Category Archives: sculpture

Have a Spooktacular Halloween… mwah hah hah

I know I haven’t been keeping up with this blog lately… I’ll likely be retiring it for good soon.
But in the meantime, here’s some Oaktown neighborly Halloween fun for your frightful pleasure… Happy Halloween!

halloween, oakland halloween, haunted house, skeleton

halloween, oakland halloween, haunted house

halloween, oakland halloween, haunted house, halloween gore

halloween, oakland halloween, haunted house

halloween, oakland halloween, haunted house, skeleton

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!

 

SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot at OMCA

We checked out Friday Nights at OMCA last week, spending the bulk of our time at two exhibits… First, Vinyl: The Sound & Culture of Records, which I’m hoping to post about next week. And second, SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot which I’m featuring here…

Now I have to admit that I’m not much of a zine fan. I didn’t know the history of Giant Robot, have limited knowledge of pop-Asian culture, and honestly didn’t think I’d find this exhibit all that interesting. Boy was I wrong. Let’s just say the installation is aptly titled… it IS Super Awesome!

I learned about the history of Giant Robot… its early beginnings in 1994 as an arty pop-culture zine fashioned together on the floor of founder Eric Nakamura’s bedroom, “collage style with text, scissors, images, and glue sticks.” Talk about humble beginnings.

Since then the Giant Robot brand has grown to include retail stores, gallery spaces, and a hugely popular website, extending itself as a broad creative platform that continues “to explore the intersection of contemporary art and the ever-evolving relationship between West Coast popular culture and Asia.” (Carin Adams, OMCA Associate Curator)

Featuring new and recent works by California and international-based artists who have been a part of the magazine’s social and cultural evolution, the exhibit is extensive and includes a wide range of mediums, including mural art, sculpture, illustration, portraiture, large-scale installations, graphic novels, photography, and more.

You really need to allow some time to explore because there’s just so much. I feel we barely scratched the surface… Exhibit is up through July 27th. Don’t miss it!

PS – and if you head over there tonight (Friday, May 30th) there’s a Zines & Print Culture Salon happening from 7-9pm. You can meet Guest Curator Eric Nakamura and pick up rad new reads from a selection of Bay Area zinesters at the zine bazaar organized with Oakland collective Rock Paper Scissors. There’ll be live music, screen printing demos, gaming stations and much more.

SuperAwesome, Giant Robot

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Painting by Andrew Hem

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Deth P. Sun

Untitled by Deth P. Sun

Deth P. Sun, Oakland by Deth P. Sun

Untitled (detail) by Deth P. Sun

eric nakamura

Curated Collection of Zines by Eric Nakamura

video game car

Custom Scion XB Gaming Car by Eric Nakamura & Len Higa

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Artists’ Sketchbooks I

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Artists’ Sketchbooks II

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Lazy Eye

Ode to California, Kozyndan

Ode to California by Kozyndan

Passage By Night: from stuffy silk ties to whimsical otherworldly forms

passage by night, silk tie sculpture
Passage By Night is half of the gallery show I intended to see last week. Due to an unfortunate incident of pilferage I missed the exhibit In Search of Sheba at Warehouse 416, but was able to catch the tail end of this showing at Classic Cars West, arriving just as collaborative duo Isaac Amala and Liz Simpson were wrapping up their talk, but still in time to walk amongst these fantastical creations and snap a few photos.
passage by night, silk tie sculpture
There are definitely some interesting things at play in this show. They’ve recontextualized a common everyday item representative of the “uniform” for male power and prestige into abstracted forms, collectively “reminiscent of a biological ecosystem.” An interesting tension exists between this larger ecosystem which includes “space to enter, navigate, and explore,” and the individual pieces each with “their own distinct personality and potential narratives” resulting from the very thoughtfully arranged colored, patterned, and textured ties.
passage by night, silk tie sculpture
The show is only up through February 22nd, so if you’re interested in walking amongst the weighty presence of thousands of neckties, freed from their collared confines and sculpted into these imaginative “creatures”, get yourself to Classic Cars West this Saturday from 1pm – 5pm. It’s the last available public viewing.

Classic Cars West – 411 26th Street – Oakland, CA 94612
passage by night, silk tie sculpture

TONIGHT: Art & Wine Gallery Night with Friends of OAM

Fun event tonight at two very cool uptown galleries, Classic Cars West and Warehouse 416. I’ve written about both in previous posts, which I’ll link at the bottom…

Tonight is a fundraiser and membership drive for Friends of OAM. Tickets are $15 for the individual event. Or with the purchase of an annual membership of $50, you get free admission tonight and to all other quarterly gallery nights such as this one. Your contribution is tax-deductible and supports an organization doing great work in our city.

Friends of OAM work to “support the Oakland Art Murmur in its mission to increase awareness of and participation in the visual arts in Oakland.”

Classic Cars West is hosting Passage by Night, a unique installation of work by collaborative team Isaac Amala and Liz Simpson, featuring sculptural and painterly constructions from neckties.

And Warehouse 416 presents In Search of Sheba: Black Women Artists 2014 in honor of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March). Numerous artists’ works in a variety of mediums (sculpture, painting, textile fashion, video, photography, pen & ink, and découpage) will be featured.

Hope to see you there…

FOAM-gallery-night

Historical posts:

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).

“Art Sucks. I Quit.”

This is the title of artist Lily Black’s current show, on display at Kuhl Frames through March 26th.

This was our first (and favorite) stop of last Friday night’s Art Murmur, despite hitting several other galleries later in the evening.

Lily Black, repurposed erotic toys, japanese erotic toys

For starters, this show actually opened in February, so the typical crowds accompanying a First Friday opening were not swarming the space. It actually allowed us to spend time with these small and incredibly detailed works of art, and also chat at length with the artist himself.

Surprised that Lily is a “him”? I was too. But that’s just one of seemingly many quirks that makes this artist, and his work, particularly interesting.

For starters, how about creating an art show around the premise that “Art is over”? He goes on to say that “photography is dead” as well, which I sometimes struggle with myself… ah, it’s all been done before, countless times, hasn’t it? And yet, in this exhibit, Black presents us with something fresh, intriguing, and at times, hilarious.

Take for example the pairing of a scrawled note-to-self-list Black found on an AC Transit bus, with a historical photograph of the first steam engine installed in the engine compartment of an AC transit bus. We see in the photograph the number 666 stamped above the engine compartment. The stranger’s list is scrawled on a piece of Catholic Church stationary (an envelope to be precise) and includes such items as:

  • No sex for 530 days Mondays
  • No fighting outside at all with the police
  • Don’t make things
  • No weed to smoke outside or indoors
  • Take children to zoo, not to church, ok
  • Take teenagers to the show, not church
  • Don’t make bikes to sell

And the list goes on… The threads that tie these pieces together are tenuous.  And yet, it makes sense when presented together in gorgeous framing that Kuhl Frames has provided (more on this later). In fact, Black states that the “presentation” of the photographs he’s incorporated, “is the whole of their presence as art objects.  The onus is on the viewer to bring meaning.”  And isn’t this what good art asks of us?

assemblage art, Lily Black, Kuhl Frames, Art Sucks I Quit

The show was a collection of these types of assemblage art (pairings of photographs, historical artifacts, bugs, toys, etc mounted in shadow boxes) and smaller sculptural creations (“re-presented” modified toys, such as the erotic figurines at top, or the “Storytime” tableau below).

What you don’t see in my photo of this seemingly innocent storybook scene, is that Papa Bear and Baby Bear are looking at porn… two large breasts (human, to be specific) fill the pages of their book.

Lily Black, Kuhl Frames, Art sucks I quit

The erotic figurines at top and the robotic figure below are classic Black… reimagined, reconfigured, and repurposed toys with such an acute attention to detail, you’d be hard-pressed to envision these in any previous incarnation.

Take a look at the shoulder shields on this character below… they’re actually Lee Press-on Nails. Talk about creative reuse! The entire piece is finished with a hand painted patina of aging that looks unbelievably realistic. And this is what Black is known for… “His attention to detail, use of random materials, and his thought-provoking messages.” (1amsf.com)

Lily Black, custom figurines, "Art Sucks. I Quit"
After we left the gallery, Tim said, “Why didn’t you take any pictures? You should have interviewed him for the blog! etc.” I guess I was feeling shy or something, or perhaps was just so engrossed in the show and discussion that documenting it all became secondary.

In any case, I went back the next day to take photos (while dropping off several pieces to be framed). And thankfully, someone else has already taken the time to produce a wonderfully humorous and insightful interview with Black… Who is Lily Black? (1:AM SF)

The show is only up for two more weeks – go check it out!

More on Kuhl Frames tomorrow…

And more reading:

Let’s Get Small by DeWitt Cheng (East Bay Express)