Tag Archives: dimond district

Oakland Treehouse by Griffin One

There’s been a hubbub of art activity in my Dimond neighborhood in the past few months… new murals and mosaics popping up along our little stretch of MacArthur. This was one of the early installments.

It went in late last year and I simply love it–love how the large canvas of this building is used as a portal to transport us from the urban “hectivity” of this busy boulevard to the peaceful pastoral delight of northern California farmland surrounded by gentle foothills.

Mural is by Griffin One, Oakland-based muralist, fine artist, illustrator and digital designer.
dimond district, dimond murals, macarthur murals, griffinone, griffin one

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.

Open Call to Oakland Artists…

Listen up artists…. the Dimond District of Oakland is looking to install more public art projects in the neighborhood, and they’ve got some funding to make it happen!

Organized by Dimond Public Art (DPA), a volunteer-run committee of the Dimond Improvement Association, the goals of the overall project are the following:

  • To develop the cultural, artistic and physical identity of the Dimond District
  • To beautify the neighborhood through creative, attractive and unique artwork
  • To engage the community in the development and production of public art and related educational opportunities

They are seeking proposals for public projects ranging in scope from mini or temporary works ($500) to large scale permanent installations (up to $10,000) and anticipate funding approximately 4 to 6 projects by spring of next year.
dimond public art, dimond district map
Map above shows potential sites, though these are merely suggestions:

  1. The Bay Leaf Restaurant – MacArthur & Canon
  2. Empty Storefront (formerly Blockbuster) – MacArthur & Dimond
  3. Bienati Parking Lot – Bienati Way & Dimond
  4. Wells Fargo Pillars – Fruitvale & MacArthur
  5. Wells Fargo Parking Lot – Champion & MacArthur
  6. Champion Street Pedestrian Plaza – Champion & MacArthur
  7. Dimond Library Garden – Fruitvale north of MacArthur
  8. Dimond Park – Fruitvale & Lyman
  9. Fruitvale Presbyterian Church – MacArthur & Coolidge

Also, electrical boxes and chain link fencing throughout Dimond.

Here is the link for the Request for Proposal.

And here is the Application.

Note that preference will be given to projects involving members of the community, including children, since one of the goals is community engagement.  Any questions can be sent to dimondpublicart@gmail.com.

Submissions due by November 30th! Get busy.

Please share this with any Oakland based artists you think might be interested.

Weekend Fun ~ 3rd Annual Oaktoberfest!!

Tomorrow my new neighborhood of Dimond is hosting their third annual Oaktoberfest (note spelling) to celebrate the district’s German heritage with good ol’ fashioned beer drinking.  Yay!

The East Bay Express has a nice write-up in A Shining Dimond District by Ellen Cushing so I’m not going to repeat it all here.  But in a bottle cap, the central Dimond District was dense with a number of popular German-styled beer gardens from the 1890’s through the early 20th century, until Prohibition effectively shut them all down. The most famous was Charlie Tepper’s Hotel which featured music and dancing every Sunday and was located on Hopkins Street (now MacArthur Blvd) just west of Fruitvale Avenue. [photos below] The building still stands today at 2030-C MacArthur Blvd.

charlie tepper, dimond beer gardens, oakland's german beer gardens, dimond history

photo courtesy Oakland Tribune

The sign in front that read “Take Diamond Cars”  referred to the old streetcar line that used to run from downtown Oakland (13th and Washington) up to Fruitvale and MacArthur.  Oh how I long for that streetcar now…

german beer garden dimond, charlie tepper, oaktoberfest

photo courtesy DimondOakland

Other establishments included the Hermitage (actually French), Neckhaus, and Bauerhofer’s.  These family friendly destinations attracted not only local residents – apparently Dimond has a high concentration of German descendants – but also vacationers from San Francisco, Marin County, San Jose, and as far as Sacramento.  See Dimond’s Beer Gardens for more info and great historical photos.

Come check out Dimond Oaktoberfest tomorrow.  Festivities run from 11am to 6pm, centered around the Fruitvale and MacArthur intersection. There’ll be something for everyone… music, art, food, and of course, beer.

Dimond Oaktoberfest 2008 (the 1st!) on Flickr