Tag Archives: Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Terri Friedman: Yarn Painting, 2016 (detail); acrylic, wool, and cotton fibers; dimensions variable; courtesy of the artist.
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FILMS ABOUT COURAGE AND THE OUTDOORS – Yeti is a manufacturer of ice chests, drinkware, T-shirt, caps and other gear. It also produces a roving mini-film festival of movies highlighting courageousness and the outdoors. On Friday, Sept. 16, Yeti will present “Stories from the Wild Film Tour” at Freight & Salvage. Tickets for the evening cost $10 and include beer, BBQ, and a raffle ticket, with all of the money going directly to American Rivers.  According to Gear Junkie, the films include Charged, “which shows the incredible survival story of chef and outdoorsman Eduardo Garcia.” Cosmo documents the story of a fishing guide in the remote waters of the Seychelles. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.; films begin at 7:00 p.m. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Ubuntu Theater Group
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UBUNTU THEATER PROJECT Oakland’s Ubuntu Theater Project is coming to Berkeley with the third show in its inaugural season, the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright. The play opens on Saturday March 5 in a cozy, historic Berkeley home whose original ballroom has been converted into a theater space. The contemporary classic is based on Wright’s fascination with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a transgender person who survived Nazi Germany and Stasi surveillance in East Berlin. Von Mahlsdorf’s story is a celebration of courage, resilience and of self-preserving compromises. The play speaks to the complexity of survival when one’s most intimate home — the body — is the source of persecution. Ubuntu’s co-artistic director William Hodgson plays all 40 characters in the play. The play runs through March 20 at Haba Na Haba House, 1936 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Berkeley  94707. For tickets ($15-35 online; pay-what-you-can at the door) and information, call 510-646 1126 or visit www.ubuntutheaterproject.com. … Continue reading »

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Lights, camera, action: Time to shine for film at BAMPFA

PFA Photo Iwan Baan
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The last coat of paint has been applied, the fixtures are all in place, and the hard hats have departed: it’s time to celebrate the re-opening of BAMPFA’s film programming. Yours truly managed to get a sneak peek of what’s in store for Bay Area cinéastes, and I can happily report that we’re all in for quite a treat.

Located at 2120 Oxford St. in downtown Berkeley, the new BAMPFA building is an open, airy, and naturally lit paradise for art enthusiasts and film fans. For the first time in 16 years, BAMPFA screenings will take place under the same roof — in this case, a gleaming curvaceous stainless steel roof — as the museum’s art galleries.

The new PFA features two screening rooms, with the Barbro Osher Theater serving as the Archive’s centerpiece. This 232-seat room is vastly superior to the ‘temporary’ space the Archive occupied for the last decade – and, dare I suggest, also a considerable improvement over BAMPFA’s previous ‘permanent’ home in the old Ciampi building on Bancroft Way. … Continue reading »

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BAMPFA’s inaugural exhibition, ‘Architecture of Life,’ is an eloquent survey

Architecture of Life,on view at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, January 31–May 29, 2016. Installation view, with a Dogon ritual altar ladder (left) and awork by Chris Johanson (right). Photo: Sibilia Savage
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BAMPFA’s new building is an absolute winner. The 82,000-square-foot home catapults Berkeley’s visual art scene into prominence — comparable to many larger, richer and better established West Coast institutions. It handsomely repurposes the former 1930s WPA UC printing plant building. Affixed to it is a brightly clad steel tube-like section that houses the new 232-seat Barbro Osher Theater, where films from its impressive archive of over 300,000 items will be regularly screened. There is also a 33-seat screening room and two film viewing booths available by appointment.

As a building that needs to serve town and gown, visual art lovers and movie goers, the new BAMPFA very successfully performs its multiple functions. And, although its steel covering, reminiscent of a Frank Gehry project, is incongruous with the neighboring buildings, it still seems to work. The design by the world-class architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, provides an inviting, open, multilevel environment, with its share of hidden corners, and reading, art, performance and meeting places. And, of course, the Babette café and a gift shop. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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OPENING OF BAMPFA In case you hadn’t heard, Berkeley has a newly housed museum, and it opens to the public on Sunday, starting at 11 a.m., with a great big, 12-hour long Open House. Get a first look at the inaugural exhibition, “Architecture of Life,” and drop in to the Pacific Film Archive’s first purpose-built cinema. Check out the beautiful stepped seating by Paul Discoe, complete with cushion designs by artist Barry Mcgee. There will also be DJs spinning music, dancers, weavers weaving, and other impromptu happenings throughout the building, organized by artist David Wilson. Admission is free, but, given how popular it is likely to be, timed-ticked reservations are recommended. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Visit BAMPFA for more details. … Continue reading »

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New BAMPFA ready to open Sunday in downtown Berkeley

City view of BAMPFA Photo Iwan Baan
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The countdown is nearly over. The new home of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, plum in the heart of downtown Berkeley, will throw open its doors to the public with a big open house on Sunday, Jan. 31, starting at 11 a.m.

Before that, there’s a gala party, which is being held Thursday night at a temporary tent set up on UC Berkeley lawn abutting Oxford Street. The gala has raised around $1 million for education programs at the new museum, its director, Lawrence Rinder, said at a press preview event held Thursday morning.

Read more about the new Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive.

Rinder also spoke of the challenge of designing a museum that has a dual identity and responsibility towards both art and film, and the commitment to creating a space that is both accessible and welcoming.

“This is not just a place to come look and see,” he said. “There are many areas for community engagement.” Rinder cited as examples the museum’s reading room, art lab and its stepped salvaged-wood seating, created by master woodworker Paul Discoe, where visitors can relax and chat, as well as watch performances. He added that a goal of the museum’s design was to have a flow that was conducive to “wandering and to being surprised.” … Continue reading »

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BAMPFA builds temporary tent for its opening gala

A temporary tent is built by BAMPFA abutting Oxford Street for its opening gala on Jan. 28. Photo:
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Many readers have been in touch with Berkeleyside asking about the strange big “structure” being erected on UC Berkeley property at Oxford Street.

We posted the answer on Twitter and Facebook earlier this week, but, in case you missed that, we can confirm it is a temporary tent to host the “Portal” opening gala party on Jan. 28 for the Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive, across the street from its new downtown Berkeley location. The gala, by the way, is all sold out.

Read more about the new Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive.

The new museum flings open its doors to the public with a big Open House on Sunday Jan 31, starting at 11 a.m..

Before the museum opens, there’s a chance to hear architect Charles Renfro, of Diller Scofidio + Renfro talk about the design of the new BAMPFA at a free lecture on Jan. 27, 12-2 p.m. … Continue reading »

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Master craftsman, Zen priest Paul Discoe puts his touch on new Berkeley Art Museum

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By Kathleen Maclay / Berkeley News

When the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive reopens at its new downtown location on Jan. 31, the University of California, Berkeley, visual arts center will feature wooden furnishings revived from a previous life by a local master craftsman, ordained Zen Buddhist priest and designer of Buddhist temples.

“I like trees of all kinds. I like to grow them, trim them, chop them and make wonderful new things with them,” says Paul Discoe, an artisan and student of Japanese culture. Before his meditative work at BAMPFA, he designed the famed Zen centers in Tassajara and Green Gulch, California, as well as temples and even a temple-inspired home for tech mogul and Oracle chief Larry Ellison. … Continue reading »

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Best dishes and drinks of 2015: The chefs’ picks

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Nosh wanted to know which dishes or drinks — which bite or sip taken in the East Bay — was most memorable, maybe even transporting, this year for some of our favorite chefs. Not surprisingly they work so hard they don’t have much time to eat out. But when service is over, they know where to go! In the first of a two-part story, we bring you, in no particular order, their choices.

In Part Two, we will hear from the Nosh editors, as well as Oakland food writer John Birdsall, Berkeley-bred rapper Lil B, as well as a baker (Eduardo Morell), a brewer (Fieldwork’s Alex Tweet) and a butcher (Local Butcher Shop’s Monica Rocchino)! We’d love to hear what tantalized your tastebuds this year too — share your choices in the comments. … Continue reading »

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Downtown Berkeley launches new marketing campaign

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Downtown Berkeley Association is hanging 85 colorful double banners from downtown Berkeley’s lampposts to launch a new branding campaign, “Meet Me Downtown.” The campaign is being led by the DBA with five partners, the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the new UC Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Freight & Salvage and Visit Berkeley.

“This marks the beginning of the revitalization of the downtown that we’ve been building towards over the last few years,” said John Caner, CEO of the DBA. “The museum is the biggest thing that has happened downtown since the opening of BART, and the UC Theatre is a major venue. It’s the beginning of a fundamental shift.”  … Continue reading »

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New museum gets ready to open in the heart of Berkeley

BAMPFA DSR 15-09 5655
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The staff moved in to their offices in September, planning for its inaugural exhibition is well underway, and construction is almost complete on the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), which is set to open in January 2016.

Anyone who passes through downtown regularly will have, over the past months, had the chance to observe the gradual transformation of the Deco Moderne former UC Berkeley printing plant into a striking structure sporting a gleaming silver roof, a cantilevered section that juts out over what will be the museum’s entrance on Center Street, and a gaping rectangular space on the Addison Street side that will soon be a giant canvas for screening images and films.

Read more about the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The inside of the new museum offers a mix of large white exhibition spaces, several enticing open-plan areas for public events or where visitors can simply hang out, and stairwells and a womb-like café painted a deep shade of chili red. The new building is 20% smaller than it predecessor, the Mario Ciampi-designed concrete structure on Bancroft Way, but it has more usable space. The new building totals 83,000 square feet, with 25,000 square feet of gallery space. The $112 million project was funded through a philanthropic capital campaign and private sources.

Aside from some difficulties with the installation of the distinctive stainless-steel roof (see below), there have been no significant delays on the museum’s timeline, according to the museum’s owners, UC Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

This weekend is your last chance to see Theatre First's production of Glenngary Glen Ross at Live Oak Theatre. Photo: Theater First
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GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS This weekend is your last chance to see Theatre First’s production of Glengarry Glen Ross at Live Oak Theatre, as its run has its final day on Sunday. David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy about working-class real-estate salesmen trying to eke out a living in the fast-paced economy of the 1980s and claim their piece of the American Dream became an instant classic of American theatre and is regarded as one of the playwright’s best plays. For details and to buy tickets, visit Theatre First’s website or phone 510-981 8150. … Continue reading »

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National construction company moves to Berkeley, will repurpose Flint Ink building as its HQ

ProVen Management building. Image: courtesy Trachtenberg Architects
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PrōVen Management, a national engineering construction company that specializes in large-scale infrastructure projects, is moving its operations from San Francisco’s Jackson Square area to West Berkeley, and is turning the old Flint Ink factory into its new headquarters.

Berkeley architect David Trachtenberg is overseeing the transformation, and he said it’s one of the most exciting projects he’s worked on for some time. The plans for the site, at 1350 Fourth Street (at Gilman), include a contractor’s yard for storage of heavy equipment, a new 5,000 sq. ft equipment repair shed, and renovation of the existing 35,000 square feet of buildings for use as storage, offices, conference space, and a private art gallery. The project has received landmarks and zoning approvals and is currently in design development.

PrōVen founder Alan Varela said the company chose the Berkeley location for a number of reasons: much of the company’s large construction equipment is stored in nearby Oakland, the cost of the site was appealing compared to San Francisco (though he says Berkeley’s property taxes have proved a “surprise”), and Varela himself is now closer to his principal home in Lafayette. “I don’t have to cross the Bay Bridge,” he said. … Continue reading »

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