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JUNE 2013

Bethany Center News B E T H A N Y C E N T E R A N D R U T H ’ S TA B L E / 5 8 0 C A P P S T R EE T S A N FR A N C IS C O C A 94110 / W W W.B E T H A N Y C E N T E R .O R G / W W W.R U T H S TA B LE .ORG

Hearing Voices! BY LOLA FRAKNOI

Welcome to Bethany Center News Spring Edition. It is hard to believe Ruth’s Table is entering its fourth year. The first three years were a blur of activity, consumed by planning and designing, hiring staff and establishing collaborations. This year our focus is on growth, but something different and wonderful is happening around us. We are not the only ones doing the talking, we’re…hearing voices! We are hearing voices of people wanting to help us grow and expand. We’re hearing words of praise from colleagues at local, regional and national conferences. We’re hearing from other organizations that want to be included in what we offer. And we’re hearing from artists who are submitting proposals for a chance to exhibit in our gallery.

Some examples: •• This past March, Jerry Brown was invited to speak at the Leading Age conference in Washington, D.C. The subject was innovation, the example was Ruth’s Table. •• In February, Sharon Cox and I were selected to speak at the Positive Aging conference in Los Angeles. Participants were impressed with the idea of bringing contemporary art perspectives to the lives of older adults, especially in the form of gallery exhibits and dance workshops.

•• A group of volunteers, including some Bethany Center board members, came together to form Friends of Ruth’s Table (FORT). FORT is a volunteer run committee that helps Ruth’s Table with outreach and fundraising. •• We keep receiving more and more requests for tours of Ruth’s Table. Requests come from gerontology students working on research papers and leaders of arts organizations interested in duplicating our programs. (continued on page 10)

above, from left: Bethany Center resident, Lupe Portillo, dances to the music of Sabrosito during a March salsa party. Bethany Center resident, Qing Zhi Deng, holds up his Chinese brush paintings. Original prints created by Aiko Cuneo. Chinese Brush Painting instructor, Andrew Siu, demonstrates how to hold a brush.

In this issue: page 1 Hearing Voices! // page 2 Chinese Brush Painting: A Conversation with Andrew Siu // page 3 Chinese Brush Painting: A Conversation with Sisters // page 4 Art Teachers’ Art // page 6 Friends of Ruth’s Table (FORT) // page 7 Art at the Table 2013 // page 8 Introducing Our Newest Board Members // page 9 Thank you // page 10 Donors 1


JUNE 2013

clockwise from top left: Red Peonies by Andrew Siu. Andrew Siu shows the different types of paper suitable for brush painting. Andrew works on a piece before class.

Chinese Brush Painting: A Conversation with Andrew Siu BY MEGAN COSS

Last year in late December, Andrew Siu came to Ruth’s Table with a request: he wanted to teach Chinese brush painting. He came with a copy of his book, Paintings by Andrew Siu, a publication full of illustrations that capture his original style and the variety of his subjects. He told us about his life – for 16 years he trained in the Lingnan School of Painting, he received a Master Diploma in Chinese Calligraphy & Arts from Capital Normal University (Beijing), he held three solo exhibitions in Hong Kong and San Francisco, he is currently in pursuit of his Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University, and he has always dreamed of giving back to the community during his retirement. When he asked if he could teach at Ruth’s Table, we were, in a word, honored. In preparing for the series, we told Bethany resident Qing Zhi Deng about the course and he was quick to tell us, “Not a good idea. That is a skill only young people can learn.” Now, months into the course, Mr. Deng, one of the oldest participants in the course, has one of the largest portfolios and is the most excited about his progress. When asked how he encourages people to try 2

new things, Andrew said, “I talk to them about the advantages of trying and I tell them not to be afraid of learning because they might find something they are really good at.” In addition to brush painting, Andrew practices calligraphy and is an avid reader and writer of poetry; he says they all are components of traditional Chinese scholar art. Although an accomplished artist and passionate instructor, he finds his classes at the Academy of Art to be extremely useful. “They help reinforce my fundamentals and expand my knowledge of western art. Having the western influence, I established a unique style which reflects an East-meets-West interpretation.” The western influence Andrew mentions is part of what makes his art so striking. He paints tigers, plum blossoms and lotus flowers, but also diverges from these traditional subjects to paint ears of corn, pumpkin patches, still lifes, and tall drooping sunflowers. But no matter the subject, his images always retain the soft beautiful fluidity of brush painting. Andrew stresses the importance of patience and self-discipline in creating beautiful works and how these attributes carry over into daily life. “The best moment of brush painting is to go into a peaceful state of mind and freely express the emotion of the painting with each stroke you make. This requires patience, concentration and practice, which are very relevant to how we need to approach many things in life.”


JUNE 2013

clockwise from top left: Student Blue Murov discusses the composition of her painting with Andrew Siu. Andrew demonstrates proper brush holding techniques. A student shows off one of Andrew’s paintings, while Andrew sets the table for class.

Chinese Brush Painting: A Conversation with Sisters BY MEGAN COSS

When Debra Murov, an artist and owner of Envision Litigation Design, saw the advertisements for Chinese Brush Painting she fell in love with Andrew Siu’s paintings. “I have taken other workshops at Ruth’s Table that I enjoyed immensely and wanted to try painting since I spend most of my days on a computer.” She talked about the course with her sister Blue Murov, an art hobbyist and lab technologist at San Francisco General, and the two decided to enroll together. “One of the things I like about studying art is how it changes the way I see the world, how it allows me to view things differently,” said Blue. “Color, shapes, nature, all of it looks different after I’ve been in class.” In a class suitable for beginners and advanced learners, Andrew Siu covers landscape, flowers, insects, birds, fish and other animals. He teaches his students basic brush strokes, proper use of ink and color, how to handle instruments and tools, as well as the principle theory of Chinese brush painting and the essential elements of composition in artwork. When the class first began, Debra realized brush painting was in a way like drawing. “Once I got my head wrapped around the idea that this is drawing with a paintbrush I understood how to proceed.”

Now, months into the course, the sisters are excited about their progress, but the art form continues to provide challenges. Blue noted, “Everything about Chinese brush painting is different from painting I’ve studied in the past. The materials, the way the brush is held and how the ink and colors are applied. Each element of the painting is done with just one brush stroke.” Debra likened learning the art to watching her children learn how to write. “When my children learned to write for the first time they would trace letters in the direction of arrows for each letter. In Chinese brush painting there is a specific direction to capture.” Both agree they would attend class just to watch Andrew. “Watching him paint is like having a famous chef cook just for me!” said Blue. Debra added, “It is magical to watch Andrew bring the forms to life with minimal movements. I notice it forces me to slow down, which is nice in the fast paced world of computers. Also, I look at nature differently. I think, ‘How can I capture that blossom in as few movements as possible?’” When asked if they’ll participate in the Chinese Brush Painting October gallery exhibit, both sisters said to check back at the end of the second series. “Right now,” said Debra, “if I can get one flower right, I will feel like I have succeeded.” The artwork of Andrew Siu and his students will be on display in the Ruth’s Table Gallery starting October 4th. 3


JUNE 2013

Art Teachers’ Art Do art teachers have time to make their own art? Do they get the acknowledgement they deserve as art teachers and as artists? BY LOLA FRAKNOI

These were the questions that prompted our latest show, Art Teachers’ Art, an invitational art show featuring works from San Francisco Unified School District’s art teachers, artists in residence, and arts coordinators. This show, a rare chance to pay tribute to art teachers who devote their lives to educating and inspiring generations of San Francisco’s children, was put on with the collaboration of Antigone Trimis de Cartagena from the Visual and Performing Arts Office of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and with Linda Janklow, the show’s curator, and Founder and Director of Peopleologie, and the former Education Director of the Museum of Craft and Folk Art. On the evening of February 21st, over 100 students, friends and family, SFUSD representatives, and people from a variety of art organizations celebrated the fifteen artists at the opening reception. The Ruth’s Table staff and many residents of Bethany Center joined in for an evening of art, camaraderie, and an overwhelming feeling that the show was not only well deserved, but long overdue! The artists were moved and grateful to be recognized, directors of other arts organizations wondered why this show had not been done before, and school officials expressed a wish for the show to become an annual event. And, the artists in the show appreciated the chance to meet and compare experiences with each other. Let me share some moving moments of the show: •• A

sculptor shed tears upon seeing a red dot beside her piece (meaning her work had been sold)

•• An 4

artist’s son thanked me for showing his mom’s painting


JUNE 2013

opposite page: Lola Fraknoi welcomes guests to the opening reception of Art Teachers’ Art.

this page, clockwise from top left: Tomoko Lipp (left) and the show’s curator, Linda Janklow, draw the names of the evening’s raffle winners. Artist Ellen Weinstein poses for a photo in front of her quilt, Autumn Light. A guest admires Blue Women by Shannon Morris Lawson.

•• A

mother double parked (a dangerous thing in San Francisco) and ran in to congratulate her daughter’s teacher and thank her for all she’d done for her child •• An •• A

artist’s son said excitedly, “Look mom it’s you!” upon seeing an image of her piece printed on flyers and posters

teacher exclaimed, “It was great to feel like an artist for a day.”

This show particularly exemplifies Ruth Asawa’s passion of bringing the arts to every child in San Francisco. Ruth is a longtime advocate of art education and a firm believer in the power art has to change lives. Ruth’s Table is proud to continue that tradition through its exhibits, multi-generational connections, art workshops, and artist in residence program. Ruth’s Table continues to be a place where people of all ages come together to explore their creativity. As Ruth Asawa said, “Art is for everyone.” 5


JUNE 2013

from left: Tomoko Lipp at several Ruth’s Table events – left to right: beside her Paper Rose Community Tree at the Ruth’s Table Retrospective; hosting a Paper Rose Workshop; and, alongside Linda Edelstein, DAAS, at Art at the Table 2012.

Friends of Ruth’s Table (FORT) An Interview with Tomoko Lipp BY MEGAN COSS

Tomoko Lipp first came to Ruth’s Table in 2011 as a guest artist. She taught the art of the Paper Rose to a sold out crowd, and then returned a month later for an encore performance. In June 2012, she participated in the Ruth’s Table Retrospective gallery exhibit. On display was her Paper Rose Community Tree, a sculpture she created with the help of Ruth’s Table participant and retired engineer, Irina Leontyeva. Tomoko has since joined the Bethany Center Foundation of San Francisco’s Board of Directors, and most recently she founded Friends of Ruth’s Table (FORT) – a volunteer run committee working to raise awareness, fundraise, and provide support to Ruth’s Table programs. Tomoko serves as the President of FORT and she took some time to tell us about FORT and its goals for 2013. What inspired you to start FORT?

I got to know this great place offering wonderful programs with a small staff trying to do it all. So we formed FORT to be able to support them and to be able to sustain the center, and perhaps, with our help, grow participation. Also, many people cannot attend the annual fundraising dinner, but they still want to participate and support Ruth’s Table through their own fundraising efforts. We are planning an event later this fall that will include tours, demonstrations, and even a store where


we will sell artwork donated by workshop participants, the sales of which will benefit Ruth’s Table. How was FORT involved with the Art Teachers’ Art show?

FORT members came up with the idea of raffle ticket sales as a way of fundraising for Ruth’s Table. We received donated gift certificates from hair salons and other organizations like SCRAP. We were able to raise money and create a fun atmosphere for the opening reception. What does FORT hope to accomplish in 2013?

Outreach is our main goal this year. We want to reach as many organizations, media outlets and neighborhoods as we can to let people know about the exciting things happening at Ruth’s Table. Our second goal is to hold an additional fundraising event to introduce more supporters to the work of Ruth’s Table. The date is to be announced, but the ticket price will be $25. Stay tuned for more details! Does FORT accept new members?

Yes, we are a 100% volunteer committee. Anyone who’d like to support Ruth’s Table is more than welcome, just contact us at Ruth’s Table means so many things to so many people – it’s a place for community, it’s a place for art, it’s a place for wellness. What does Ruth’s Table mean to you?

To me Ruth’s Table is a place where people come together to meet other people who love art and music, and who enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Ruth’s Table is a place where people can build community together.


Jerry Brown

JUNE 2013

Daniell Cornell

Art at the Table 2013 We are proud to say Art at the Table 2013 will take place at the Farallon Restaurant in the heart of San Francisco! Guests of Art at the Table will enjoy Chef Franz’ sumptuous cuisine and dine in ethereal underwater décor. This year we’re honoring Jerry Brown for 25 years of visionary leadership as Bethany Center’s Executive Director, Daniell Cornell for his ongoing support of Ruth’s Table, Jeffrey T. Ellis for his leadership as President of the Bethany Center Foundation Board of Directors, and Antigone Trimis de Cartagena for strengthening Ruth’s Table’s relationship with San Francisco’s public schools. Joanne Handy, President and CEO of LeadingAge California, is the evening’s guest speaker. As in years past, we will have a silent art auction and debut a short film chronicling the events of Ruth’s Table’s past year. Sonja Marck, Chair of the Art at the Table Event Committee, has organized the evening’s silent auction, which includes original artwork from Ruth Asawa and a seven day getaway to Palm Springs. It’s an event that can’t be missed! Joanne Handy

Jeffrey T. Ellis

Antigone Trimis de Cartagena

Thank you to our sponsors! Carlos A. Ausejo, E.A. Taxes and Bookkeeping


In honor of Jerry Brown With love and gratitude Julie Stuhr and Conrado Dominguez



JUNE 2013


Our Newest Board Members Christopher Borg, Executive Director, Community Music Center

Bethany Center Foundation of San Francisco

Chris Borg started working at the Community Music Center (CMC) in October 2011. He earned his B.A. in music history from Vassar College and received a Master of Music degree in viola performance and orchestral studies from Northwestern University School of Music. The strong collaboration between CMC and Ruth’s Table expands CMC’s mission to create a living arts curriculum while supporting Ruth’s Table in its goal of providing quality arts programming to all generations. As a board member, Chris looks forward to exchanging ideas and methods, and to experiencing mutual learning so both CMC and Ruth’s Table may achieve their goals. An accomplished violist, Chris has experience playing baroque music in festivals all over Europe. Coming from Massachusetts, Chis says he loves San Francisco’s weather and food, but most importantly he loves his work as it allows him to learn something new every day. Carole Hawkes, Sales Director, Arc Com Fabrics

Bethany Center Senior Housing

Carole Hawkes is pleased to join the Bethany Center Senior Housing Board of Directors. Carole heard of Bethany Center and its unique mission through her lifelong friend and fellow board member Sonja Marck. Sonja brought Carole to a workshop and gallery show at Ruth’s Table and she was hooked. Carole comes to us with an MS in Education and a design degree from the California College of the Arts. After a successful career in education she currently works in a sales and marketing capacity with architectural and design communities in Northern California and Hawaii. Many of the projects are for senior and assisted living facilities, so she is well versed in the requirements for residents living in facilities such as Bethany Center. Carole recently completed her training with the National Ombudsman Program to become an advocate for the rights of people living in long term care facilities. She has volunteered with Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) through their Back to Work Program. At JVS, she worked specifically with laid off individuals from the garment industry, tutoring them in English and assisting them with job placement skills. Carole lives in San Francisco with her husband Jack and is the proud mom of her newly married daughter, Amber. Diana Siu, Analyst, Brookfield Asset Management

Bethany Center Senior Housing

As a native San Franciscan, Diana Siu wanted to find a volunteer opportunity that allowed her to give back to her home city in a meaningful way. After watching her own family struggle with seeking appropriate housing and care for her aging grandmother, she knew that the Bethany Center is an integral part of the community with an important mission. As a board member, she hopes to use her professional experience in real estate to help with a cause that she is truly passionate about. Diana is a Harvard graduate with a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics. She currently lives in New York City, where she works as an Analyst for Brookfield Asset Management. In her free time she enjoys traveling, cooking Cantonese cuisines, and watching NBA basketball and Hong Kong dramas.



JUNE 2013

Thank you Anne Hinton! She’s done it again! As Executive Director of the Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), Anne Hinton’s visionary leadership has brought two state of the art touchscreen computers, two scanners and one printer to our computer lab! This equipment ensures technology and innovation is readily accessible to low income seniors, and will add to our wonderful computer program led by Judy Auda of the Community Living Campaign. We extend many thanks to Sybil Boutilier, Sr. Analyst at DAAS, for her involvement in the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), which made the receipt of this technology possible. And many thanks to both Judy Auda and Marie Jobling, Director of the Community Living Campaign, for their positive spirits and innovative instruction. All involved have bettered the lives of Bethany Center residents and the Ruth’s Table community. Thank you!

At Art at the Table 2012, Anne Hinton stood for a photo with one of the evening’s honorees, Ramona Davies of Northern California Presbyterian Homes & Services. Left to right: Hadley Hall, Anne Hinton, Ramona Davies, Jerry Brown

Thank you to our volunteers! Meet our wonderful volunteers! We asked our volunteers why they enjoyed coming to Ruth’s Table. Here’s what they said:

Aiko Cuneo

Dorothy Yuki

Margie Ramirez

Sharon Cox

Sue Finn

Tomoko Lipp

Guest Artist; Art at the Table

Art Workshops; Events; FORT

Bethany Center Resident; FORT

Dance Generators; Tai Chi; Table Talks

Art Workshops; Events

Guest Artist; FORT

“As Ruth’s Table evolved into workshops and events for a multi-generational audience, the idea of community and friends and family making art together was very appealing to me. With its location in a vibrant community and open to people who want to learn a new technique, it is a place where we can try new ideas in a safe and supportive way.”

“I feel really lucky when I see the smiles of those who attend and when they finish their projects. Sometimes I think I get more out of Ruth’s Table than those we are helping or teaching.”

“I like going to Ruth’s Table because it is so much fun. We create interesting art that makes us think. I like seeing my friends there and I also love the Artist-in-Residence, Monica Lee.”

“Ruth’s Table is a place to find inspiration, to move my body, and to find friends.”

“Bringing art to “I love coming the community to Ruth’s Table attracts me. I love because I get to the connection to the help others create residents. Now they art. There’s always recognize me and a new and different smile when they project to do.” see me.”

Thank you to Brian Garshelis and New Sector Alliance! Many thanks to Brian Garshelis of New Sector Alliance for offering Ruth’s Table a New Sector Summer Fellow! Starting in June, Patricia Gutierrez-Fregoso will join the Ruth’s Table crew to help out with event promotions and public outreach. Patricia is entering her junior year at Swarthmore College where she is a Latin American Studies Major with a focus on Sociology and Anthropology. We are very excited to meet and work with Patricia! 9


JUNE 2013

We thank our donors

The Bethany Center Foundation of San Francisco thanks the following for their generosity: $3000 $500 OR MORE The Ellis Family Trust Freddie Angeles Kyle McEwen & $2000 Mary Franz Tomoko & George Lipp $200 OR MORE Anne & Nick $1000 OR MORE Germanacos Bethany United Sonja Marck Methodist Church Byung Soon Min Jerry W. Brown Alicia Yballa Dennis Fisher Andrew G. Fraknoi $100 OR MORE Teresa Bao Greater Mission Rotary Tsina Belianovskaya Gustav & Betty Ann Erpen

Mary Fong George & Yat Ping Fu Hadley Dale Hall LG Moldow UP TO $100 Susan Backman Semen & Ita Burmenko Gloria Bustamante Wing Fai Chan Chuen Chan & Yuet Sim Leung Mui Lec Che Shu Chin Cheng

Fung Oi Chow Janet B. Coe Romeo Cruz Qing Zhi Deng Bin Feng Yelek & Klara Galbmilon Iona & Dusya Gleyzer Nina Grebenyuk Joanne Handy Marge Harburg Eva Hernandez Avedis Kabajouzian Nina Kuzniak

Asya & Mark Lazarevskiy Peter Logan Mary Lioe Mara Mamayev Walter R. Mann Hai Ky Mao Roger McBerty & Robert Childs The Money Dance Curtis Moore Mei Ln Ng An Htwe Ng & Ning Ng Hasmukh & Savita Patel

Maya Portnaya Johannes Posthumus Margie Ramirez Sam Simkin & Rakhil Rabkina Sima Skvirchak Bettee Li & Merl D. Spencer Charles Temple Tai Yin Tsang Kam Chan Tse Ying Lam Tse Cindy & Zhong Xian Wong Yu Zhu Wu Amy Lin Yan

Hearing Voices! (continued from page 1) •• And, we’ve already lined up events for next year! Here’s a sneak preview: •• In 2014, we’ll host a book illustration exhibit, Pages & Pictures, featuring work from Peter Linenthal, Rhiannon Alpers, and a group of book illustrators. •• In collaboration with Julie Anderson, we’ll host an exciting Altered Barbie exhibit and several Altered Barbie art workshops. Since the publication of our last newsletter, we’ve deepened our collaboration with Etsy, an e-commerce website focused on handmade and vintage items. Back in March, Etsy held their educational workshop on taxes at Ruth’s Table, and we have a joint art workshop scheduled to take place later this year. We started a new collaboration with FabMo, an all-volunteer run organization that rescues fabric and other materials from

the landfill. Our next gallery exhibit, Pressing the Edge II, welcomes back Anne Burns Johnson and her quilting group Fiberarts3030. The show opens June 21st and runs through September 6th. Our Chinese Brush Painting series with Andrew Siu was so successful we’re starting a new course in the fall to coincide with the opening of the class’ gallery exhibit on October 4th. It’s truly heartening to see a class where both residents and community members find their muse while sitting side by side. Ruth’s Table is becoming known and praised for its concept of offering innovative art and wellness workshops to both Bethany Center residents and members of the community. Ruth’s Table, a true multi-generational center, is off and running. For me, hearing voices, means that Ruth’s Table is coming through, loud and clear, and more importantly, that we are building a community of artists of all ages. May we keep hearing more voices in the year ahead!

Valentine’s Day cards created by Monica Lee, Ruth’s Table Artist-in-Residence.

BETHANY CENTER NEWS is a biannual publication featuring Ruth’s Table, a center for creative learning rooted in the life of artist Ruth Asawa. executive director Jerry W. Brown director of community programs Lola Fraknoi programs assistant Megan Coss websites correspondence Bethany Center, 580 Capp Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 info: 415. 642. 1000 design + layout JCarpinelli Design,


Bethany Center Ruths Table spring2013  

Newsletter for Bethany Center Ruth's Table spring 2013, San Francisco, CA

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