In Brief: Racking up art: Modesto Art Museum seeks designs

01/15/2014 2:53 PM

01/15/2014 2:54 PM

The Modesto Art Museum is seeking artists, architects, engineers, designers, fabricators and others to design and produce functional art bicycle racks to be located in Modesto.

Three different racks will be selected. The project is in partnership with the City of Modesto and is funded by a grant from ArtPlace America. At least one of the three bike racks will be placed along the Modesto Cruise Route, made famous in the film “American Graffiti” by hometown native George Lucas. Rack designs can be inspired by the cruise route or the Modesto Design District.

Each of three selected artists/designers will receive $3,000 to create a unique, functional bicycle rack; the money will cover the costs for design, fabrication, finishing, insurance and transportation of the completed rack to the installation site.

The proposal deadline is Feb. 28. For details on the project and how to apply, see

Townsend auditions for “Tawawa House”

Townsend Opera will hold auditions Jan. 29 for its production of the opera “Tawawa House.”

The opera, by black American composer Zenobia Powell Perry (1908-1993), will be presented in May, with rehearsals beginning in April. Townsend Opera is is partnering with Modesto’s Sankofa Theater Company to present the world première of the opera, written about a stop on the Underground Railroad at the onset of the Civil War. The Townsend site says the opera is “infused with melodies from old spirituals and hymns.”

Auditions are Jan. 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto.

Those auditioning will present three selections – a song from their desired role (need not be memorized), a song from memory in a similar style and a song in English that demonstrates technical ability; an accompanist will be provided. There is a $10 fee.

To schedule an audition, contact Barbara Wesley at

“Modern Art Kimono” opens in March

The Modesto Art Museum brings the “Modern Art Kimono” exhibit to Modesto from March 19 to April 27 at the McHenry Museum.

The early 20th century saw Japan’s interest in European art increase, according to a release from the Modesto Art Museum. During this time, kimonos were the mainstay of clothing for women. While their form did not change, their fabric design reflected modern art movements, including arts and crafts, impressionism, Vienna secession, art nouveau, cubism, expressionism, futurism, art deco and constructivism. This synthesis of East and West will be on display for the first time at the Modesto exhibit.

Admission will be free at the McHenry Museum, 1402 I St., Modesto. Exhibit hours will be Tuesdays through Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. For more, see

Tour backstage at the Gallo Center

Backstage tours are offered every Thursday at the Gallo Center for the Arts in downtown Modesto.

A customer service representative leads the free tours, giving visitors a history of the center and a look at backstage areas, dressing rooms, green rooms, where artists and crews relax before and after shows, and the wall where stars who play at the venue leave their autographs.

Tours begin at 1 p.m. Thursdays in front of the ticket office at the Gallo Center, 1000 I St., Modesto. No reservations are required.

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