Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Painting inspires performance

The 6-year-old African-American girl in the white dress walks between four federal officers on her way to an all-white school in 1960, the wall behind her marked by a thrown tomato and a racial epithet.

“The Problem We All Live With” is one of Norman Rockwell’s most powerful and moving works, and is part of the artist’s collection “American Chronicles” on display at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

Sacramento State professor emeritus and clarinetist Deborah Pittman, the museum’s artist in residence, has created “Big Dreams, Small Shoulders,” a multimedia performance based on the painting and the true story of Ruby Bridges, the little girl who inspired the painting.

Performances are at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Crocker.

Perhaps better known for works that depicted a more innocent and heartwarming picture of America, Rockwell also created portraits that confronted the issue of race relations and equality. In this case, Ruby Bridges was the first African American to enter New Orleans’ all-white William Frantz Elementary School.

As a young girl, Pittman was taken to white schools by her parents for testing, and while she received invitations, declined.

“When it came time to go, I was afraid,” she said. “I remember seeing Ruby on TV when I was a kid. I was impressed with her bravery.”

“Big Dreams, Small Shoulders” includes music, theater, poetry, puppetry and dance.

In addition to Pittman, performers are Susheel Bibbs and Laura Cook as narrator/singers; Nicole Manker, Andrea Porras and Hanna Yanni are the dancers.

The performance is directed by Art Gruenberger; the life-size puppet of Ruby Bridges was created by Kristen Gray and is operated by Spencer Tregilgas, Will Klundt and Slater Penny.

Pittman’s inspiration for the show’s title came from the idea of how we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, “with each generation enduring sacrifices to elevate the next generation.”

Pittman studied many pictures of Bridges in preparation for the performance.

“I was struck with how small she was and how brave she was” Pittman said. “She would square her shoulders each day and walk through that hate-filled crowd.”

Dec. 10 marked Pittman’s last academic activity at Sacramento State. She has retired from the university, but will continue to compose, create performance pieces, and expand her pottery business.

She is also working on a one-act play with the working title of “The Vigil,” as well as writing a fountain-of-youth novel.

The Friday, Dec. 28 performance, a Family Kwanza Celebration, is free for Crocker members and $5 for nonmembers.

The Sunday, Jan. 13 performance is $6 for members and $12 for nonmembers.

The cast will also tour and give performances for school groups and home-schooled students from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8. An $8 advance reservation is required for that.

To reserve tickets visit crockerartmuseum.org or call 916-808-1182.

For more information call the Crocker at 916-808-7000.

California State Unversity, Sacramento

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

 
More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 100 Comments | Gallery

 
Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 63 Comments

 
.

Letters

Misquote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 11 Comments

 
Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 38 Comments

Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
.

Sports

Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

 
Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5

 
.

Essentials

Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8