All of Your Beeswax – A Rare Art Show at Lotusland, ‘Swarm’ Mourns the Dead Bees

The bees are dying, even in Montecito. Colony collapses are the thing of apocalyptic news reports, with everything from pesticides to cellphone use as the culprit. So with this new and rare art show called “Swarm” at Lotusland, the question can be asked: Is this a celebration or a memorial? Nancy Gifford, artist, collector, and curator, got a chance to turn several rooms in Madame Ganna Walska’s house into a place to examine what bees mean to art, humanity and nature. The results are worth your time to attend.

The centerpiece of the show is Penelope Stewart’s beeswax tiles, which completely cover one side of the entrance room and serve as a gateway into the other rooms. Using pounds upon pounds of beeswax, which in this enclosed space smells lovely, Ms. Stewart has used Lotusland as inspiration for the shapes that jut out of the bas-relief installation. Lotus pods, succulent blooms, decorative doorknobs, candelabras and more have been molded from wax and now stick out of the wall. The various colors of wax, based on the bees’ location and diet, make for fascinating exploration alone.

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More than Zero : Ojaiyes brings Zero Mostel to life with One Man Show

FROM TOP : From left, Steve Grumette, director, and Howard Leader Howard Leader as Zero Mostel Frank Eller photo
From left, Steve Grumette, director, and Howard Leader
Howard Leader as Zero Mostel
Frank Eller photo

I have done quite a few plays, and I wanted a challenge,” says Howard Leader.

The actor has gotten what he wanted. Tonight he stars in a one-man show based on the life of Zero Mostel, the gregarious but tormented star of such films as “The Producers” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” as well as the original Tevye in the Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

This new production of Jim Brochu’s award-winning 2006 stage play, “Zero Hour” opens tonight at Ojai Youth Entertainers Studio, directed by Mr. Leader’s frequent collaborator, Steve Grumette.

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Hot for Knowledge : Just like today, ‘A Royal Affair’ shows’ politics made strange bedfellows in the 19th century too

If you waited ages and ages to get in to see “A Royal Affair” at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival you may be disappointed to know you only had to wait a few more weeks to skip the lines. And if you didn’t get in to see it, well here’s your chance. Nikolag Arcel’s lavish costume drama follows the real-life affair that happened between the English-born Queen Caroline Mathilde of Denmark, and the King’s physician, Dr. Johann Struensee. It’s the kind of sweeping film history-lovers love, but it’s also a complex tale of good intentions and hubris on top of its love-affair plot.

The time is the 18th century, and the place is one of the last European countries trying to stave off the rising tide of the Enlightenment. And we soon see why writers like Voltaire and Rousseau questioned a system that could lead to the childish and insane King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard) running a country. Or at least pretending to: the true power resided in the king’s council, who handed the king laws to rubber stamp, protecting their own interests and damning the peasants.

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Reach Out and Touch – ‘Object’ at Wall Space gets 3-D with photography

Wall Space Gallery owner Crista Dix continues to confound expectations of what a gallery of photography can mean in this latest show, “Object.” The gallery has only been in the Funk Zone for a short time, but it has been tweaking minds since it opened. “Object” may be the most tactile of the shows so far.

The three artists are all women: Sue Van Horsen, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Yvette Meltzer. All use photography as a tool, and explore its chemical uses. One makes you rethink surfaces, one mashes a 2-D art form into 3-D sculpture, and the other plays with the concept of abstract art.

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