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Stunning exhibition to light up Montalvo this fall

The Montalvo Arts Center will be transformed this fall by “Bruce Munro at Montalvo: Stories in Light,” a sprawling, illuminated exhibition that’s the first public show on the West Coast by the renowned British artist.

Calling it “the most ambitious, impactful exhibition Montalvo has ever presented,” Montalvo Executive Director Angela McConnell anticipates attendance will be in the tens of thousands when the show begins its five-month run Oct. 28. “We believe this show will elevate Montalvo — and the town of Saratoga — to increased relevance and prestige in the national and international art scene,” she said.

Montalvo reached out to Munro in 2016 to consider the historic villa and its grounds for a new exhibition, and the artist was struck by what he saw as a strong resemblance to a house and garden featured in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” the third book in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. Munro said Lewis’ series has been a literary reference point for him but only recently did he recognize that the series inspired thoughts and feelings that could be abstracted into art installations.

“My immediate response was to see Montalvo as a unifying canvas, a place to draw all these ideas together, the landscape continually inspiring and directing my imagination,” he said in a release from Montalvo.

So what’s going to be there? Montalvo’s Great Lawn will be covered by a sea of lilies created from more than 4,000 illuminated stems in an installation called “Silver Sea.” Flamingos densely clustered and illuminated in sunset hues will be on the Garden Terrace, and a metal tree of glowing lights looking like yellow eyes in the dark will allude to Narnia’s Parliament of Owls. A 106-year-old stained glass window over the grand staircase in the villa will be lit to create the illusion of movement, and the massive “Reepicheep’s Wave,” made with 15,000 vacuum-cast mussel shells suspended on lighted optical fibers, will be installed on the Garden Theatre stage.

Tickets for the exhibition, which will run through March 17, 2019, are expected to be available in June. Get more information at www.munromontalvo.org.

COMMUTING ON TWO FEET: Thursday happens to be “Walk to Work Day,” and if you’re the average Silicon Valley employee, you’re probably still laughing at the very notion. But Santa Clara County seems to recognize the unlikely scenario that people could walk to work before Walk to Work Day was over so it’s partnering with California Walks on an event that tweaks the concept into “Walk at Work Day.”

At noon, Supervisor Ken Yeager will lead county employees and anyone else who’d like to show up on a short walk around the area that starts and ends at James P. McEntee Plaza at 70 W. Hedding St. The route, based on Cal Walks’ Civic Center Loop Card, goes through the Guadalupe River Trail, the Heritage Rose Garden and the Vendome neighborhood. Cal Walks/Walk San Jose also has cards for downtown San Jose, the Mayfair-Arbuckle neighborhood, Japantown and Willow Glen.

“Taking a daily walk is one of the best and easiest ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” Yeager said. And it sure beats the heck out of walking to San Jose from Gilroy.

COMMEMORATING DR. KING: San Jose State University will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Wednesday at the campus library named for the civil rights leader. Students and community members will ring 50 chimes in King’s honor in a ceremony in room 225 of the library. The chime-ringing will begin at 4:01 p.m. — which corresponds to the 6:01 p.m. Central time that King was struck by an assassin’s bullet in Memphis.

A community prayer will follow, along with the unveiling of an exhibition that showcases posters and memorabilia of the Civil Rights Era, along with photos taken by San Jose State students during a spring break trip last month through the South organized by photojournalism professor Michael Cheers.

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