Monday, November 06, 2006

exploring Oakland's Art Murmur

We'd been hearing about this...a collection of new, young galleries concentrated in a formerly (?) sketchy neighborhood in Oakland-- who collectively have opening receptions on the first Friday of each month. It's called the Art Murmur. Here's a SF Chronicle article about the whole thing... and here's an interesting, longer article, that focuses on some of the potentially more controversial aspects: East Bay Express article. Anyways, we met up with friends Pati, Tara & Paul and hit the street, and it was more fun than I might have even imagined. Aside from the actual artwork displayed inside the galleries, there is a large component of block party, street theater, & performance art.
There was a dixieland jazz-style band playing; people were designing hats out of old sweaters and sewing them right on people's heads.
Many of our favorite actual pieces of art were in the "Mercury 20 Gallery" (previously the Robert Tomlinson Studio/Gallery-- Robert is someone both Tony & I knew Way Back, when he showed art at his then store, 'Plate & Pallette'). We also, completely by chance, ran into friends Elisa & Travis, who recently moved from Santa Rosa to Oakland. Elisa said they're about to write up a small business plan, and open a gallery/frame shop in this district. (Travis is the framer, Elisa a painter.) Which is an exciting idea, I think!

This was one of our favorite artists: Tarra Lyons (she just e-mailed us with her name. We visited her website , and now we like her work even more! (click to enlarge any image)

& here's 2 more from the Mercury 20 Gallery--
Margaret Chavigny & Sheila Metcalf-Tobin.

We were fascinated by these people designing hats on the street. I bet next time both Pati & Tara manage to get one made for them.

Two from the many rooms at Esteban Sabar.

... because even stuffed bears need cigarette breaks.

that's Elisa & Travis on the left. (Elisa is gorgeous, and this photo doesn't do her justice!)

Kinetic sculture using... inflatable condoms, what else?

Tony, making new friends!


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