Costumed literary and artistic characters present an animated program

Posted on November 10, 2021
Art embraces words: costumed literary and artistic characters present an animated program
Artist Lafayette Ellen Reintjes (appearing as a Border Collie) presents her 13.5 “x 49” acrylic painting with a baseball theme, “All Stars in the Family”. Photo Elana O’Loskey

While the skies were overcast and the air a little chilly, the mood was warm on October 30, and costumed characters stole the show at Art Embraces Words. The free program, sponsored by the Lamorinda Arts Council, took place outdoors in the amphitheater of the Lafayette Library & Learning Center. Because the LLLC Foundation shared its spacious double marquee with lights, comfortable chairs, a podium, easels, a portable microphone and speakers, guests were sheltered and at ease.

This ongoing program features emerging writers reading their work surrounded by original artwork by local artists placed on both sides of the podium. Writers and artists were introduced by master of ceremonies and past LAC president Denise Nomura. They talked about their work for 10 minutes each plus time for a question and answer session. Program co-chair Natalie Samuels Wheeler put it this way: “Writers paint pictures with words; artists tell stories with colors. Together, they enrich our community.

Lafayette artist Ellen Reintjes was hard to recognize in her Border Collie costume, but when she exhibited her 13.5 “x 49” piece titled “All Stars in the Family” it all became clear. There are six portraits in the work and three of them are border collies. See more of his work at

Writer Dita Basu from Walnut Creek explained that the silk fabric of her traditional Bengali ceremonial dress is literally steeped in stories of Bengali history and folklore. She read an excerpt from her work-in-progress fictional novel “Dreamcatcher” about the outing of a young Bengali girl on a train trip.

Characters appearing at the event included artist Gustave Courbet (1819-1877); artist Yayoi Kusama (1929-); Queen Noor of Jordan; Hillary Clinton, promoting her new mystery book; Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) who distributed cards with her most famous quotes such as “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”; Doctor Strange, visiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Daisy Buchanan from “The Great Gatsby” and two women from London’s Steampunk era.

Costume judges Orinda Starlight Village Players ( Jill Gelster, Beth Hooper and Laura Matin-Chapen announced the winners of the costume competition as they handed out 12 local business prizes, including Tutu’s Food & Drink; CA Writer’s Club, Mt Branche Diablo; Workshop of Diablo writers, team of the LAC and Amphora Nueva Lafayette mixology saloon box. Orchard Nursery Lafayette provided brightly colored chrysanthemums which were given to attendees to take home. LAC volunteers on-site included Board Member Sue Farmer, Josephine Sabolboro, Isabella Pier, interns Ava Tran and Ricky Gjertsen, Jr. and curator Bill Carmel.

Art Embraces Words is made possible by a generous grant from the Lafayette Community Foundation. Visit to learn more, including access to videos from recent webinars.

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