Tag Archives: oakland public art

Dimond Wayfinding Mosaics

I hope you are digging the mosaics because we have a lot more ground to cover! I’ve been scoping out tons of amazing examples, inspiring me to visit parts of Oakland I’ve never been to before.

And this next batch is specifically designed to do the same… encourage exploration.

Produced by Gina Dominguez of Snapshot Mosaics, and commissioned by Councilperson (now Mayor) Jean Quan, five sidewalk mosaics were recently installed near the intersection of MacArthur & Fruitvale at the heart of the Dimond District.

They are called “wayfinding” mosaics as their intent is to direct passing pedestrian to nearby points of interest.  The designs incorporate imagery designed to celebrate the unique features of this very cool (as I am discovering since this is my new ‘hood) neighborhood.

I spotted the first of these outside the new mural at Farmer Joe’s while shooting updates of their progress (see original post here). Then I discovered there were more of them to be found so I spent some time walking the nearby blocks to find them all.

Dominguez has posted about this on Snapshot’s site under Custom Installations, and I’m going to be pulling some quotes from her site below (italicized).

Located near La Farine Bakery, 3411 Fruitvale Avenue the hummingbird was chosen as the main design element due to its positive symbolism in Native American culture.  This mosaic celebrates the Native American Collection housed at the Dimond Library and points visitors toward:

Dimond Library, Peralta Creek, Fruitvale District, & Sausal Creek

snapshot mosaics, dimond public art, sidewalk mosaics

Located at the Dimond Library, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue, this mosaic’s design was inspired by Sausal Creek, the movement of water and the Rainbow Trout that live there. It directs passersby to:

Chabot Space & Science Center, Sequoia Elementary School, Dimond Business District, & Sausal Creek

snapshot mosaics, gina dominguez, sausal creek mosaic

Situated at the base of “Hidden Jewels,” a mural being painted on the side of Farmer Joe’s Market, its design shows the native flora found in Dimond Canyon: California Poppy, California Fuschia, Morning Glory, and California Grapes. This mosaic directs people to:

Dimond Park, Peralta Hacienda, William D. Wood Park, & Glenview District

dimond public art, dragonfly mosaic, gina dominguez mosaics

Located near Bank of America, 2154 MacArthur Boulevard, this mosaic showcases the Leimert Bridge which spans Dimond Canyon, a landmark feat of its day. Also celebrated is the heron that graces the creek with its presence. This wayfinder will direct you toward:

Oakmore District, Laurel District, San Francisco Bay, & The Altenheim

oakland public art, city of oakland sponsored art, heron mosaic

The Redwood Grove in Dimond Park and Joaquin Miller Park are featured in this mosaic that is installed at 2450 Fruitvale Avenue [outside the Wells Fargo]. From here, visitors can find:

Joaquin Miller Park, Bret Harte District, Fruitvale District, & Dimond Canyon

sequoia mosaic, snapshot mosaics, sidewalk mosaics, oakland public art

Pretty cool, right? I think they’re awesome, and I know now there are some new destinations I need to seek out, like William D. Wood Park.

Snapshot Mosaics is located in Montclair Village in Oakland and offers classes for both adults and kids, as well as open studio time for those more experienced. In the coming days, I’ll be writing a bit more about technique and process, as well as some other instructional opportunities… Stay tuned!

Temescal, Telegraph & Traffic Boxes

I don’t know who did these… the interweb has nothing for me.  Perhaps my search terms are flawed… These were done by students at Peralta Elementary, which is situated just off the corner of Telegraph and Altatraz. (Thanks to Fragmentary Evidence for this info).

temescal public art, temescal art on traffic boxes

I’m assuming they were, at the very least, orchestrated by the Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District, whose mission is to make the Temescal Telegraph commercial corridor a better place to live, work and shop.  They were installed at least a year ago, along with large flower filled planters that also run the length of Telegraph in Temescal.

telegraph temescal business improvement district, TBID

oakland utility boxes, temescal public art

Likely modeled after Emeryville’s Signs of the Times public art project (which I truly love… you can read more about it on my post Words By Roads ~ part III), these images certainly add a shiny happy people feeling to the corridor.

portraits of temescal, faces of temescal

oakland public art, telegraph temescal business corridor

public art traffic boxes, paintings on traffic signal boxes, temescal telegraph

I’m interested to know who produced the artwork.  Studio One? CCA? A local school? If anyone has info, please send in a comment.

A more recent project by City Canvas has been installed in the Uptown District, also on traffic signal boxes… (another post)

Temescal Public Art, telegraph temescal business improvement, telegraph corridor improvement

Oakland Traffic Signal Boxes, Public Art Temescal


Since posting the life-size humpback whale mural from Kauai last week,  I was reminded of these giraffes because it seems to me these have been proportioned to be life-size as well. Although, to be honest, I’ve been wanting to post these guys ever since I first started my blog, um, let’s see… how long ago? Anyone? Anyone? It’s hard to believe… but I started this thing a full twelve months ago. And so, with no further delay…

It’s official… today is Oaktown Art’s one year anniversary. Woo hoo!!  (Here’s my very first post from a year ago.  An interesting side note is that this mural is no longer visible thanks to the new Lanesplitter’s on San Pablo, so I’m happy to have documented its existence here.)

And though I can’t say I fulfilled my initial goal of posting something every day, I’m pretty proud of the 200+ posts I have done. Heaps of thanks to my readers.

And now back to the giraffes…

giraffe murals, large giraffe paintings, freeway giraffes

giraphics, dan fontes, giraphics by dan fontes

large giraffe paintings, dan fontes, giraphics

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giraffes under 580, freeway giraffe paintings, oakland public art on freeways

580 freeway giraffes, giraffes by dan fontes

dan fontes, oakland office of community development, public art oakland

These were painted over 25 years ago! It’s amazing they’re still so vibrantly intact. I love them and am grateful for their existence. (Located at intersection of MacArthur & Harrison, under 580 Freeway)

And now for something completely different…

Well… a little different.  We’re still looking at murals in the Temescal/Piedmont Broadway vicinity, but this one has a distinctively different style.  We’ve seen this artist before… most recently on the flip side of this very building, in my Delightful and Disturbing post, with his “Promenade at Lake Merritt.”

stefen art, stefen mural art, broadway pet hospital, broadway pet hospital mural

The artist is Stefen, a self-taught painter who specializes in large murals, frequently on pet hospitals… go figure.

This one portrays a historical view of the Oakland hills. You can see the Claremont Hotel in the upper left. This historic hotel was constructed in 1915, so we get a clue as to the period displayed.

Claremont Hotel, Rockridge properties mural, stefen art

oakland mural art, stefen art mural, rockridge properties mural

Aside from a few wooden structures, one which appears to be horse stables, there’s really not much else developed yet.

Below you can see a Hollywood type sign in the hills that reads “ROCK RIDGE PROPERTIES.” Does anyone know if this sign really existed?

There’s a wonderful neo-realism in all of Stefen’s pet paintings… the wild creatures of the Sierras in his Montclair mural, animals strolling the Lake Merrit promenade as people, or here… with pets displayed as shrubbery. I love that word.

topiary, pet topiaries, pet topiary mural, stefen art mural

The topiaries are just wonderful. Nice work Stefen.

pet topiaries, pet topiary mural, stefen art mural, oakland mural art