Category Archives: jingletown

New ArtWalk in Jingletown…

On my way to the White Elephant Sale Sunday morning, I passed a place I’d been before… I recognized the corner, and yet it looked strikingly different. What before had been a bleak stretch of blank concrete, bordered by litter and feces strewn dead grass & weeds, had now become a lovely meandering ArtWalk.

Here are a handful of the artworks that span the block of Peterson Street between Ford and Chapman, just two blocks from the Oakland Museum’s White Elephant Warehouse, and equally close to the Institute of Mosaic Arts, which I wrote about when I first launched this blog in 2009 (IMA).

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Ganesh Mural by Darwin Price

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Tree Mosaic by Kim Larson & Saundra Warren

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Handmade tiles in Saundra Warren's studio by Jingletown residents

I’m assuming the Mosaic Institute was instrumental in the production of these mosaic pieces. Wrong.  This is why we should not assume.  Duh.  Thanks to Kim and Jill for setting me straight…

This entire project was organized by the Jingletown Arts and Biz Community, JABC, namely Jill McLennan and Cynthia Elliot, and sponsored by Pro Arts and the City of Oakland. The various artworks were created by a host of artists from the community, independent of IMA.

The tree mosaic above was created by Kim Larson and Saundra Warren (of In Saundra’s Garden…) I love the hand crafted tiles incorporated.

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Oakland Riviera by Bill Silveira

Peterson Street Mosaics, Jingletown Oakland, Jingletown Art Walk

Virgin of Guadalupe by Kim Larson

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Jingletown by Jill McLennan

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A Loving Tribute to Our Best Friends and Companions by Carlos Jahen

Seeing these recent installations got me even more excited about the class I’ll be taking at the Institute next month (Mosaic 101). I plan to blog about the specifics here… please stay tuned.
Kim Larson is also responsible for the Virgin Of Guadalupe mosaic below.

vintage car mosaic, mosaic institute, jingletown murals, oakland murals

Auto Mosaic by Jen Rubenstein

Below you can see a hint of what this stretch used to look like… the photo features Lee Krasnow of Pacific Puzzle Works – I shot him in the summer of 2009 for a story in Oakland Magazine.  His workshop is located just across the street. You can see the wall was nearly completely blank, and we both had to be on guard to avoid the numerous piles of poo.

Now the adjacent strip incorporates a waving walking path through tidy mulched landscape and a gorgeous custom laser-cut iron sign requests that visitors kindly pick up after their pets.  I didn’t see one poop!Peterson Street Oakland, Lee Krasnow, Pacific Puzzle Works

ps – The White Elephant Sale was a huge success… volunteers said Saturday was their busiest day, EVER.  (Glad I went Sunday!) I bought 4 sweaters, 1 small bookcase, and a birdhouse that looks like someone’s abandoned woodshop project. I can’t wait to paint it and hang it in my yard…

pps – Friday Night’s Art Murmur was great and I’ll have more on this in the coming days…

ppss – Here’s one last mosaic that you see as you turn the corner onto Ford.  This one is much older as I shot it back in 2009 (but never posted it).

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Running Festival Recap

So did you check it out?!?

Hopefully you did because it was a lot of fun, and I have to say I’m feeling pretty blissed out on Oakland right now.

A ton of beautiful people were out… it was a picture perfect day with our typically warmer-and-sunnier-than-San-Fran-weather… and spirits were high!  It’s hard to really recap the experience in words, so I’ll just share a few pictures and videos from the weekend…

Saturday was the Twilight 5k at Lake Merritt kickoff event. Here are a few pics… (more on Flickr).

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I also put together a short video with folks talking about why they decided to participate…

Here are a few photos from the Marathon and Half-Marathon finishes on Sunday morning… (more on Flickr).

Oakland Marathon, Tony Torres, Winner of Marathon

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And one more video interview with a half-marathon participant…

Automania continued…

So I had planned to move on to something else today, but since my dear devoted reader asked (thank you Rattlebox), I will talk about Automania a bit more. However, please note that I do go to a bit of effort to set up links to all the wonderful artists and studios I mention, and though I try to highlight as much information in my posts as I can, you will undoubtedly be better served by using these links and going straight to the source!

Having said that, Automania is a supplier of picture cars and props to the film industry. Their warehouse spans a full block, and apparently houses an incredible number of historic cars, as well as auto-related props, sets, and backdrops. Check out their picture car photo gallery and imagine the implications of their insane parking scenario… 

It reminds me of those puzzles we did on long car drives when I was a kid, where a square with 16 square slots was filled with 15 tiny square pieces that slid either horizontally or vertically within the larger square… you could only move one piece one square at a time, and the goal was to rearrange all the pieces to form a picture. Needless to say, those puzzles were fun for all of about 5 minutes. I can’t imagine being Automania’s parking lot attendant. Yikes!

The company was founded by car enthusiast Bill Silveira, and I am assuming he is the creator of many of the metal sculptures featured in and around the property.  You can see more of his artistic creations here.  And here are a few more shots I took as I tooled around his warehouse in Jingletown…

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Check out the cool cactus planter created out of a couple slabs of metal above.

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Rust in Peace

So I thought this week we’d talk about METAL…

Many of us in modern society have little experience manipulating metal, other than perhaps wrapping a piece of tinfoil around our leftover pizza or crushing a soda can before tossing it in the recycling. But for centuries of human history the man who could shape metal was an important man indeed.  He made the weapons and armor, the horseshoes, plowshares, and wagon wheel rims, the locks and chains, nearly all of the tools, and much much more.  There is a wealth of information on this history at the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association website.

With the industrial revolution and the mechanization of many processes, many blacksmiths were replaced by machinists in factories.  Many of these metalworkers went on to become the first generation of auto mechanics (Wikipedia).  Which kind of brings us right around to where I want to be…

I’ve been wanting to focus on metal sculptures and other interesting manipulations of metal for a bit now, but was reminded last week when I took a walking tour of the Jingletown area around the Institute of Mosaic Arts. I passed by Automania and saw all kinds of fantastic metal sculptures and fabrications, mostly welded together out of car parts. Automania’s front entrance is on Glascock, but the back of the warehouse and car lot are on Ford Street, which is where these shots were taken.

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Aren’t they gorgeous? I love the spark plugs!

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In Saundra’s Garden

As a green thumbed girl who also lives in an urban/industrial area, I truly appreciate the effort this gardener has taken to bring a little nature into the hood with this gorgeous planter.

These photos show two of it’s sides…

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Flower at 2912

This one fits so perfectly on this building… I love how the orange in the center of the flower echoes the orange door. I like the shingle work on the building too… it almost has a mosaic feel to it. This neighborhood has many spaces/yards/buildings adorned in very creative and funky ways.

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And what I really love about this one is the incorporation of hand painted tiles with faces… they’re like little hidden treasures you’re only rewarded with upon closer inspection.

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