When you drop into the West Side Bakery and Cafe in Berkeley to look at Howard Barkan’s French Sculpture show, don’t expect to actually see French sculpture. How’s that again, Howard? “All images were photographed in France,” he writes. “One series involves gargoyles, photographed in Paris. The second involves land and glacier forms in the Alps around Chamonix. Since all subjects are physical form (or their reflections), the exhibit is titled ‘French Sculpture.’ Since some of the forms were created by human sculptors while others were created by natural forces, the subtitle is ‘Human and Other Sculptors.'” After paying B&W homage to Ansel Adams and Edward Weston early in his career, Berkeley photog Barkan’s recent work has been in color, using natural light with hand-held camera and focusing on forms and textures, in both urban and natural settings. Take Gargoyle on St. Germain L’Auxerrois Reflected in the Side Windows of Samaritaine, with its distorted-grotesque point of view, or his study of a phalanx of jagged Alpine peaks emerging in immensity from a heavy bank of clouds.
“French Sculpture” runs through November 2 at the West Side Bakery and Cafe, 2570 9th St., Berkeley. There’s a midshow party with the photographer, Friday 6 to 9 p.m. — Kelly Vance
As we’re told in David Lynch’s bloated 1984 sci-fi classic Dune, “the spice is life,” and Berkeley’s foodies are sure to agree that a little cardamom or cilantro goes a long way toward getting the heart a-thumpin’. Indulge your culinary compulsions this weekend at the Spice of Life Food and Arts Festival on Shattuck Avenue between Francisco and Vine streets. Sting may not show up, encased in blue rubber, but Gourmet Ghetto chefs and markets will be in full effect, and there will be craft vendor booths, a pumpkin patch, organic farmers’ market, and live jazz, bluegrass, gospel, and blues. The foodies’ broods can hang in Kidtopia, enjoying a petting zoo, pony rides, puppet shows, and more. The party starts at 10 a.m., winding down at around 6 at night. Call the North Shattuck Merchants’ Association at 510-540-6444 for further details. — Stefanie Kalem
You’ve got an all-excess pass this weekend to help the fight against MS at Rooster’s Roadhouse (1700 Clement Ave., Alameda). Starting at 4 p.m., bands lend their talents to Metal for Multiple Sclerosis , including Diferential and Dysfunctional. But the tribute outfits are where the fun is. Black Dog, Speak of the Devil, Rat Bastard, Horizon of Fire, and others invoke the guts, glam, and glory of Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Y&T, Montrose, UFO, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Van Halen, and more. $10. 650-576-1627. — Stefanie Kalem
Now You See Him
Violinist Jeremy Cohen materializes
Violinist Jeremy Cohen is one of the most-heard and least-known musicians to call the Bay Area home. His insightful interpretations have graced film and television soundtracks, concerts, jazz festivals, and recordings (everything from Star Wars to the last two Santana CDs). This weekend Cohen is the violin soloist with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra in a varied program, including the premiere of film composer Patrick Williams’ violin showcase, The Witch, as well as an Ellington suite for jazz violin and orchestra, and “Concerto in Swing.” 8 p.m. Saturday at Los Medanos College (2700 E. Leland Road, Pittsburg), and Sunday (7:30 p.m.) at Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. 925-943-7469 or CCCOrch.org — Larry Kelp