Category Archives: posters

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!

 

Oakland’s Guardian Angel Strikes Again

Spotted this on a storefront in Uptown while on my way to a recent gallery show. As you can see it’s an open letter to the People of Oakland, but the rest of the photo is a little hard to read so I’ve included the poster’s inspiring text below. Though not technically signed, it looks to be the work of Oakland’s Guardian Angel whom I first wrote about in my story on Kuhl Frames.

oakland guardian angel, oakland's guardian angel

TO THE PEOPLE OF OAKLAND

Dear Friends:
It is up to you what the future of Oakland will be. Oakland is no longer a village. It is a city, a growing one. It is your duty to keep it growing, keep it prosperous.

Oakland, with its wealth, beauty and brilliant future, is an ideal attained by pioneers who struggled for years over innumerable hardships. The cement, the steel, the mortar and glass and the thousand and one things which go into Oakland, was not conceived overnight.

I realize the future of Oakland is far beyond human imagination. I thank you for your wonderful work. So partake of her hospitality and prosperity; invest, build, prosper, and live happy in Oakland.

“So partake of her hospitality and prosperity; invest, build, prosper, and live happy in Oakland.” I like that.

Thank YOU Guardian Angel!

Art Murmur is cool. And it’s tonight.

Here are some shots from my last Art Murmur back in March.   Yes, March.  I know.  I’m lame.

In any case, this weekend is a big one for ART.  Art Murmur, East Bay Open Studios, the Temescal Art Hop and more…  Maybe I can redeem myself by cramming!  And actually tending to this blog for a bit.

Who’s in?

We came upon this gorgeous mural somewhere on 26th street. I think we were next to Uptown Body & Fender, or maybe this was part of Uptown Body & Fender… I’m not quite sure. But there was this incredible mural, which looks to me like a collaborative effort. I recognize the work of thomas christopher haag (I have shots of some of his other murals I’ve yet to post). I love his fantastical creatures and use of geometric building blocks that remind me of Chuck Close crossed with Piet Mondrian. Or something like that.


I love the diá de los muertos skull above, and the incredible four-eyed face below. I’m too square to read the tags on the mural, so if anyone knows who else contributed to this, please send some info…

oakland mural, thomas christopher haag, uptown mural
oakland mural, thomas christopher haag, uptown mural
Then of course there were the fancy cars…
vintage cars, uptown body & fender
vintage cars, uptown body & fender
And a nice Eddie Colla piece I hadn’t seen before.
eddie colla, like a sieve, vintage car, little red corvette
And lastly, the preamble from the Declaration of Independence, which begins, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”
declaration of independence, preamble, right to revolution, despotism, we hold these truths to be self evident
And ends with “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Deep.

“First Ride” on BART

I’m back after a weeklong hiatus… did you miss me?

Today will be a quickie as the reason for my disappearance was a ridiculous amount of work at work.  Isn’t spring break just around the corner?!? Oh wait, that’s just for kids…

Speaking of which, I saw these wonderful posters at the 12th street BART station two weekends ago on my way to the marathon and half-marathon finish line downtown.

Josh Ellingson, BART poster series, BART art poster ads

Josh Ellingson, BART animated ads, BART art posters

The images are part of BART’s art poster program which aims to “enhance the physical environment of stations and cars, and celebrate the wealth of artistic talent in the Bay Area.” The posters are hung in unused advertising space and appear without any slogans or promotional messages.

Of course the inherent message is Bart can transport you to amazing places!

These are two of a series of three, titled “First Ride,” by Bay Area artist and illustrator Josh Ellingson. You can see the third on SFBART’s blog, as well as read about Ellingson’s inspiration and process for creating these whimsical works.

Kuhl Frames + Art

Just a quick shout out to the awesome Kuhl Frames + Art, framing shop & art gallery in Uptown Oakland.

kuhl frames, oakland framing shop, kuhl art gallery, uptown art galleries

I’ve been meaning to write about Kuhl Frames + Art for over a year now, for a number of reasons.  After a painfully frustrating framing experience with Michael’s a couple years ago (don’t be seduced by their 50% off deals!), I opted for a different experience altogether.  F*ck the big box Emeryville stores, I say! Our local independent shops are where it’s at, and this one is no exception…

Located in the thick of it all, at 22nd & Broadway… you can grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner and any fashion of associated beverages, all within a block of this lovely little shop. There’s Farley’s East, Uptown Cafe, Luka’s, Plum, Punchdown Wine Bar, Era… and those are just the one’s in spitting distance.  So plan accordingly.  And bring your appetite along with your art.

Owner Travis Kuhl has a great curatorial sense and the eye for display that goes along with it.  Quite simply, he will transform your works of art into true heirloom treasures. He’ll spend an unbelievable amount of time with you, exploring framing options that will highlight the subtlest aspects of your pieces; he’ll examine 73 shades of white to get the one that looks just right; he’ll work within your budget and can offer gorgeous hand-made Italian frames (at a premium) or economical pre-sized standard frames that are still far more interesting than anything you could get at Ikea.

Additionally, the space is a lovely little gallery, hosting not only rotating art exhibits, but also small retail displays of interesting and eclectic items: like mid-century lamps, Travis’s gorgeous fireplace yule-log-ish glass lamp constructions, art books, letter-press cards, and more.

The first time I went to Kuhl Frames (to frame a piece of art I bought during Art Murmur no less!) they had a fantastic show up called Lil Tuffy, showcasing dozens of stunning hand-screened posters by the artist of the same name…

Lil Tuffy, hand-screened posters, silk screened posters, lil tuffy posters

I meant to write about it way back then, but somehow didn’t get around to it. More recently, the gallery hosted the Lily Black exhibit I wrote about last week.

And also the wonderfully serene and spacious paintings of his wife Elisa Carozza-Kuhl. Her nature-inspired pieces can frequently be seen on rotation here… the current exhibit is a body of recent work exploring the new medium of acrylics, with a series entitled “Flights”. As we walked past them, Tim said, “I can almost hear these paintings.” I love her color palette of greens and golds… she says these colors hold an “emotional resonance” for her.

elisa carozza, flight series,

I love her color palette of greens and golds… she says these colors hold an “emotional resonance” for her, which, at least in my case, resonates for the viewer as well.

If you have a chance, do check out the current exhibit… I believe they’ll be working on a new installation at the end of the month.  It will also give you a chance to ask Travis about Oakland’s Guardian Angel, who personally, in the dead of night, slipped this loving tribute to Kuhl Frames under their door…

“Invest, build, prosper, and live happy in Oakland.”

guardian angel of oakland, oakland guardian angel notes

Dear Kuhl Frames,

Your craftsmanship and dedication to art in Oakland is nothing short of inspiring.  Wishing you unbounded success, I remain yours truly.

Oakland’s Guardian Angel

Art in Commerce.

I was downtown last night for dinner and a drink with a girlfriend… specifically we were in the Oaksterdam area of 16th and Franklin, meeting at The Layover,  and I guess I haven’t been down there for a little while but it just seemed that everywhere I looked, there was something I wanted to document or photograph or check out further… tons of flyers, posters, stickers, wheatpastes… it was kind of overwhelming because, frankly, I was late…  and thirsty.

So I didn’t really to take the time to slowly explore like I might under different circumstances, but these two large what-appeared-to-be-wheatpastes were so striking they made me stop and take a quick snap.

art in commerce, wheatpaste advertisements, oaksterdam

Upon closer inspection, they both turned out to be ads.  Which kinda disappointed me.  But then again, there are some amazing creatives working in advertising, so I didn’t feel too bad for being duped.

I’m the person who typically mutes commercials, because, for the most part, they strike me as manipulative and banal.  But some… some are truly inspired. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this damn hamster car commercial!  It’s hilarious.  Brilliant. And interestingly enough, shot in Hamsterdam.

Anyway, the first poster is for an upcoming Dreamworks movie (Megamind), which actually looks pretty entertaining (Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, and Brad Pitt). It’s what the original artist, Shepard Fairey, would call a “bootleg.”   You can see more here.

The second is for a Nintendo game, which I can’t say much about because I don’t play video games.  But I went to the website to check it out, and the one thing I’ll say is, it does have a cool soundtrack… kind of like that to a Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie.

Political Expression is an Act of Art.

I went to a community meeting in West Oakland last night to discuss some neighborhood issues that have been escalating to the point where many long term residents are, frankly, fed up.

I’ve ranted about a few of these issues from time to time… hopefully not too often, as I generally like to focus on the positive (“keep on the sunny side…”) But it always surprises me when people respond in a way that indicates that by choosing to live in marginal neighborhoods, we somehow aren’t entitled to the most basic quality of life rights as others.

I remember a particular incident one evening when a car full of young kids/adults was parked outside my window, partying with the stereo blasting at 3am on a school night. I threw on some clothes and went outside and very cordially asked them if they could re-locate the party. In a nutshell, they were snotty brats about it and as their car peeled out racing down the street, one of the girls shouted out the window… “you live in the ghetto! what do you expect???” Like somehow people in the ghetto don’t need to sleep like everyone else. I could forgive her because she was a kid and she was drunk, but it’s interesting how often adults have similar opinions.

The truth is, unless you happen to be a pimp or a prostitute or a drug dealer or a drug addict, which comprise a small minority of the people living in West Oakland, then you most likely are not a fan of these activities in your neighborhood. And even the people participating in these activities would likely choose otherwise if they had the means or resources to change their lives. They often have few other options…

But I digress.

I’ve been thinking more politically lately due to the upcoming election and was speaking with a local activist the other day who quoted our current Mayor about Oakland being a “model city.” She said in order for us to truly be a model city, we all need to be model citizens, which needless to say, is easier said than done. It requires time and effort. And in a rat-race society where many are working nose to the grindstone to get their slice of the pie or simply make ends meet, there’s not much time left over.

I applaud those who make the time. I am striving to make more time.

I walked to get coffee this morning because I was out of beans at home. In front of the cafe in the Dimond district, a woman wearing a volunteer vest was picking up trash along the retail stretch of sidewalk. I thanked her. She’s making a difference. And I can’t help wondering what a difference we all might make collectively, if every citizen of this city volunteered to do something. Anything.

These are a handful of political signs I saw as I made my way back home, through the lower hills of Dimond’s lushly landscaped homes… indicative of a community that seems to be really engaged.

women in politics, political signs, dimond district oakland

political signs, support teachers, oakland teachers, dimond district

political expression, political expression as art

support the troops, political signs, dimond district oakland

peace signs in oakland, dimond peace signs, political expression

Painted peace sign on garage, peace signs oakland

same sex marriage, support same sex marriage, no on prop 8