Category Archives: jingletown

Free Wood & more…

So this one is really pretty impressive… kitty corner from IMA and completely covered in mosaic. Two panels read “free wood” and in front of each of them is, in fact, wood. It’s very strange.

The building seems to be more of a facade enclosing a large courtyard… maybe it’s a woodchopping plant!

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I love the whimsical tree branches and each tree has a swing hanging from one. See the little hearts with eyes like the ones from yesterdays post?

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And of course the kitty being chased by the dog… this makes me smile! These murals were produced collaboratively between students and artists through the Institute.

IMA

IMA big fan of the Institute of Mosaic Arts!  Ok… I know that’s corny, but it’s late and I’ve got 5 posts to do before bed since I’m doing a little travelling this weekend.  In preparation, I got up early this morning and headed down to the little corner of Jingletown this school/workshop occupies.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, there are numerous murals and smaller mosaics installed around the neighborhood immediately surrounding IMA.  I strolled around for about a half hour and saw no fewer than twenty, among the many other cool things I’ll hopefully get to in future posts, like Ford Street Studios, Automania, and more.  This is a cool part of town.

Here are a few photos of the Institute itself… These don’t even show all the mosaics on this building. It’s kind of crazy.

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If these hearts look at all familiar to you, it might be because Laurel True, the founder of IMA, was also a participating artist in the “Hearts in San Francisco” sculpture project a few years ago.

There are tons of classes offered at various levels, and a workshop cafe where you can drop in and work on your own projects.  Check it out!  You might just leave your heart at IMA.

Bode

So yesterday I mentioned the lovely mural that seemingly popped up overnight near Hollis & Peralta… The sign read “Peralta Mural project coming soon…”

This got me to thinking.
About how art can transform, not only the passerby’s immediate experience in the world, but on a larger level, the whole look & feel of a neighborhood.

A couple months ago I shot some images for an article in Oakland Magazine about a puzzlemaker whose workshop/home is located in the Jingletown district of Oakland. This area is known for its profusion of artists and art spaces, re-purposing many of the industrial buildings that are no longer used for manufacturing and heavy industry.

I got a little lost and found myself wandering around a neighborhood in which nearly every large building’s walls had been beautified by some incredible piece of mosaic art… large murals constructed of tiny bits of glass and ceramics, installed by artists and community members working through Oakland’s Institute of Mosaic Arts (IMA). I’ll focus on the Institute and many of the pieces it’s installed in future posts.

But there is no denying that these works of art transformed this neighborhood, from streets confined by monolithic blank walls that seem to make us feel small, to streets framed by large works of art filled with color and sparkle, that not only invite the viewer’s attention, but dazzle with their beautiful spectacle.

And in seeing the notice on Hollis Street about the coming mural project, it seemed at least one artist had a similar vision for one little corner of West Oakland.  That artist is Mark Bode.  He’s a tattoo artist, comic book artist, muralist, and more.  And the other day I caught him in the act, adding the next installment to the Peralta Street Mural project.

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Check back tomorrow to see the finished product!