Category Archives: metal

How well do you know Oakland? Name these mystery art locations.

It’s our last day abroad and we are back in the buzzing, sweltering metropolis of Athens after several days in the gorgeous Greek Isles. It’s been an amazing trip so far, and though I know the amazement will continue as we head to the Acropolis later this afternoon, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m just a tad homesick for Oakland.

So in homage to my hometown, I’m posting a small collection of random art snapshots from various locations throughout the city, and I’m curious to see how many of these you recognize.

So let me know how well you know Oakland… can you name the locations of these art pieces???  Post your answers in comments and we’ll see who gets the most right! (no cheating please)

Eyes Mural

1. Eyes Mural

Crest with Dragons

2. Dragons & Crest

Church of the Buzzard

3. First Church of the Buzzard

Metal Flower Sculpture

4. Conservashun Flower

Love Oakland Mural

5. Love Oakland Mural

Metal Man Sculpture

6. Metal Man

skull mural, black and white skull

7. Skull Mural

The Weekend What-To-Do List: this one goes to eleven!

It’s a big weekend people. It’s June. It’s Art Murmur. First Friday. AND Open Studios. And though it’s not technically summer yet, it’s going to feel like it this weekend. It’s gonna be hot!

So whether you’re motivated to take in the arts, bask at the beach, dawdle in the garden, or dance till the sun comes up, there’s something here for you. Check it out my list of ten what-to-dos for this weekend. There are some unique events that only occur once per year so if you miss it, you miss it. Till next year of course. I’ve even mapped something outside Oaktown–shock of all shocks–ready for the island mon? This may be the perfect weekend for it… Hope you enjoy.

10 WHAT-TO-DOS

1. Honeydrop Hometown Throwdown at The New Parish

Friday, June 6th – 7:30 pm
The New Parish – 1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland
Cost: $20

The California Honeydrops, a self-described “party band” with a humble, down-to-earth dedication to exploring the vast spectrum of American roots music—New Orleans second-line, soul, funk, and Americana—will be throwing down at the New Parish Tonight. No doubt this will be a good time at a great little club.  Cajun blues band Tri Tip Trio and New Orleans-style brass band MJ’s Brass Boppers will open the show, and the food truck Roderick’s BBQ will be selling Southern food.

2. Art Murmur

Friday, June 6th – Most galleries open till 9pm

I don’t need to tell you about Art Murmur. It’s awesome. Just go. Here’s one of my favorite pics from May’s Murmur… I had an incredible time but never got around to posting about it. Sorry.

Art Murmur, Free Masks

3a) Emory Douglas: Artist for the People, Opening Reception And Artist Talk

Emory Douglas, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Artist for the People, Black Panther PartyFriday, June 6th  6-9pm
Joyce Gordon Gallery – 406 14th Street

Emory Douglas is a provocatively political artist. He was the designated Revolutionary Artist and former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, and you’re likely familiar with many of his bold graphic posters and flyers, their stark aggressiveness emblematic of the “insurrectionary atmosphere of the [60’s and 70’s], with urban rebellions igniting from city to city and strikes from campus to campus.” Emory will be on hand for this event which should prove to be a fascinating look into the black history of Oakland.

3b) First Friday Shorts Presents: Youth Radio

Friday, June 6th – 6:00pm
The New Parkway – 474 24th St., Oakland
Cost: FREE

Tonight, Youth Radio will present a showcase of its youth videos, creatively portraying the everyday issues that most affect young Oaklanders today – community violence, relationships, education, and more. Also featured will be live performances by the young artists and a discussion about art, media-making and growing up during the height of Oakland’s major cultural and economic shifts. Don’t miss this provocative conversation with the next generation of Oakland artists, newsmakers, and leaders.

3c) Doomed and Misguided: Reggie Warlock and Chris Micro, Opening Reception

Reggie Warlock, Chris Micro, LoakalFriday, June 6th – open till 10pm
Loakal – 560 2nd St. (Jack London Square)

You may not have heard of Reggie Warlock and Chris Micro, but you’ve likely seen their character-based graffiti in murals and tags around Oakland. “A battle cry for underground counterculture’s place in fine art, the exhibition will feature new individual and collaborative paintings and a site-specific installation… Filled with neon colors, humor, and a cartoon-like aesthetic, their work celebrates the worlds of graffiti, hip-hop and skateboarding.”

 3d) 5th Annual Temescal Art Hop

Friday, June 6th  6pm – 9pm
Temescal

This year’s Art Hop features over 20 participating locations including galleries, shops, and cafes around Telegraph Avenue in North Oakland. 48th St (@ Telegraph) and the Temescal Alleys (@ 49th) will feature food vendors and live music.

Pick up an official Art Hop Map from one of the participating locations and collect stamps to enter a raffle drawing to win one of a slew of cool prizes.

4. Urban Farm Tours

Saturday, June 7th  10am – 4pm, tours at each site start every hour
4 sites in Oakland, 4 in Berkeley
Cost: $5 per site ($3 for kids under 12), pay at the door on the day of the event
NOTE: you must contact/register in advance – email iuh@sparkybeegirl.com at least one hour before the event to receive details and locations.

Have you wanted to check out Novella Carpenter’s Ghost Town Farm? Well, now’s your chance!  Her plot, as well as 3 others in Oaktown and 4 more in Berkeley, will be featured on the Institute of Urban Homesteading’s Annual Tour. If you want to learn out how to implement low-water food-production systems or even set up a goat dairy operation in your backyard, this is your chance to hear from the experts. The largest farm on the tour is Full Harvest Urban Farm in East Oakland, spread across 3 lots comprising nearly 27,000 square feet. It’s a super sized full service farm with 25 chickens and 8 ducks for both meat and egg production, 3 kinder dual-purpose goats, dispersed orchard and vegetable plots and a potbelly pig!

Ghost Town Farm is the setting and inspiration for Novella’s well known memoir, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. It’s an amazing story of the little farm she’s set up on a empty lot in West Oakland, not far from my old loft (I wrote a post about my first visit here). The other two Oakland farms are Kansas Street Farm in East Oakland, a small food farm with free-range chickens and rain catchment on a rental property, and Lower Bottom Strange Grange in West Oakland, with ducks, bees, aquaponics also on rental property.

5. 48th Annual Sand Castle & Sand Sculpture Contest

Saturday, June 7th  Registration 9-11am, Judging starts at 12noon, Awards Ceremony at 1pm
Robert Crown Memorial State Beach – Westline Drive & Otis Drive, ALAMEDA
Cost: FREE

It’s going to be 80 degrees on Saturday… what a perfect day to hit the beach! But to participate in this event you’ve gotta get up pretty early. For those who plan to tear it up tonight, it may be more realistic to stroll by midday… you’re sure to be astounded by the fantastic creations whipped up in just a few hours. It’s amazing. And oh so temporary.

 

alameda sand castle contest

photo courtesy of Alameda Journal blog

6. East Bay Open Studios (weekend 1)

June 7th & 8th  11am – 6pm
Multiple Cities throughout the East Bay

What can I say? Open Studios is hosted each year by Pro Arts. They’re an institution and this year they’re celebrating their 40th anniversary! How fabulous is that? Four decades of community building, pushing boundaries, and supporting the artists of the greater East Bay. This weekend (and next) is an incredible opportunity to see a seemingly limitless smorgasbord of art in super intimate settings. I think my favorite part of Open Studios is getting to see each artist’s workspace… so different from seeing pieces displaced to a pristine gallery.

This year over 400 artist studios are included during the two weekends of self-guided touring. Media include book art, ceramics, conceptual, digital, drawing, furniture, glass, installation, jewelry, metal, mixed media, mosaic, painting, paper, pastel, photography, print-making, sculpture, textiles, watercolors, and wood! You’ll need the directory and maps to guide yourself. If you don’t already have one, you can download the East Bay Open Studios Directory here.

7. 38th Annual Redwood Heights Block Sale

block-saleSaturday, June 7th  9am – 3pm
Enter sale at Redwood Rd & Jordan Rd. Sale continues on Bennett, Guido, Norton & Retig.

This is the mother of all garage sales. My girlfriend is participating and will be selling off gorgeous mid-century furniture, dining items, barware, and more. With over 20 families participating,  you’ll also find tons of kid and baby stuff, kitchen items, books and lots more all at great prices. Tons of treasures in an easy three or four block area. Sale wraps around Jordan Park (AKA Avenue Terrace Park) so the kids will have something to look forward to after you are done shopping.

8. Shapeshifters Cinema

Sunday, June 8th, doors 7:30, show 8-9pm
Temescal Art Center – 511 48th St (@ Telegraph)
Cost: FREE

“Shapeshifters Cinema is a monthly expanded cinema series featuring experimental filmmakers and video artists presenting moving image work live with accompaniment from musicians and sound artists. Dovetailing off recent programming at the Exploratorium, Shapeshifters is excited to present the work of pioneering light artists Dennis Keefe and (the late) Glenn McKay who are two of the artists responsible for creating the famous psychedelic light shows of the 1960s. Working together under the name of the Headlights Light Show, Keefe and McKay performed at many west coast venues, including the Fillmore, and also toured extensively with the Jefferson Airplane. The highlight of the program will be a live light art performance by Dennis Keefe with collaborators Jim Baldocchi and Lori Varga and musical accompaniment by Chris Musgrave (Lumerians) and Sarah R. Brady.”

Ok everyone, I know what you’re saying to yourself… that only looks like 8, and she promised 10. But I think if you’ll look back… you’ll see I did some pretty tricky stuff with #3. This one actually goes to eleven. Have a great weekend y’all!

 

BANG! Happy Birthday Ol’ Gal.

Last night I witnessed the culmination of the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th birthday celebration from the deck of a tugboat, bobbing on the undulating bay.  Life is sweet.

I didn’t participate in any of the month-long or day-intensive events leading up to the evening’s pyrotechnics show, but I was inspired to not miss the grand finalé by the email blast of a friend, quoting another friend who was actually on the pyro crew for the event.

His words encapsulate the sheer awesomeness of the display far better than mine could…

I am working on the pyro crew for the event and we are putting on the largest display I have ever worked on or seen. The entire 4000 feet of the Bridge will be covered with pyro positions.  Numerous barges will be on the bay loaded to the gunnels with huge, beautiful and expensive shells that make me weep to handle…

Wow, I can not say enough about this one.
Except. You would be F—ed to miss it.

And so I went.

Here are a couple pics… not my best work, but I’m a bit out of practice and feeling quite rusty.  Maybe I need some International Orange slapped on this ol’ girl’s joints.

golden gate bridge, 75th anniversary, fireworks display, golden gate bridge celebration, golden gate bridge fireworks
fireworks on golden gate, golden gate bridge, bridge 75th anniversary, golden gate bridge birthday
golden gate bridge anniversary 2012, golden gate bridge, bridge fireworks 75th anniversary

Some great pics & history on the bridge for others, like myself, who may have missed out on the bulk of the festivities: The Color, Romance, and Impact of the Golden Gate at 75 (The Atlantic).

Alliance Metals Sculptures

Alliance Metals is a recycling plant located a few blocks from my old loft in West Oakland. They recycle everything… plastic, glass, & aluminum of course. But also, steel, brass, copper, and more. They pay cash for these items.

The folks you see pushing shopping carts full of bottles and cans through West Oakland, or riding bicycles laden with huge black garbage bags full of recyclables, are undoubtedly making their way to Alliance. And when boarded up houses get raided for plumbing and copper wires, you can bet your crack pipe the goods were carted down to Alliance for a pocketful of change, which is exactly what happened to the house across the street from me.

So I have mixed feelings about this place… The clankety-clank of shopping carts up and down my street at all hours of day and night. Garbage strewn about the neighborhood as scavengers dig for bottles and cans. People aggressively trying to break into our parking lot to steal our recyclables.

On the other hand, the center does provide a means of income for those who seemingly have no other means. Unfortunately, many of those people take their hard-earned cash and promptly smoke it or shoot it, leaving a trail of associated unpleasantries throughout the adjacent residential blocks. sigh.

In any case, Alliance has some pretty awesome metal sculptures fabricated out of junk, stationed in front…

west oakland scrap metal, west oakland recycling plant

scrap metals sculpture, west oakland metal sculptures, alliance metals

alliance metals west oakland, alliance metals recycling, west oakland recycling, west oakland scrap recycling

gorilla sculpture metal, west oakland metal sculptures, alliance metals sculptures

metal scrapyard west oakland, sculptures from scrapmetal, recycling plant west oakland

Temescal Creek Cohousing Community

I’ve been thinking (and writing) about creeks lately, so I thought I’d share this gorgeous gate marking the entrance to the Temescal Creek Cohousing Community…

temescal creek cohousing community, metal sculpture gate

I love the little squirrels!

temescal creek community gate

For those who don’t know, a co-housing community “is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhoods.” Typically consisting of single family residences clustered around a courtyard or pedestrian area, they often can include a common house as well, utilized for shared meals, childcare, etc. The concept originated in Denmark and was promoted in the United States in the 1980’s by architects Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett. (Cohousing.org)

The interesting thing about the Temescal Creek Cohousing Community is that I used to live in one of their houses, before the “conversion”.

It was my first apartment in Oakland, many years ago, and I love love loved it. It was a flat on 49th street in a large two-story 1920’s Craftsman with beautiful built-ins, a funky old stove, a spacious breakfast nook off the kitchen, a laundry room, a backyard, AND a garage!  I used to do furniture refinishing projects in the garage and was so excited to have a place to store my tools, other than crammed into my closet.

The house was a duplex, my friend Susie & I lived in the downstairs (a two bedroom), and a couple lived upstairs.  At the back of the property was another duplex split left and right rather than up and down – a brother and sister occupied each of those.  We all knew each other and were friendly and shared the back yard space for gardening and general hanging.  It was swell.

Sadly, in 1999 we were forced to move when the landlord decided to sell.  Apparently the lot behind ours contained another duplex, also for sale, and a group of creative and enterprising individuals decided to buy the whole tract and create a 6 unit co-housing community.

We were mad and referred to them as “the hippies.” But the truth is, we were just mad because we couldn’t afford to do it ourselves.  We had to give them credit – it was a great idea.

By that time I was so in love with Oakland and the Temescal area (keep in mind this was before Bakesale Betty, Doña Tomás, and the like) that I moved just down 49th Street.  It was interesting to keep an eye on what the folks were doing with our home… they tore down the fence at the back of the property, which I thought was cool, and painted our mustard colored house lavender – not so cool in my opinion.

In any case, many months later I noticed they had planted a community garden.  I’m an avid gardener myself and had worked a deal with my new landlord to get a discount on rent by tending the yard.  I had just pulled up some overgrown iris bulbs (dividing them) and had far to many to put back into the tiny yard.  I walked the few blocks down 49th street to my old home and introduced myself, offering the flower bulbs as a housewarming gift.

I haven’t been back there in a long time, but I wonder if those iris bulbs still flower each year.  They would have matched the house perfectly. They were purple and lavender.

There’s a great write-up on the origins and later developments of the Temescal Creek Cohousing Community in Retrofit cohousing: A different kind of fixer-upper by Karen Hester.

Maker Faire in pics…

What can I say? It was an extravaganza… a cornucopia… a bonanza!!! So much to see, and so little time. I’m at a loss for words to describe all of the incredibly ingenious and fantastically ridiculous things we saw yesterday… so I’ll just share a few pics. Hope you enjoy!

Back to bookstores tomorrow…

maker faire 2010, albert einstein, secret to creativity

Maker Faire, reconstructed device

robot, maker faire

sewing patterns, steam music

coke & mentos powered vehicle

legos, maker faire

vanity van at maker faire

Maker Faire, bicycle power, bicycle drawn carriage

Maker Faire, piano box

solar powered device station, solar station for recharge

daytime telescope, telescope kit

kite cameras, aerial photography, kite photography

beaming up cows, Glow in the dark UFOs

fiesta hall

remote controlled shark

lifesize mousetrap

little strong man

Maker Faire 2010, robotic Gamelan orchestra

True TrustoCorp.

What a weekend! Wow. I hope you all had as much fun as I did. I pretty much did it all, and I’ll be sharing some of the details throughout the week, but right now I want to share this very cool piece of street art. It’s a true TrustoCorp.

trustocorp, trustocorp street sign, trustocorp graffiti

A friend wrote in after my No Killing Anytime post to say that the series looked like the work of TrustoCorp. They certainly did, but they actually weren’t. They were wheatpastes that had been applied over existing real street signs. The way TrustoCorp does it is they manufacture real metal signs.

When this one caught my eye initially, I thought it was a real city sign. Woah, I thought, Berkeley really is progressive! (Sign was spotted right outside Looking Glass Photo on Telegraph Ave where the Pinhole Workshop was held yesterday… great fun… more on that later.) But as I got closer I spotted the TrustoCorp logo (the T inside the “wings”) and then this on the back…

trustocorp sign, trustocorp berkeley, real men use fists

I was particularly excited to see this piece of street art because the whole blogittersphere was abuzz last week with the sightings of possibly Banksy pieces in San Fran, and I was feeling a little left out…
http://spotsunknown.com/new-banksy-in-chinatown/
http://missionlocal.org/2010/04/famed-unseen-street-artist-banksy-marks-the-mission/

Folks aren’t sure if these are the real deal (they look pretty authentic to me) or the work of a copycat artist, but either way, it’s certainly great P.R. for the recent release of the new street art documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. The film had a sneak preview showing in S.F. on the 15th, and is now playing Bay-wide at a few select locations…

Exit Through the Gift Shop Showtimes

In any case, I think Mr. Banksy and the folks from TrustoCorp should make their way over to Oaktown! C’mon y’all, show us what you got…