Friday, January 8, 2010

San Bernardino's Bicentennial Year Begins

This May, Mayor Patrick Morris will lead the city in singing “Happy 200th Birthday” to San Bernardino. San Bernardino celebrated its 199th Birthday with a party. It’s celebrating the 200th with festivities lasting from February through July. Photo by Matt Sloan

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.)  It was May 20, 1810, tradition tells us, when a Spanish missionary, Father Francisco Dumetz, traveled from Mission San Gabriel to the San Bernardino Valley. He named this new locale San Bernardino after Saint Bernardine of Siena who was then the Catholics’ patron saint of that particular day. Thus was born San Bernardino 200 years ago.

On May 20, 2009, Mayor Patrick Morris and other dignitaries of state and local government, cheerleaders from San Bernardino High and a couple hundred other residents, set the stage for the 2010 Bicentennial Celebration launching the city into its third century. This 199th birthday celebration featured gourmet cake prepared by students of The International Culinary School of The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire, kicking off festivities through July 4 of 2010, marking the city’s 200th year.

Rabbi Hillel Cohn, a 47-year resident of San Bernardino, and for 38 years head of Temple Emanu El, is chairman of the Bicentennial Committee, and has plans to note this historic event “in neighborhoods, on the streets, in public venues, through the airwaves and on the Internet,” debuting the celebration’s unique logo and announcing the event’s motto --  “San Bernardino 1810-2010: A Rich History. A Bright Future.”

“I was asked by a member of the City Council in 2007 to get involved since I’d also worked on the previous U.S. Bicentennial,” he recalls. “The mayor and Common Council formed an ad hoc committee to begin celebration plans and start raising funds, and in July of that year I was chosen chairperson.”

The 2010 months-long festivities debut February 18 with a public performance of “Legend of the Arrowhead” at California Theater. The historical musical satire focuses on the mysterious “arrowhead” on the San Bernardino Mountains, and is produced by the city’s Economic Development Agency.

In March and April of 2010 the city will conduct numerous beautification events and spearhead the March planting of, appropriately, 200 beautiful trees. On March 17, the California State University at San Bernardino hosts the 23rd Annual Morrow-McCombs Memorial Lecture which will explore “Can’t We All Get Along?,” reflections on 200 years of the city’s religious life.

April 12 will take a look at “Indigenous Pre-Hispanic People of San Bernardino: at the university’s Pfau Library.

The following month is slated to be a busy one, too. On May 1, the San Bernardino Symphony will perform a “Celebrate America” concert at the California Theater in honor of the city’s birthday as well as for the centennial of the Community Hospital of San Bernardino.

More music will highlight May 7 and 8 with an adaptation of Mozart’s opera “Cossi Fan Tutte” at the university’s P.A. Recital Hall.

Railroad buffs will be thrilled May 8 and 9 when the celebration debuts Railroad Days at the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum. “We’ll be bringing in steam locomotive # 3150,” Cohn says, “which actually used to serve the city.”

May 15th will launch a “countdown” celebration with an elaborate gala at the National Orange Show Events Center, with the 16th capped by a Bicentennial Mayor’s Run downtown and a Festival of Faiths at the Western Region Little League Stadium.

May 16 will also include a Youth Safety Expo at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

There will be a Centennial Monument rededication as well as a Bicentennial Monument dedication on the 20th at Inland Center Drive and I Street.

The Bicentennial Parade will start at 7th and E Street, ending at Meadowbrook Park, on May 22, the theme being San Bernardino from its 1810 beginning and looking toward its future. Rabbi Cohn points out, “A unique part of the parade will be the Mormon church entry with relics and costumes of the city’s earliest pioneers.”

June 17-19 will see another unique event when the city introduces the “San Bernardino’s Got Talent” competition at a location to be determined.

The exciting festivities conclude on July 4th at the 66ers Stadium in the Arrowhead Credit Union Park with a fireworks display unlike any the city has previously seen.

As if all this weren’t enough to highlight the San Bernardino’s history, a Youth Bicentennial Committee is planning even more activities and events.

In a letter read at the May 20th, 2009 launching, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote, “As one of California’s oldest communities, San Bernardino has played an important role in the history of our state. I commend all of the men and women – past and present – who have made your city the fantastic place it is today, and applaud those who carry on a legacy of hard work and accomplishment.”

Rabbi Cohn is the chairman of the Bicentennial Celebration Committee, and Erin Brinker is the chair of its Public Relations & Marketing and Independence Day Extravaganza committees. Other Bicentennial Celebration Committee members are Art Guerrero (chair of Neighborhood Beautification committee) Jim Smith (chair of the Community Engagement committee), Cheryl Brown (chair of the Youth Council, Intergovernmental and Arts committees), Beverly Bird (chair of the Legend of the Arrowhead committee), Steven Shaw (chair of the History committee), David Smith (chair of the Finance committee), Jane Sneddon (chair of the Parade committee) and Martha Pinkney (chair of the Gala committee.)

These members were appointed by the mayor and members of the San Bernardino Common Council. Additional community volunteers who have taken on leadership of other committees are: Trudy Freidel (Festival of Faiths), Dr. William Coleman (Leadership Cabinet), Peggi Hazlett (Mayor’s Run), Dr. Charles “Skip” Herbert (Coloring Books for Schools) and The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire (Design).

For additional details, contact Erin Brinker at (951) 323-9337.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Four-D College Helps Feed The Hungry

(SAN BERNARDINO) – The San Bernardino County Food Bank has a lot more bread to give away this week, thanks to the help of 20 students who are studying to become medical assistants at Four-D College, their instructor and their department director.

The contingent from Four-D College recently spent about two hours working with the food bank. Students from both its Colton and Victorville campuses assisted.

“We packed about 10,000 lbs. of bread,” said Cheryl Jerzak, Director of Medical Assisting for Four-D College. “The students loved the sense of community and teamwork we experienced. We hope to do this again in about six months.”

“It was a lot of work, but it was rewarding to know we helped make someone’s holiday season brighter,” said Jason Garcia, one of the participating students from Colton.

Stater Brothers, a frequent contributor to the San Bernardino County Food Bank, donated the bread. The Four-D team’s job was to pick out and discard the small amount of bread that had gone bad, and then to further sort the bread into sweet breads and regular breads.

The San Bernardino County Food Bank relies mainly on volunteers, but 22 more from Four-D College were a welcome addition, said Gerald Wilson, spokesperson for the food bank.

“It would have taken our normal (much smaller and busier) crew a week to pack as much bread as they packed in two hours,” Wilson said. “Their help means the food will get to the hungry people who need it that much faster.”

The San Bernardino County Food Bank serves about 120 locations throughout the county, including some in Needles and other communities on the Arizona border, as well as more than 30 in the city of San Bernardino.

Four-D College provides education in the growing health care field at locations in Colton and Victorville. It offers programs in medical assistant, medical billing and coding, dental assistant, massage therapy, pharmacy technician and vocational nursing.

New courses begin monthly at Four-D College and courses are offered in the morning, afternoon and evening. Call (909) 783-9331 or (760) 962-1325 for more information or go to


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


 The 100-year-old poster Princezna Hyacinta by Alphonse Mucha is one of the most revered pieces of classic advertising posters The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire will display in its new gallery starting on its opening day, Jan. 21.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is opening its own 1,500 square art gallery, one of the largest in San Bernardino, and the first in the Hospitality Lane area. It will open with an exhibition of rarely-seen advertising posters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including works by Jules Chéret and Alphonse Mucha.

The show, The Golden Age of Poster Design, runs Jan. 21 through Feb. 5, 2010. An opening reception takes place 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21.

 “We are pleased to bring to the Inland Empire this glimpse of life from that era, as immortalized by the leading designers and illustrators of the time,” said Jonathan DeAscentis, Dean of Academic Affairs for The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. “Many of these posters are on loan from Gary Gibson, owner of The Vintage Poster Gallery of Laguna Beach, others from private collections.”

 “We are really privileged to have this exhibit” said Ronald Lana, MFA, Director of the new gallery. “These artists were the original masters of graphic design and advertising.”

The posters range primarily from the 1890s to the 1930s. The featured posters include:
•    Pippermint Get Frere, Jules Chéret, 1899
•    Princezna Hyacinta, Alphonse Mucha, 1910
•    La Mason du Porte-Plume, Jean D’Ylen, 1928
•    Vermouth Martini, Leonetto Cappiello, 1912
•    Meton, Roger Broders, 1923
•    Brittania Day, James Montgomery Flagg, 1918
•    Scribner’s, Charles Dana Gibson, 1897

The posters are lithographs, a style of printing still used today to create original works of art. Today, an artist can create the work on a computer, then send it electronically to a printing press.

“Many of the posters to be exhibited are stone lithographs,” Lana explained. “An artist draws directly on the stone with grease pencils. After a process, the stone is covered with ink, which is then pressed onto paper. They could only print a few posters at a time from each stone.”

In late 19th century Europe, poster art began when booksellers displayed small lithograph posters in their store windows to attract attention to various literary works. These works of art then progressed into large format advertising posters.

“Poster art was different from the art that people were familiar with then,” Lana said. “Before this type of art developed, people went to galleries and appreciated the original art solely for its beauty. The poster was intended from the very beginning for functional use, in other words, for the street.”

Among the early masters of poster art were Paris artists Jules Cheret, who is considered “The Father of Poster Art,” and Alphonse Mucha, the orignator of the style “Art Nouveau.”

Cheret’s posters promoted operas, cabarets, circuses and a kerosene distributor whose fuel lit the gas lamps of Paris, toys and many other items sold by merchants of his day.

Alphonse Mucha was a Czech illustrator and designer who advertised many products, including theaters and cabarets. He created the most well-known poster for actress Sara Bernhardt, who became one of the most famous actresses of her time.

In the 20th century, and in the past decade, graphic design and other forms of commercial art have become essential to our lives. Most people see many forms of commercial art on a daily basis, from newspapers and magazines, billboards, t-shirts and other clothing, to television, websites, video games and movies.

The Art Institutes (a system of more than 45 colleges, including The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire) dedicates its programs to forms of commercial art.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degree programs in Game Art & Design, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design, Fashion & Retail Management, Culinary Management and Media Arts & Animation. It offers Associate of Science degree programs in Graphic Design, Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in Fashion Design.

Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

It’s not too late to start at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. Courses begin January 11 and classes are offered in the day, evening and on weekends for new and reentry students.

For more information or a tour of The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire call (909) 915-2100 or go on line to

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is one of The Art Institutes (, a system of over 45 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.