Tag Archives: mural

Chaos Without ~ Peace Within

This one’s just down Broadway a few blocks from the last one, towards downtown. It’s unsigned, and unfortunately a little tagged up, but looks like the work of the same artists who did yesterday’s post. I love it.

I’m going to type out some of the beautiful quotes in case people have difficulty reading them in the pics… also then the text is searchable.  Here’s the first:

Hatred ever kills…
Love never dies…
Such is the vast difference between the two
What is obtained by love
is retained for all Time…

oakland mural, chaos without mural, mural on broadway

oakland mural, mural on broadway, oakland mural art, peace within mural

What is obtained by hatred
proves a burden in reality
For it increases hatred.

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The duty of a human being
is to diminish hatred…
and to promote Love

~ Mohandas K. Gandhi

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I was surprised that the quotes were attributed to Mohandas K. Gandhi, rather than Mahatma Gandhi. In looking it up, I realized that Mahatma was just his nickname… a Sanskrit word meaning “Great Soul.” I tell ya, I learn something new every day doing this. It’s humbling and exhilarating at the same time.

Another great work by the folks at Community Rejuvenation Project.

May all the beings in all the worlds become Happy…

Ok kids… so I’m going to continue the focus on murals for the next few days because:

  1. I am swamped with work and this writing stuff takes time
  2. The murals are so amazing they speak for themselves, so I don’t have to say much
  3. There are bunch of ’em in the Broadway and 40th vicinity we’ve been exploring lately

Here’s the next… it’s at the corner of Broadway and 49th, right in my old hood.  It kind of reminds me of the one I featured a couple weeks ago next to Ghost Town Farm… similar message of peace & happiness between all peoples, and an interesting mix of iconography… the moon, the earth, the sun, egyptian pharaohs, and the buddha… not to mention the classic graffiti style writing.  It’s pretty cool.

Oakland Mural at Broadway and 49th

The left side of the mural reads “Lokah Samasah Sukhino Bhavantu” which apparently is Sanskrit.
How do I know this? Google. Thanks Google! The phrase translates to the title of this post, which you will also see painted on the far right side of the mural.

lokah samasah sukhino bhavantu, Oakland Mural

lokah samasah sukhino bhavantu Mural

egyptian, oakland mural, lokah samasah sukhino bhavantu

The buddha depicted in the center looks almost female to me, resting on her lotus flower, floating above the Earth. The words “Infinite Potential” are painted across.

oakland mural, Infinite Possibility

oakland mural, community rejuvination project, broadway and 49th

As you can see here, the mural was created as part of a Community Rejuvenation Project by Little Village MAS students: Abicus, Daz, Dési, Fact, Jinx, and Raven. Nice work kids!

Ella Baker Center Murals

Just a stone’s throw from Mama’s Royal Cafe is the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an action center working for justice, opportunity, and peace in urban America.  There are some wonderful murals on the exterior of their space, depicting the themes and goals on which their organization is focused.

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Co-founded in 1996 by Diana Frappier and now famous Van Jones of Green for All, the Ella Baker Center has grown in a little over 10 years from a small-scale operation with only one full time staff person, to a “grassroots powerhouse” with 24 “world-class” human rights activists.  Their work is focused through four primary campaigns designed to promote positive alternatives to violence and incarceration:

  • Books not Bars works towards redirecting California resources away from youth incarceration facilities and towards youth opportunities
  • Green Collar Jobs works towards promoting California as a leader in creating a thriving and equitable green collar economy, strong enough to provide employment opportunities for all
  • Soul of the City “works to transform Oakland into a socially just, spiritually connected, ecologically sustainable city with shared prosperity for all”
  • Heal the Streets as an outgrowth of Silence the Violence, works to provide hands on training for future social justice leaders through a 10 month fellowship program for Oakland youth and young adults (ages 15 – 18)

Ella Baker, Oakland Icons

Ella Baker is pictured above. Born in 1903 in Norfolk, VA, she grew up listening to her grandmother, a previous slave, tell stories of slave revolts. She graduated valedictorian of her college class in 1927 in North Carolina, moved to New York, and became a leading African-American civil rights leader and human rights activist for over five decades. What an incredible woman!

Black Panthers, Green Jobs Not Jails, Ella Baker Center Murals

The Ella Baker Center continues her important work into the 21st century. Please check them out… They’ve got a blog, multi-media page with music, videos, and podcasts, volunteer opportunities, and could really put your tax-deductible donations to fantastic work here in Oakland.

Ella Baker Center Mural

Green Jobs Mural in Oakland

The murals were created in 2007 through the Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center based in San Francisco, with funding from the Oakland Redevelopment Agency. Artists include: Fred Alvarado, Eli Lipppert, Gerry Chow, Anna Szumowski, Ronnie Freeman, and others.

Ella Baker Center Mural Artists

Bee Aware – Connected Worlds

Save the Honeybees…

After yesterday’s visit to Ghost Town farm and Novella’s bees, I thought I’d highlight this “bee conscious” mural along the Mandela Parkway. Though this area has seen a small amount of “greening” with the redevelopment of the parkway to a greenbelt including an extension of the Bay Trail, this is predominantly a heavy industry area. I love the fact that someone here is speaking for the bees.

BEE AWARE - CONNECTED WORLDS Mural

This piece is located at the same art compound where the giant human sculptures from my post Have you heard of this thing called Burning Man? reside. You can see a sliver of one on the left side of the shot above, which gives you a sense of scale. The mural is installed on a huge piece of curved concrete that is literally chained to the fence behind it. I’m curious if this piece was fabricated specifically for this art installation, or if it’s a salvage from something else that’s been re-purposed. Either way it’s unbelievably cool.

Honeybee Mural

Bee Aware - Save the Honeybees Mural

Below are the signatures of the artists…

Bee Aware Mural

Bee Aware Mural

May Peace Prevail on Earth

The traditional Aztec dancers from the Día de los Muertos festival reminded me of this mural I saw a few weeks ago with its blend of cultural imagery, including what appear to be various gods or goddesses.

It’s on an old boarded-up apartment building at the corner of 28th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. I wasn’t able to locate any artists’ signatures, but I did discover that the writing running along the top of the mural, which spans two sides of the building, says “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in several different languages. How beautiful is that? And how beautiful is this mural?!! The artistry is amazing.

Oakland Mural Art

The circle of black, red, and white above reminds me of some of the art I saw at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC in Vancouver, much of its collection focused on the art of the native peoples of the northwest coast. The figure of the raven is featured predominantly… legend has it that the first men were born out of a clamshell overseen by the raven (A Haida legend of the Raven and the First Men).

I wish I knew who the figure below surrounded by flames represents. Please send me some info if you happen to know.

Oakland Mural Art

Oakland Mural Art

I also love the incorporation of modern comic book characters (explorers above & warriors below) in between the dieties.

Oakland Mural Art

Oakland Mural Art

This last one looks Tibetan to me… but I really do not know. Anyone?

Oakland Mural Art

Note: later learned this to be another work by the folks at Community Rejuvenation Project.

SF Shout Out!

I zipped into San Francisco early Saturday morning to pick up my new Canon G11 from Calumet.  Have you guys been there?  It’s a great professional photography store with really just about everything… cameras (of course), studio & lighting equipment, seamless supplies, printers with a wide assortment of papers, a fantastic equipment rental department, and an art gallery upstairs.

The G11 is the first camera I’ve bought in over three years since buying my 5D (except for my Holga), and I am very excited! Nearly all of the photos I’ve posted on this blog were taken either with a 8 year old camera (which isn’t particularly pocket-sized) or with my iPhone, because I am too lazy to carry my big camera everywhere. With this new smaller camera, I plan to take my photo-documentarianism to the next level! (And yes, I do believe I made up that word.)

While waiting for the camera store to open, I spotted CELLspace across the street. I haven’t been there in a few years (sadly), and I definitely don’t remember it being quite this amazingly cool outside…

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Recognize the hand above? The same stencil exists in Oakland… have you seen it? Check back for the Oaktown version, and hopefully a bit more info about the artist who created it.

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The one above reminds me of a cool poster slapped up in multiple parts by Ashby and Telegraph. It’s Berkeley, not Oakland, but peeps keep mentioning it to me so I think I’ll throw that up later this week too. Please visit again. We’ll be headed to the cemetery at the end of the week for a properly spooky Halloween!

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