Art

At this week’s Bay Area Queer Zine Fest, artists sell, swap and inspire

A small group of zine artists gathered in front of the Crisis Club Gallery in Oakland on Saturday afternoon and rifled through the dozens of zines splayed across a white foldout table, looking to trade their own creations with  other zinesters. The zine swap was a pre-festival event in celebration of the Bay Area Queer Zine Fest, which began Sunday. The weeklong Zine Fest is returning for its fifth festival with a mixture of in-person and remote events until Saturday….

‘We need to be celebrated’: Joy takes center stage at trans queer Diwali event

Anjali Rimi is unapologetic about stepping into the light. And as the co-founder of Parivar Bay Area — a transgender-led, transgender-centering South Asian organization — she makes space for others to join her. On Saturday evening, Parivar hosted a joyous and informative Diwali celebration at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. Rooted in India but widely celebrated in the diaspora around the world, Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. Diwali’s significance was not lost on the audience of about 80,…

‘Press play and keep going’: writers explore art’s healing power at Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Writing saved Edward Gunawan’s life. And he hopes his story can help others. His comic “Press Play,” on view at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center until Monday, draws from his own struggles with lifelong depression. The title refers to a triangle the main character touches on his wrist “to make all the swirl and whirl come to a standstill,” as well as restart. On Saturday afternoon, Gunawan was in conversation with Bay Area poets Christine No and Michelle Lin for…

Oakland museum honors school shooting victims in Día de los Muertos ofrenda

Mariachi music will ring through the Oakland Museum on Sunday as the smell of copal, a traditional Aztec incense, fills the museum’s newly renovated garden.  The Oakland Museum of California’s Día de los Muertos one-day festival will return for the first time in-person since 2019, with seven ofrendas on display from noon to 4 p.m. A central part of Día de los Muertos is creating ofrendas to honor departed ancestors and bring them back to the land of the living,…

“This country is really nice, but it has a price’: Fruitvale laborers take stage with stories of love, loss, longing

The nine performers on stage Saturday night at Oakland Theater Project weren’t professional actors. They were day laborers from Fruitvale who relinquished the safety of silence to tell their stories.  And they will do it again at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at FLAX art & design, 1501 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in downtown Oakland.  Under a project called Teatro Jornalero, workers from Central America, Mexico and the United States share intimate stories of the turmoil that drove them from their…

Drunken Film Fest mixes movies with cocktails at Oakland bars

No table was left unfilled as film-lovers gathered on the patio of Stay Gold Deli to get a good view of a white screen that would soon show 12 films ranging in genre and subject matter on the second day of the Drunken Film Fest Oakland on Monday. The six-day festival ends Friday, bringing a dozen new films each night to different bars in Oakland. Arlin Golden brought the Drunken Film Fest to the city in 2018, after working on…

On your mark. Get set. Paint!

The Queer Healing Art Center buzzed with excitement on Saturday as artists prepared their bright white canvases, paintbrushes, and acrylic paint for an Art Battle.   This was the Queer Healing Art Center’s one year anniversary of hosting Art Battles — live competitions where artists paint blank canvases while surrounded by an audience. “As soon as the paintbrush hits the canvas, everyone is electrified,” said Kin Folkz né Monica Anderson, the center’s co-founder and executive director of the Queer Healing Art…

‘Culture is healing’: Native American Health Center celebrates 50 years in Bay Area

Charlene Harrison hadn’t danced at a powwow in 10 years. But on Saturday, the site director at Oakland’s Native American Health Center wore her jingle dress, stepped into the grass circle at Merritt College, and danced alongside family members underneath a burning sun.  “I’m a third-generation powwower,” said Harrison, who is Pomo, Paiute and Navajo. “This is what I know. So slipping on those old bear shoes, it feels right.”   Thousands of people came out to celebrate NAHC’s 50th birthday…

VIDEO: Celebrating the nation’s oldest continuous puppet theater, a Fairyland tradition

Fairyland’s Storybook Puppet Theater at Lake Merritt held its 65th annual Puppet Fair Weekend at the end of August, inviting children to discover what is said to be the oldest continuously operating puppet theater in the country. Joining the Storybook puppeteers for live performances was Bob Baker’s Marionettes, the oldest children’s theater company in Los Angeles. The celebration last Saturday and Sunday included a new Vietnamese show called “Tam and Cam,” the first offering in what Storybook anticipates will be…