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During this popular four-day extravaganza in Livermore Valley, winemakers and oenophiles came together to enjoy top-notch food, intimate tastings, and much more at some of the region’s premier wineries. The festivities included winemaker dinners at both Las Positas Vineyards and Murrieta’s Well; an electric bike tour and picnic lunch; a concert; a blind tasting seminar; an intro-level yoga class on the front lawn at Bent Creek Winery; a brunch and flight pairing at Garré Vineyard and Winery; and Fire and Folklore at McGrail Vineyards, where guests gathered around firepits for an evening of wine, s’mores, and stories. This annual event is the ultimate celebration of the award-winning wines and winemakers in the area.
Part of Lamorinda Arts Council’s (LAC) recurring Sunday online program, this segment featured local women including writers Marlene Dotterer, Josephine Mele, and Phyllis Houseman and artists Kimiko Kogure and Ruth Stanton. Throughout the webinar, the writers read excerpts from their work, and the artists presented their visual pieces in slideshows for the audience. This series—based on the idea that writers paint images with words—fits into LAC’s mission, which is to foster artistic expression in people of all ages throughout the Lamorinda area. LAC, which is celebrating its 71st year, is hoping to return to in-person events at the Lafayette Library soon.
Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area (DSCBA), based in Danville, presented a livestreamed concert and auction to raise funds for resources, programs, and more. American Idol’s Casey Abrams and James Durbin both performed, DJ Ashley Good hosted a dance party, and Mark Ibanez of KTVU Channel 2 held a sports trivia game. Donations can still be made online. Also, get ready for DSCBA’s Bay Area Step Up Walk and Family Picnic at Pleasant Hill Middle School on October 17.
At its 27th annual show, the Ruth Bancroft Garden and Nursery featured works from over 20 renowned Northern California artists. From June through August, guests admired sculptures, such as “Welcome Woman” by Leslie Safarik, and were also allowed to view the exhibit during the Evening Summer Strolls, which took place after-hours and included live music and beer and wine for purchase. Some of the stunning pieces on display were created by local artists, including Jeff Key, Catherine Daley, Karina Kudymova, and Judy Bolef Miller.
Often described as the “weaver’s weaver,” Berkeley-based Kay Sekimachi has worked in fiber arts for more than 70 years—expanding the medium with innovative constructions, diverse materials, and three-dimensional pieces. Raised by first-generation Japanese immigrants—she and her family were sent to a Utah internment camp during World War II—Sekimachi went on to study at what was then the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland (it’s currently known as the California College of the Arts). She later taught at the school. Now, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is celebrating her influential career with Kay Sekimachi: Geometries, a survey of pieces from private and museum collections that spans more than 50 years (on view through October 24). Here, the 94-year-old artist discusses her creative beginnings and her first solo show in her hometown.
Hope Hospice—a nonprofit that provides end-of-life care, grief support services, education, and caregiver resources in the Tri-Valley and other East Bay areas—held a socially distanced outdoor fundraiser in remembrance of loved ones who have passed away. While in the past hikers gathered as a group at Del Valle Regional Park, this year the 200 event participants could choose their own location. They could also take part in the weeklong Champion Challenge, where they set a mileage goal for the week. And at the end, there was a closing party with live music and activities. Nearly $68,000 has been raised, and donations are still being accepted online.