The Sit List: 5 ways to appreciate the arts

This week, hear from the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland; shop edible plants; listen to rad women composers; watch filmmaker Steve McQueen talk about his work; and more.

QUILT GUILD As expressive as any art form, quilting tells stories in a unique way. Celebrating the craft, BAMPFA is welcoming the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland (AAQGO) this weekend. Quilters from the AAQGO—Frances Porter, Teri Green, and LaQuita Tummings—will host a virtual tour of their studio and explain their quilting journeys and why they quilt. They use a diversity of techniques, like computer-generated photos, appliqué, paper piecing, and beadwork to create traditional blocks and narrative quilts. They will also show some of their works, which have been displayed at the National Quilt Museum in Kentucky, the de Young Museum, and the San Jose Museum of Art. Join this inside look at the practice of expert quilt artists. Saturday, March 27. 11 a.m. Free.

EDIBLE PLANTS What’s more satisfying than creating your own farm-to-table meal? Starting this weekend, you can buy from the Incredible Edible Plant Sale from the UC Master Gardener Program of Alameda County. Their bountiful selection this year includes tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, leafy greens, peppers, beans, tomatillos, pumpkins, melons, peas, herbs, and more. To stay safe, you can order online and then go to Pleasanton for a curbside pick-up organized by appointment. The proceeds from the sale go towards gardening education and planting programs in the East Bay community. Get the ingredients for a crunchy, delicious, fresh salad from local cultivations. Online ordering begins March 28. Pick-up will be on April 10, 11, and 12 at Alviso Adobe Community Park.

Poster for Rad Women podcast REAL Berkeley
Credit: Rad Women

RAD WOMEN This community never ceases to amaze with its innovative cultural programming, including Berkeley Symphony’s new concert series titled REAL Berkeley. Standing for Rad, Edgy, Audacious, and Loving, REAL Berkeley celebrates what makes Berkeley such a special place. The first episode, kicking off this weekend, is titled Rad Women and dedicated to female powerhouse composers. Author and Berkeley native Kate Schatz will introduce Tessellations by Bay Area-native Gabriella Smith, Meri Sakhi Ki Avaaz (My Sister’s Voice) by Reena Esmail, and Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio. The second episode of REAL Berkeley, titled Edgy Art, will be released on May 16. Tune in for good music and great conversation. Episode one premieres this Sunday, March 28, 4 p.m. Free. 

STEVE MCQUEEN Acclaimed filmmaker and video artist Steve McQueen, whose 12 Years a Slave won numerous Academy Awards, will be in conversation with Clara Kim, Rizvana Bradley and Shannon Jackson for UC Berkeley’s Art+Design speaker series. The event is co-presented by BAMPFA. McQueen, who is based in London and Amsterdam, and whose acclaimed anthology film series Small Axe came out last year, will speak about his interdisciplinary practice across the art world and in mainstream cinema. He’ll go into depth about how he reckons with the social, psychological and political traumas that appear in his work. McQueen will be interviewed by Cal professors Rizvana Bradley and Shannon Jackson, along with Clara Kim, a curator at the Tate Modern in London. Witness an enthralling conversation with a renowned filmmaker about art, passion, and justice. Tuesday, March 30. 12-1:30 p.m. Free.


OPERA SONG Looking for a sonic thrill to fill your week? Then check out this recital by soprano Christine Goerke and pianist Craig Terry for Cal Performances at Home. The duo will perform a menagerie of pieces that will exhibit Goerke’s incredible range, including works by Handel, Strauss, Brahams, Owens, Bernstein, Kent Porter, Tosti, and more. Lauded by music critics from all around the world, “Goerke is sought out for her opulent voice and dramatic intensity, which is tempered by a refined interpretive intelligence,” says Cal Performances. Join in for a fun concert of traditional Italian songs, opera classics, and charming musical theater tunes. Thursday, April 1. Available through June 30. Tickets start at $15.