Tag Archives: debbie koppman

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!

Speaking of Dimond Public Art…

Here is the latest installation, completed just last week.  Titled, Dimond’s Hidden Jewels, this is actually just the first of five panels to be installed on the side of the Farmer Joe’s Market located at Fruitvale and MacArthur.

Farmer Joe's Mural, mural of dimond district

Created by Dimond artists, Debbie Koppman and Amanda Lockwood, both long-time teachers at nearby Sequoia Elementary School, the mural is based on hundreds of student drawings and sculptural puppet creations.  The idea is to portray this slice of Oakland “through the eyes of its youngest inhabitants.”

Looks pretty idyllic doesn’t it? Oh, to be five again…

The series of panels are planned to showcase the history of the area:

  1. The region’s first inhabitants – the Ohlone
  2. Farms, orchards, and redwood logging
  3. Historical development of Dimond
  4. Historical development of Dimond cont.
  5. Present day Dimond – this is the panel they painted first, featured here.

Though the mural has been in the planning for years, the real challenge has been funding.  What allowed this first panel to be created was an Oaklandish 2010 Innovators Award plus “Pay-Go” district funding committed by Councilmember and new Oakland Mayor-elect Jean Quan.  Thanks to everyone involved for this gorgeous addition to the neighborhood!  Can’t wait to see the next four panels…

Here are more shots of the work in progress…

Dimond Hidden Jewels

amanda lockwood, debbie koppman

sequoia elementary school art projects

And details of the finished product…

east oakland murals, dimond public murals

oakland mural, based on childrens' drawings

Dimond Mural Details

dimond public art, dimond public mural, east oakland public mural

I love it!

If you want to help support the creation of the future panels, you can donate funds or provide ideas and suggestions about what you think makes Dimond special, by contacting the artists directly… debkoppman@yahoo.com or amandalockwood9@gmail.com.