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Last updateWed, 07 Dec 2016 3pm

News

Despite recounts, Registrar plans to call races

Despite an ongoing hand recount, clarity is about to arrive for the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills City Councils – and current top vote-getters Lynette Lee Eng and Roger Spreen are expected to be named winners tomorrow, according to the Santa Clara Co...

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Schools

JustREAD helps local English learner students

JustREAD helps local English learner students


Courtesy of JustRead
JustREAD volunteer Elenora Nelson works with a sixth-grader at Crittenden Middle School.

JustREAD seeks to broaden its impact on local students’ lives by adding to its volunteer pool.

The 12-year-old nonprofit organizat...

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Community

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context


Doyle
 

From guide dogs to culinary architecture, Los Altos native Alexis Doyle has worked across fields as a young scholar, but she had to learn to knit it all together – not only as a pre-medical student, but as a candidate proving her b...

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Sports

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Manuel Rozay, right, battles a Sacred Heart Prep player for the ball in last week’s season opener.

Now in his 28th season as Mountain View High’s boys soccer coach, Jim McGuirk has seen it all. He...

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Comment

The last hundred years: A Piece of My Mind

Some time back I stumbled across a binder that my mother had created when she took a class on writing memoirs back in 1998. At that time, I remember she tried to interest me in her writing, but I was busy and just nodded, glad she had found something...

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Special Sections

Blast from the past

Blast from the past


Gary Anderson/Special to the town Crier
The Donut Derelicts – a group of local car enthusiasts – check out the 2016 Mustang GT California Special convertible. The car is an homage to the 1968 model.

 

What better place to display a car wit...

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Business

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home


Megan Winslow/Town Crier
Restaurateur James Maltby now operates the restaurant at the local Courtyard Marriott.

When James Maltby closed his namesake restaurant last summer after a rent hike, many Los Altos residents wanted to know where the res...

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People

ANNE KESTEN BERNSTEIN

Long time Los Altos Hills resident, Anne Kesten Bernstein, born July 12, 1931 in New York City, died peacefully in the comfort of hospice care on November 15, 2016.

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News

Despite recounts, Registrar plans to call races

Despite an ongoing hand recount, clarity is about to arrive for the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills City Councils – and current top vote-getters Lynette Lee Eng and Roger Spreen are expected to be named winners tomorrow, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

Readmore

Business

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home

Megan Winslow/Town Crier
Restaurateur James Maltby now operates the restaurant at the local Courtyard Marriott.

When James Maltby closed his namesake restaurant last summer after a rent hike, many Los Altos residents wanted to know where the restaurateur would end up next. It turns out that he ...

Readmore

Sports

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Gerson Perez, right, battles a Sacred Heart Prep player for the ball in last week’s season opener.

Now in his 28th season as Mountain View High’s boys soccer coach, Jim McGuirk has seen it all. He’s worked with good teams that...

Readmore

Community

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context

Doyle
 

From guide dogs to culinary architecture, Los Altos native Alexis Doyle has worked across fields as a young scholar, but she had to learn to knit it all together – not only as a pre-medical student, but as a candidate proving her bona fides for a Rhodes Scholarship. She joined the...

Readmore

Comment

The last hundred years: A Piece of My Mind

Some time back I stumbled across a binder that my mother had created when she took a class on writing memoirs back in 1998. At that time, I remember she tried to interest me in her writing, but I was busy and just nodded, glad she had found something to interest her after my father’s death. No...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Briefs Dec. 7 2016

LA Lutheran offers ‘Soothe Your Soul’ sessions

Los Altos Lutheran Church has scheduled three “Soothe Your Soul: Prayer & Poetry” reflection sessions, 6:30-7:15 p.m. today and Dec. 14 and 21 in the sanctuary, 460 S. El Monte Ave.

The evenings – designed for those ...

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People

ANNE KESTEN BERNSTEIN

Long time Los Altos Hills resident, Anne Kesten Bernstein, born July 12, 1931 in New York City, died peacefully in the comfort of hospice care on November 15, 2016.

Readmore

Schools

JustREAD helps local English learner students

JustREAD helps local English learner students

Courtesy of JustRead
JustREAD volunteer Elenora Nelson works with a sixth-grader at Crittenden Middle School.

JustREAD seeks to broaden its impact on local students’ lives by adding to its volunteer pool.

The 12-year-old nonprofit organization provides academic support for middle and high ...

Readmore

Special Sections

Blast from the past

Blast from the past

Gary Anderson/Special to the town Crier
The Donut Derelicts – a group of local car enthusiasts – check out the 2016 Mustang GT California Special convertible. The car is an homage to the 1968 model.

 

What better place to display a car with direct links to the 1960s American muscle car tr...

Readmore

Stepping Out

'Christmas Ballet' leaps into Mtn. View

'Christmas Ballet' leaps into Mtn. View

David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Dancer Rachel Furst leaps in Smuin's “The Christmas Ballet,” scheduled to run today through Sunday in downtown Mountain View.

Smuin's annual production of “The Christmas Ballet” is scheduled to make a stop in Mountain View this week.

With ballet, tap, swin...

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Obituaries

ANNE KESTEN BERNSTEIN

Long time Los Altos Hills resident, Anne Kesten Bernstein, born July 12, 1931 in New York City, died peacefully in the comfort of hospice care on November 15, 2016.

Readmore

Magazine

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Courtesy of Camping
Patrons of Camping, a restaurant in Buenos Aires, enjoy the warm weather during last year’s holiday season.

When I relocated from Mountain View to Buenos Aires in July, I knew I’d be stepping into winter. I packed my rain boots and heavy coat, and I set aside my longing for a p...

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Los Altos bodypainter showcases curvy canvas


Most artists would be distraught if someone destroyed their creations, but 23-year-old Jessica Yurash of Los Altos doesn’t mind if her artwork gets washed away. In fact, it happens every time she paints a subject - Yurash is a bodypainter.

According to Yurash, the ephemeral aspect of her work makes it unique. When people see her bodypainting creations - whether it is a model coordinated to camouflage with her environment or a woman’s stomach painted during pregnancy - they often say they’ve never seen anything like it.

Covered by layers of water-based paints that Yurash applies to the skin via brush, sponge and airbrush, the curves of the human body virtually disappear to the human eye when the painting is complete.

"They’re not sure how to feel, but they have a sudden urge to want to be painted themselves," said Yurash of spectators’ reactions to her work.

Finding her passion

Yurash stumbled into bodypainting after becoming the muse and model for San Jose-based bodypainter Trina Merry. When Merry discovered that Yurash spent her weekends twisting balloons and painting faces at children’s birthday parties, she invited Yurash to assist with her bodypainting assignments.

Yurash called the opportunity to work with Merry "enlightening," because she had never considered herself a visual artist. Although she danced as a youth and performed in many theater productions at Homestead High School and Foothill College, where she earned an Associate of Arts degree in the performing arts and drama, fine-art media like painting and ceramics held little appeal.

"Traditional canvas is frustrating and takes too long," Yurash said. "Body art only takes a day."

While apprenticing with Merry, Yurash learned bodypainting techniques and acquired the business skills needed to thrive as a creative artist. She observed the process for managing assignments, from initial client inquiry to the test shoot and day-of painting, and was soon prepared to market herself as a bodypainter. Although she continues to work her day job at a child-care center, Yurash is hired for an average of 10 assignments per month.

"It takes a lot of time to conceptualize, design and figure out what art works best for each body, because every body is so different," said Yurash of her personalized process.

Because each new client has a unique vision for how he or she wants to be painted, Yurash noted that she’s constantly growing as an artist and expanding her range. To derive inspiration for assignments, she frequently references historical bodypainting styles as well as photos and other art that match her client’s vision.

A body of work

Yurash usually has a two- to six-hour window to paint her subject on the day of an assignment, a timeline that leaves little room for error. Test photo shoots help her determine the best angles for poses and visualize how she will paint her client. Although she’s never spent more than six hours continuously painting a subject, she once spent 12 hours modeling for another bodypainter.

When the cost of paint, Yurash’s time and other expenses are factored in, bodypainting can be pricey. Yurash notes that her fees typically range from a few hundred dollars for a client who only wants a small portion of the body painted to upward of $1,000 for a full-day assignment that involves multiple models in a complex setup.

With the availability of latex, glow-in-the-dark and ultraviolet paints, Yurash said, artists have many tools at their disposal to express their creativity.

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the body into something new via art renders the cost irrelevant, Yurash added.

"They want to take the beauty of a woman, femininity or humanity and become the artwork. … It’s so much more special because it’s temporary," she said.

Old art reinvented

Although the thought of covering the body with layers of paint or even tattoos may seem like a contemporary form of expression, bodypainting has deep roots as an art and form of communication, stretching back to prehistoric days. Cliff dwellers and indigenous tribes in Australia and Africa used clay, charcoal and natural pigments as a form of religious and cultural expression. Yurash said the art of bodypainting has evolved over time and she feels confident that it is making a comeback.

"The world of bodypainting is just on the edge of the cliff and is about to fall into our society once again," she said.

Professional bodypainters like Craig Tracy of New Orleans are finding unusual ways to showcase their work. From art for advertising campaigns to live painting events for corporations searching for ways to make their brands stand out, the bodyart medium is growing in popularity. Top artists like Tracy may charge thousands of dollars for artwork that lasts only a few hours on a person.

Performance-based bodypainting is gaining an edge locally. Merry launched the Art Alive Gallery in San Jose to engage Bay Area bodypainters in collaborative projects after a successful installation at the 2011 SubZERO Festival. Yurash, one of the gallery’s primary assistants, said she sees it as a stepping stone toward a full-time career in bodypainting.

In the meantime, Yurash continues to perfect her craft, actively participate in the bodypainting community and learn the art through osmosis as a model for other bodypainters.

For more information, visit jessicayurash.com.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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