If you haven’t yet seen painter Leslie Batty’s newest show, “Everyday Stages,” you have one more opportunity with a closing reception at 1821 Gallery & Studios. The event makes the top of my list of arts picks this week.
Win a painting
The event: Batty’s “Everyday Stages,” which includes new figurative oil paintings and mixed-media works, features what she calls “the feminine subject” in social contexts with common identity signifiers such as clothing, cars and houses. (An image of a car juxtaposed with a beautiful woman? How very “Mad Men.”) The artist has long been fascinated with body image, gender identity and social dynamics, and the way she uses nostalgia to jolt the viewer is fun (and thought-provoking).
The draw: I love this line from her artist’s statement explaining her show: “Not unlike contemporary society, fairytale façades set the stage for a make-believe world in which the only rules of the masquerade are to stay in character.”
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Special raffle: There’s another dimension to the closing reception. Batty is raffling off a big, 4-by-3-foot painting titled “A Teal-Rose Dress for Valerie.” It’s a tribute to Valerie Bender, a dear friend of Batty’s and to many at The Fresno Bee, where Bender worked for many years. Bender has advanced breast cancer, and the raffle is meant as an “expression of love and hope.” Proceeds will go to a charity of Bender’s choice.
Details: The closing reception is 4-7 p.m. Friday, April 29, at 1821 Gallery & Studios, 1821 Calaveras St. The raffle is at 7 p.m. Tickets for the raffle are $25 and can be purchased at the gallery up until the drawing and online until 2 p.m. Friday at www.eventbrite.com. You don’t have to be present to win.
Soli Deo Gloria
The event: “Poets’ Corner” is the title of the Soli Deo Gloria Women’s Chorale spring concert. It will include premiere performances of choral works and feature music with lyrics by famous poets.
The draw: The ensemble will perform three premieres by composers who were commissioned by the 2015 Women’s Choir Commission Consortium, of which Soli Deo Gloria was a part, through the American Choral Directors Association. One of them is “Patito” by American composer Gabriela Lena Frank, whose work “Three Latin American Dances” was performed last year by the Fresno Philharmonic. Set to an anonymous poem, it’s about a little duck crying alone, bereft of its parents and being encouraged to leave its solitude and join the others on the other bank of the river. Other premieres are “I Have a Voice,” by Moira Smiley, and John Gregorio’s “Two Friends Like Fireflies.” Plus: Fans of William Shakespeare, e.e. cummings, William Butler Yeats, Sara Teasdale and others will enjoy their poetry set to music. Julie Carter L. Carter conducts.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, University Presbyterian Church, 1776 E. Roberts Ave. www.sdgchoir.com, 559-473-6486. $15 advance/$20 at door, $15 students.
The event: The Mariposa Symphony Orchestra is helping to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service with a concert at Sierra Vista Church in Oakhurst.
The draw: The Oakhurst concert is one of seven dates the touring orchestra will perform over the next four months. The program features a work by the orchestra’s founder and conductor, Les Marsden, “Our Nation’s Nature,” an orchestral cycle of four large-scale symphonic works.
Details: This weekend’s performance is at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Sierra Vista Church, 39696 Highway 41, Oakhurst. Tickets are $10 general and $7 students, and are available at www.mariposaartscouncil.org/mariposa-symphony-orchestra. Upcoming dates of the tour include May 7 at the Merced College Theatre, May 14 at the Sonora High School Auditorium, Aug. 20 at Mammoth Lakes Middle School and Aug. 21 with location to be announced.