Behind the scenes at Oakland’s women-run art spaces

Artist Favianna Rodriguez is busy designing political posters and preparing to produce a large glass mural. A printmaker by trade, the mural will be the first time Rodriguez works wth glass.

Ten minutes away, in a gallery in downtown Oakland, Natalia Mount spends her days guiding visitors through the current exhibition, which includes sculptures that move and emit loud sounds. The executive director of Pro Arts Gallery, Mount is eagerly planning new shows that toy with accepted notions of what is considered art.

And at ArtVale Gallery in the Dimond district, Shoshana Zambryski-Stachel leads a free art class for kids who live in the neighborhood. Zambryski-Stachel is passionate about providing access to the arts, and two years ago she opened ArtVale to do just that.

Countless galleries, museums, art collectives, performance venues, DIY spaces, and the Art Murmur public events lend to a thriving and engaged arts community. The city has particular strength in its history of protest, which often shows up in artist’s work, and has resulted in a robust network of women involved in the arts. Women in Oakland run galleries and museums, organize public art events, and produce art work in every medium possible. Rodriguez, Mount, and Zambryski-Stachel are just three of these women who are making the arts in Oakland as tenacious and energetic as it is.

A few of these women-run art spaces are pinned in the map below.

Click here to read the profile of collage, print and mural artist Favianna Rodriguez.

Click here to read the profile of Pro Arts director Natalia Mount.

Click here to read the profile of ArtVale gallery founder Shoshana Zambryski-Stachel.

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