ART TALKS Volunteer for Frank Bette Center for the Arts
April 1, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALAMEDA, CA—Frank Bette Center for the Arts Hosts Michael Schiess, of Pacific Pinball Museum, on Early Pinball Backglass Art.
Pinball wizards may take little notice of the art surrounding the score boards but “backglass” painting is part of the experience of playing.
A significant part of the appeal of pinball comes from its vibrant art. The experience of playing pinball would be diminished if the backglass art was missing. Pinball would simply not be pinball without the art, the animation, and the scores flashing in bright lights and numbers.
On Wednesday, May 14, Michael Schiess, founder and director of the Pacific Pinball Museum, will discuss this unique art form at the Frank Bette Centre for the Arts.
Schiess will also present samples from the Pacific Pinball Museum's extensive collection. He will review the art, the artists, the process of making backglasses, and the companies that produced them. He will also discuss the museum's mural program which has enabled local artists to craft stunning hand painted murals of selected backglasses.
Schiesss presentation includes a review of classic backglass artists such as George Molentin and Roy Parker, whose works spanned 1935 to 1980, and mid-century artists Art Stenholm, Christian Marche, and Dave Christensen, who produced backglass from 1964 to 1981.
Schiess will share backglass samples from the collection of Richard Conger, a high school auto shop teacher known as the”Keeper of the Pinball Flame”. Conger's collection, housed at his “Silver Ball Ranch” in Sebastopol, spans pinball history.
Pinball has become so popular that the Smithsonian Institution's History Museum in Washington DC has presented programs on the topic.
Currently located on Webster Street in Alameda, Schiess plans to renovate the former Carnegie Library, opposite Alameda's City Hall, and relocate the Pacific Pinball Museum there. When this happens, Conger's collection of rare and unique machines may be included. This will make PPM the only museum in the world to feature a collection of this magnitude.
This May 14 event is the fourth in the Frank Bette Center's lecture series, ART TALKS. The program, held on the second Wednesday of each month, runs from 7:00pm - 9:00pm; gallery opens at 6:00pm.
Admission is $10 for guests, $5 for Bette Art Center members. For more information: visit www.frankbettecenter.org or call 510-523-6957. Backglass art from Richard Conger's collection housed at “Silver Ball Ranch” in Sebastopol, CA.
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