While there have been reactionary articles in the recent past about gentrification in the area, and it's connection to Bohemia, these few and scattered acquaintances of mine have opened shop, expanding away from the setting sun into Piedmont and Downtown: Rowan Morrison Gallery, Manifesto Bicycles, Issues, and Premium.
Situated along and around the 40th Street Corridor they came together last Saturday the 21st and put on 4 art openings in one night in the form of a quest to see works by 8 Oakland artists. Each shop provided maps of the area and stamps for each of your visits. Once you collected them all you were entered into a raffle.
You can read more about it at the myspace page.
It's where I got this:
"More than just another Art Murmur, the merchants of the 40th St. Corridor appreciate the value that support for the local economy can have on a neighborhood. All the owners of these businesses, as well as the exhibiting artists, are also residents of Oakland."
And now some pictures. Follow me.
First I went to Manifesto where I saw The Living City with (clockwise from left) a piece by Task1, Jake Watling, Jaime Lakatos, Nathaniel Parsons and Dave Higgins. I liked the Higgins piece. It was like the Wheel of Fortune. Joseph Cambell-wise not Pat Sajak-wise. And all the pieces had killer details so I got some closeups too.
Next I went to Premium Tattoo and Vintage owned by my good buddies Matt and Hilary (more of Matt later. you'll see) who were showing Obi Kaufman's "The Robot Volcano: Paintings about Psychology". Obi also puts out that zine Swee[t]art and pretty much curated the Manifesto show.
At this point I should tell you that I took more photos but decided to show one piece apiece as it were.
And at this point that evening I decided to head over to Issues because there wasn't an inch of parking or walking space at Rowan Morrison.
I always end up spending too much money at Issues. You can help by buying mine and Andrea's books there, you know.
Anyways Buddy Matt's show "From the Tip of My Pen" was there and if you've ever seen his paintings you wouldn't be surprised at how good his sketch book is. He kept calling these awesome drawings 'exercises'.. as if!
Okay so now I've had two beers and two glasses of wine and with some encouragement from Matt I hassled Todd from the Piedmont Post. He bought one of each of our books! Thanks Todd!
And so after dropping my map into a puddle Joe at Issues stamped me a new one and it was time to hit Rowan Morrison for Derek Weisberg's "Olam Haba: The World to Come".
Heavy stuff let me tell you. All candle lit..there was an awesome Gollom (sp?), the Jewish kind not the computer animated kind, that accepted your wish coins in its mouth and which I didn't photograph because I'm dumb.
By the way, Derek's studio is downstairs from my loft and he used to own or run Boontling Gallery or something, Hi Derek!
I only bothered linking the galleries/businesses because this took forever and you can google the artists. Big up to my new friends at Rowan Morrison and Issues and to all my artist buddies for such a good time.