So we had a blast at the 1st Annual Temescal Winter Art Hop last Friday night… I thought it was just going to be a smaller offshoot of Art Murmur, but there was more to it than that. The idea was to pick up a “passport” listing all of the participating establishments – galleries, eateries, retail shops, etc. – get a stamp at each one visited to fill your passport book, and then drop off the completed book for a chance to win cool prizes!
I know, I know… it sounds a little dorky. But we embraced our dorkdom and had a great time doing it. And I have to say, it really was a clever way to introduce newer/smaller establishments that haven’t been on my radar, because we had to fill that book!
We pretty much hit them all… we needed 10 stamps for the book to qualify for the prize drawing and I think we each got 13! We were going for bonus points, and it looks like it paid off because I got an email yesterday saying I’d won the prize from Smokey’s Tangle, which fittingly enough, is where our evening began.
So this little gallery has been around for awhile, opening in February of 2009, but somehow I had yet to step inside their door until last Friday. I was surprised at the tiny size of their space as I’d been hearing about the gallery for some time. We walked past the striking sculpture in the display window (Andrew Dilberger) to be greeted a photographer standing on top of a table in front of a small holiday photo booth strung with clip lamps and xmas lights. Do you want to have your picture taken? Hell yes! So we donned some twinkle lights and spun them round for the slow exposure, and although I think we look pretty dorky, that seems about right.
If you click on the photo, it will take you to the whole series on their Facebook page.
Next door is a similarly sized tiny gallery space. It looks like these guys have been around just as long, though again, this was my first visit. They had a psychedelic display in the window by Raymie Iadevaia… all wallpapered flowers, funky mirrors, and more. See their blog (click link above) for the artist’s statement. Inside was a small show of a handful of artists, each exhibiting no more than a few pieces… some great stuff, and one in particular I loved was a graphite drawing by Kara Joslyn.
Now this gallery has been on my radar for a while and I’ve been meaning to check it out for months… They too opened in 2009 and seem to be a bit, um how do I say this? maybe more upscale and um… well-financed? than their funkier counterparts across the street. The space is larger with a lovely bank of floor to ceiling windows… very clean and contemporary and seems just about the perfect size for a substantial solo show, which is what we saw Friday night.
The current exhibit, through January 29th, features big bold beautiful photographs by Carol Inez Charney. I love this stuff… colorful abstracts seen through and in the reflections of dripping and sheeting water. In fact, I have a whole series of images very similar to this, although I have to say that mine are not this good. Waah. You can see the Slate displayed series here.
Let’s see… what else?
Then we followed the sidewalk chalk directions down and around the block to the Oakland Under 100 show at the Temescal Art Center. To be honest, I didn’t even know there was an art center in Temescal (other than Studio One), so this was a great find. Sounds like they specialize more in performance art than visual art, offering various physical/expression classes and workshops. Interesting.
We had to go back to the car to drop the Wonderarium we purchased at Under 100. What is a Wonderarium? you ask. Well, it’s basically a terrarium in a glass ball. The one we bought was a tiny scale model of a much much larger one proposed to be installed as a floating art/science exhibit on Lake Merritt. You can read all about it here: 3,000-pound “wonderarium” could float on Oakland’s Lake Merritt.
On the way to the car we passed the new cafe… Good Bellies. It looks great, and having been open just under a month, they’ve already got 5 stars on Yelp! They offer locally roasted coffee, locally produced gelato & frozen yogurt, pastries, and assorted sandwiches. They also had a really interesting photography exhibit curated from 1970’s photographs obtained from the Library of Congress. Very cool.
Hmmm… are you still with me? Just a bit more, as I’m running out of steam myself here, but I can’t wrap this up without mentioning the awesome little shop Lot 49. Talk about curating… The shop features furniture, art, and objects with, as they say, “a funky edge of cool.” And it’s so true. Right now they have a great display of vintage cameras that I was immediately drawn too. Some sweet mid-century lounge chairs also caught our eyes… and the prices all seemed really reasonable. Do check them out!