Dear Marin Arts Lovers:
I walked my dog this morning through a narrow canyon near Phoenix Lake, where the trees twisted and leaned as they reached for the sun. The sun filtered through the branches, making the canyon even more beautiful. The scene made me realize how the artists and organizations featured in Vol. 3 of UPTAKE are like these Marin trees, creatively turning and reaching for the light.
In this issue of UPTAKE, our writers share stories about how dancers, a painter, musicians, and a theatre company are creatively pivoting around the challenges posed by the pandemic and wildfires — deeply cut budgets, short staffing, postponed seasons, and unusual studio time. We learn they are incorporate video and film into performance arts, bringing music to create new venues, and include the fire ash into paintings.
We know there are many ways Marin’s artists and organizations have moved fast to find new ways forward. The stories in Vol. 3 are only examples of a few trees in the Marin Arts forest. The Marin Arts calendar offers many examples of the new and exciting ways the arts have embraced the unusual circumstances we are living in today. The list is endless, but here are a few:
Outdoor collaborative art projects (Mill Valley Arts Commission/Kiddo)
Virtual book clubs (Mill Valley Public Library)
Online author events (Book Passage, Copperfield’s, Point Reyes Books)
Drive-in movies (Lark Theater)
Creative music venues (The Backyard Sessions)
Online galleries (Gallery Route One, O’Hanlon Center, BayWood Artists, Marin Open Studios, Dance Palace)
Virtual artist studio tours (Marin Open Studios)
Streaming movies (California Film Institute, Lark Theater)
Creative online fundraising events (Marin Theater Company, Marin School of the Arts, Buckelew/Marinscapes, Headlands Center, Youth in Arts, Sausalito Art Festival, Bolinas Museum, Marin Art & Garden Center, Novato Theater Company)
Community support programs (Headlands Center)
Storefront/gallery window art viewing (Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, Youth in Arts, Art Works Downtown, Gallery Route One)
By-appointment museum viewing (Marin MOCA)
Low-density and by-appointment gallery hopping (Seager Gray Gallery, Gallery Route One, Kim Eagles-Smith Gallery, Sarah Shepard Gallery, Desta Gallery, Marin Art & Garden Center)
Online kids activities (Youth in Arts)
And so many more… and even more to come.
We are so happy that Marin Arts’ calendar and UPTAKE’s editorial are here to help everyone be part of this hyperlocal arts moment — helping to connect to opportunities and deepen engagement with the arts. Like the global art world’s trend towards cultivating local artists instead of flying them in from around the globe, Marin’s local arts community can take a moment to turn inwards and support the creative endeavors around us here in Marin County.
Thanks for reading.
Pamela Coddington is a writer and editor. Full disclosure: She is a big supporter of the arts in Marin County and has done work with Youth in Arts, Image Flow Photography Center, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Smith Andersen North, and Headlands Center for the Arts. Pamela is a graduate of New York University with a B.A. in Art History, and holds a post-baccalaureate degree in writing from U.C. Berkeley. Pamela lives and works in San Rafael with her family.