2011 Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts
The feature-length films always get the spotlight but the short films nominated by the Academy represent interesting and new takes on the art of cinema. Camera 3 in downtown San Jose screens the 2011 Oscar-Nominated animated shorts and live action shorts on Monday night. The collection spans several countries with films from the US, UK, Belgium, Ireland, France and Germany.

Taking Better Pictures
Don’t blame the camera. Learn the basics of lighting and composition and how to get better pictures out of a digital or film camera at this class taught by photographer Steven Taddei at A Work of Heart Studio in Willow Glen. The class meets four times this month and includes a shooting day in downtown San Jose. Also, the Cinequest film festival kicks off on Tuesday with more than a hundred independent films from around the world.

Understanding and Collecting Contemporary Indian Art
It’s another free lunchtime art lecture series at the San Jose Museum of Art. Dipti Mathur is a molecular biologist and a collector of contemporary Indian art. Her ongoing interests lie in working with groups in India on the development of sustainable environmental policies, bridging the digital divide, and the preservation of eroding visual art traditions.

Corresponding with the special exhibition Roots in the Air, Branches Below: Modern and Contemporary Art from India, ArtRage at the San Jose Museum of Art will take on an Indian theme, with contemporary Bollywood-style dance music by DJ Salim and fast-paced presentations on aspects of Indian arts and pop culture. Performers include poet Arun Kumar, comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, and mendhi (henna body adornment) artist Roopa Raman. The Center for Asian American Media will also screen film clips and trailers of South Asian film from the upcoming San Francisco International Asian Film Festival.

South First Fridays Art Walk
This month’s edition of the South First Fridays art walk features new paintings by Mike Egan, new sculptures by Derek Weisberg, pottery wheel demonstrations, graphic works and comic storytelling that explores the sub culture of Latino barrio life, live music by Tim Christol and Ben Henderson of Good Hustle, and the one-man drummer extraordinaire Wally Schnalle. WORKS at 451 S First is having a benefit and farewell auction as this Friday will be their final exhibition before moving into a new home.