HongNian Zhang, Chinese artist unveils painting at San Marino Gallery

Last Saturday Debbie Kolodji and I had a twelve hour day of walking, sharing and poetry, which culminated in this wonderful unveiling at the San Marino Gallery in Pasadena. This is artist HongNian Zhan, before his 10 foot painting "Yang Gui Fei", "The Song of Unending Sorrow" commissioned by the Gallery, and two years in the making.

Here is our group, with the artist in our midst. Rennee Hoffmann, Deborah P Kolodji, Rick Wilson, artist HongNian Zhang, Kathabela Wilson. We all felt privileged to be able to attend this special unveiling ceremony.
This from the gallery website:"HongNian Zhang paints scenes for which there are no photos or visual records. He is attempts to depict each scene as historically accurate as
possible. Once a historical event is chosen, he begins the two year long
process of researching and recreating the clothing, jewelry, shoes, hairstyles,
accessories, colors, artifacts and symbols of that dynasty. HongNian has a
"backstage pass" into places others are not allowed entry. His ability to
sketch inside the Dun Huang Caves, the tomb with the Terra Cotta Warriors
and the museum's historical vaults allows for precise accuracy of all the
details. Every item used in the life size paintings has actually been
recreated. He then assembles a cast and builds a set that he can paint from
in his barn in Woodstock.
This painting unveiled today, "Yang Gui Fei" is the Romeo and Juliet story
in Chinese history that took place during the Tang Dynasty. "It is
HongNian's favorite tale and San Marino Gallery is blessed and honored to be
able to curate this exhibit." It is the First Time Ever that all of the drawings,
sketches, character studies, costumes, wigs, accessories and historical
elements will be on display alongside the 9 foot tall by 10 foot wide oil

walking to "China"

Yesterday I walked to Caltech Glee Club rehearsal (2 hours every Monday night) and we rehearsed a Gloria by John Rutter. Holiday concerts are not my favorite, but the music chosen at Caltech avoids the most traditional so there is a challenge and variety. Today my most interesting walk was to the San Marino Gallery on Raymond, in Old Town Pasadena. Our Poets on Site performed there on the paintings of Milford Zornes. This Saturday is the unveiling of the large commissioned painting that has been two years in the making, by Chinese artist Hongnian Zhang. Rick and I, and poet friend, Just, went to the preview and discussion with the artist early in the year, he was there and showed hundreds of slides of his rich and various works. The one commissioned by the gallery is to be a fascinating historical scene. The artist researches every detail, including posing models in authentic historical costumes.

See the San Marino Gallery details about the reception and HONGNIAN ZHANG

amazing walks

Sunday's Walk to
the Lecture at the Pacific Asia Museum-Pasadena
"Confucianism in California: Philosophy and Religion, the Secular as Sacred"
Dr. Jonathan H.X. Lee-the role of Confucianism in Chinese
immigrant communities historically and today, as well as its current revival
in China wasreally wonderful. I knew little about this- and learned so much. Also we saw the Contemporary Art of Pakistan (4 artists) faxcinating. sharon joined me there.

That same day-Sunday- I walked to Lagerstrom Chamber Music Concert: Cecilia String Quartet play Lutoslowski-play his one strin quartet. Inspiring. I love his music- and the delicacy and the improvisatory nature of his work was so moving I left right after it to keep it in my head.

Later I walked to American Tribal Bellydance Class at Caltech. I had never done this before- a new teacher and new time- I am so happy it has changed from Saturdays. I won't be late for our haiku meeting anymore!

Today I walked to Caltech again for a most amazing lecture by
Garrett Reisman, astronaut, NASA Space Center.
He has just returned from and gave a presentation on his three month stay aboard the
International Space Station. He said he was physically there but mentally it takes longer to return. He got both his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Caltech so he was returning with quite a story. I felt lucky to see the amazing film he showed of his experiences and views from the shuttle.

Two days walk

Yesterday and today walks went to Caltech for

Sharon and Al joined me, after I walked from Caltech Yoga to "Dark Matters" the lecture at 4 PM at the Physics Research Conference, Jonathan Feng, professor of physics and astronomy, and Chancellor's Fellow, UC Irvine. (Before that I walked to pilates class at noon and around our kitchen making Poets Soup.) This was the second of our ongoing "Poets on Site at Caltech Science Lectures" Series. This is a long-term varied, experimental project. We hope that before next summer we can have an event at Caltech with poems written at some of these lectures. Any poet can join in, comment here or email to get notifications of lectures.

Friday I walked to Caltech Fine Arts and Crafts Club at the Red Door Cafe, a group I started 2 weeks ago. Artists bring their work to show and even work while we talk. It was Karen Klingman's birthday, so we celebrated with roses and little handmade gifts.
Then after lunch and yoga I walked back to the Red Door, for Caltech Poetry Club, (second photo) same location - a retired scientist, Don Trask, from JPL joined us for the first time and our student, Noele,(third from left) our most active student member was there too, reading a new poem. We all read with comments,(Don recited a favorite ditty he recites for his grandchildren, which related to Janes's poem) and also read a chapter from Now&Then, on Blake and the 19th century Labor movement, as well as a poem by Donna Allberry, "The Assembler". I am so lucky to be able to have such interesting events a block from home.

walking caltech

So amazing, I walk to the post office at Caltech, five minutes away. The Spitzer Science Center is in the same building on the third floor! On ground level right where I mail things is this beautiful display, with a moving screen update new discoveries and posters and updates. This time I concentrated on reading the fantastic stories of star formation and took photos. I think we can arrange a tour of the facility for a group of poets sometime. Poets on Site at the Spitzer Scince Center sounds great.

I mailed my mom a copy of Phantom Seed. The poem I had published recently in this journal
"Sahara" is about her! I have not told her yet, so it will be a surprise! Thanks to Ruth Nolan for the inspiration. Deborah P Kolodji also has poems in it, we went to the celebration opening reading together last week. Also I mailed a copy of our last Poets on Site journal and our haiku anthology as birthday presents to a good friend in Santa Barbara.

Walked also to visit Rick at the Caltech welcoming new mathematics faculty party in the math building across the street.

Then walked to Caltech yoga (I had to teach the class (I have never done that before)
because the teacher was not there- at the end I said- well this is what it is like if a poet teached the yoga class- (I used my own images...) It was different and quite an improvisation but I saw about fifteen smiling faces when I was done!

Then to Caltech Glee Club rehearsal, we are singing John Rutter's Gloria this concert- lots of brass accompaniment.

All Caltech walks today- but what variety! I could never go anywhere else and be happy!

where I walked today

An intersting inscription at the Huntington Gardens. Well are they telling us not to write on bamboo as a topic? (Oh, only a poet could interpret it that way!) actually the Hungtington Gardens (walking distance from my home in Pasadena) has been the site of many inspirations for many of my poems! (bamboo included.)

I walked at 9:15 AM to pilates class at Caltech. How can you say no when it's 5 minutes away?

Later again a walk to the Caltech Post Office! (5 minutes) and this time I mailed 6 rings to France! Bagnolet to be exact. We stayed in our friend flutist and maker's home on our visit to Paris.
I gave his daughter a ring, and she loved it so much it wore out. So she needed another, and since it's hard to size from afar, I sent a half dozen and told her to find her favorite and share with her friends! See my handmade jewelry

Then after that a 2 minute walk to my yoga class at Caltech. (I know I am spoiled.) Caltech has classes every day (I go to each one) and there are several different teachers. So I learn from different perspectives.

Later in the evening I walked to the Huntington Gardens again, this time for a Chinese Garden Lecture! This was amazing, more about that soon, Alvin, a poet friend came to the lecture, and poet Deborah P Kolodji came too (and drove me home). We had fun sharing that and talking afterwards.

walking distance

This is a photo of Darwin as a young boy, holding one of the plants he studied and loved.

One thing I love about where I live is how many wonderful places and how much culture is walking distance from our home in Pasadena. Being that we live a block from Caltech- that gives you some idea already!

Today I walked to the Caltech Post Office (5 minutes) and mailed a copy of our local haiku group anthology and a copy of our Poets on Site book that focused on paintings of the site of Manzanar (Japanese-American Internment Camps. WWII) to a haiku poet in Japan! I had been wanting to do this for months, as she answered my new year haiku with a book of her haiku!

Then I walked to the Huntington Gardens (1/2 hour) and saw the exhibit Darwin's Garden, a small exquisite exhiit of manuscripts about his experiments and love for nature, and especially plants.

The I walked 1/2 hour to yoga class at Caltech a block (5 minutes from our home)
and then home.

My head full of poems and happy with what is walking distance! More soon...

Tonight we are going to a concert at Zipper Hall (not walking distance)

Poets on Site in Torrance Thank You

See Album of Photos of this event
The art, the poetry, the music, and the joining
of all three- the walls and space
alive with resounding beauty.
We will show a video made during the performance
at our Poets Salon on Thursday. Thank you to artist Ron Libbrecht
and his wife Diane for inviting our poets and musicians
to their gallery and providing a lovely reception and welcome, and
to artist Bill Anderson for his ongoing praise, attention and help.
Musicians Paul Sherman, Asuncion Ojeda so generously
joined with Rick Wilson providing such wonderful
musical dialogue with the poetry.
Fourteen poets read the work of twenty poets,
their poems in dialogue
with the art, such strong and vital expression, it
was really an honor to make this book. Every poem was read
whether the poet was able to attend or not. Thank you to Gail and Steven,
thanks to them we do have a fascinating video with some of the action,
as well as photos. Thanks to Vic Gendrano, Debbie Kolodji and Susan
Rogers for photos and thanks to all poets
and friends who came to cheer us on.

More photos soon, we wanted to thank you all
right away. I've already started working on the
poems some of you have already sent for our performance
August 23 at the Chaffey Museum on the work of Milford Zornes as
a war artist in India, China and Burma. We'll have appropriate
musical accompaniment for that too.

Love and thanks from
Kathabela and Rick Wilson

Today Poets and Musicians on Site

Dear friends of Poets and Musicians on Site,

We know this is short notice, and some of
you live to far to come,
but still, we thought you would like to know- and maybe
a few of you could come? There are twenty poets and 3 musicians
contributing to this event!

Today, Saturday, July 26, at 2 PM
Poets on Site, an ongoing cooperative Southern California poetic
writing and performance group will present poems and music for
the exhibit "Three Generations: Milford Zornes, Bill Anderson, Ron
Poet on Site features
Pasadena and other Los Angeles area poets inspired by the exhibit.
For this event, Paul Sherman on oboe, Rick Wilson and Asuncion Ojeda
on baroque flutes will perform
festive music as interludes and to compliment
the poems. The acoustics in the gallery are especially good, so we
know you will enjoy this.

APC Fine Arts and Graphics Gallery
1621 Cabrillo Ave,
Torrance, CA 90501

The excitement of looking at the
art work while the poems are read gives the effect of a poetic
docent style tour of the exhibit. A special book for the event
with all the poems will include some photos of paintings and
will be available for purchase.

Since the beginning of this year,
Poets on Site have written and performed on many of the 100th birthday
exhibits of Milford Zornes:
at the Pasadena Museum of California Art,
The San Marino Gallery in Pasadena,
and on invitation at the Bill Anderson Gallery in Sunset

Other performances this year were
a tourguide walk through the exhibit "Rengetsu: her Art and Poetry" took
at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. in May.
and a celebration of the Earth
in April at "Ten Thousand Villages" in Pasadena
with poems, art and music poems inspired
by Fish Canyon Falls, Eaton Canyon,
and other natural sites in our area.

Future performances include one on
Saturday, August 23 at 1 PM
on the Chaffey Museum's in Rancho Cuchamonga
exhibit of Zornes' work a s a
WWII artist in India, China and Burma.

Performances of collections of poems already written at
the previous Zornes exhibits at the Riverside Museum,
and the exhibit "Black and White" at the Ontario
Museum of Art are still to be scheduled.

Kathabela and Rick Wilson for
Poets and Musicians
on Site

Greetings from Istanbul

Immersed in the poetic city of Istanbul,
I've captioned photo stories of our adventures here

The story of our first breakfast by the Black Sea,

the meeting with new poetic friends,
(thanks to Deborah P Kolodji for the Southland Poets of the Fantastic
which created the setting for this wonderful connection!)

Rick buying Turkish Neys along with his first Turkish ney lesson,

and a wonderful outdoor traditional concert at the foot of Galeta Tower in the old city.

As well you'll find some glimpses of our visit to Shanghai and
drawings I did there a few weeks ago.

Love to all my poetic friends here!