Monday, May 28, 2007

Mark Your Calendar: Oakland Art Murmur's "First Friday"

Don't miss the Oakland Art Murmur on Friday, June 1.

On the first Friday evening of each month, galleries and artists' collectives in and near Oakland's newly bustling (but still edgy) Uptown area open from 7 to 10 p.m. for the coalition's monthly art walk. Participants include Rock Paper Scissors, Blankspace, Boontling Gallery, Rowan Morrison, 21 Grand, Creative Growth, Mercury 20, and Front Gallery, among others.

Affordable art is a key part of the mix: Original pieces by emerging artists can be had for as little as $20, while work from more established painters, illustrators, photographers, and sculptors runs several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Oakland has long been an artists' haven, but in recent years the art scene has exploded as high costs have pushed droves of working artists out of San Francisco in search of more affordable studio space. I liken it a bit to the arts pilgrimage from Manhattan to Brooklyn during the last ten years. (Indeed, Oakland is reputedly second only to New York in number of artists per capita.) The Oakland Art Murmur was born last year to showcase this growing local arts community.

So grab a coffee, a beer, or a bite to eat at Mama Buzz Cafe and then stroll from art space to art space. Among the artists exhibiting this month are Chris Truman, Carl Auge, Alexander Cheves, James Gouldthorpe, and Moira Murdock. Don't miss 21 Grand's "Small Works" fundraising sale, which features works from dozens of local artists, all priced at $100 or less. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket, too, and settle in for Asphalt Shorts IV, a series of short films about cities and urbanism that's being screened in the Broadway parking lot between 21st and 22nd streets at 8:30.

You're also likely to catch a drum circle, a bonfire, a guerrilla art performance, or a busking band amidst the milling students, hipsters, and art aficionados on the street. It's a happening Happening indeed.

Info, directions, and details here.

(Photos by Lane Hartwell for Oakland magazine.)


katiedid said...

Very cool! We have the "Second Saturday" art walk here in Sactown which is very well attended too. Kind of like the mall at Christmas. Definately a lively night life. Sac is really growing on me!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's an image from the original Art Murmur promo card from January 2006.

casacaudill said...

oh, i can't wait until the next one comes around. i didn't even know about this.


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