Tag Archives: oakland art murmur

Art Murmur Tonight!

It’s the First Friday of Fall. Yeah, I know… it’s not technically fall yet. But you can’t deny it certainly FEELS like fall. The leaves are dropping, the naked ladies have blossomed, and the evening twilight arrives far too soon.

While it’s sad to bid farewell to Summer, I have to admit it’s also a time of great excitement for me, as I’ve just begin a two-year MFA graduate program at Mills College. Oakland baby! It’s new and different and thrilling and scary and I’m not afraid to admit that I’m already buried under an avalanche of homework.

I’ve been trying to decide if I could keep the blog going in the midst of this craziness, and while I’m not sure it’s actually a good idea, I’ve decided I’m going to try. TRY, being the operative word. Of course, I can already hear Yoda’s voice in my head, “No TRY, only DO.” Yeah well… fuck Yoda. I’m playing it by ear and that’s all I can say for now.

My future posts will likely be short and scattershot. And in that vein, here’s a quick synopsis of two cool shows to definitely not miss if you’re out Art Murmuring tonight…

Pieces of Oakland at Warehouse 416

Cities are alive. They transform. They expand and contract and decay and renew, and yes, some even die. This show is all about the transformations that have happened, and are happening now, in our beloved city of Oakland. And it’s all happening really fast…

Oakland is on a cusp. We’re a mid-sized formerly industrial city that’s emblematic of many cities across the nation, and many are watching to see just what we’ll do as we grapple with issues of economic development, housing, transportation, education, and crime. There are plans already in the works, and plans now proposed and proceeding through the pipeline, including:

Pieces of Oakland focuses on two of these redevelopment areas: Lake Merritt Station and West Oakland, highlighting their changing “faces” through the eyes of photographers, writers, planners, and neighbors by showcasing over 70 individual pieces from various sources: fragments of policy documents, oral histories, official planning maps, and a unique collection of contemporary and archival photographs.

Conceived and curated by Chelsea Wurms, the show prompts viewers to ask what it means to be part of this city. She says, “This is a unique moment for Oakland. I want to see people talking about their own values, sharing their impressions with each other, imagining other perspectives.”

Don’t miss this opportunity examine, and contribute to, the life story of our great city!

31-Oakland Photo Project_102713_5799 west-oakland-redevelopment

Warehouse 416
416 26th Street, Oakland
Opening Friday, September 5th: 6pm-10pm
Every Saturday in September: 1pm-5pm

Betti Ono’s 4th Anniversary “AMEN”

Betti Ono Gallery is celebrating its fourth anniversary tonight with a forward thinking, culture-shifting mixed media show exemplary of the multi-disciplinary, experimental work it’s been putting forth since it first opened in 2010… the type of work that garnered it the 2014 East Bay Express Reader’s Poll Best Gallery Award.

Titled “AMEN: A Collaborative Meditation for Survival,” the show is an open experiment with language and image, designed to reimagine American mythology with futuristic and visionary depictions of traditionally marginalized groups (especially queer people of color) in culturally recognizable positions of power. The idea is to question how we might be programming existing systems of marginalization into our future society, and to disrupt that process, and envision an all-affirming and inclusive world instead.

Featuring eight 2-dimensional visual works and eight wall texts, the show was developed by two artists:  visual artist Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski and writer Carrie Y.T. Kholi. Gallery owner Anyka Barber had worked with each before and, seeing the resonances in the issues their artworks addressed, brought them together for this special show. Though friends for years, this is Amaryllis and khoLi’s first collaborative artistic project.

I asked about the nature of their collaboration… Amaryllis said, “khoLi and I began a conversation around survival at the very beginning. At that point, we had spoken on surviving academia, both being queer women of color. I had just graduated from the California College of the Arts, and KhoLi is in the process of getting her PhD in English Literature.  Our conversations quickly evolved into a larger conversation around spiritual and mythological survival, and we grew AMEN from that place.”

This show is a celebration for ALL. Don’t miss it!

Amen-BettiOno Instructions for a Storm (closeup2)
Thick Dig (Ghost Sighting)
Betti Ono Gallery
1427 Broadway, Oakland
Friday, September 5th: 6pm-9pm

TONIGHT: Art & Wine Gallery Night with Friends of OAM

Fun event tonight at two very cool uptown galleries, Classic Cars West and Warehouse 416. I’ve written about both in previous posts, which I’ll link at the bottom…

Tonight is a fundraiser and membership drive for Friends of OAM. Tickets are $15 for the individual event. Or with the purchase of an annual membership of $50, you get free admission tonight and to all other quarterly gallery nights such as this one. Your contribution is tax-deductible and supports an organization doing great work in our city.

Friends of OAM work to “support the Oakland Art Murmur in its mission to increase awareness of and participation in the visual arts in Oakland.”

Classic Cars West is hosting Passage by Night, a unique installation of work by collaborative team Isaac Amala and Liz Simpson, featuring sculptural and painterly constructions from neckties.

And Warehouse 416 presents In Search of Sheba: Black Women Artists 2014 in honor of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March). Numerous artists’ works in a variety of mediums (sculpture, painting, textile fashion, video, photography, pen & ink, and découpage) will be featured.

Hope to see you there…


Historical posts:

Art Murmur is cool. And it’s tonight.

Here are some shots from my last Art Murmur back in March.   Yes, March.  I know.  I’m lame.

In any case, this weekend is a big one for ART.  Art Murmur, East Bay Open Studios, the Temescal Art Hop and more…  Maybe I can redeem myself by cramming!  And actually tending to this blog for a bit.

Who’s in?

We came upon this gorgeous mural somewhere on 26th street. I think we were next to Uptown Body & Fender, or maybe this was part of Uptown Body & Fender… I’m not quite sure. But there was this incredible mural, which looks to me like a collaborative effort. I recognize the work of thomas christopher haag (I have shots of some of his other murals I’ve yet to post). I love his fantastical creatures and use of geometric building blocks that remind me of Chuck Close crossed with Piet Mondrian. Or something like that.

I love the diá de los muertos skull above, and the incredible four-eyed face below. I’m too square to read the tags on the mural, so if anyone knows who else contributed to this, please send some info…

oakland mural, thomas christopher haag, uptown mural
oakland mural, thomas christopher haag, uptown mural
Then of course there were the fancy cars…
vintage cars, uptown body & fender
vintage cars, uptown body & fender
And a nice Eddie Colla piece I hadn’t seen before.
eddie colla, like a sieve, vintage car, little red corvette
And lastly, the preamble from the Declaration of Independence, which begins, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”
declaration of independence, preamble, right to revolution, despotism, we hold these truths to be self evident
And ends with “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”


Holiday Happenings…

old holiday card I designed but never used

Holy crap!  I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas… and already Hanukkah.  It seems like it was just yesterday that I was working on my elf costume for Santacon.  2009!  Yikes.

You’ve probably noticed I’ve been a bit absent these last few weeks…  work’s been crazy; I ran out of hard drive space; the cat ate my blog post; you get the idea.  And then once you stop, it’s sooooo hard to get started again…

But I got a little kick in the pants yesterday when the UPS guy dropped my new harddrive on my doorstep  (couldn’t he have just gently placed it on the porch?) and then later last night, when I heard the Oakland Interfaith Choir performing on the radio.  They’re truly awesome, and it made me feel a wee bit guilty I haven’t been better about promoting all of the holiday hoo-ha about town.

So here is a a quick stab at a few things going on this weekend (by no means complete, so do send in comments if you know of other excellent happenings):

Friday, December 3rd

  • Art Murmur (5pm onward)

    Buy art for your friends and family!  Many galleries typically host small (and very affordable) works at this time of year for just this reason. Your loved ones will appreciate it more than another pair of socks, and you’ll be supporting local artisans as well!

  • Temescal Winter Art Hop (6pm – 9pm)

    View art at over fifteen Temescal locations! Pick up a Temescal Art Passport, collect stamps from at least ten venues, and turn it in for a chance to win a work of art. Also enjoy live local music during your stops along the Art Hop!  http://www.temescaldistrict.org/events.html

  • Jingletown Holiday ArtWalk Opening Reception (6pm – 9pm)

    The annual holiday open studios in this thriving arts district will highlight the work of artists who live and/or work in the area known as Jingletown, which is situated between the Park and Fruitvale Street bridges adjacent to the Oakland Estuary. Studios will be open to the public all weekend, with an opening reception Friday 12/3 at 420 Gallery, 420 Peterson St., Oakland. http://jingletown.org/

  • Jack London Square Lights Up for the Holidays! (5:30pm – 7:30pm)

    Oakland’s favorite waterfront destination will light up the skies with over 5,000 sparkling lights on a 55-foot tree.  Enjoy music, song, dancing trees, Santa’s reindeer, PBS characters, the Jack London Square Rising Star Talent Competition and snow…yes, snow!!!  (Broadway at Embarcadero)

Saturday, December 4th

  • Jingletown Holiday ArtWalk (11am – 6pm)

    The annual holiday open studios in this thriving arts district will highlight the work of artists who live and/or work in the area known as Jingletown, which is situated between the Park and Fruitvale Street bridges adjacent to the Oakland Estuary.  Among other notable artistic enterprises, it is the location of the Institute of Mosaic Art and Float Gallery, as well as studios of many other renowned artists who are living and working in one of the most established artist warehouse districts in Oakland. http://jingletown.org/

  • Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir at the Paramount Theatre (7:30pm)

    The award-winning Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir is a multiracial, interfaith group that regularly performs throughout the Bay Area. Its vocalists, led by Artistic Director Terrance Kelly, perform traditional and contemporary black gospel music and spirituals. This season’s 25th Anniversary Holiday Concert includes an alumni choir!  You can go to the Paramount’s box office direct (510.465.6400), or feed the beast here.

  • 2nd Annual Piedmont Avenue Tree Lighting & Holiday Stroll (5pm sharp)

    The Oakland Lyric Opera, Pacific Boychoir Academy, Accordionist Salane Schultz, and the Piedmont Avenue Elementary School Band will entertain followed by a ceremonial Tree Lighting and a visit by Santa Claus. Enjoy complimentary coffee on the plaza from Peet’s Coffee & Tea, then stroll along Piedmont Avenue and visit participating businesses, who will be staying open until 8pm. (Key Route Plaza, 41st & Piedmont)  http://www.piedmontavenue.org/

Sunday, December 5th

  • Jingletown Holiday ArtWalk (11am – 6pm)

    The annual holiday open studios in this thriving arts district will highlight the work of artists who live and/or work in the area known as Jingletown, which is situated between the Park and Fruitvale Street bridges adjacent to the Oakland Estuary. Among other notable artistic enterprises, it is the location of the Institute of Mosaic Art and Float Gallery, as well as studios of many other renowned artists who are living and working in one of the most established artist warehouse districts in Oakland. http://jingletown.org/

You can also check my holiday posts from last  year for more fun ideas…  Just click on the archives for December 2009.  Now get busy ya’ll!

Refashioned at Oakopolis ~ one final day!

Another quickie today…

I’ve written about the Oakopolis Creativity Center (aka Oakopolis Gallery) before (Moon Over Oakopolis), but we saw a really sweet exhibit there on Friday night titled “Re-Fashioned: The Origins of Our Clothing.”

Tomorrow’s the last day you can see this exhibit, gallery is open from 2 – 5 Saturday (show closes at 5pm), so if you’re interested in local Oaktown clothing designers, sustainable couture, or fashion in general, now’s your chance.

Re-Fashioned explores the art of sustainably produced clothing through the display of handmade garments, photos and video. The show illuminates the origins of the textiles, dyes, and processes employed by four local clothing designers, and a wonderful Australian designer.

A hallway leads back to the gallery space… a wall of naturally dyed garments introduces various combinations of fabrics and materials, and the resulting hues and textures created.  I heard one visitor exclaim “This one’s dyed with urine!”

re-fashioned at Oakopolis, sustainably produced clothing

Incredible one of a kind pieces are displayed, along with small keys to the materials utilized in the production (flowers, nuts, berries, etc)…

oakopolis, oakopolis gallery, oakopolis creativity center

Ocelot by Angelina DeAntonis, Permacouture by Sasha Duerr, The Moon by Cassidy Hope Wright & Cory Gunter Brown, Watermarks by India Flint


sustainable clothing, local couture, oakland clothing designers

Street Art ~ Modern Folk Art

Hey all… it’s a busy busy week.  Sorry no post yesterday, and today’s going to be a quickie!

I’ve got a few more  gallery stops to share from our Murmuring last Friday, but you’ll have to check back for those…

For now, a wheat paste we spotted on Broadway… a collaborative effort by four local street artists:  GATS, Ras Terms, Dead Eyes, and I’m not sure about the last guy… he does a lot of stickers proclaiming “Beer is Good”, a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with.

ras terms, dead eyes, gats, graffiti against the system, broke

A couple of these guys’ works (and those by several more) will appear in a group show this Friday night at Basement Gallery, 7 – 10pm. 

Curated by local graffiti afficionado Endless Canvas, Deep Rooted Scribes is billed as “a look at modern cultural folk art.” Should be pretty cool…

Basement Gallery
1027 3rd Street
Oakland, CA 94607

courtesy of Ojos sin Vida's Flickr photostream

Vessel Gallery

I mentioned in yesterday that new galleries were springing up in Oaktown like mushrooms. Today’s post is about one of these… Vessel Gallery.

Though new to Oaktown – they literally just opened and their big gala opening reception is this Saturday – this gallery was previously located in Berkeley, established in 2004. Which makes sense. Because it doesn’t feel like a newbie start-up…

For one thing, their space is huge. Contrast this with next door neighbor FM gallery (also new, or at least new to me) which has several artist workstations and a gallery all squeezed into one narrow story, and it seems positively gargantuan.

oakland art gallery, art galleries on 25th, oakland art murmur

Housed in an old livery (there are several of these in the East Bay including one near me on San Pablo, which forced me many years ago to look up the term – it means a stable where horses and vehicles are cared for or rented out for pay – picture horse-drawn carriages running up and down Telegraph), the building dates to 1906 when the “Joseph E. Silva Livery Stable cared for, boarded, and transferred Oakland Fire Department horses at this location.”

Owners Matt and Diane Iglehart worked with architects and designers to renovate the building specifically for use as an art gallery, while maintaining some of the interesting historical details, like the original floors (see below).

A small gallery space greets visitors on the ground floor, but upstairs is a different story. The second floor is expansive, and each piece of art is given lots of breathing room. Additionally, instead of packing several artists’ works into their space, they focused primarily on just one artist, whose pieces filled both floors. It was a somewhat refreshing viewing experience, almost restful compared to the chaos of smaller more eclectic galleries.

vessel gallery, 25th street galleries, oakland art murmur

The current exhibit is titled “A Place In-Between” and features sculptures and drawings by Cyrus Tilton, and jewelry by Eric Silva. Silva’s pieces occupy a display case upstairs and were not easy to document so you’ll have to go see for yourself. And you should, because these one of a kind pieces are quite stunning. He works from found, recycled, or reused materials, fashioning them into “wearable sculpture”.

Pictured below are just two of the works of Cyrus Tilton.  As I mentioned previously, his works dominate the exhibit occupying both floors of the gallery.  His body of work is extremely cohesive, sculptures upstairs echoing the drawings that are first encountered downstairs.

Many of the pieces seem to be about the complexity and changeability of identity and persona, and incorporate interactivity to convey these ideas.  For example, the arms of the figure (below right) are movable and if patrons aren’t too afraid to actually touch the art, you can spin different “masks” into place.

Another piece that seemed quite popular had a figure sitting on a chair, with something akin to a small paddle-wheel for a head.  Each “paddle” had a painted head in some configuration, and the whole wheel had a crank attached to it… if you spun the hand crank, the rotating paddles would create a small motion picture of a head gyrating, in seeming agony.  It was slightly disturbing, but incredibly captivating.

cyrus tilton, sculpture by cyrus tilton, a place in between

The title of the exhibit comes from Tilton’s artist statement:

This body of work is a contemplation, an effort to be present on the journey and to acknowledge the path, the obstacles, and the place in-between.

I encourage folks to check out their opening this weekend. There’ll be music and wine (of course!), and a portion of all proceeds benefit local charity First Place for Youth.

471 25th Street
Oakland, CA 94612

T 510.893.8800

Gallery Hours
Tuesday through Saturday 11AM – 6PM
First Friday’s of the month 6 – 9PM

map + directions >