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The Buzz: New show/Director at PAC, ’Millennials’ on stage, and more

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New exhibition, new Director at Petaluma Arts Center: Jonathan Marlow, the BUZZ has learned, has been named the new Director of Programs at the Petaluma Arts Center. A resident of Petaluma since 2015, with roots in the Pacific Northwest, Marlow brings to the new position years of experience in the arts, primarily in the fields of film and music. He’s a curator, cinematographer, composer and occasional film producer, and has affiliations with a number of film festivals including San Francisco’s Camera Obscura Film Society (of which he is co-director), plus Crossroads in Mississippi and Telluride in Colorado. As such, he has hosted rare, antique and unusual film screenings around the world.

In a note to the BUZZ, Marlow says that describing the direction he’s hoping to guide the Arts Center toward during his tenure defies a succinct response, but that it is connected to the notion of, as he puts it, “Petaluma as gateway to Sonoma County.” He adds, “The Petaluma Arts Center is uniquely positioned — geographically and figuratively — to unite artists and the art-curious in constructive communities city-wide, county-wide and potentially country-wide.”

The news of Marlow’s appointment comes following one of PACs most successful gallery exhibitions ever, the recently concluded Burning Man-themed “Petaluma on the Playa” exhibit. Barely taking a breath, the Arts Center is now preparing to open a double-shot of two concurrent exhibitions. It begins with the Feb. 8 opening of a self-titled show featuring the works of Venezuelan painter and sculptor Richard Merchán, followed on Feb. 20 with the opening of a show called “Clay (& c),” featuring the works of Peter Voulkos and the California Clay Movement. For more information, visit PetalumaArtsCenter.org.

Argus-Courier’s film- loving “Millennials” on stage for live screening: Three of the four local film reviewers responsible for the Argus- Courier’s weekly “Millennials Talk Cinema” columns will take to the stage on Feb. 13, at 7 p.m., for a (no doubt) lively post-film conversation following a screening of the science-fiction film “Her,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson. The event, to be held at Marin County’s Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, is part of the nonprofit’s monthly Science on Screen series, featuring a science-related film followed by a post-film conversation with eloquent and entertaining folks who have some connection (or at least some strong opinions) about the themes of the film. The event has been titled “The Future of Sex: Love and Relationships in the Age of AI,” which pretty much fits the 2013 Spike Jones hit about a lonely writer who falls hard for his new Alexa-like operating system. Appearing will be Amber-Rose Reed, Katie Wigglesworth and Alexa Chipman. The evening will be hosted by Argus-Courier Community Editor David Templeton, who began hosting the 2020 series last month with a screening of the 1997 drama “Contact,” and a conversation with acclaimed science educator Eugenie Scott. For information on the series and the Feb. 13 show, visit rafaelfilm.cafilm.org.

Wickedness proves a virtue: On January 16, seven months after officially opening its doors, downtown Petaluma’s Wicked Slush finally calmed down enough to have an actual grand opening, complete with ribbon cutting presided over by Petaluma Mayor Teresa Barrett. Many members of the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce occupied the small shop on American Alley, spilling out into the street for the ceremonial scissor-slicing of the Happy Red Strip of Joy and Wonder (or whatever those ribbon-cutting ribbons are called). Owners Dave and Juliet Pokorny served samples of their icy slush-and-soft-serve treats, made short but (obviously) sweet speeches, and were temporarily rendered speechless by the surprise presentation of a State Assembly certificate of recognition. Singed by 10th District Assemblyperson Marc Levine (who has excellent penmanship, evidently), the framed certificate proclaims, “In celebration of your grand opening in Petaluma. Thank you for being a member of our community.” The certificate was proudly (but temporarily) displayed atop the Wicked Slush T-shirt rack for the remainder of the celebration, and the Pokornys said they will be sure to hang it in a place of honor somewhere in the store.

(Have a good idea for a fun, newsy, funny or otherwise interesting BUZZ item? Drop a line to Community Editor David Templeton at david.templeton@arguscourier.com)

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