Tag Archives: renaissance

OBEY in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam may not be the birthplace of the Renaissance (that honor is most commonly attributed to Florence, Italy), but the centuries old city certainly experienced a revitalization of epic proportions during the 17th century, considered it’s “Golden Age.” The city was known as a center for Europe’s free press, and also a bastion of religious tolerance. And as Europe’s most important shipping center, it became the wealthiest city in the world (as well as its financial center). In the early part of this century, when immigration was at its peak, the city developed its current canal system of 4 concentric half-circles, which remains essentially intact, hundreds of years later.

Subsequent centuries saw declines in Amsterdam, both in wealth and population (not unlike the plight of Oakland, albeit much later in the 20th century, post WWII).

When we emerged from the Amsterdam Central train station near our short-term apartment, this is what the station looked like…


And a huge Shepard Fairey installation was set up on some temporary construction walls right outside…

I’m in heaven!!!






Revisiting the Renaissance…

So I’ve been thinking about councilperson Rebecca Kaplan’s statement last Friday night… “The Renaissance in Oakland has begun!”

Renaissance is defined “the activity, spirit, or time of the great revival of art, literature, and learning in Europe beginning in the 14th century and extending to the 17th century, marking the transition from the medieval to the modern world.” And also “any similar revival in the world of art and learning.”

In an effort to greater understand this period and its significance today with respect to our great city of Oakland, I am off to Europe to do a bit of investigating… Well actually, I have a bit of a vacation planned. But I am going to Europe and am at the international terminal of SFO as we speak…

I am hoping to post while I am gone, which unfortunately is a very brief trip, but if I miss a day or two, please don’t hold it against me…

No photo today… the plane is boarding!! Woo HOO!

Oakland Arts Unveiled

So last friday night was another of the First Fridays series in Oakland… I have to admit I was feeling a bit under the weather, so it wasn’t a big night out for me.  But there was some interesting stuff going on and I was able to hit a little bit of it before retiring home to a cat on my lap and a bowl of chicken soup.

First, I was surprised to discover, during my research for Friday night plans, a relatively new website called OaklandArts.org.  Seems that they launched back in June of 2009 as the first-ever centrally located website for all things art related in the city of Oakland… and I thought that’s what my site was going to be!  Well they may have beaten me to the punch, but I think there is room for both of us, don’t you?

Their site still seems a bit buggy to me (ran into some broken links and had trouble sending them a message) but I’m sure they’ll get these things straightened out in due time.

They’ve got a wealth of information about Artists and Art Organizations, Events, Funding Opportunities, and more.  If you are an artist or part of an Arts Organization, you should definitely enter  your info into their growing database: http://www.oaklandarts.org/register.php Be sure to include a photo for best visibility.

This website and a related site 510arts.com, were both highlighted during a party at Frank Ogawa Plaza early Friday evening. The 510arts website is a collaborative effort between the neighboring cities of Richmond, Berkeley, Emeryville, and Oakland, geared towards promoting the greater East Bay as a world class art & cultural destination. Woo hoo!

There was live jazz, a wonderful performance by the Oakland Youth Choir, numerous speakers including our relatively new City Councilperson at large (meaning she is the only councilperson who represents the entire city), Rebecca Kaplan, and installations of various sculptural art pieces on loan courtesy of NIMBY.  Here’s one of Michael Christian‘s Fire Flowers… I didn’t stay late enough to see if it was set up to shoot flames.

The biggest thing I took away from this party was a quote issued by Rebecca Kaplan. She said, “The Oakland Renaissance has begun!!” More on this, and the galleries I hit after the party in my next couple posts…