Arts events around town worth checking out in the coming weeks range from an photography exhibit that draws you into the world of Silicon Valley's movers and shakers to Stanford Repertory Theater's theatrical reproduction of Orson Welles' legendary 1938 radio production, "The War of the Worlds."
Photography: Fearless genius
Photographer Doug Menuez spent 15 years documenting the inside world of Silicon Valley engineers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. His 50 silver gelatin prints, "Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley, 1985-2000," feature an intimate look into the people who changed the world through technology.
The project begins with shadowing Apple cofounder Steve Jobs in 1985 to capture his creative genius and processes and expands to capture the exuberant ideology that made the valley's movers and shakers put everything on the line to change the world. The exhibition examines the movement from idealism to greed and the dot-com crash. The exhibition runs through Sept. 7 at the Computer History Museum, 1401 N Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View. Hours are Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15; $12 for students, seniors and active military personnel with valid ID. Children 12 and under are admitted free. For information go to computerhistory.org or call 650-810-1010.
Theater: 'The War of the Worlds'
Orson Welles' 1938 radio production, "The War of the Worlds," is legendary. A group of actors in a radio studio created the illusion of a Martian invasion, and the result was mass hysteria. Hardened New Yorkers and others on the East Coast surrendered to their imaginations, rumor and paranoia. The Martians were coming!
Public reaction to "The War of the Worlds" allegedly prompted military strategies for information warfare and studies on mass hysteria.
Now Stanford Repertory Theater is taking the production to the stage. Will audiences also suspend belief?
The production is part of Stanford Rep's Orson Welles summer festival. "The War of the Worlds" runs through Aug. 24, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $25 general admission and $15 for students, unemployed persons and pensioners. Performances will take place at Nitery Theater, Old Union, 514 Lasuen Mall, Bldg. 590, opposite the Stanford Bookstore. For tickets and information go to repertorytheater.stanford.edu or call 650-725-5838.
Art: The experience of war
Two exhibitions at Palo Alto Art Center take different approaches to the war veteran's experience. "Dana Harel: Between Dreams and Nightmares," is a solo exhibition by the Redwood City artist and former Israeli soldier. Fifteen mixed-media drawings of half-human, half-animal figures reflect the effects of war on survivors. Haunting and dreamlike, the works hint at the lingering subconscious impacts of the horrors and deprivations of war.
Organized by the Laguna Art Museum, the works draw on Harel's personal relationships to the men in her family and ties to military life. The show is particularly timely in light of the recent Gaza conflict.
Harel has exhibited in museums and galleries in Israel, San Francisco, San Jose and Napa.
A second exhibition, "Containers of Community: Ehren Tool," honors local veterans and their shared experiences through "war awareness art." Tool created thousands of wheel-thrown ceramic cups using decals and embossed imagery from objects and images collected from community members that reflect images and symbols of war, violence and the veteran experience. The vessels are arranged and displayed to form art pieces.
Tool has given away more than 14,000 cups to members of various communities since 2001. He has exhibited his work at museums throughout California.
Both exhibitions run through Sept. 7 at the Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto. The center is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Admission is free. For information, go to cityofpaloalto.org/artcenter or call 650-329-2366.