Monday, 15 July 2024

Arts & Life

A mallard at Yolo Wildlife Area. CDFW Photo by Travis VanZant.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, or CDFW, invites artists to submit their original artwork to the 2024-2025 California Duck Stamp Art Contest.

Submissions will be accepted May 6 through June 14.

The artwork must depict the species selected by the California Fish and Game Commission, which for the 2024-2025 hunting season is the mallard.

One of the most abundant ducks in the world, and the most abundant duck in North America, these familiar foragers can be seen in practically any environment with fresh water.

The males are easily recognized by their iridescent green head and yellow bill, while both males and females have a patch of bright blue on their wings.

They are swift and agile in the air, cruising at speeds of around 50 miles per hour and having the ability to take off almost vertically from water.

The winning artwork will be reproduced on the 2024-2025 California Duck Stamp. The top submissions are traditionally showcased at the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association’s art show, which is scheduled to take place in July.

The contest is open to U.S. residents 18 years of age or older as of March 20, 2024. Entrants need not reside in California. Current and former CDFW employees are ineligible. All entries must be accompanied by a completed participation agreement and entry form. These forms and the official rules are available online at

The design is to be in full color and in the medium (or combination of mediums) of the artist’s choosing, except that no photographic process, digital art, metallic paints or fluorescent paints may be used in the finished design.

Photographs, computer-generated art, art produced from a computer printer or other computer/mechanical output device (air brush method excepted) are not eligible for entry and will be disqualified.

The design must be the contestant’s original hand-drawn creation. The entry design may not be copied or duplicated from previously published art, including photographs, or from images in any format published on the Internet.

Entries will be judged in June. The judges’ panel, which will consist of experts in the fields of ornithology, conservation, and art and printing, will choose first, second and third-place winners, as well as honorable mention.

Since 1971, CDFW’s annual contest has attracted top wildlife artists from around the country. All proceeds generated from stamp sales go directly to waterfowl conservation projects throughout California. In past years, hunters were required to purchase and affix the stamp to their hunting license.

Now California has moved to an automated licensing system and hunters are no longer required to carry the physical stamp in the field (proof of purchase prints directly onto the license).

However, CDFW still produces the stamp, which can be requested by interested individuals at

Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-04) has announced the 2024 Congressional Art Competition for all high school students in California’s Fourth Congressional District.

“The Congressional Art Competition is one of my favorite programs of the year because it highlights the excellent artistic talents of students from across our district,” said Thompson. “I look forward to seeing all of the incredible submissions this year and I encourage all high school students to submit their artwork before the deadline.”

The winning artwork from our district will be displayed in the United States Capitol for one year alongside the winning pieces of artwork from other Congressional Districts. In addition, the grand prize winner from our district will be flown with a guest to Washington, D.C. to attend an awards ceremony. The day of the ceremony will be announced soon.

Yolo County’s Katherine Dowling of Davis Senior High School won last year’s competition for her piece “Theater” which is composed of acrylic paint on a canvas board.” Katherine’s work is currently displayed in the U.S. Capitol.

Artwork must be submitted by April 15 to one of Rep. Thompson’s district offices:

• 2721 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Napa, CA 94558.
• 2300 County Center Drive, Suite A100, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.
• 622 Main Street, Suite 106, Woodland, CA 95695.

The submitted artwork will be judged by a panel of local artists and art experts with the winner announced after the deadline.

The guidelines for the Congressional Art Competition include the following:

• Artwork must be two-dimensional.
• Each piece can be no larger than 26” x 26” x 4” (26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep), including the frame.
• Framed artwork cannot weigh more than 15 pounds.

Acceptable mediums for artwork are as follows:

• Paintings: oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.
• Drawings: colored pencil, pencil, ink, marker, pastels, charcoal (It is recommended that charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)
• Collages: must be two-dimensional.
• Prints: lithographs, silkscreen, block prints.
• Mixed Media: use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
• Computer generated art.
• Photographs.

Each entry must be original in concept, design, and execution and may not violate U.S. Copyright laws. Any entry that has been copied from an existing photo or image (including a painting, graphic, or advertisement), that was created by someone other than the student is a violation of the competition rules and will not be accepted.

The winning piece must be available to be mailed to Washington D.C. in the original medium (that is, not a scanned reproduction of a painting or drawing).

Students and teachers interested in the Congressional Art Competition may contact any of my district offices for further guidance and instruction.

Thompson represents California’s Fourth Congressional District, which includes all or part of Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties.

From left to right, Claire Jacobs as Annelle, Angela Galli as Clairee, Marlena Shapiro as Quiser and Laura Barnes as Shelby. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — The Lake County Theatre Co. announced its production of “Steel Magnolias,” set to captivate audiences at the stunning Boatique Winery.

Showcasing the timeless charm of Robert Harling's classic play, this production promises an unforgettable theatrical experience against the backdrop of picturesque vineyards and rolling hills.

The Lake County Theatre Co.’s rendition of “Steel Magnolias” will run on March 15, 16 and 17, and March 22, 23 and 24, offering multiple opportunities for audiences to immerse themselves in the heartfelt story of love, friendship and resilience.

Set in the cozy intimacy of Boatique Winery, this production offers a unique ambience, enhancing the emotional depth of the narrative. Audiences can expect to be transported into the charming Southern world of Truvy's Beauty Salon, where laughter and tears intertwine, and bonds are forged that withstand life's toughest trials.

In celebration of our esteemed seniors, the Lake County Theatre Co. is delighted to host a special “Senior Night” on March 15. All seniors aged 60 and above can avail themselves of discounted tickets priced at $15, allowing them to join in the magic of “Steel Magnolias” at a fraction of the cost.

“We are thrilled to bring Steel Magnolias to the stage at Boatique Winery,” said Becky Vreeland, director of the production. “The combination of this timeless story and the enchanting setting promises to create an unforgettable theatrical experience for our audiences.”

Tickets for Steel Magnolias at Boatique Winery are available now. Don't miss the opportunity to witness this beloved play come to life in one of Lake County's most beautiful settings.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Journey to the world of Portuguese Fado as interpreted by Ramana Vieira, a northern California native of Portuguese descent.

Vieira will perform at the Soper Reese Theatre in Lakeport at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 23.

Tickets can be purchased at the theater’s website.

Vieira’s parents immigrated to the United States from Portugal, where her grandfather was a well-known musician and composer from Madeira Island.

Her work captures traditional Fado and influences from the Portuguese diaspora in a musical tapestry that ranges from the whispering, haunting ballads of Fado, to American classics and jazzy blues.

She also is a proficient pianist and a gifted songwriter having penned and composed her own original Fados, of which several have been nominated at the International Portuguese Music Awards.

The Soper Reese Theatre is located at 275 S. Main St. in Lakeport, telephone 707-263-0577.


The saga of a lazy, overweight panda named Po (voiced by Jack Black) began 16 years ago when he dreamed of leaving his family’s noodle shop to join the world of Kung Fu to study with his idols, the legendary Furious Five.

For this chapter of the lovable panda’s adventures, “Kung Fu Panda 4” begs the question of whether eight years after the last episode this fourth journey of an action-comedy franchise is necessary.

Whether the answer is negative, what matters most is that young fans of the franchise are the target audience and the relative dearth of family-friendly films makes the fourth “Kung Fu Panda” a worthwhile entertainment even if the episodes may have run their course.

Time does not look to be on Po’s side either. After three death-defying adventures defeating world-class villains with his courage and martial arts skills, Po’s standing as the Dragon Warrior is facing an unwanted retirement.

Po’s warrior mentor Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) decides to tap the rotund martial artist to become the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace, which is not exactly the destiny he wants.

Returning to his roots, Po is busy starting his own noodle restaurant, and reconnecting with his adoptive goose father Mr. Ping (James Hong) and his biological father Li (Bryan Cranston).

Other than his own concerns, there are obvious problems since Po knows as much about spiritual leadership as he does about dieting, and he also needs to quickly find and train a new Dragon Warrior before assuming his lofty new position.

A new enemy arrives on the scene in the shapeshifting tiny lizard known as the Chameleon (Viola Davis), a wicked sorceress with her beady little eyes coveting Po’s Staff of Wisdom, which would give her the power of the master villains Po had vanquished to the spirit realm.

Desperately needing some help, Po reluctantly enlists crafty, quick-witted thief Zhen (Awkwafina), a fox who gets under his fur but whose skills prove invaluable.

Slapstick humor and generous fight sequences with plenty of predictable action results in adventure for “Kung Fu Panda 4” that should certainly appeal to the target audience. Innocuous family fun is delivered as expected.


Beware of unintended consequences. This adage apparently did not occur to three childhood friends during their adolescent years when they created an imaginary friend who would take the blame for their pranks.

As the director of “Dumb and Dumber,” Peter Farrelly, who performs the same duties for Amazon Prime’s raunchy comedy film “Ricky Stanicky,” works in his comfort zone of portraying characters that have failed in many ways to leave adolescence behind.

Dean (Zac Efron), JT (Andrew Santino), and Wes (Jermaine Fowler) are first seen in 1999 as their younger selves, pulling a Halloween practical joke that goes so horribly wrong that they create the fictional Ricky Stanicky as the scapegoat.

The deception works so well that the ruse carries on into adulthood. When JT’s wife Susan (Anja Savcic) plans a baby shower, the trio of friends living in New England claim that Ricky has cancer as an alibi to leave town for a gambling trip to Atlantic City.

While gambling and drinking at a casino, they meet Rock Hard Rod (John Cena), a crazed alcoholic who wants to be an actor to do something more profound than performing bawdy parodies of famous rock stars at the dingy Slot Swamp Casino.

A premature birth of Susan’s baby causes the gang to rush back home, where the existence of good friend Ricky comes into question, particularly from JT’s suspicious mother-in-law who seems to have figured out the fictitious nature of someone no one else has ever seen.

As the spouses and partners of the trio demand to finally meet the fabled Stanicky, the boys decide on the dubious scheme to hire celebrity impersonator Hard Rock Rod and bring him to life.

With the mystery man apparently in “remission,” Stanicky arrives to attend the Jewish ceremonial of the baby boy’s bris, going so far as to lend a hand in the ritualistic tradition.

With a lot of bravado and swagger of an ersatz cowboy, Hard Rock Rod portrays his alter ego with a fabricated backstory of charitable work helping starving people in Africa

Just so you know that the subterfuge is fraught with risk, Dean’s wife Erin (Lex Scott Davis), a television journalist seeks to advance her career by pushing the idea of a story about Stanicky’s heroic nonprofit work.

Meanwhile, seeking to embellish his acting craft, Ricky commits to his role so successfully that he manages to impress Mr. Summerhayes (William H. Macy), the boss of Dean and JT, that he’s offered a high-paying corporate job for which he is obviously not suited.

The gang realizes they have created a monster, as the unintended consequences come into full play. Even before the story arrives at this stage, “Ricky Stanicky” succeeds in delivering enough gags and laughs for an amusing diversion.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

UKIAH, Calif. — The School of Performing Arts & Cultural Education, or SPACE, presents Noche de Estrellas directed by Olivia Zamora on Saturday, March 16, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The performances will take place at the SPACE Theater, 508 West Perkins St., Ukiah.

Noche de Estrellas this year will be 100% live mariachi music with some local community members getting a chance to perform with the mariachi for the very first time.

The show will feature Luther Burbank Center’s Mariachi’s Ensemble, Mariachi Cantares de Mi Tierra.

LBC’s Mariachi Ensemble is a year-round program serving over 120 students focusing on much more than music. Led by LBC’s Music Specialist, Matthew Isais Bowker, students learn critical social and emotional skills including perseverance, leadership, cooperation, and collaboration in addition to technique, musicianship, and stage presence through the lens of mariachi.”

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for youth under 18.

Tickets are available and Mendocino Book Co. (cash or check), SPACE box office and

For information, call 707-462-9370 or visit

Upcoming Calendar

07.16.2024 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Board of Supervisors
07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.16.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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