5 Best Things to do This Week
Hand-picked events and happenings you won't want to miss.
Now in its 36th season, The Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace will run Saturdays and Sundays (as well as the Friday after Thanksgiving) from November 17 through December 23, offering visitors a journey through a merrier era — the streets of Victorian London circa Christmas 1860. Explore twilight-lit streets with shops, pubs, stages and dance halls filled with more than 800 Victorian characters and the aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty fare. Choose from seven stages offering something for all ages and tastes.
Four iconic buildings lit with 17,000 holiday lights, fireworks bursting in the sky and a magical show presented by Disney on Ice. The Building Lighting Ceremony at Embarcadero Center is a San Francisco tradition and the official start of the holiday season in the city. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. with a family fun Carnival followed by the Building Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. Don’t miss it!
The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art presents Memory and Perception, an exhibit that reveals how artists interpret the world around and within them. All artists integrate their life experiences into their artwork, consciously or unconsciously, often incorporating what they see and sense in the present with their memories of the past. The exhibit was juried by Alan Bamberger, internationally known art consultant, writer and art reviewer, located in San Francisco. He chose 49 artists from across the nation who explore diverse subject matter, from childhood memories to captured moments in time. Visitors will see artwork in a wide array of mediums including photography, painting, fiber, sculpture and more. Come at 4:30 p.m. for the juror talk, stay for the reception from 5 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
4. NorCal Ice
A few hallmark heralds of the holidays: dressing the Christmas tree, gift shopping meltdowns, seasonal ice rinks. Ice rinks being the most innocent harbinger, really, leaving you with a sore butt and a slightly bruised ego, at worst. Don’t let the “I’m scared my finger is going to be cut of by a skate” crowd inform you otherwise; they don’t know how to live life and have no authority on these matters. In fact, you have no business talking to them at all in the first place. But think about the rush of careening around the bend at PG-13 speed, weaving precariously between flailing ostriches of people, one obstacle away from totally taking someone out. No way shopping or putting ornaments on a tree is that thrilling. And think about the possible glory when you really start feel yourself out on the ice, when you feel comfortable enough to loosen your hips and wiggle to George Michael’s “Last Christmas,” or whatever other song is playing and catch someone’s eye on the other side of the rink. ‘Sup. Yea, you’re owning it.
In the first exhibition at the deYoung dedicated to the work of Paul Gauguin (1848–1903), an exceptional display of more than fifty Gauguin paintings, wood carvings, and ceramics from the renowned collections of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, will be on view for the first time in San Francisco. In presenting these pieces alongside Oceanic art and Gauguin works on paper from the Fine Arts Museums’ permanent collections, the exhibition explores Gauguin’s inner quests and imaginings — his spiritual journey — and how his intimate relationships with his wife, other artists, and people he encountered during his sojourns shaped his experiences, his work, and his development as an artist. Included in the exhibition is a new video work, First Impressions: Paul Gauguin by interdisciplinary artist Yuki Kihara, commissioned by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, that addresses the colonial gaze represented by Gauguin and turns it back toward Western culture.