Speaks. From April 12-May 10, 2014 listen as hundreds of young writers, emcees and performers from throughout the Bay Area and Northern California compete in the 18th annual Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam. Grand Slam finals are on May 10 at Nourse Theatre.
San Francisco’s colorful Japantown will burst into full bloom on the weekends of April 12-13 and 19-20, 2014 when members of Northern California’s Japanese American community gather to present the 47th annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Anyone with a yen to experience a bit of Japan won’t want to miss this vivid and varied cultural festival, which celebrates the rich culture and heritage of Japanese Americans. The five-acre Japan Center, at Post and Buchanan streets, and the adjacent blocks of Japantown will be filled with hundreds of performers and reverberate to the sound of taiko drums. Classical and folk dancers will perform both weekends, climaxing with the parade on Sunday, April 20.
A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On
April 18, 2014 is the 108th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire. If you’re an early riser, head to Lotta’s Fountain. At 5:12 a.m. civic leaders and history buffs will gather at Lotta’s Fountain, corner of Market and Kearny streets, for an annual commemoration. Across town in Golden Gate Park the California Academy of Sciences has brought back the Shake House in their Earthquake exhibit. This immersive experience puts you inside the dining room of a classic Victorian-era home to experience the 6.9- and 7.9-magnitude Loma Prieta (1989) and 1906 earthquakes. On April 19 join Robin Marks on a special edition of her Discovery Street Tours. The tour begins in Dolores Park, Church and 20th streets, not far from the fire hydrant that is painted gold every year in honor of its role in supplying water to douse the fires raging through San Francisco. She’ll talk about what geologists learned from the quake and the science of seismology in “San Francisco Rocks” starting at 1:30 p.m.
Fair Ladies on the Fairway
The LGPA tour comes to San Francisco for the first time since 2010 at Park Merced Golf Course, April 21-27, 2014. More than 120 players including many from Taiwan will participate in the Swinging Skirts LGPA Classic. A successful Taiwanese group, Swinging Skirts’ goal is to grow women’s golf and the golf industry in Taiwan. The event is co-sanctioned with the Taiwan LPGA and is the first ever LPGA co-sanctioned tournament on American soil. Among the players who are expected to compete are top-ranked Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, top-ranked American Stacy Lewis and 16-year-old teenage sensation Lydia Ko.
Exploratorium Anniversary… And the Talk on the Street
The Exploratorium marks its first anniversary at their new Pier 15 location this month. Offering 600 exhibits, the world’s foremost interactive science museum also features 1.5 acres of free, outdoor space including a public plaza, promenade, views, outdoor exhibits, two cafes, food carts and a store. Catch the F-line street car after your visit and disembark at Market Street and Yerba Buena Lane between Third and Fourth streets. There you’ll find “Whispering Dishes,” the first exhibit in San Francisco’s Living Innovation Zone (LIZ, for short) initiative. The program targets Market Street sidewalk spots between Octavia Boulevard and the Embarcadero for public interventions. The Exploratorium partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, Gehl Architects and the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District to create the installation, which consists of two eight-foot-tall concrete dishes that focus sound across a 50-foot expanse of the sidewalk.
Film Fan Fiefdom
The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 24-May 8, 2014 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Castro Theatre and New People Cinema in San Francisco and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Featuring 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards and nearly $40,000 in cash prizes, the festival draws upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests and some 65,000 attendees. Among the honorees announced to date is filmmaker Richard Linklater whose groundbreaking new film, “Boyhood,” will be screened on May 2.
The annual Sonoma International Film Festival is coming up fast, too. Now in its 17th year, the festival takes place April 2-6, 2014 in the heart of Northern California’s wine country and features more than 90 hand-selected films including independent features, documentaries, world cinema, shorts and a showcase of Spanish-language films. All films are shown at intimate venues within walking distance on Sonoma’s historic plaza.
One Door Closes and Another Opens …
San Francisco International Airport has the distinction of being the home of the only accredited museum in an airport. There are some 25 galleries throughout the airport terminals and several are pre-security. This month enjoy “Doors: Entryways to World Cultures from the Fowler Museum of UCLA.” Twenty-two doors are on display through Sept. 7, 2014. Rather than simply serving utilitarian purposes, the carved, embossed, and painted portals on display from Africa, Asia, and South America illustrate an extraordinary array of forms and motifs.
It’s A Grand Time for Tasting
The Rhone Rangers are moving across San Francisco Bay to the spectacular and historic Craneway Pavilion at Ford Point, for the 17th Annual Bay Area Grand Tasting on Sunday, April 6, 2014. The day will celebrate the craftsmanship of 100-plus American winemakers who will pour more than 400 Rhone-varietal wines. Guests will be able to enjoy spectacular views of the bay and city skyline from the recently renovated architectural gem built more than 80 years ago by Henry Ford as an assembly plant for automobiles.
Arts in April
During Napa Valley Arts in April, the fundamental connection between wine and the arts is celebrated with a month of special events and city celebrations organized by geographic region for Carneros to Calistoga. Many of the participating wineries have art available for viewing year round as well. Enjoy speakers series and a special exhibition presented at the Napa Valley Museum. Some favorites include Napa’s Riverfront Chalk Festival on April 6 and Yountville’s Art, Sip & Stroll on April 12.
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