After devouring our falafels and sweet potato fries we headed across the street to Studio Quercus. This was my first visit to this space and I was particularly excited because they were featuring live music in conjunction with their art installation. I was just asking a friend about what upcoming themes I should focus on here at Oaktown Art (if you have any requests, please send them in as comments), and we decided music would be a good one, especially given how little I’ve focused on it to date, and how hugely it influences my life.
So… The Guitar Show. Pretty self-explanatory. Lots of guitars. And people playing guitars. And very cool.
Music ranged from experimental to folksie. John Shiurba and Myles Boisen (I think) performed discordant ambient “noise-noodling” as I like to call it… sort of a post-modern space jam. Not for everyone, but I love this stuff, and these guys were really good. They’re both institutions of the Bay Area avant garde music scene, involved with such artists/projects as Tom Waits, John Zorn, the Rova Saxaphone Quartet, Fred Firth, Splatter Trio, The Club Foot Orchestra, The Molecules, Spezza Rotto, Eskimo… you get the idea.
Next up was Joe Rut and friends, performing an incredibly catchy acoustic number with sweet backing vocals from a friend and wonderful percussion too. It’s hard to see in this photo, but the drum kit was fashioned out of unusual materials like an abalone shell, circular saw blade, and more, all mounted onto a small crate on wheels. Pretty cool.
The art installation, aside from the music, consisted of likely over a hundred “art” guitars mounted on the walls and displayed from custom shelving on wheels. In all shapes and sizes, the guitars were either painted or modified with sculpture and/or mixed materials. There was even one shaped like a raccoon! I’m not kidding.
Studio Quercus is one of the newer additions to the Art Murmur scene, opening late last year. Run by husband and wife artists Susan Casentini and Kyle Milligan, shows focus on the eclectic and unusual.
The Guitar Show will be up until April 25th but viewable by appointment only, except for one more live musical performance by Thunderbleed on Saturday April 17th at 8pm. That evening the studio will open with no cover charge, but attendees are encouraged to be generous with donations to support the artists. Do check it out.