Produced by KQED, this series is about Bay Area artists and arts organizations. It is a weekly television show, an educational outreach program and a website. More than a showcase for art objects and the artists who make them, SPARK* takes the audience inside the creative process to witness the challenges, opportunities and rewards of making art.
In Respect of Nature (#408) Duration: 28:19 STEREO TVG
Our natural world provides lots of artistic inspiration. Spark visits artists who work in respect of nature.
* Photographer Roman Loranc has spent years documenting the Central Valley landscape with a loving eye.
* Li Huayi from the first generation of Chinese Cultural Revolution artists, reinvigorates Chinese landscape painting with his modern abstract vision.
* Bill Dan, also known as "The Rock Man of Crissy Field," balances rocks for all to contemplate.
* Then Gregory Gavin builds temporary creeks in public spaces called "Riveropolis."
Musical Instruments (#409) Duration: 28:21 STEREO TVG
Spark finds that every musician has a chosen instrument that takes them on their creative journey.
* Organ player Wil Blades has jammed with the famous and holds court in clubs and classrooms of the Bay Area.
* World famous Lyric Soprano Barbara Bonney is known for her Lieder performances but she also teaches master classes to regular people.
* Since 1981, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has been dedicated to reproducing historically informed performances on original instruments.
* Then, meet Stephen Kent, a didgeridoo player from the UK.
The Influence of Memory (#410) Duration: 29:10 STEREO TVG
Spark gets into the heads of artists who are deeply influenced by memories.
* Painter Christopher Brown mines images of trains, birds, and buildings to create immediately familiar canvases that he seemingly never wants to finish.
* Photographer Binh Dahn is famous for his images of colonial Vietnamese printed on leaves. Now he is collaborating with Elizabeth Moy as they explore memory, history and war in and installation at Intersection for the Arts.
* Driven by a need to explore family memories and identity, Flo Oy Wong's artistic path has resulted in a body of work that illustrates the rich yet painful history of Asian Americans.
* Also, get a peek at Deborah Slater's "Hotel of Memory," which comments on the possibility of life without art.
The Puppet Show (#411) Duration: 28:47 STEREO TVG
Puppet shows aren't just for kids, as proven by the artists in this episode.
* Pop artist and painter Sandow Birk has adapted Dante's Divine Comedy into a modern epic and filmed it in the tradition of "Toy Theatre," a European style of puppetry from the 1700s.
* Basil Twist is collaborating with Joe Goode and Paula Vogel to stage "The Long Christmas Ride Home" using traditional Japanese Bunraku puppets of his own creation.
* Lunatique Fantastique's Liebe Wetzel stages her latest work using found object puppets to address issues women face when confronting breast cancer.
* Also, get an insider's look at the Indonesian puppets from the Herbert Collection at the Asian Art Museum with puppet master Kathy Foley.
Home Sweet Home (#412) Duration: 28:52 STEREO TVG
For the arts to thrive they need a home - Spark examines the influence of home on institutions around the Bay Area.
* The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is moving to the Civic Center, within sight of the great cultural institutions to which many of its students aspire.
* Since 1973, Oakland's Creative Growth Art Center has been a nurturing ground for adults with mental, emotional and physical disabilities.
* Jared Choclatt brings "Hit it!" for a world premiere at San Francisco's home for African American plays, The Lorraine Hansberry Theater.
* And, get a tour of ODC's new building full of classrooms and rehearsal space furthering this institution's commitment to fostering dance in the Bay Area.
Playing with Technology (#413) Duration: 28:19 STEREO TVG
We live in an electronic world - turntables, microphones, digital displays, microchips. Some artists are driven by the possibilities of manipulating these things, and in this episode, we explore the way that they creatively unite art and electronics.
* Walter Kitundu creates innovative instruments that are based on the turntable but powered by natural elements such as wind, fire and the ocean.
* Natural found objects such as flowers and sand are juxtaposed with pieces of technology in Joe Mangrum's large and intricate design sculptures.
* Loren Chasse uses audio technology to explore the music that can be made from ruins and teach his young students about sound art.
* Finally, what people are really talking about can be discovered at the Listening Post, where the "global conversation" of electronic chats are tracked through suspended text screens.