Plenty of art around here |

Plenty of art around here

This past week, I toured the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with my 13-year-old son. After lecturing my reluctant companion to open his mind to the exhibits, we entered the building. I pointed to the contrast between the black tile flooring and the stark white walls. That, I informed him, was art.

“Wal-Mart has a floor,” he replied. “Is that art?”

“Yes it is,” I told him. “It is just not as pleasing to the eye.”

As we searched the galleries, I looked for something that would make the experience memorable for my son. We came upon a porcelain urinal lying on a display pedestal – the artist’s sassy black signature was scribbled in the lower right corner of the piece. My son looked at me and shook his head.

Next we considered three large entirely white canvases hanging side by side. Walking closer to examine the work we discovered nothing further than the white. The artist’s description stated that to keep this masterpiece fresh, it had been repainted white in 1968. “Keep an open mind,” I reminded my son, and we strolled on.

In the next room, I did a double take when I saw a modern looking stroller resting soulfully in line with the other displays. Hmmm, I thought to myself, I’d better take a closer look. Before I had the chance to read the artist’s name, a mother with toddler in tow, rolled the stroller away. It was at that moment that I realized my mind had been way too open.

I would have demanded back our price of admission if it weren’t for the Henri Matisse exhibit, which I thoroughly appreciated. According to the SFMOMA biography of Matisse, his bold and colorful paintings seemed bizarre to the 1905 art crowd, and he was known as “the wild beast.” I asked my son his opinion of this artwork.

“I could paint that in two minutes,” he said. With that we headed for the exit.

It is easy to find haute culture in San Francisco, where museums and theaters are as numerous as Starbucks outlets. The opportunities for cultural enrichment are not nearly as concentrated in the Lake of the Pines area but they do exist nonetheless. Last Saturday evening, RCI Real Estate presented an opportunity for area residents to enhance their musical awareness and enjoy a community concert by sponsoring an “Evening Under the Stars” at the DarkHorse outdoor amphitheater.

The Meow Meows provided the entertainment and the band’s classic jazz and bossa nova-style music accompanied a spectacular evening sunset. Later, a nearly full moon came up and moved in and out of a swirl of blue-gray clouds, looking like a Van Gogh painting against the darkening hilly backdrop.

This was the first community concert at DarkHorse Golf Club. Lou Sans, the owner of the RCI Real Estate building on Higgins Corner, has been a Lake of the Pines resident for the past 27 years. Lou said he and his associates at RCI are dedicated to giving back to the community they serve. Last year, their office garnered the distinction of being the number one collection site for the Marines Toys for Tots charity in Nevada County. They will begin collecting again in October.

Lew Boxer, RCI broker and popular Bear River High School substitute teacher, was also present at the event. He and office manager Nicole Artim are planning other events to bring the Lake of the Pines community together. The concert on Saturday generated a lot of enthusiasm and the office has been receiving telephone calls inquiring when the next concert may occur. According to Lou Sans, another event is planned for this spring, weather permitting.

Brandy Alvis, event coordinator for DarkHorse Golf Club, was also on hand to ensure the event ran smoothly. With over 250 people in attendance, it far exceeded expectations.


Laura Lavelle is a resident of Lake of the Pines, and her column is for Lake of the Pines area residents to share thoughts and information. Contact her at or leave a phone message with the readership editor at 477-4238.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User