Checking Out Your Neighbor’s Art

With 400 artists to choose from and more than a few in North Oakland, it was difficult to decide which studios to drop by on the last Saturday of this event. I didn’t want to waste my time driving around – it’s not often that you get the opportunity to chit-chat in your artist-neighbor’s living room or garden while eating cheese with toothpicks and checking out their ultra-private oeuvre. I chose to comb over a small square of the crowded…

Oakland artists eye $$ for community projects

More than 50 local artists envisioning sunflower murals, films and other projects attended an orientation Thursday at City Hall to find out about the Oakland Open Proposals program in which the city will give out $100,000 for art projects. “We still have money to fund art, even though the budget is cut across the board,” Steven Huss, the Cultural Arts Program Coordinator at Oakland’s Cultural Art and Marketing Department, told the artists. “I would like to detox some parts of…

A bike, a kid, and a welding gun

Ismael Plasencia is one of those lucky people who considers his job, “a dream come true.”  Among his other responsibilities at West Oakland’s The Crucible, Plasencia manages the incredibly popular bike program.  The bike program offers eight bike fix-a-thons a year, where anyone can bring their bike to get fixed, as well as youth classes in bike mechanics, Earn-a-Bike, and frame alteration, Hyphy Bikes. The Crucible, an industrial arts school and community outreach program in West Oakland, was looking for…

For Native Hawaiians, it’s a paradise lost

Hawaiians struggle in their native islands against the forces of tourism and militarism, according to Ikaika Hussey, publisher of the Hawaii Independent, a Honolulu-based newspaper devoted to in-depth coverage of local issues. On Sunday, March 15, at the Eastside Cultural Center in downtown Oakland, Hussey, joined by Malia Connor, founder of the Malia Movement Company, presented “Hawaiian Native Lands: Seized, Not Ceded,” a combination dance performance and discussion focused on Native Hawaiian struggles.

Time Travel in Emeryville: The Factory Party

by Carlos Davalos / Oakland North Photos by Howard Hsu / Oakland North A congregation of look-alike Andy Warhols is not something that happens often. But on Friday March 6, in an Emeryville warehouse that reproduced the 1960s’ dark, industrial-driven art scene fathered by Warhol, the Third Annual Amoeba Art Show took place. The Factory Party. More than 60 artists showed their paintings, sculptures, installations, films, photographs and other mediums/works. And yes, there were also the Velvet Underground look-alikes, playing…

Art Quest along the 40th Street Corridor

North Oaklanders came out Saturday, Feb 21, for the first ever 40th Street corridor Art Quest. There were raffle prizes, great art, and a fun night exploring the neighborhood for everyone who came out.  

Arts criticism: Anti-police brutality art show at Mama Buzz

By Madeleine Bair/Special to Oakland North Lisa Calderon, the curator of Mama Buzz gallery, spent a recent Friday tacking labels to a wall in last-minute preparation of her latest show: an artistic response to the killing of Oscar Grant, a 22-year old from Hayward who was fatally shot by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle on New Years day.

Seniors and health care: The musical

The patient, a gray-haired grandmother of 75, is unabashedly hitting on her twenty-something male nurse. “What are you going to do to me today?” she says coquettishly. “I’m going to start by taking your vitals, ” he says, trying to quash the flirtation. She cocks her head and flutters her eyelashes. “I think I’m going to need a bath.”