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Summer Construction Work

This summer, the depot is undergoing a first phase of construction work, primarily to stabilize and protect the building. The work scope will include structural repairs, a new roof, repairs to the exterior and a coat of paint, as well as preliminary plumbing and the beginnings of demising walls between different areas.

Postscript to the Building Narratives Class

CCA’s semester ended a couple of weeks ago. After the exhibition and performances at the depot on April 21, students of CCA’s Building Narrative class buckled down and worked to document and summarize their projects. Their instructors, Melissa Martin and Alexis Petty, are in the process of compiling this documentation and putting it together in the form of a book. I’ll create another post when the book is completed and printed to let everyone know how they can see it or order a copy.

Thanks, everyone, for your participation and collaboration in this really wonderful class – especially to all of the community members who met and talked with the students during their research.

Live Zumba Performance at the Depot on 4/21/12

Please join us on Saturday, April 21 for a fantastic exhibition of installations and events at the Esparto train station.

Students from the California College of the Arts have drawn inspiration from Esparto residents and local farmers and will be displaying and performing their visions of the past, present and future of the region in general and the depot in particular. We’ll have wine tastings from local wineries, sound, light and film projections inside the old depot and waiting room, additional pieces inspired by Esparto kids, firemen and librarians, AND an interactive installation on the grounds.

It all starts promptly at 3:00 p.m. At 4:00 p.m., a live performance of Zumba dancing will take place in the depot, with Esparto’s finest Zumba dancers (and CCA student Gigi Otalvaro), led by Cheryl Rust and Thanya Oliveira. We’ll also have a live poetry reading. Come!

Building Narratives Exhibition 4.21.2012

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The semester is in full swing and the students are exploring some really rich ideas for their installations at the train depot. They will be giving formal presentations of their concepts in today’s class for Sue Heitman, Maria McVarish and Megan Clark (from the CCA Center for Art & Public Life). We will be recording the presentations and posting selected ones to the Mnemic website for your viewing pleasure. 🙂

The exhibition of the final works will be April 21st, 2012 @ 3pm. The ideas behind the work have been inspired by the many wonderful stories and information that has been shared with us by the community. Many of the installations will be interactive in some way to encourage everyone to explore the depot in new ways and see how your stories have inspired our work.

More updates will be posted soon! Hope to see you all there.

Building Narratives: Wk 1 & 2

The Building Narratives: Installations for Transitional Space course at California College of the Arts just finished up its second week! In just two short weeks, great conversations are already starting between the students. We are very excited for the coming weeks of research and the opportunity for the students to connect with the Esparto community.

The first week consisted of introductions, a general overview of the course (if you are unfamiliar with the course you can view the course description here) and some background information on Esparto, the station and community. We also introduced the companion book for the course, Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees by Lawrence Weschler.

This week, the students presented some of their initial research on Esparto, the station and ideas for their particular areas of interest. We also were lucky enough to have Randy Ruiz, Architect and CCA Professor give a fantastically engaging presentation on the history of Southern Pacific Railroad development and train depot architecture. For homework, students will continue their independent research and will be preparing to discuss the assigned readings and a refined idea of interest areas. To wrap up the update, I’d like to introduce our 10 graduate students.

MArch = Architecture

Mike Atherton, MArch

Casey Carroll, MA Visual & Critical Studies

Aubrey Davidson, MArch

Tre Hurst, MFA Design

Jordan Karnes, MFA Writing

Tammy LePham, MArch

Kenneth Lin, MArch

Susan Lin, MFA Writing

Nastaran Mousavi, MArch

Sonia Otalvaro, MA Visual & Critical Studies

We’ll be posting weekly updates to keep the community informed of activity and upcoming dates.

Until next time!

Tours of the Old Train Station – This Saturday

This Saturday, November 5, I’ll be leading short tours of the inside of the Esparto Train Station in conjunction with the Grand Opening of Esparto’s downtown. The tours will begin every half hour on the half hour, starting at 11 a.m. and continuing until 2 p.m. We’ll meet outside the back entrance, near the fence on County Road 87. If you get there after a tour has started, just wait outside and I’ll be back to start another tour very soon. Bring your stories, questions, insights and speculations – and any photos that show the station in its previous incarnations. It’s free.