Entries tagged with “Dance Palace”.

Three months ago, I resumed updating this blog weekly after a 14-month hiatus caused by eye problems. My renewed blogging seemed to be going well when almost a month ago, I suddenly found myself unable to post new material. Thanks to diligent work by webmasters Janine Warner, who used to be a reporter at The Point Reyes Light, and her husband, Dave LaFontaine, an online-journalism prof at USC, the problem has now been corrected.

What had gone wrong? In trying to figure out what had sabotaged this blog, I took note of what else was getting hacked and who appeared to be doing the hacking. When I looked at what the news media were reporting, the likely culprit became clear. Based on timing alone, I’d have to say this blog had been targeted by the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin (upper left) was no doubt miffed by the coverage he’s been receiving in SparselySageAndTimely.com. You may be skeptical because you think Putin is unlikely to be reading this blog, but bear in mind Kremlin computer systems scan the entire Internet for him.

And that’s the whole post-truth explanation for why much of this posting is a week or two late.

Our fact checker nose.

This year’s yuletide in Point Reyes Station has been colorful, cold and wet. The annual Lights of Life celebration was held Dec. 2 and was highlighted by the lighting of the town Christmas tree, which is located between the Wells Fargo Bank and Palace Market parking lots.

As always it was a festive event, but this year it also had a somewhat sad cast, for the old tree will be cut down next month.

The tree is on Wells Fargo property, and people at the bank told me it is dying and that they’re worried about dead limbs falling on the public. The pine looks basically sound to me, but I’m no arborist.

Harmony Grisman, played a guitar as usual, and led a crowd beneath the tree in singing Christmas carols.

A few blocks away, the Dance Palace Community Center  held its annual Holiday Crafts Fair from Dec. 2 to 4. Dozens of craftsmen showed off their work. Women at two tables sold holiday-themed treats to raise money for Tomales High student scholarships.

Fairgoers inspected bowls and vases by Inverness ceramicist Molly Prier (right).

At a nearby booth, Point Reyes Station jeweler Kathy Hunting offered an array of pins, necklaces, and other jewelry.

Elsewhere in West Marin, a Holiday Art Fair and silent auction was held in the San Geronimo Valley Community Center on Saturday on Dec. 2.

The Bolinas Winter Faire was held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Dec. 2 to 4.




Despite wet weather, celebrations of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos enlivened Point Reyes Station Saturday and Sunday in advance of Monday’s trick or treating.


Wendi Kallins (left), a candidate for county supervisor in the June primary election, and Constance Washburn as “Super Gaia” during the Day of the Dead party in the Dance Palace Saturday evening. The altar is decorated with memorials for deceased friends and relatives.


Toby’s Feed Barn also held a Halloween party with a Di­a de los Muertos altar Saturday night. Here Feed Barn owner Chris Giacomini enjoys the decorations.

On Sunday, the festivities continued across town.


In the firehouse, the annual pancake breakfast prepared by firefighters from Point Reyes Station and Inverness was held Sunday morning as a benefit for the Point Reyes Disaster Council.


Marty Frankel (left) and Eileen Connery selling tickets at the pancake breakfast. Lynn Axelrod (far right), coordinator of the Point Reyes Disaster Council, checks out the crowd at the breakfast.


For youngsters, one of the highlights of the pancake breakfast was a chance to take a firetruck ride around town.

Also on Sunday, Papermill Creek Children’s Corner preschool held a Halloween party in the Dance Palace.papermill-creek-childrens-corner-halloween-party

Enthusiastic party goer at the Dance Palace takes a run between the rains that fell sporadically Sunday.



For the youngest children, the chance to ride a horse around the block was a special thrill.




Wearing tiger ears framing an exit sign, Lourdes Romo, executive director of the preschool, with three of her young charges.


Halloween costumes:  Everywhere in town, many adults and children wore costumes all day Monday. The most realistic costumes I saw were worn by this group of trick or treaters, who showed up at our door that evening.

Despite a drizzle that at times became a downpour, crowds turned out Friday evening in Point Reyes Station to celebrate the Yuletide.

It was a town-wide celebration: a Path of Lights on the main street, a Holiday Crafts Fair in the Dance Palace, a party with live music at Point Reyes Surf Shop, and a Christmas party including Santa Claus and carolers in Toby’s Feed Barn.

West Marin Senior Services sponsored a Lights of Life tree-lighting ceremony to honor loved ones who have  passed away. The pine, which grows in the median between the Wells Fargo Bank and the Palace Market parking lots, each year takes on added significance as the town Christmas tree.

The Path of Lights is symbolized by a line of luminaria along the main street, and the luminaria unfortunately suffered from the wet weather. Luminaria, of course, are small lanterns consisting of candles standing in sand inside a paper bag. It took only a couple of downpours for the splash to extinguish several lights.

The crowd outside Wells Fargo Bank.

Strumming her guitar, Harmony Grisman again this year led a crowd in singing songs of the Yuletide.

The 44th annual Holiday Crafts Fair in the Dance Palace.

The obvious skill in the work of clay artist Molly Prier of Inverness inspired praise from fair-goers.

Dusty Rose Designs brightened a corner of the Dance Palace with tie-dye-style clothing.

Eden Clearbrook from the Garden of Eden sold herbal elixirs.

Ana Maria Ramirez (center) and Lourdes Romo sold handmade clothing and accessories.

The annual Christmas party in Toby’s Feed Barn.

Santa Claus spent the evening posing with families who wanted their kids photographed with him. Meanwhile, the line of parents and their children waiting to be photographed at times reached 15 to 20 feet long.

West Marin singer, composer, musician Tim Weed here performs ‘Oh Holy Night’ for the crowd in Toby’s. Earlier in the evening, the Common Voice Choir led caroling in Toby’s.

Part of what made the evening so enjoyable was its being so homespun: the crafts, the music, and the food. When I saw a young mother with a baby on her lap sitting on a bale of hay in the Feed Barn, my first thought was, “Away in a manger….”

The Mexican holiday Di­a de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) was observed Saturday evening in downtown Point Reyes Station. It’s a day set aside each year for special remembrances of friends and relatives who have died.

Meanwhile up the bay, Tomales Regional History Center on Sunday opened a well-attended exhibition, “The Region’s Lost Buildings: Their Stories and their Legacies.” More about that in a moment.

A Di­a de los Muertos altar in the Dance Palace held dozens of photographs of deceased family members and mementos of their lives.

Saturday’s celebration began with a procession from Gallery Route One to the Dance Palace. These young ladies wore angel costumes and looked very sweet while some celebrants wore Halloween costumes which were downright ghoulish.

Ana Maria Ramirez, the de facto matriarch of the Latino community around Point Reyes Station, spoke in English and Spanish about Dia de los Muertos. The event was organized by Point Reyes Station artist Ernesto Sanchez, who also created the altar. The Dance Palace sponsored the event with financial support from Marin Community Foundation.

A variety of excellent Mexican food drew a long line to the serving table.

Local singer Tim Weed and his partner Debbie Daly (in white) led some impromptu singing in the Dance Palace.

For many in attendance, including Mary Jean Espulgar-Rowe and her son Joshua, it was a family event.

Elvira de Santiago of Marshall paints the face of Ocean Ely, two and a half, of Point Reyes Station.

Carrie Chase and Diego Chavarria, 10, of Point Reyes Station showed up in elegant costumes. Here Diego waits to have his face painted.

And while all this was going on, photographer Eden Trenor (left) of Petaluma and formerly of Point Reyes Station, was having an opening in the Dance Palace lobby for an exhibit of her works. With her is Dan Harrison, a printmaker who owns a gallery in Olema.

This photograph of ponds is part of Trenor’s show, which is called “For the Yes of It.” _______________________________________________________________

“The Region’s Lost Buildings: Their Stories and their Legacies,” which opened at the Tomales Regional History Center Sunday, is also a photographic exhibit for the most part, but the photos are far older.

Curating the exhibition was Ginny Magan of Tomales, and she did an excellent job, both in her choice of pictures to display and in her captions for them.

The narrow-gauge railroad depot in Marshalls, as Marshall used to be called. The Shields store to the right of the depot still survives and now belongs to Hog Island Oyster Company. “This image of Marshall’s depot shows a style typical of small, early train stations across the country, with its board-and-batten siding and deep eaves,” its caption notes.

The Bayview Hotel, which once stood in this spot on the shore of Tomales Bay, was built by the Marshall brothers in 1870 and was frequented by fishermen and hunters.

When it burned in 1896, the Marshall brothers had the North Coast Hotel (above) constructed on the site. “As the photo shows,” the History Center points out, “the building was a few feet from the railroad tracks.

“The hotel was knocked into the bay by the 1906 earthquake, but pulled out and repaired by the owners, Mr. and Mrs. John Shields.

“Except for its use as military housing during the Second World War, the building remained a hotel under several proprietors until it caught fire in 1971. The 25 guests, all the employees, and owner Tom Quinn and his family got out safely, but the hotel, with only its brick chimney standing, was a complete loss.”

“The depot at Tomales was unusual,” according to the History Center’s caption. “Because of its low-pitched roof, it resembles something built a century later. All Tomales railroad buildings were painted a brick red.

The aptly named hamlet of Hamlet, another stop on the North Shore Railway line, was a village from 1870 to 1987, when the National Park Service bought it.

“Hamlet’s namesake was John Hamlet, a dairyman from Tennessee who purchased the site with gold coin in 1870. He left little but his name. The next owner, Warren Dutton, developed Hamlet as a railroad stop that the Marin Journal described as ‘one of the most inviting places on the bay for aquatic sports.’

“To most of today’s locals, the name Hamlet is connected with the Jensen family, who purchased the land in 1907, and developed and inhabited the village over 80 years and four generations. By 1930, the Jensens were establishing Hamlet’s well-known connection with oyster farming.

The Tragedy of Hamlet.

“In 1971, third-generation matriarch Virginia Jensen was left a widow with five children. She, and eventually they, carried on, though maintaining the oyster farm, its retail components, and the property’s buildings was clearly a struggle.

“A 1982 storm all but obliterated the oyster beds. ‘I never planted [oysters] after that; that was my last tally-ho,’ remembered Mrs. Jensen. In 1987, she sold the site to the Park Service, which then looked the other way as vandals and the elements savaged it. In 2003, the Park Service demolished the last of the buildings.

Highway 1 is the main street of Tomales where it’s known as Maine Street.

“Trotting down Maine Street toward First c. 1890. Originally the Union Hotel occupied this site; after it burned this group of small buildings housed a saloon, one of six or eight in the town, a billiard room and Sing Lee Washing and Ironing. Today the Piezzi Building is at this corner.”

“On a windy day in May 1920, the Plank Hotel caught fire. Despite the best efforts of townspeople at least 16 buildings burned to the ground, two dwellings and most of the town’s commercial center south of First Street.”

“The William Tell was established as a hotel and saloon in 1877. The original building burned in the 1920 fire but was rebuilt within the year. This photo was taken in the mid-1950s.

“The Fallon Creamery, built near the end of the 19th century, used state-of-the-art, steam-operated machinery. The creamery exhibited a 500-pound wheel of cheese at the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in San Francisco.” ________________________________________________________________

By the end of the weekend I was again thanking my lucky stars to be living in West Marin. Everybody had been on their good behavior, even the cops.

When a sheriff’s deputy needed to use his patrol car to create a buffer for the Día de los Muertos procession marching down Point Reyes Station’s main street, I walked over and with feigned indignation exclaimed, “They’re all jaywalking.” The deputy replied with a laugh, “They are all jaywalking. And everyone is going to get a ticket.” And soon he drove off.

What a contrast with police in Saint George, Utah. At least according to the Daily Kos website, police last week raided a Halloween party at a family fun center simply because the event included dancing.

One can only imagine how St. George’s police would have reacted to the Aztec Dancers (left) in Point Reyes Station.

They weren’t just dancing, they were dancing on the main street.


Nancy Hemmingway and her husband Bruce Mitchell during a retirement party in her honor Saturday.

Inverness resident Nancy Hemmingway, who retired at the end of last month after 42 years as the town librarian, received a series of emotional tributes, some of them downright tearful, during a gala Saturday in Point Reyes Station’s Dance Palace.

A series of speakers commented on how well Nancy got along with library patrons and with colleagues in the Marin County Free Library System. Her concern for children drew particular praise.

So many people showed up to honor Nancy that the Dance Palace was almost as packed as it is each November for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

“Nancy Hemmingway has been the Inverness librarian longer than the Inverness library has been at its current location,” The Point Reyes Light reported on March 20.

“She’s devoted more than half her life to this community, in more ways than one,” The Light quoted Bonny White, the library’s West Marin branch manager, as saying. “Nancy is irreplaceable. She’s one of the most gracious people I’ve ever met in my life, either in library service or out of it. We have been so lucky.”

An ad hoc group calling themselves the West Marin Library Singers serenaded Nancy with “I’ve Been Working in the Library” sung to the tune of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Branch manager Bonny White (center) emceed the celebration.

Dance Palace Community Center founders (from left): Kate Adams, Carol Friedman, Michael Jayson, and Nancy Hemmingway in 1971. The photo appears in my new book, The Light on the Coast, courtesy of the Friedman-Jayson family collection. Saturday’s event ended, appropriately enough, with everyone being invited to dance. ____________________________________________________________________


Learn to Help! Have fun! Get dirty!

By West Marin Disaster Council Coordinator Anne Sands

What would you do in a disaster if no help were available?

Following a disaster event, such as a wildland fire, flood, tsunami or earthquake, West Marin’s first responders, firefighters, paramedics, and law enforcement, expect to be overwhelmed. We need to be prepared to take care of ourselves for at least three days and maybe longer.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is a national program that teaches you how to take care of yourself and help your community until first responders are able to assist.

Practicing extricating a victim from a damaged building during CERT training last January in Nicasio.

This 18-hour training, a two-day class taught on Saturdays by our local firefighters, teaches preparedness and survival skills that you can use to help you, your family, and your community survive after a disaster. Completion of the training qualifies you to be a volunteer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)  member and makes you an official Disaster Service Worker (covered by worker’s compensation).

How you participate is completely up to you and your level of comfort. No special skills or experience are needed in order to be a CERT member. Don’t let age stop you. We’ve trained participants from teenagers to over-70 year olds. The important thing you bring to the class is a commitment to be ready for the next disaster.

Practicing transporting a victim during the training in Nicasio.

What will you learn?

CERTs are trained to work in teams, organize a command post, set up a triage area, and perform basic first aid, such as identifying symptoms of shock, splinting limbs, and stopping bleeding.

CERTs learn about when and how, to extinguish a small fire using a fire extinguisher.

CERTs learn light search and rescue (SAR) techniques to find victims and safely transport them to the triage area.

 CERTs record activities and information to accurately report to the first responders when they arrive.

This isn’t just a lecture class. There are plenty of hand-on experiences and disaster simulations to practice your newly learned disaster preparedness skills.

Congratulations to the 23 graduates of the West Marin CERT class held in January. They are: Lynn Axelrod, Troy Clemons, Diane Doubleday, Walter Earle, Russ Faure-Brac, Gail Fechter, Jerry Feichert, Margaret Graham, Ann Griffin, Graham Hawkes, Oliver Hawkes, Peter Herbert, Don Holmlund, Shirley Holmlund, Paula Linton, Stella Petrakis-Rinne, Risto Rinne, Alison Romano, Anne Sands, Julie Siegel, Jacquie Waterman, Maureen Williams, and Luisa Young.

The next CERT class in West Marin will be Saturdays May 17 and 31 at the Marin County Corporation Yard in Nicasio. Learn more about CERT and register for this or another CERT class at www.readymarin.org or call 415 485-3409. The class costs $45, but scholarships are available.

It’s fun! It’s challenging! It’s worth it! ___________________________________________________________________

And now for the odd news…

A “Blue Monday” for all concerned.

As you may recall, shortly after takeoff, a JetBlue airliner struck a bird last March 28 and was forced to make an emergency landing. No one was injured except the bird, which ended up stuck in the nose of the plane. These things happen.

What was odd about this collision was the New York Daily News description of the mishap: “Flight 671 departing from Westchester County Airport for West Palm Beach smashed into the nose of the Airbus A320 at about 9:30 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said.” A bird with a flight number? Now that is weird.

Apparently fewer Americans are turned off by other people’s smoking than we are sometimes led to believe. The Huffington Post three weeks ago summarized an industry survey of what people in 24 of this country’s large cities look for when they browse online for porn. As might be expected, videos featuring Asian, black, and lesbian actresses are popular throughout the US. In Anchorage, Alaska, however, the most popular videos of all feature actresses who are smoking. Folks in Jacksonville, Florida, likewise consider smoking women hot. Sounds like the Surgeon General’s warnings may not be doing the trick.

The Dance Palace started off its new year of shows Saturday evening with a dazzling musical/theatrical performance by Legends of the Celtic Harp, comprised of musicians Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne, and Aryeh Frankfurter.

Publicity photo of the trio distributed by the Dance Palace.

Advance publicity quoted an unnamed reviewer of one of the group’s performances as writing: “Legends of the Celtic Harp is a blend of music and oratory falling somewhere between concert and theater. It spanned nearly the range of human feeling, from humor to tragedy, tenderness to rage, reality to mysticism, and more besides.”

From that description, I didn’t know just what to expect, but I went anyhow, and I’m sure glad I did.

Patrick Ball, who’s performed in West Marin previously, is both a master of the Celtic Harp and an engaging storyteller.

Although they have been called among the best in the world, Ball modestly said the name Legends of the Celtic Harp does not apply to the group itself but to the material in their performances. Indeed, Ball, usually accompanied by music, retold fascinating stories from Irish legend about harps and “harpers.”

Speaking with a wonderful Irish brogue (learned while spending time in Ireland), the harpist recited Irish poems and even a prayer. Ball, who holds a master’s degree in History from Dominican College, not only told tales of ancient harpers, he occasionally threw in a traditional Irish dig or two at the English. (England colonized Ireland in the 12th century, resulting in eight centuries of rebellion against the British throne.)

Lisa Lynne publicity photo.

Harpist Lynne, who played other stringed instruments as well, told a miraculous story of how her life had been changed by playing the harp. She started out as a bass player in a Heavy Metal band, she said, and later moved on to a biker band. While still in these bands, she began introducing harp music into their sets and found that audiences loved it.

In 1999, the nation was stunned by the Columbine (Colorado) High School massacre, in which two boys shot to death 12 students and a teacher, as well as injuring 24 others, before committing suicide. Not long after this, the family of one of the injured students, a girl who had become paralyzed below the waist, contacted Lynne. It turned out the one thing bringing the injured girl any comfort was a recording of Lynne’s harp music.

Lynne then traveled to Columbine, played for the girl’s family, and helped get a harp for the girl. It was the first thing the girl was given when she was able to sit up, and she took to it immediately, Lynne said. By this point in her story, half the Dance Palace audience was in tears.

Very quickly, word got out that a harp’s happy, soothing sound comforted and brightened the lives of people in hospitals, nursing homes, and even facilities for juvenile delinquents.

Through a program she helped launch, Lynne said, harpists now play for patients throughout hospitals “except in post-op wards.” They don’t want patients freaking out at hearing harp music as they wake up from surgery, Lynne explained, drawing prolonged laughter from the audience.

As it happens, Aryeh Frankfurter is Lynne’s partner, and he sometimes played a Celtic Harp with Lynne and Ball. More often, however, he played an instrument most of the audience had never seen before, a Swedish Nyckelharpa.

The Nyckelharpa is bowed like a violin but uses piano-style keys, not fingers, to fret the chords. The reason we’re not familiar with it, Frankfurter said, is that the instrument is played primarily in Swedish folk music.

After the performance ended, I spoke with several people who, like I, had wondered ahead of time what exactly to expect. All of us, it turned out, had been enchanted by what we’d just heard.

Unfortunately, there won’t be another chance to hear Legends of the Celtic Harp around here soon. Although they’re from the Bay Area, the trio spend most of their year on the road. Their next stops are in Oregon. Ball then plays Mendocino and Willits before the trio head to the Southwest and then on to the East Coast.

A merry throng of West Marin residents turned out Friday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Dance Palace Community Center. Carol Friedman, who lived over the Dance Palace in its original location, was executive director for most of its history.

“The Dance Palace was established by seven young people who blew into town in 1971, looking for a personal and artistic home,” according to a history printed by the community center.

“One of the founders, Carol Friedman, was its executive director for 37 years and retired in 2008.” Dan Mankin, who had been among other things a juggler, acrobat, and clown, was then hired to take over her job.

“Another [founder], Nancy Hemmingway, West Marin’s community librarian, is still active in the life of the Dance Palace. According to Hemmingway, [the founders] were ‘seven idealistic dreamers who found we were capable of doing wonderful crazy things and getting people in cahoots with us.’

“Today the Dance Palace is run by full-time executive director Mankin and three part-time staff: Noele Kostelic, Jerry Lunsford, and Margarita Echeverria.” Originally located in the Point Reyes Emporium building where Cabaline is today, the community center moved to its present location in 1989. The new 4,700-square-foot auditorium and kitchen were built with donations, grants, and volunteer labor. The site was purchased from Sacred Heart Parish, which used the money on its new church in Olema. The original chapel is now a wing of the Dance Palace and is used for smaller activities. Soon after the Dance Palace got going in the 1970s, a group calling itself the Tomales Bay Explorers Club began entering elaborate floats in each year’s Western Weekend Parade. Many of the floats parodied news of the day, such as Imelda Marcos’ vast collection of shoes or the King Tut exhibit then in San Francisco. Local tap dancers calling themselves the Fabutaps accompanied the float, and on Friday they gave a reunion performance. However, soon after they started their routine, dancing to a CD of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, the CD began sticking. Luckily, one of the Fabutaps had a backup disk, so after an amusing interruption, everything came off as planned, and the audience loved it. Parodying Harry Belafonte’s Banana Boat Song, current and former directors, along with Dance Palace staff, sang: “Forty years and still going strong…. Dancing here is so much fun.” Scoby Zook, president of the board, received a kidding salute in the form of the Shangri-Las’ 1964 hit Leader of the Pack. A history of the Dance Palace displayed for Friday’s anniversary reveals how much of the community center’s early history consisted of coping with government regulations. In addition, some of the performances in the old Dance Palace building raised a few eyebrows. When the Palace Players gave the West Coast debut of playwright Sam Shepard’s Tooth of the Crime, Inverness historian Jack Mason and some Point Reyes Station merchants objected to its poster that included the phrase “No sh-t.” (See green box above.)

After some negotiations, Mason and the merchants dropped their objections, and in his Point Reyes Light column Funny Old World, Mason said he liked the play but was puzzled by an actress’ baring her chest. Nor was it the only time an actor or actress made a brief appearance in the buff at the Dance Palace. But that was back in the good old days.

The Dance Palace Kids Musical Theater performed two songs Friday. The masters of ceremony for the anniversary party were Claire Peaslee and Josh Espulgar-Rowe, a 4th grader at West Marin School. Fourth graders from West Marin School, who were coached by Dolores Gonzalez of the school staff, provided a great rendition of the Mexican Hat Dance. Performing the Russian Hand Jive were (from left) Dan Mankin, executive director of the Dance Palace; director Loretta Farley; former executive director Carol Friedman; and musician Ingrid Noyes.

A fascinating exhibition of collages by Elisabeth Ptak of Inverness opened Saturday with a reception at the Dance Palace. The exhibition will run through Sept. 15.

Elisabeth (at right), who is seen talking with Lynn Axelrod of Point Reyes Station during the reception, has an amazingly diverse resume. For almost 20 years while I published The Point Reyes Light, she wrote a weekly column titled Homeward Bound, which focused on small town life.

For 15 years she was the associate director of Marin Agricultural Land Trust before retiring in April 2010. She is the author and editor of Ranches & Rolling Hills: The Art of West Marin, A Land in Trust plus several other books. In addition, she has been an on-air essayist for KQED-FM.

Many of Elisabeth’s collages bear Dada-like names. Dada, in which titles often had little to do with subject matter, was an art movement that peaked between 1916 and 1924. Perhaps the best-known example is Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2. Without the title, the painting is basically a series of geometric shapes.

In Elisabeth’s collage Here Come the Elis!, the name can be found in the art, but the surprising title is, nonetheless, strongly reminiscent of Dada. However, when I mentioned this to Elisabeth, she was surprised.

The title of Pig in the Poppies, may be more conventional, but the incongruity of pink poppies towering over a small pig is Dadaistically jaring.

My favorite collage in the exhibition is Liberte, Egalité, Fraternité, which is the French national motto. (It translates as “Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood” and was originally a motto of the French Revolution.) While all elements of the collage are instantly recognizable, the viewer is inevitably compelled to wonder: now just what is Elisabeth getting at here?

Elisabeth’s collage, A Day in June, borrows a boy playing a fife from Edouard Manet’s 1866 painting The Fifer. The boy is supposedly a member of the French Imperial Guard.

A Day in June could refer to many things, but some people who see the collage may be reminded of poet James Russell Lowell’s line: “What is so rare as a day in June?” The following line, by the way, is: “Then, if ever, come perfect days.” And that’s just what we’re enjoying at the moment.