Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brooklyn of the West

Oakland gets a bad rap. The San Francisco Chronicle, for instance, loves to take pot shots at its violence and crime, its economic woes, its strife. This, at best, seems to me to be shooting fish in a barrel (didn't anyone ever tell them there's no dignity in sniping at an easy target?) and at worst carries an unpleasant undercurrent of prejudice. But as many residents of Oakland will tell you, there's a lot to love there, too. Now, I don't live in Oakland, but I had an experience there last Friday night which gave me the distinct impression that Oakland is poised to become the Brooklyn of the Bay Area (of course, its a long way from all the way there, yet, and its an open question whether becoming Brooklyn would actually be a good thing, coming, as it would, with its freight of hipster gentrification and seven dollar ice cream sandwiches). The experience I had was the Oakland Art Murmur--a gallery walk that happens on 25th and 23rd Streets, between Broadway and Telegraph, on the first Friday night of each month. With all respect to the many fine art galleries in San Francisco, I saw more art that interested me, condensed into a smaller geographical area and a shorter span of time, than I've seen in a year of First Thursdays and other such happenings here in the city. And so, without further ado, here is my round up of the many fine things I saw:

Group show "A Week in Calistoga" featuring work by Logan Payne (top), Amy Schaffer (above), Karen Worth (below), Joelle Jones (below that), (and many more) at Oakopolis.

 The charming "slow fashion" boutique, The Moon, in the Oakopolis building.

Luke Heimbinger, Mari Marks, and Sakura Haru, at Vessel.

These next half-dozen galleries are all in the same building, 473 25th Street:

Erin Malone at Photo Gallery.

Donna Anderegg (top) Wesley Anderegg (above) and  at Roscoe Ceramic Gallery.

Group show featuring Wayne Armstrong (above, and below, in order:) Elaine Maute, Mark Lightfoot, Linn Thygeson, and DanWeber at Manna Gallery:

Group show "Barely There"  featuring (below) in order: Brian Mancl, Pouk√© Halpern, Joanne Fox, Michelle Lynn Dyrness, and Jonah Burlingame (plus many more) at Slate.


Steve Lomprey at The Wall Gallery

Chopsticks Urban Art Space

Dave Meeker at Mercury20

A whole indie craft and food fair at 25th Street Collective  

Jaun Santiago at FM Gallery. Plus  the open studios of (below, in order) Peter St. Lawrence, Joe Kowalczyk, Mike Steffen, Lauren Rayburn, Joshua Margolis, Dane Pollok, Jessica Jenkins, and Julie Ann Travis:

Alex Pardee at Zero Friends

Farnaz Shadravan at Shadravan Gallery.

David Wiley and Stephani Martinez at Hatch Gallery.

Monet Clark at Krowswork.

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