Express Yourself At The County Museum

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)–San Bernardino County Museum visitors are invited to express themselves through a series of workshops and activities on Saturday, May 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Express Yourself” is an ArtMuse program sponsored by The Irvine Foundation; all activities are included with paid museum admission.

Authors and poets from the Inlandia Institute will lead mini writing workshops. Participating authors are Gayle Brandeis, Fruitful: orange-inspired writing; Mike Cluff, Mementos and memories: object-inspired writing; Charlotte Davidson, Our native tongues: writing bilingual poetry; Angela Penaredondo, What about me? What about poetry? Demystifying the craft of poetry; and Aleksandr Peterson, This isn’t about me: an exercise in character development. An open microphone poetry jam at 3:00 will feature spoken word performances and visitors can speak out by reading their own works.

Artists from Collective Journey will teach the fine art of book making; visitors can create books of their own to save thoughts and written work. Local artist Anna Gaitan will lead a printmaking activity. This activity, ongoing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., requires advanced dexterity to handle the printmaking tools.

Art making activities for children are perfect for Mother’s Day gifts: making personalized bookmarks and decorating their own reusable canvas bags, available for purchase in the Museum Store. Bill Bell and special guests Moonsville Collective will perform music live in the museum’s amphitheater starting at 1:00 p.m.

“A similar ArtMuse program this April let museum visitors ‘be a part of the art,’ said Michele Nielsen, curator of history. “Once again we invite visitors to express themselves through a variety of craft, writing, and performance opportunities suitable for a wide range of ages and interests.”

Gayle Brandeis is the author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperOne), Dictionary Poems (Pudding House Publications), the novels The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins), which won Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change, Self Storage (Ballantine), and Delta Girls (Ballantine), as well as her first novel for young readers, My Life with the Lincolns (Henry Holt), which just received the Silver Nautilus Book Award for Middle Grade/Teen Fiction. In addition, Gayle recently released The Book of Live Wires, the sequel to The Book of Dead Birds, as an eBook.

Mike Cluff is a fulltime English and Creative Writing instructor at Norco College. He has lived steadily in the Highland and Redlands area since 1998. His eighth book of poetry, Casino Evil, was published in June 2009 by Petroglyph Books.

Charlotte Davidson was born and raised in Southern California. After college, she spent eleven years in Paris, France. Upon returning to the States, she received a Masters in English from Syracuse University followed by an M.F.A. in poetry from U.C. Irvine. She now lives in Riverside, California, where she runs an organic orange ranch and takes care of her six horses, five dogs, four cats, and one husband. She has published poems and stories in various journals and anthologies including The Santa Monica Review, Gulf Coast, The Fiddlehead, Faultline, and Poemeleon. She is expecting her first book of poems, Fresh Zebra, this fall.

Angela Penaredondo is a poet and artist from LA. She is a recipient of a Fishtrap Fellowship and UCLA’s Community Access Scholarship in poetry and a Mendocino Coast Writers Conference Scholarship. She has a professional background designing art programs and public projects geared toward at-risk youth utilizing the arts as a vehicle for social change. Her work has appeared in 20×20 Magazine, Global Graffiti and Noyo River Review.

Aleksandr Peterson is a forthcoming fictioneer and a Tennessee native. His writing has addressed an array of themes including spirituality, relationships, and coming-of-age. He holds a B.S. in Communications and Journalism from Tennessee Tech University, where he graduated summa cum laude and received the William Jenkins Creative Writing Scholarship and Best Newswriting Award. Aleksandr wrote for the college weekly, The Oracle, covering the campus crime beat and other miscellaneous assignments. Last spring, his essay, “Deere John,” was published in the Daily Progress of Virginia. Currently, Aleksandr is working on finishing his first novel, tentatively titled “There are Worse Things than Being Homesick.” He lives in Riverside, California with his wife.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 am to 5pm. General admission is $8 (adult), $6 (military or senior), $5 (student), and $4 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.

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