MENDOCINO Co., 11/14/22 — This week we’re featuring four unique events that represent the diverse cultural tastes of Mendocino County. On the coast, you’ll find the eccentric art of a Comptche artist, a blues legend in concert, and the fascinating traditions of funerary customs in Mendocino. Inland features the return of modern dance to the live stage after two years. It’s also a final chance to enjoy a touch of creativity and calm before holiday obligations fill up our calendars. Don’t miss my weekly round-up of live music here.
Thursday, November 17: Embrace your inner oddness at this Mendocino art exhibit
Swedish-born, Comptche-based assemblage artist Hans Bruhner died earlier this year, and Partners Gallery is hosting a retrospective of his work titled “Odd is Good.” Bruhner traveled the world acquiring found objects from junk piles, antique stores, garage sales, and alleyways. He took his discoveries back to his Comptche studio, which his wife Anne Bruhner called “a junk store,” and created mythical creatures out of old wood, leather and metal as well as Dada-esque wall pieces with photos and fabrics. Bruhner’s work is surreal, fascinating and shows how one man’s junk is another’s treasure. “Odd is Good” runs now through December 2, 2022 at Partners Gallery in Mendocino, Thursday-Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday, November 18: Explore the art of modern dance in Ukiah
After a two-year hiatus from live performances, 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 realm, this evening of dance is a chance to orient yourself to the art form, which casts a wide net across genres, music, and technique.
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 Rodriguez, a Puerto Rican native and teacher at 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. It also includes a comedic combination of Christmas and condiments and a Brazilian Lambada dance party. All ages, 7 p.m., $10-$15, 7:30 p.m., CPVA Theatre, Mendocino College, 1000 Hensley Creek Rd, Ukiah. The show runs through Sunday, November 20. Buy tickets here.
Saturday, November 19: A blues legend graces the stage in Point Arena
The Arena Theater welcomes two-time Grammy-nominated Chicago blues icon John Primer. Born in Mississippi into a family of sharecroppers, Primer moved to Chicago when he was eighteen and started working on Maxwell Street, where the 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 bandleader for Muddy Waters. 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 the Primer.” He’ll be joined by harmonica player Bob Corritone. All ages, 7 p.m. $25, Arena Theater, 214 Main St., Point Arena. Tickets on sale here.
Sunday, November 20: Explore the macabre world of Mendocino’s mourning customs
Halloween might be over, but the cycle of life continues, and humanity’s fascination with death remains. That preoccupation and the rituals behind it is the focus of the Kelley House Museum’s exhibition “Good Mourning.” The exhibit showcases Mendocino County funeral customs from the many diverse cultures in the county including Pomo, Chinese Taoists, and Victorian pioneers. Highlights include artifacts from and the story behind the Cannarr Funeral House, a woman-owned funeral home in Mendocino; the dramatic feud between two pioneer undertakers; and Pomo basketry used in funerary practices. Add a private tour of Mendocino’s pioneer cemetery ($20 per person, two-person minimum) 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 offered extra context to the exhibit, but changed the way I look at the architecture and history of Mendocino. “Good Morning” runs now through November 27, 2022 at the Kelley House Museum. Admission is free with a donation of $5 suggested. The Kelley House Museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., (707) 937-5791, 45007 Albion St., Mendocino.
Have an event you’d like me to consider for inclusion? Email me at [email protected].