The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend, Jan. 3-5

Kick off 2020 with a surrealist portrait or nature journaling. You could also take in some cute animals, jazz and David Bowie, all this weekend.

Bunnies at the Little Farm, Tilden Park
Six bunny rabbits at the Little Farm in Tilden Park. Photo: Nancy Rubin

FARM CHORES East Bay Regional Parks provides a simple description of Saturday morning’s free activity at Tilden Park’s Little Farm: “Little children will enjoy taking care of the little animals at the Little Farm.” I suspect plenty of bigger people would enjoy that, too. Meet at the rabbit hutch. Saturday, Jan. 4, 10:30 a.m., Little Farm, Tilden Regional Park.

SURREALIST SELF-PORTRAIT WORKSHOP To accompany the current exhibition on surrealism, “Strange,” BAMPFA has a self-portrait workshop on Sunday. This might provide just the creative release you were seeking to kick off 2020: “Let go of rational control of your self-image and work with artist Johnny Galvan (left) to create an artwork guided by surrealist methods in this workshop in conjunction with the exhibition ‘Strange.’ Have your photo taken, then use surrealist drawing techniques to make a self-portrait, and see how these two images can be juxtaposed and layered using the Risograph printer.” The workshop is free with museum admission. Sunday, Jan. 5, 2 p.m., BAMPFA, 2155 Center St.

ETHAN OSTROW Berkeley-bred jazz pianist Ethan Ostrow brings his New York Quartet to The Back Room on Friday evening for a performance of his latest work, The Path of Obscurity. Ostrow originally composed the suite for jazz band, string quartet and narrator. “The story follows a boy, lost in the woods, who embarks on a bewildering and abstract journey.” Friday, Jan. 3, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave.

BOWIE BIRTHDAY BASH I’ll confess that I don’t usually get emails with the subject line “David Bowie.” But mystery solved: The Jean Genies are at Ashkenaz on Sunday evening to celebrate Bowie’s birthday with an evening covering five decades of Bowie’s career. “Featuring Six Veterans of the Bay Area music scene, your Bowie fix is Guaranteed!” Sunday, Jan. 5, 6 p.m., Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave.


NATURE SKETCHING Perhaps getting out in nature was one of your new year’s resolutions. In that case, the Berkeley Public Library might have just the thing. The Nature Sketching and Journaling Group meets for art practice and nature journaling monthly. On Saturday, the group will get together at Westbrae Nursery, with plans to venture to the nearby greenway. Sketch trees, wild turkeys and who knows what else? Here’s the promise: “In a supportive atmosphere we will learn techniques to record observations about the natural world in word and images. Improve your art skills, meet like-minded enthusiasts and learn more about the natural world around us.” Saturday, Jan. 4, 10:30 a.m., Westbrae Nursery, 1272 Gilman St.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

Sarah Ruhl’s ‘Becky Nurse of Salem’ is a palpable hit at Berkeley Rep
Stimulating new version of Michael Frayn’s ‘Copenhagen’ at Indra’s Net Theater