The Sit List: 5 ways to shop, play and learn online in Berkeley and beyond

Shop local art, immerse yourself in 1960s Berkeley, travel back to Israel in the Iron Age, be seduced by ‘radical love and healing’ or fall in love with California, again.

Daily life in ancient town. Model pillared house from “The Houses of Ancient Israel.” Courtesy of the Museum of the Ancient Near East, Harvard University (2009)

Update: Some of these activities may be impacted by the most recent shelter-in-place rules that go into effect Monday, Dec. 7 at 12:01 a.m. Please check with organizers for latest information.

ANCIENT TOWN While we can’t jet across the world to travel for leisure at the moment, we can certainly take an intellectual trip to a different time and place. The Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology has put together an ArcGIS StoryMap that engrosses you in the culture and lifestyle of those who lived in Israel during the Iron Age. William Badè was a theologian and professor at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley who was fascinated by the ancient land of Israel as described in the Hebrew Bible. The project uses objects that were collected during archaeological excavations at the site of Tell en-Nasbeh and tells stories of how people lived, including how they ate and drank, lit their homes, spun their fabrics, and wore their jewelry and cosmetics. Expand your horizons and engage with this exhibit.

SHOP LOCAL ART If you’re trying to put together gifts for the holidays, consider purchasing a piece of fine art or craft from the artist-run collective, Fourth Street Fine Art. Their exhibit and marketplace, “Home Is Where the Art Is,” features a wide selection of hand-made, local art, including painting, prints, photography, sculpture and jewelry. There are so many diverse objects with varying price points to peruse, from Chrysalis-shaped chandelier earrings from Camille Torres Designs to glass art by Georgianna Krieger to figure paintings by Prabin Badhia. Whether you’re trying to put together your array of Hanukkah gifts or filling the stockings this year, “Home is Where the Art Is” is a good way to give an artistic gift that supports the community. Until Jan. 5.

LOVE STORY Who doesn’t enjoy a beautiful love story? The prolific Shotgun Players are putting on their latest play, The Light, directed by Nailah Harper-Malveaux and written by Loy A. Webb. In the story, a couple is confronted with a painful secret from the past that threatens to tear their world apart. The characters are played by a real-life couple, Leigh Rondon-Davis and Kenny Scott, who will perform this play live in their own home. Shotgun Players writes, “The Light is a 70-minute, real-time rollercoaster ride of laughter, romance and despair that uncovers how the power of radical love can be a healing beacon of light.” We can all use some radical love and healing; take a break and follow this tale of strength and support. Dec. 4- 13. Tickets range from $8-40.


SIXTIES BERKELEY Let’s take a moment to remember Berkeley in the 1960s with all of its wild freedom, hopeful ideals, and social ferment. Two authors, Lisa Braver Moss and Sarah Relyea, have written recent novels that are set in 1960s Berkeley. The Berkeley in the ’60s Novelists’ Talk event, hosted by the Berkeley Historical Society, will feature the authors reading excerpts from their books — Playground Zero by Sarah Relyea and Shrug by Lisa Braver Moss —and discussing their experiences and research processes for writing about the ’60s in Berkeley. Editor Charles Degelman of Harvard Square Editions writes of Playground Zero: ”An eerily compelling déjà vu of the free, wild, and jeopardy-ridden kid scene in late-1960s Berkeley. Uncanny and powerful.” Tune in and go back in time. Sunday, Dec. 6, 3-4:30. Free but donations encouraged.

Painting by Ellen Howard. Photo: Holton Studio Frame-Makers

BELOVED CALIFORNIA Bring some of the great outdoors into your cozy indoors. Holton Studio Frame-Makers in West Berkeley is hosting a gallery show of 20 painters who are passionate about where they live. In “Beloved California V: Twenty Painters with a Passion for Place,” you’ll find soft and glowing landscapes surrounded by beautiful wood frames. Ellen Howard’s “Rocky Point Creek Bridge View” is a dynamic oil on panel painting of waves crashing onto a cliffside. Tia Kratter’s “Vibrancy” is a watercolor on paper work that resembles the sun shining through auburn leaves. You can view the show entirely online or visit the gallery in person, where they admit only 4 people at a time to socially distance. Take solace in the possibilities of the outdoors. Until Dec. 30.