Art

Woodwork, glassware, metal pieces, leather: Annual GIFTY market returns for holiday shopping

Christa Cesario picks out a pair of colorful, handmade wooden earrings and holds them up to her ear.  “I came to buy a gift for my mom, and ended up buying one for myself,” she says. Cesario is among thousands of people who are expected to visit The Crucible’s annual GIFTY Craft Show & Open House this weekend in Oakland. The 56,000-square-foot industrial artists’ space is hosting approximately 70 artists, including woodworkers, glassblowers, beadmakers, neon artists, metalworkers, and leatherworkers, many…

For Oakland cyclists seeking art, it’s all about the journey

As they do every month, a dozen or so Oakland cyclists will strap on helmets for a casual ride through the city streets on Sunday, pausing along the way to look and learn about the art that others walk, drive or pedal past. “It’s all around us if we take the time to slow down and appreciate it,” said Tamara Sherman, a writer and Art Ride regular. “You might not see it whizzing by in your car.”  The Oakland Art…

New documentary celebrates Oakland’s ‘last Black cowboy’

Half a dozen people sporting cowboy hats and boots stood in a queue outside of Eli’s Mile High Club, chatting in hushed excitement, some squeezing together for selfies.  The occasion was the Oct. 2 premiere of “Cowboy,” a documentary about the life of “Oakland’s last Black cowboy,” 80-year-old Wilbert Freeman McAlister. He is president of the Oakland Black Cowboy Association, which is a non-profit focused on preserving the history of African Americans who were crucial to the establishment of the…

VIDEO: Watch Oakland muralist turn a blank wall into a work of art

Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith is a muralist and artist in Oakland. As creative director of the Bay Area Mural Project, Wolfe-Goldsmith works to gain exposure for local artists, while painting the walls in Oakland with image that resonate. Her work reflects the culture, history and dreams that shape communities, as it presents empowering representations of BIPOC individuals. In this video, Wolfe-Goldsmith does the physically demanding work of a mural artist and talks about the piece she is most proud of.

Fruitvale community prepares for El Día de Los Muertos festival Sunday

With marigolds, banners, altars and sugar skulls, El Día de Los Muertos observations are underway in Oakland, where a festival is planned for this weekend and altars already are up in homes and gathering places. During Sunday’s downpour, in a kitchen strung with intricately patterned papel picado banners, visual artist Daniel Camacho delicately separated the marigold petals he made with orange tissue paper. It is believed that the strong scent and vibrant gold of marigolds can lead loved ones back…

The lights are on but flickering at Video Room, where you can still rent movies and chat with cinephiles

One of the  last video rental stores in Oakland runs on a hope, a prayer and an infusion of cash from owner Joseph Lum’s retirement savings.  Close to 40,000 DVDs line the narrow shelves at Video Room, which Lum opened in 1983 on Broadway and College Avenue but was forced to downsize — three locations later — to a storefront on Piedmont Avenue. That the business has survived the rise and fall of corporate video stores, the advent of Netflix…

‘Long live the legacy of Dr. Huey P. Newton’: Sculpture honors Black Panthers co-founder

During an unusually stormy Sunday in West Oakland, about 150 people sang and danced in the rain to celebrate the unveiling of a sculpture honoring Huey P. Newton, who co-founded the Black Panther Party in the city. The bronze bust of Newton is the first permanent art installation to honor the activist, who started the Panthers with Bobby Seale in 1966 to provide educational, and economic support to the Black community. The party developed services to meet the everyday needs…

‘It’s just a sweet, magical little event’: Autumn Lights Festival unites artists and gardeners

This year’s Autumn Lights Festival brings together over 300 artists and 70 illuminated light displays ranging from carved-out gourds to a steampunk-esque snail car fully equipped with pyrotechnics.  The festival, which is celebrating its 10th year, opened to a sell-out crowd Thursday at The Gardens at Lake Merritt. Aside from art, it also gives space to local food vendors and live musicians. Director and founder of the festival, Tora Rocha, said the garden gives local artists an opportunity to show their work…

Artists paint murals on boards that Chinatown shopowners put over smashed windows

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Callan Porter-Romero dragged her little red trolley to a restaurant in Chinatown. She unloaded her ladder, placed paint cans and brushes on the ground, then mixed purple and pink on her palette. Atop the spattered ladder, she drew orchids on the restaurant window. The flowers surrounded a sketched hand holding a pair of green chopsticks.  “We need more art in the community to show that people who grew up here are still here, and their…