Just got back home from Carolyn Cooley’s Zebra Show at The Lab. Powerful women gymnasts in silver face-paint, hundreds of paintings & drawings by Carolyn, Lena Wolff & others, music by Corner Tour & others, people I care about whom I hadn’t seen in years: this evening had it all - even chocolate-covered bananas. The visual art can be seen Friday & Saturday 1-6pm, & there’s a reception Friday (tonight 17th) 6-9pm.
One of Carolyn’s previous musical, artistic & personal obsessions was bees. Bees & zebras are tribal critters, fittingly, because Carolyn’s human tribe was gathered in force, like a family of forest orphans around a campfire. I listened to the haunting trumpet, trombone, banjo & accordian songs like I was sitting on a rotting dock in a swamp, staring at the stars while my cousins sang in the cabin thirty yards behind me.
Shannon McMurchie said something to me about there being a thread, a throughline of community that was being manifested in the room. Margaret Tedesco reminded me how shy & fragile Carolyn was when she started collecting audiences around her like moths years ago, and how strong and present and generous Carolyn is now. I had to whole-heartedly agree with both of them. There was a very, very old spirit present in that room full of so many young bodies. Life is sad & hopeful all at the same time, and Carolyn, Corner Tour & their friends are so good at making that paradox make sense. All I can say when I get that from artists is thanks.
Painter Yoon Lee, holder of a freshly-minted MFA degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, is the recipient of this year’s Tournesol Award from the Headlands Center for the Arts. Lee will receive a cash grant and studio space at the Headlands for a year.