woman sewing

Rock Paper Scissors Collective, an Oakland-based volunteer cooperative offering free and low-cost art classes to the community, has offered “Street Style Fashion” workshops since 2007. The workshops, which are presented in partnership with Arts and Creative Expression, are open by application to young fashion designers ages 14 to 25 and focus on teaching participants professional design skills. Each workshop, students begin or continue work on a garment using techniques they develop in class to move their work forward. The clothing the students create ranges from sweatshirts to skirts to dresses.

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This Thursday, from 7 - 11 pm, Samantha Stevens hosts the D.I.Y Emporium: A Benefit For Rock Paper Scissors at the Sweets Ballroom in Oakland. About 30 local designers will showcase and sell clothing and accessories to promote buying locally this Halloween. All proceeds will go to Rock Paper Scissors, an art collective in Oakland.

“Back in the day, your mom made your Halloween costume,” says Samantha Stevens, a filmmaker and event planner, and the creator of Thursday night’s D.I.Y. Emporium: A Benefit for Rock Paper Scissors. “That was so much better than the little dinosaur costume you would buy at Wal-Mart.” The Emporium is a combination showcase and sale of clothing, jewelry, hats and homemade costume pieces, some of which would make a mother blush.

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Rock Paper Scissors

Art can come in a variety of forms—paint carefully brushed onto a sheet of canvas or pencil marks thoughtfully scrawled onto a piece of sketch paper. Then there are the less conventional art forms. Skateboards, for example. Or a pair of sneakers. Or knuckle tattoos.

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At 23rd and Telegraph, inside a storefront/gallery/craft space called Rock Paper Scissors, neatly hung canvas paintings and framed ink drawings lined the walls. Cards below each piece identified the artist: all are prisoners at San Quentin.

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