If you spend any time listening to live music here in The Point – or anywhere around the Bay for that matter – you’re likely to come across violinist Kit Eakle. He plays with no fewer than four groups and jams with a multitude of others. Most recently he has organized a series of local concerts dedicated to his passion of jazz violin. The shows also highlight some of the top violinists in the world. You can catch Kit’s Point Richmond Jazz Series in the cozy and well tuned First United Methodist Church. The current run is from October (2013) through May 2014 on every fourth Friday of the month. This is the first year but with your support we can all help make this become an annual event.
While Kit didn’t formally live here in The Point until his adult years, he certainly has strong roots in the area, as you will hear in his audio postcard. After graduating high school in near-by El Sobrante, Kit headed off to college on the East Coast but ultimately graduated from UC Davis. Then in the early 1970s, he and his former wife (a Point Richmond native no less) moved to Canada to raise their family. It was in Canada that his career playing music really developed. And while Kit has obviously maintained a solid path playing in bands, he is also a well-recognized music educator. If you have children, I strongly recommend his award winning music book In My Grandmother’s Garden. But without further ado, lets hear from Kit.
…And if you like the music you hear in this episode of Stories from The Point, definitely see Kit play live some time. As always, it’s a pleasure to read your comments, so please do leave them after listening.
How does the saying go: “Good art is subjective”? Well, for pin-up and erotic art illustrator, Vincent Stephens, so is beauty. Vincent uses line drawing in a comic book style to celebrate his love of “big, beautiful women.” He does this with humor and a passionate message that big women are indeed beautiful! While his art may not be for everyone, Vincent is an extremely friendly and approachable guy who you will find most days at the Refined by Fire Gallery in downtown Point Richmond. Stop by there to chat him up and you’ll see what I mean. Better yet, come on down for one of the Point Richmond Art Walks – every third Thursday of the month – and you’ll get to see and hear Vincent playing bass along with other local musicians in the courtyard of Refined by Fire. Matter of fact, they are the ones you hear in the background of this episode! You can also find Vincent playing his gorgeous, custom made bass with various musicians at the Baltic restaurant or the Up and Under Pub (need I say, both are in The Point).
Yes indeed, Point Richmond has a good share of artists. I don’t know the percentage as compared to other places, but for such a small area, we seem to have lot of creative folks with a diverse body of works. In this audio postcard Vincent shares how the “work a day world” put him on his path to doing art full time here.
So, let’s join up with Vincent at the Point Richmond Art Walk. Remember, I’d love to hear from you and I know Vincent would too. So after listening, be sure to leave your comments.
Point Richmond has a strong and continually growing community of artists. While there are several noted photographers in town, Hugh Shurley’s work is really very unique. In a world where the digitally mastered image is taking over, Hugh’s artwork is painstakingly and passionately done in a manual tradition. As Hugh shares in this episode of Stories from The Point, he’s more of a photo-collagist than “just” a photographer. Instead of using digital layers, Hugh physically layers 4-8 images printed on Plexiglas on top of each other with bits of ephemera in-between. Looking at a digital scan of one of these pieces of art is impressive; however, the physical pieces hold a more profound and tactile experience that could never be duplicated digitally.
Hugh’s mantra could likely be summed up as: if you’re not creating art, you’re not living and if you’re only living to make a living then you aren’t living at all. It was those words of wisdom he shared with me during a New Year’s Day breakfast that got me going with the Stories from The Point project. Thanks, Hugh!
He and his partner Isidro are also responsible for starting one of our blocks most cherished ad hoc block parties. Once a year nearby neighbors all get together for a potluck, live music and other entertainment. My wife and I had been to it before moving here and it was definitely one of the selling points. In regards to the annual block party Hugh shares, “I really get the feeling that when we first moved here everyone kind of stuck to themselves. And it didn’t take much to get people out and to relate to each other.”
What has developed is a much stronger cohesion amongst neighbors and a real sense of community. “I see how, given the opportunity, most people want to be part of community. And when people come together in a community, they may not all agree politically or any other wise, but if you can find some common thing that you can all share; it just makes your life richer,” says Hugh.
Give this episode of Stories from The Point a listen and please leave your comments. Also, be sure to check out Hugh’s artwork when you get a chance…even if it simply means stopping by his web site.