Make a day of it: 3 visit-worthy exhibitions at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

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Gardens and Grandeur: Porcelains and Paintings by Franz A. Bischoff
In the Main Gallery; Runs through March 20, 2011

For his masterful rendering of dynamic flowers, Austria-born painter and porcelain decorator Franz A. Bischoff earned the nickname “King of the Rose Painters.” The Pasadena Museum of California Art will present the most inclusive retrospective of Bischoff’s work to date, with highlights from his early ceramic work and his later practice on canvas. Bischoff immigrated to New York in 1885 and lived in different U.S. cities before settling in Pasadena in 1906. It was in California that the artist turned to landscape paintings and the plein-air style, painting the state’s signature sun-kissed shore and mountain vistas.
[Photos: At top, Bischoff’s “Afternoon Idyll, Cambria” c. 1922. At left, Bischoff’s “A Tapestry of Roses.”]

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Week in science: Oil spill threat spreads | James Cameron helping to bring 3-D to Mars | A monster jellyfish of the deep

Image: Dr. Erica Miller, left, and Danene Birtell with Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research work Friday to help a Northern Gannet bird, normally white when full grown, which is covered in oil from a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, at a facility in Fort Jackson, La. (AP Image)

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    The still-spreading Gult Coast oil spill is threatening to become a full-fledged environmental disaster that may eclipse Exxon Valdez in cost and impact. [WaPo]

    • Today, the Obama administration put pressure on BP America to do more to stop the leak and clean up its aftermath. [NYT]
      • Experts and volunteers are scrambling to aid the wildlife affected by the spill. [Discovery News]

        Image: This satellite photo provided by NASA shows the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico as it closes in on the Pass a Loutre area of Plaquemines Parish, La. (NASA photo)

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        Drumroll, please: Carmelite nuns to hold first-ever public concert, live and ‘unplugged’ in Duarte

        It wouldn’t be fair to compare “The Carmelite Sisters in Concert: Unplugged” to the movie “Sister Act” because Whoopi Goldberg and her merry band of nuns have nothing on this group of devoted Southland singers.
        Members of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles — for whom music is intricately woven in their daily lives inside the convent — will perform for the public for the first time on Feb. 28 at the Madonna Hall Community Center in Duarte.
        Performers will range from nuns who took their vows decades ago to novices and candidates still in the process of discerning a religious life. They come from the different Carmelite facilities in Southern California, including the Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Alhambra.
        Some of the sisters double up as singers and musicians. They will play guitar, bass, flute, violin and drums to accompany some of the more lighthearted pieces, including “Prince of Peace,” which will start with a drum solo by one of the nuns.
        “We hear each other every day, but coming together like this is just so beautiful,” said Sister Scholastica, the concert’s stage manager and the Alhambra group’s choir director.
        Sister Scholastica described the concert line-up as a little mix of everything — including an original composition by one of the Carmelite nuns, hymns and Gregorian chants. The sisters’ first song will be the Solemn Salve, which they typically chant during morning prayers at the break of dawn.
        “We feel that the world today needs God’s peace,” Sister Timothy Marie said. “This is our small way of bringing light in the darkness.”
        $35 donation. Feb. 28, 7 p.m. Madonna Hall, 819 Buena Vista St., Duarte. 626-289-1353, ext. 246

        Deeper state of play: Pasadena Hoop Group

        Hooping is a lot of things. It’s a tool for exercise and meditation. It’s a skill that looks harder than it actually is. (Translate: You can really pick this up without too much practice.) And it’s a socially acceptable way for adults to play with fun toys.
        For Stacey Wang’s story, above, on hooping in the February issue of Rose Magazine, we had a photo shoot with Pasadena Hoop Group founder Sharleen Liu.
        The shoot was at the Sierra Madre Community Nursery School, which is a beautiful, organic learning environment for children and the parents who keep it running.

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        Royalty in the making: Rose Queen and Court before-and-afters


        Ahead of our annual fashion shoot next week with the newly-announced 2010 Rose Queen and Royal Court, get a look at the transformation these local women have undergone in about a week.

        The before photos on the left were taken on Oct. 12 at the big reveal of the seven Rose Court princesses. The after photos were taken yesterday during the announcement of Arcadia resident Natalie Innocenzi as Rose Queen.

        What say you of their red, red blazers and red, red lips?

        And: Did you know you can now follow the Royal Court on Twitter @therosediaries and at their official blog? The Tournament of Roses, that bastion of Pasadena tradition and ritual, is making strides into the modern era. Hello, Facebook! And YouTube. SRSLY.

        Rose Princess Katherine Hernandez, 18
        Pasadena, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
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        Rose Queen Natalie Innocenzi, 16
        Arcadia, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
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        Rose Princess June Ko, 17
        Arcadia, Arcadia High School
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        Rose Princess Lauren Rogers, 17
        Altadena, Blair High School
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        Rose Princess Kinsey Stuart, 18
        South Pasadena, Pasadena City College
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        Rose Princess Ashley Thaxton, 17
        Altadena, John Marshall Fundamental High School
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        Rose Princess Michelle Van Wyk, 17
        La Canada Flintridge, La Canada High School
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        UPDATED 4:30 p.m. Wednesday: Station Fire resources and blogroll for up-to-minute information

        Station Fire resources:

        At this time the Station Fire continues to be a slow moving fire and if
        the fire continues moving toward Sierra Madre, officials do not expect
        it to enter the City for at least five days. This prediction is
        contingent on if the current weather conditions continue.” (3:04 p.m. Wednesday)

        “Monrovia’s Sawpit Dam helibase is operational for helicopter use in fighting the fire around La Canada Flintridge. As a contingency plan, bulldozers from the U.S. Forest Service are working in local foothills to cut fire breaks Monrovia. The fire is not currently a threat to Monrovia.” (3:05 p.m. Wednesday)

        • Los Angeles County Fire Department incident information for Station fire — With details on mandatory evacuations, evacuations that have been lifted in La Canada and Altadena (residents only), Red Cross shelters and animal shelters
        • For evacuation information on Station fire, call 211
        • Altadenablog — Station fire updates lead the site. Recommend reading the comments. 
        • Glendale city site — With regular updates on mandatory evacs and centers affecting Glendale residents
        • Situation summary from Los Angeles County Web site — includes road closures, new and existing shelters, shelter closings, and evacuation info

        How to help:

        • The Red Cross evacuation center at La Canada High School
          is seeking air conditioning vendors with portable units to help cool
          their gymnasium.
          To help, call La Caada Flintridge City Hall at (818) 790-8880
        • Lonnee Hamilton’s blog — Hamilton has begun to pool community resources, volunteers and donations to aid evacuees and firefighters

        News media:

        • TCN North Now — covering Glendale, Crescenta Valley, Burbank and La Caada

        School closures and updates:

        • Glendale UnifiedAll Glendale schools will remain CLOSED on Wednesday. A message from the superintendent is available on the district. Web site.
        • La Canada UnifiedAll LCUSD schools will be OPEN on Wednesday. Outdoor activities will be suspended until air quality improves. Notices will be posted on district Web site.
        • Pasadena City College will hold enrollment spots for students affected by fire — via Star-News. College officials will continue to update the news section of the PCC Web site. Information line open at (626) 585-7315.
        • Pasadena Unified suspends outdoor athletic activities. School was not yet in session.
        • Los Angeles Unified — Schools in Sunland and eastern San Fernando Valley region were not yet in session. Outdoor athletic activities suspended.

        Live Web cams:

        • While the Mt. Wilson tower cam is down, you can view a time-lapse sequence of photos from Sunday night showing the approach of the fire.

        Video sources:

        “Channel 9’s fire coverage in the 9 o’clock hour included several minutes with reporter Dave Lopez on the battle by firefighters to save the La Caada Flintridge home of the station’s helicopter pilot, Larry Welk.”

        Twitter feeds to monitor:

        • #StationFire hash tags on Twitter
        Local blogs are igniting, too, with photos and discussions on the blaze:

        • Pasadena Daily Photo — Petrea Burchard’s before and after pics tell the story. (“Before” image is from Tuesday, Aug. 18 — aka not so long ago.)
        • KCHblog out of La Canada Flintridge
        • Station fire images on Flickr
        • Susan Kitchens’ 2020 Hindsight blog — With links to more local resources
        (Photo, a view of the Station Fire from Hollywood, courtesy Zack Morrissette)