Frank Bette Center for the Arts is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Saturday, August 27, 2 to 6 p.m., and we’re all invited to the party. There will be food and beverages, music, lots of art, self-guided tours, information about upcoming classes, and the opportunity to meet and mingle with other art-loving Alamedans.
The yellow Victorian-era house at 1601 Paru Street is an Alameda treasure—home to a gallery, classrooms, and event space. It originally was home to Frank Bette himself, who left his native Germany to protest Nazism in 1927 and moved to Chicago, according to the center’s Frank Bette Legacy page. After becoming a U.S. citizen and serving in the U.S. Air Force in World War II, Bette eventually found his way to California. In the early 1950s, he settled in Alameda. According to the legacy page, “he rented out the upstairs apartment and lived simply downstairs. He ate in local restaurants or with friends and spent his free time painting en plein air.”
When he died in 1999, Bette bequeathed the house as “a place for meetings, readings, showings, and other creative doings.” The nonprofit, volunteer-run Frank Bette Center for the Arts is exactly that. This weekend they celebrate 20 years of keeping Bette’s dream alive. Exhibits include a wide variety of rotating group and solo shows—works from the extremely popular citywide “Plein Air Paintout” are currently among those on display. A variety of classes are offered, as are events including music, poetry, storytelling, and speakers.
It’s an anniversary worth celebrating.