Friends @ Home Art Docent Webinar | Behind the Scenes at Bouquets to Art
Jun 1 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Please note: Registration for this event is required and is available here:

Photo by Drew Altizer Photography

Have you ever wondered how Bouquets to Art started and became one of the most popular events at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco? Have you ever marveled at the floral designs and the floral artists who created them, and admired the materials used? This talk will reveal what goes on behind the scenes to make this highly successful event happen each year. The speaker will show works of art in the museum’s collection and explain how floral artists have interpreted them in their designs. Now, in its 38th year, find out what’s in store for Bouquets to Art 2022!

Photo by Drew Altizer Photography

Our guide for this exploration will be Maureen Murray Fox. Maureen received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Davis. She spent more than thirty years working for IBM in sales and management, including as Branch Manager of the San Francisco Downtown Office.

To add balance to her life Maureen got involved with the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums, which organizes the annual Bouquets to Art event. After retiring from IBM, Maureen decided to deepen her connection to the Museums and learn more about art by training to be a docent. This talk will draw upon her experience with the Museums’ permanent art collection, and with the artistic expression by floral designers who interpret the artworks in flowers.

Friends @ Home Art Docent Webinar | Story of a Great Love: Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo
Jun 8 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Please note: Registration for this event is required and is available here:

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940.

Join us as we welcome Phoenix Art Museum docent Isabel Ballerna for an exploration of two towering figures of 20th Century art, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

The two iconic artists each possessed boundless talent bolstered by an unbending will. As partners they possessed each other with a ferocious love, intense and complicated. But beyond their mutual love was a more profound and intrinsic love: that for their country of birth, Mexico.

Isabel Ballerna is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds a BA in Art. An artist and interior designer, her artworks have been featured in art galleries and published in numerous publications including Artists of the Rockies and the Golden West and Southeast Art magazines. Isabel is also an avid horse rider and competitor in dressage. She has been a docent at Phoenix Art Museum since 2014.

Friends @ Home Author Webinar | Vaseem Khan Discusses the Malabar House Novels
Jun 15 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Please note: Registration for this event is required and is available here:

Killing Gandhi, Dante’s Divine Comedy, & India at the Crossroads: Bestselling crime fiction author Vaseem Khan takes us on an exhilarating journey from the last days of the Raj to the heart of modern India. Vaseem’s Malabar House series is set in 1950s Bombay. This was just a few years after Indian independence, the assassination of Gandhi, and the horrors of Partition, events which Mr. Khan will examine in this illuminating talk. He will also reveal Dante’s unique connection to the city of Bombay…

The first book in the series, Midnight at Malabar House, won the United Kingdom’s Crime Writers Association Historical Dagger award for 2021. The book introduced Inspector Persis Wadia, India’s first female police detective, and her co-investigator, English forensic scientist, Archie Blackfinch. The second book in the series, The Dying Day, was published in July 2021.

Vaseem Khan is also known for his first series, the Baby Ganesh Agency novels, in which a retired Indian policeman inherits a one-year-old baby elephant. He lives in London and has kindly agreed to join us at 7:00 PM Pacific Time in spite of the time zone difference.

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

Used Book Pop-Up Sale @ Stafford Room, Alameda Free Library Main Branch
Jun 25 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

The Friends are hosting a Summer Used Book Sale stocked with a great selection of almost-new books at very affordable prices. This sale will include fiction, sci-fi, mystery, children’s, and more, and is dedicated to Lawrence Reh, a gay faith leader whose estate donated 70 boxes of books to FAL.

Support the library by shopping for used books. We hope to see you there!

Friends @ Home Art Docent Webinar | Picasso and His Women
Jul 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Please note: Registration for this event is required and is available here:

Picasso was born October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain and by the time he died in France in April of 1973, he had created a staggering 22,000 works of art in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, ceramics, mosaics, stage design, and graphic arts. In this talk we are going to look at how the women in his life often dictated his style of painting. We will see realism, cubism, impressionism, and neoclassical modes – from happy and joyful to brutal and sad. He was an extremely emotional man and his art was influenced by his fluctuating relationships with many women during his lifetime.

We’ll be guided in this exploration by Phoenix Art Museum docent Carole James. Carole told us about herself: “I am a graduate of the 2008 Docent Class. I was an Art History major in college and am thrilled to share my love, knowledge, and passion to anyone with whom I can get an audience. My mother was also a Docent at the Phoenix Art Museum, so it is in my bones. I am always amazed at how knowledge enhances one’s enjoyment of anything, whether you thought you liked it or not.”