Sky dancers

These amazing dancers are members of Cielo Vertical Arts, a troop lead by Heather Baer of Oakland. I saw them perform off the top of the Natsoulas Gallery in Davis last Friday night in honor of the California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art. I don't know what is more amazing: the fact that these men and women performed modern art while dangling off the side of a four-story building, or the fact that my friend Charlie Schneider, internationally renowned artist and sculptor, spent the better part of last week rigged up to the very same building. He painted the sides of the building with a clay slip in a bold rectangular design, one that will eventually fade in the rain. No biggie, right?

All of it -- the paint, the sculpture, the mid-air modern dance -- was exactly the kind of creative hub that carries heat. These are things that make people stop what they're doing and really look at the world around them.

And yes, Charlie, no matter how much you protest, I think "internationally renowned artist" has a bit of a ring to it.