Category Archives: mosaic

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!

 

More Dimond Love

Forgive the focus on my immediate neighborhood these past few posts… I haven’t gotten out much lately! But this collaborative mosaic and paint mural is a stunner and well worth highlighting.

It’s another installment by the folks who brought us the lovely mural on the side of Farmer Joes on Fruitvale Ave. Created by local artist and teacher Debra Koppman, the mural is titled “I LOVE Dimond.” It features a tapestry of images woven together across three panels to portray the diverse and beautiful neighborhood that is the Dimond District. Left and right are elaborate mosaics installed by Martha Trujillo, Brad Holland, and Shardee Thomas, while the center panel features an intricate painting by Mandy Lockwood.

Wonder what this stretch of Mac Arthur used to look like? See further below…

Debbie Koppman, PGE Substation Mural

dimond district mural, mac arthur mural, mandy lockwood

debbie koppman, mosaic mural, mac arthur mural

I couldn’t find a shot of the whole wall pre-mural, but you can imagine from the snippet of dilapidated fence below. I love how you can still see the PG&E substation info in relief within the new mural.

PG&E substation

The project was funded through multiple sources:

  • Oakland Cultural Funding Program – supporting Oakland-based art and cultural activities that reflect the diversity of the city for citizens of and visitors to Oakland. (more on this below)
  • Dimond Night Out (Montclair Lions Club – Howard Neal)
  • Oakland Parks & Recreation (Karen Long)
  • Individual Donors – Edward Norton, Carrie Campbell, Kathleen Russell, John Olson
  • Dimond Improvement Association (DIA) – working on issues and projects ranging from streetscape improvements, business development and crime reduction to beautification and community celebrations.

I’d like to take this opportunity to briefly highlight the Oakland Cultural Funding Program, because it’s nearly that time of year again when they open the applications to their grant funding process. They provide support in three categories: general support to arts & cultural organizations, individual artist projects, and art in the schools.

I’m going to focus on the individual artists (others can visit the link above for more info). Do you have a community art project you’ve always dreamed of executing but couldn’t figure out how to fund? Well here’s a chance to secure some cold hard cash to help make your dream a reality. The individual artist grants max out at $5000 and do have a few requirements to qualify:

  • You must be a resident of Oakland.
  • You can’t have received one of these grants within the past two years.
  • Your project must take place in Oakland and should culminate in a local public outcome for the benefit of the community. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, performances of dance, music or theater, visual art and public art projects, classes and workshops, exhibitions, and literary activities.

It says on their website that the applications should open on April 1st, but I confirmed yesterday that they are not expected until May 1st. The deadline will likely be June 30th, but both dates are still tentative at this time.

If you are interested in applying for a grant, you can sign up for email notification regarding applications, review grant guidelines and recipients from last year, and see answers to frequently asked questions all here:  Oakland Cultural Funding Program.

Love Oakland – Make Art!

MAKE stuff ~ it’s fun!

Being a consumer is one thing ~ having the cash to sport those new Dior sunglasses can certainly be satisfying. Most of us gain some kind of positive feelings from the purchases with which we adorn ourselves and our lives, however fleeting

Making stuff is altogether different.  Because the payoff is internal, rather than external.  At least that’s my thinking on the subject…

And in the spirit of making stuff, I want to give a brief plug for the Maker Faire this weekend, despite its distance from Oaktown. This incredible DIY-inspired event (think family-friendly Burningman meets Exploratorium) offers a mind-blowing array of opportunities to “MAKE, create, learn, invent, CRAFT, recycle, build, think, play & be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, science and technology.”

If you haven’t been, it’s well worth a trip down the peninsula.  I’ll be there!

* * * * *

On a separate but related subject, I thought I’d share the product of my Mosaics 101 class last month at IMA. It’s the first mosaic I’ve ever created…

IMA Mosaics 101

I had planned to take pictures throughout the class and do a post on the basic techniques involved, but the project was so engrossing (snipping all those little pieces of tile can either be a calming meditation, or can drive you crazy!) that I forgot to take pictures until we were grouting at the very end. Oh well…

The design for my piece was inspired by an incredible painting by Margaret Chavigny I had seen the night before during my April Art Murmur adventures…

Mercury 20, Mercury 20 gallery, Margaret Chavigny Family Ties

I had a great sense of satisfaction completing my little work of art. It now hangs in my office where I can admire it and remind myself of my desire to make more stuff, especially art.

My next mosaic project will involve tempered glass… Since my car was broken into in West Oakland a couple years ago, I saved all the broken glass (yes, it’s been sitting in a box for 2 years and I even moved it to my new house!) I figure rather than sending it to the landfill, I’ll reconfigure it into something fantastic.

When life give you broken auto glass… make ART!

Fruitvale Village ~ teeming with mosaics

I don’t have much to say about the mosaics at Fruitvale Village, other than, if you have not been there, you should go.  My pictures do not do them justice, as they must be examined in person to truly appreciate the number, size, and breadth of designs incorporated.

fruitvale village mosaics, large scale stone mosaics

round bench in plaza ~ approx 20 feet across

fruitvale arches, fruitvale mosaic arches, mosaic gateways

mosaic gateway to the plaza

Fruitvale Pedestrian Plaza Art, fruitvale plaza mosaics

large scale stone & tile mosaic

oakland public mosaic art

more sidewalk/pedestrian mosaics

fruitvale mosaic arches

traditional Roman technique using uniform stone squares

woman with spear, stone mosaics, fruitvale transit village art

designs incorporate culturally diverse references

large scale stone mosaics, fruitvale village

a subtle and consistent palette is achieved using natural stone tiles

fruitvale arches, fruitvale plaza mosaics

these too are crafted from natural stone tiles

tree in hands mosaic

I love the image of the tree cradled by human hands.

ART INTERVIEW: Kim Larson

kim larson art, kim larson mosaics, impressionistic mosaic

Kim Larson is a local mosaic artist who stretches this medium to an extent we haven’t yet seen. She often works in three dimensions, crafting whimsical sculptures for the home or garden, and has a new body of work that pushes her two-dimensional pieces into the realm of abstract impressionism.

We’ve seen a couple of her public pieces already (New Art Walk in Jingletown), but today we’re going to see a number of works from her private collection, some even in progress.

I had a chance to talk with Larson about the medium of mosaics, her process, and art in general while touring her home, studio, and garden – all fantastically adorned with mosaics!  scroll below photos for interview

Below and above you see some of Larson’s nudes series… these are a relatively new exploration for her, focused on more abstract representations.
fine art mosaics by kim larson, nudes by kim larson
Below is the basis of a 3-dimensional sculpture. If you remember paper-machéing a piggy bank from a balloon in grade school (I do!), this process is similar, but instead of dredging newspaper strips through flour & water, the form is constructed from mesh strips and a concrete mixture.
mosaic sculpture, concrete form for mosaic
Here we see one of her nearly completed sculptures. Most of the glass pieces have been affixed but the overall piece has not yet been grouted (you can see the gaps between the glass squares). Keep in mind that all these little pieces of glass are cut by hand! Perhaps this why Larson says mosaics are “crazy-making”…
kim larson flounder, kim larson mosaic sculptures

More garden fixtures…
Saundra Warren tiles, garden table
garden mosaic sculptures, kim larson garden mosaics
outdoor mosaics, garden mosaics, oakland mosaic artist
dragon fly mosaics, garden mosaics, kim larson mosaics

INTERVIEW with KIM LARSON

How did you come to be involved in the Jingletown Arts community?  Did you ever live in the neighborhood?

I “discovered” IMA in March 2006, started trying mosaics, took classes and volunteered on several projects. I was also employed there as a production artist from June ’07 – Jan ’08. While I was there I became aware of JABC, saw their printed materials – postcards, posters, etc – and knew I could help! I just love the name “Jingletown” and felt that, as an outsider, I could offer graphic art work and bring more recognition to them.

For a little more info:  http://kimlarsonart.blogspot.com/

I see that you’ve worked in many different artistic mediums (paint, drawing, sculpture, etc.) throughout your artistic career.  Can you talk about how you came to work with mosaics?

I was laid off in 2005 from my graphic art job. I asked the universe for my next step, specifically something I could become obsessed with. And then I happened upon a business card for Mosaic Studio Supply – the store inside IMA. I was curious as to what a mosaic studio is and what it needed to be supplied with. So I went there. I was taken by the shiny, sparkly, colorful products as well as the art on the walls, the classrooms, etc. So I decided to try mosaics.

And what do you find particularly appealing and/or challenging about working in mosaics, as opposed to other mediums?

Appealing? I find mosaics to be crazy-making! At times I have to admit I walk that fine line between sanity and insanity because each cut, each piece, each color, each placement  has to be perfect! Specifically, I like to work with sparkly, mirrored, textured, brightly colored glass. I feel like I am painting with light. The reflective qualities of the glass force the viewer to move around the piece to see it truly take shape and reveal itself. Mosaics using glass is not a static medium. The play of light adds an extra dimension one doesn’t find in many other art forms.

I’ve noticed that some of your work tends to focus on animal forms.  You have some recent mosaic sculptures and older folk art pieces that showcase different animals.  Can you talk about your inspiration here?

This isn’t a deep answer: I think they are just easy. And they appeal to people.  However, mostly I rely on images and visions just popping into my head. One day the image of a frog in a particular position, came into my mind and I started creating small mosaics based on that vision. They were – and are – VERY popular and have sold like hotcakes. [see photo below] It turns out that the spiritual meaning of “frog” is “transition” and I was definitely in transition at that time in my life. That’s why I like to rely on images that pop into my mind. They are authentic to me and will resonate with the viewers.

In general, where do you look for inspiration?

I have synesthesia – my brain is wired in such a way that I see colors when I hear sounds or get a massage or feel physical pain, etc. I also see letters as colors, numbers each have a color…etc. I can “see” music especially – each note and chord is a different color and music is a swirl of shapes and hues in my mind’s eye.

So I am always in touch with the color, music and emotional meaning in the physical world around me. And I can evoke responses in viewers by the colors and shapes I use.

My mind is full of imagery so I don’t look far for inspiration!

You worked on a  couple of the pieces on the new-ish Jingletown Peterson Street Art wall – the Virgin of Guadalupe (as a solo installation) and the mosaic tree with friend and fellow artist Saundra Warren.  Can you talk about the differences in working as a solo artist vs. as a collaborator with others?  Which do you prefer?

I find mosaics to be a very lonely art. One works hunched over the substrate – walking along a precipice of insanity!! – making hundreds if not thousands of decisions a day. Working alone, I can hear my own thoughts and am not distracted. I am not a person who asks others what they think I should do next to a piece of art. I like to keep my own counsel. Then the final product is mine – good, bad or ugly! When I work with others, I happily chat, we make decisions together, I learn from them and it isn’t lonely. However the final product is a collaboration and one must share the accolades.

I like the total control I have over my own fine art pieces.

However I also really like installing mosaic murals – the time when they actually start to go up on a wall involves physical labor and is very exciting. And that is where a finely tuned team is a joy!

When approaching public works of art, is your process any different?  What about your objectives?

When I’ve created public art, I call on my past experience as a graphic artist – creating presentations, working with clients to realize their visions, discussing what will and won’t work in specific situations, designing on the computer, etc.  However I can’t totally rely on my inner inspiration when working with a committee.

My objective is always to make a great piece of art that people love!!

What do you think the role of public art is in our society?

I think the role is at least twofold – to give artists work and to elevate the human spirit. Whenever I see art in a public space I think: Wow, someone – a politician, most likely – had the guts to push for public art! I am always happily amazed to see the range of public art, the styles, colors and ideas that artists come up with. The work can be simply pretty or awe-inspiring or make the viewer ask “how did they do that?” Public art adds a dimension to our lives that is immeasurable. And art where you least expect it is a beautiful thing!

I am always struck by how many regular people hang out their shingles and open their doors during Open Studios here. It’s like people are showing us their hidden world of hopes and dreams to say “I am an artist too”!

Art in public places inspires people’s inner artist!

I see you’ve had a long career as a graphic artist?  Does your commercial work in any way inform your personal?  Or vice versa?

I have the ability to communicate visually – I always have, since I was small. Both the commercial and personal art is intertwined, I’m sure. Although the commercial work is always controlled by the client and that can be very wearing! My personal work is all mine – my inspiration, my choices and ultimately my responsibility.

Did you have any formal training as an artist?

No I really haven’t had much formal training. I spent one year in college as an art major but dropped out for many reasons. I decided to pursue my art path on my own terms and have mostly stayed away from classes and teachers. I have had artistic talent and been getting accolades for it since I can remember. Art materials have always been easy for me to learn. But it has been my responsibility to keep up the discipline to take this talent seriously and develop it.

I’m taking my first mosaic class at the Institute of Mosaic Arts this weekend?  Any advice for me?

I would say that you should learn the materials inside and out. There are “right and wrong” ways to use materials. Then keep up with your artistic development on your own….there is no “right and wrong” there. Discover your own voice – learn to make the materials speak for you.

Thanks Kim!!!

frog mosaics, frog mosaics jingletown, garden frog mosaics

Building community – one broken tile at a time…

These next photos are from a series of community volunteer projects in Maxwell Park (off High Street in East Oakland).  It’s a small neighborhood park that, until a park improvement process began in 2008, had fallen into disuse by many local residents due to crime and blight.

The primary eyesore was the small restroom building that immediately greeted visitors upon their entry to the park – ugly and typically covered with graffiti. This is what it looks like now…

welcome to maxwell park, friends of maxwell park, oakland park mosaics

It’s simply stunning… beckoning you to enter the park, step a bit closer, and examine its gorgeous glittering details.

This first mosaic was finished in July of 2009, thanks to the dedicated efforts of many volunteers, including a handful of trained mosaics artists and coordinators, and scores of local community members, young and old.

The MacArthur Metro interviewed a number of the artist/coordinators about their involvement, and I think their answers are enlightening about the power of art to transform, both spaces, and individuals. Here are their quotes (from Maxwell Park Neighborhood News by Pat Patterson):

  • Bonnie Henriquez (co-chair, stained glass and mosaic artist): “… It is a way to bring color, beauty and art into the park… Someone once said that a group is so much stronger than each individual person and that is what I saw during this project. People of all ages and ethnicities participated and are very proud of their part of the mosaic.”
  • Roberto Costa (co-chair, mosaic artist who creates abstract mosaic murals): “I saw a sense of empowerment and giving. I believe that mosaic murals represent a good opportunity to involve community members and create a stronger community around it.”‘
    Gail Murphy (Peter Pan Director and mosaic team member): “As people come to the park, we move toward knowing our neighbors and creating a more peaceful place for everyone.”
  • Beverly Shalom (clinical social worker, mosaic artist, part of the organizing committee): “What was exciting was the evolution of the wall. The wall kept changing with each person’s, including the children’s, ideas and contributions.”
  • Krista Kiem (mom and mosaic artist, owner: Krista Kiem Mosaics, main wall designer): “I liked working with all the kids and helping both kids and adults, educating and inspiring them. It was so great to see their excitement, their enthusiasm as they meticulously placed their pieces.”
  • Susan Scolnick – mosaic artist, quilter, potter: “I enjoyed the entire process, especially working with so many different people and I’ve now already noticed an increase in the number of people who come to enjoy the park. Public art changes the outdoor space and makes people feel safe. Be a part of it.”

maxwell park mosaic, krista kiem mosaic artist, community art projects

The Mosaic Team chose an overall design theme after soliciting design ideas from the community and nearby schools.  Within that framework, children were encouraged to incorporate their own designs (flowers, insects, etc.)  A special transfer process (the indirect method) allowed for them piece together their creations on sticky adhesive paper, which could later be transferred to the wall once mortar was in place.

When the wall was first unveiled, the children involved would act as “tour guides”, proudly displaying their designs.  You can see from these detail photos some of the amazing creativity incorporated…

friends of maxwell park, maxwell park improvements, oakland public mosaics
hummingbird mosaic, maxwell park mosaic, oakland public mosaic

The project was such a success, that a second wall (the backside of the restroom building) was completed in the spring of 2010, with the help of over 110 volunteers and more than 1000 volunteer hours logged!

While taking photos of this, a young boy playing nearby with friends came running over to me. I asked him about the mosaic and he smiled and said “It’s good!” As I was snapping more photos, he pulled out a small cellphone and snapped a photo himself. “Got it,” he cheered, then turned and ran back to his friends.

maxwell park mosaic project

community mosaics oakland, maxwell park, nancy karigaca, friends of maxwell park

The day I was shooting a third wall appeared prepped, and I believe they began tiling last weekend. I can’t wait to go back and see the next installment…
3rd mosaic maxwell park, maxwell park mosaics

Dimond Wayfinding Mosaics

I hope you are digging the mosaics because we have a lot more ground to cover! I’ve been scoping out tons of amazing examples, inspiring me to visit parts of Oakland I’ve never been to before.

And this next batch is specifically designed to do the same… encourage exploration.

Produced by Gina Dominguez of Snapshot Mosaics, and commissioned by Councilperson (now Mayor) Jean Quan, five sidewalk mosaics were recently installed near the intersection of MacArthur & Fruitvale at the heart of the Dimond District.

They are called “wayfinding” mosaics as their intent is to direct passing pedestrian to nearby points of interest.  The designs incorporate imagery designed to celebrate the unique features of this very cool (as I am discovering since this is my new ‘hood) neighborhood.

I spotted the first of these outside the new mural at Farmer Joe’s while shooting updates of their progress (see original post here). Then I discovered there were more of them to be found so I spent some time walking the nearby blocks to find them all.

Dominguez has posted about this on Snapshot’s site under Custom Installations, and I’m going to be pulling some quotes from her site below (italicized).

Located near La Farine Bakery, 3411 Fruitvale Avenue the hummingbird was chosen as the main design element due to its positive symbolism in Native American culture.  This mosaic celebrates the Native American Collection housed at the Dimond Library and points visitors toward:

Dimond Library, Peralta Creek, Fruitvale District, & Sausal Creek

snapshot mosaics, dimond public art, sidewalk mosaics

Located at the Dimond Library, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue, this mosaic’s design was inspired by Sausal Creek, the movement of water and the Rainbow Trout that live there. It directs passersby to:

Chabot Space & Science Center, Sequoia Elementary School, Dimond Business District, & Sausal Creek

snapshot mosaics, gina dominguez, sausal creek mosaic

Situated at the base of “Hidden Jewels,” a mural being painted on the side of Farmer Joe’s Market, its design shows the native flora found in Dimond Canyon: California Poppy, California Fuschia, Morning Glory, and California Grapes. This mosaic directs people to:

Dimond Park, Peralta Hacienda, William D. Wood Park, & Glenview District

dimond public art, dragonfly mosaic, gina dominguez mosaics

Located near Bank of America, 2154 MacArthur Boulevard, this mosaic showcases the Leimert Bridge which spans Dimond Canyon, a landmark feat of its day. Also celebrated is the heron that graces the creek with its presence. This wayfinder will direct you toward:

Oakmore District, Laurel District, San Francisco Bay, & The Altenheim

oakland public art, city of oakland sponsored art, heron mosaic

The Redwood Grove in Dimond Park and Joaquin Miller Park are featured in this mosaic that is installed at 2450 Fruitvale Avenue [outside the Wells Fargo]. From here, visitors can find:

Joaquin Miller Park, Bret Harte District, Fruitvale District, & Dimond Canyon

sequoia mosaic, snapshot mosaics, sidewalk mosaics, oakland public art

Pretty cool, right? I think they’re awesome, and I know now there are some new destinations I need to seek out, like William D. Wood Park.

Snapshot Mosaics is located in Montclair Village in Oakland and offers classes for both adults and kids, as well as open studio time for those more experienced. In the coming days, I’ll be writing a bit more about technique and process, as well as some other instructional opportunities… Stay tuned!