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.
Check back tomorrow to see the finished product!