Friends @ Home Art Docent Webinar | Calder-Picasso Exhibition
May 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Please note: Registration for this event is required and is available here:

Triple Gong, Alexander Calder (1948)

You are invited to explore the relationship between two legends of 20th century art. Best known for his graceful modernist mobiles, American Alexander Calder brought movement to sculpture through his ever-evolving artwork. Spanish artist Pablo Picasso created deeply personal work that alternated between realism and abstraction. By juxtaposing works dating from the 1920s to the 1970s, this presentation will examine the parallels between Calder and Picasso’s works while also looking at the unique qualities that make each artist distinctive. Don’t miss this insightful and thought-provoking visual conversation between two innovative artists who redefined modernism.

Nu couche, Pablo Picasso (1932)

Our guide for this exploration will be the excellent docent from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Kathryn Zupsic. Kathryn has been an art educator for over 25 years, working as a docent and lecturer for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the de Young Museum, Legion of Honor, and SFMOMA. She has given hundreds of presentations to adults and students in the Bay Area and on the Central Coast, and now heads up the virtual Art Talks program for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. A native of Portland, Kathryn has a degree in Spanish and Latin American Literature from the University of Oregon and is a graduate of La Varenne chef school in Paris.

Friends @ Home Author Webinar | Paul Madonna Discusses ‘Come to Light’
May 19 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Please note: Registration is required for this event and can be done here:

Join us on May 19 at 7:00 PM for Paul Madonna’s presentation of his electrifying mystery novel Come to Light. Full of unexpected plot twists, lively characters and over 100 lush drawings in Madonna’s inimitable style, it is an intoxicating tale of love, murder, books, and art.

Paul Madonna is an award-winning artist and best-selling author whose unique blend of drawing and storytelling has been heralded as an “all new art form.” Paul is the creator of the series All Over Coffee, which ran in the San Francisco Chronicle for twelve years, and the author of five books, including the Emit Hopper Mystery Series. His book Everything is its own reward won the 2011 NCBA Award for best book.

Paul’s work ranges from novels to cartoons to large-scale public murals and can be found internationally in print as well as in galleries and museums, including the Oakland Museum of California and the William Blake Association in France. Paul was a founding editor for, has taught drawing at the University of San Francisco, and frequently lectures on creative practice. He holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and was the first (ever!) Art Intern at MAD magazine.

Those who are interested in purchasing Come to Light before this talk can order directly from Books Inc. via their website.

Friends @ Home Author Webinar | Francesca Lia Block Discusses Her Books
May 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Please note: Registration is required for this event and can be done here:

Francesca Lia Block’s debut novel, Weetzie Bat, was a critically acclaimed genre-bending gem. It is widely recognized as a classic of young adult literature, having captivated readers ever since its first publication.

Since then, Francesca Lia Block, MFA, has authored more than twenty-five books of fiction, non-fiction, short stories, and poetry and has written screenplay adaptations of her work. She has received numerous awards and citations including from the American Library Association, the New York Times Book Review, School Library Journal, and Publisher’s Weekly.

Ms. Block’s presentation will center on her writing process, how she became a writer, her transition from young adult fiction to adult fiction, and her most recent books.

Her work has been translated into multiple languages. Francesca has published stories, poems, essays, and interviews in The Los Angeles Times, The L.A. Review of Books, Spin, Nylon, Black Clock, The Fairy Tale Review, and Rattle, among others. In addition to writing, Francesca is a beloved and devoted teacher who was named Writer-in-Residence at Pasadena City College in 2014 and in 2018-19 became a Visiting Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Redlands where she was a finalist for Professor of the Year award. Currently she teaches fiction at UCLA Extension, Antioch University, and privately in Los Angeles where she was born and raised.

Those who are interested in purchasing any of Ms. Block’s books before this talk can order directly from Books Inc. via their website.

Friends @ Home Author Webinar | George Takei Discusses ‘They Called Us Enemy’
Jun 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Please note: Registration is required for this event and can be done here:

George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s — and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future.

In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten “relocation centers,” hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.

The graphic novel They Called Us Enemy is George Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.

What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? Join us for our conversation with this American icon who has spent his whole life grappling with these questions.

George Takei is a social justice activist, social media superstar, Grammy-nominated recording artist, New York Times bestselling author, and pioneering actor whose career has spanned six decades. He has appeared in more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television roles, most famously as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, and he has used his success as a platform to fight for social justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and marriage equality. His advocacy is personal: during World War II, Takei spent his childhood unjustly imprisoned in United States internment camps along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans.

He now serves as Chairman Emeritus and a member of the Japanese American National Museum’s Board of Trustees. Takei served on the board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission under President Bill Clinton, and, in 2004, was conferred with the Gold Rays with Rosette of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to US-Japan relations.

Those who are interested in purchasing They Called Us Enemy before this talk can order directly from Books Inc. via their website (click here for paperback or hardcover).

Friends @ Home Art Docent Webinar | Dorothea Lange: “That Such Things Could Be”
Jun 14 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Please note: Registration for this event is required and is available here:

“Migrant Mother,” 1936

Dorothea Lange produced an astonishing body of photographic work in a career that lasted from the 1920s, when she ran the most successful portrait studio in San Francisco, to her death in 1965. Best known for her Depression-era documentary work—including the world-renowned “Migrant Mother”—Lange brought the crises of America in the 20th century into sharp focus. Join docent Avril Angevine for an exploration of the deeply moving work of this photography icon.


“Grandfather and grandson of Japanese ancestry at the Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California,” 1942.

Avril Angevine is an independent art lecturer who has spoken at the Alameda Library many times. She is a Humanities and English instructor at local colleges, and a museum guide at both SFMOMA and the Oakland Museum.