Voulkos, Inspired demonstrates the many ways in which the influence of one spectacular artist can manifest in the works of others. The late Peter Voulkos was known internationally for his dense, abstract clay sculptures that seemed to embody a raw spontaneity. A long-beloved teacher at UC Berkeley and founder of the university’s ceramics department, he also had a reputation for motivating others to abandon utilitarian ceramics and embrace expression through bold, poetic forms. Voulkos, Inspired highlights some of these instances, showcasing work by local artists that draw inspiration conceptually and aesthetically from Voulkos’ revolutionary body of work. The group exhibition, now on view at Kala Art Institute’s Berkeley Central Arts Passage (2055 Center St., Berkeley), features a range of media including sculpture, video, photography, and weaving. Leah Rosenberg’s collection of sculptures resembles colorful, weather-worn books made through the layering of acrylic paint. Meanwhile, Randy Colosky offers playful, abstract bronze sculptures that rethink the lost-wax casting process by incorporating utilitarian pieces artistically. Even more playful are Double Zero’s (Annie Vaught and Hannah Ireland) video and photographs featuring people as sculptures, costumed in headdresses made of found objects.
Hang out with fellow literary nerds at the fourth annual Alternative Book and Zine Fest, which happens this Saturday at Berkeley City College (2050 Center St.). With more than sixty local writers and artists selling their work, chances are you’ll find something to your liking, whether you’re a comic-book fiend, graffiti-art enthusiast, or a seeker of radical polemics. Don’t miss the performance by the local all-girl literary spoken-word group Sister Spit, hosted by Michelle Tea, and the reading by New York Times bestselling author Steve Almond. Get crafty at workshops on book- and ’zine-making, cartooning, and screen-printing, or do some holiday shopping and find local treasures for your bookworm friends.
While the rise of technology and social media has given ordinary people the ability to shape the news, the integrity of journalism in the 21st century remains in question. However, David Hoffman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, sees great potential in the future of journalism. As the founder of Internews, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting independent and local media throughout the world, Hoffman has witnessed the ways in which new media has helped shape watershed moments in modern history. In his new book, Citizens Rising: Independent Journalism and the Spread of Democracy, he explores the emergence of new media and how it empowers ordinary citizens to bring about social change. Join Hoffman at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism (121 North Gate Hall, Berkeley) as he gives an in-depth look at the past, present, and future of independent journalism.