I came to Oakland’s Chinatown to see the Moments of Expressions exhibit by Peter Gee at the Oakland Asian Culture Center. From May 1st to June 20th, 2021 the OACC is showing a window and gallery exhibit. To see the inside gallery you have to schedule an appointment on their website, no walk-ins are possible.
I wasn’t sure what time I would be able to go over. Therefore I decided early to skip the inhouse option and just see the window display. The OACC is located in the Pacific Renaissance Plaza nestled between Franklin and Webster and 11th and 9th. I walked up the stairs to the OACC and saw a collection of the pictures in one window. I wandered around to see if there were more displays, but if there were I missed them.
Going down the escalator opposite the Center I noticed the murals. These paintings are hiding the fact that a lot of businesses boarded up their stores. With an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans many businesses took extra precaution by boarding up their storefronts and shortening their hours. A lot of the paintings are expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. However, there are also thoughtful and funny images.
Have you been to Oakland’s Chinatown?
If you like murals you might want to check out another of my posts: the 100 Murals project in San Jose.
The halls feel like a school with rooms on each side. There is a roof, but it is not enclosed. This brings some nice welcome shade in this heat. I wander the halls trying to find the Cubberly Project – an art installation depicting the diversity of this community center in Palo Alto.
On the walls around the community center are photos by Martha Sakellariou; writer Jennifer Lee supplied the content. The exhibit is the result of three weeks of gathering information about the people you might meet around this campus.
I can feel the diversity just by wandering the halls. I hear kids repeating a teacher’s word in, I believe, Chinese. There is a group of children running down the hall. Dance classes and karate are being offered. This all shows the great mix of community.
Martha Sakellariou captures this in a fantastic way. In The sixteen Avenidas, 16 women are making flower arrangements. These women vary in age and ethnicity and you can see them enjoying their tasks and each other in a photo mural in the courtyard.
The Cubberly hands is a collage of different hands and activities involving hands. Again these images show the diversity and speak without words about the inclusion of different backgrounds and habits.
I enjoyed the Cubberly Project and hope this will make us all want to learn more about each other. All summer you can see the installation at the Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto. There is an audio installment that will play some of the interviews until June 21st, 2019, Monday – Friday 5 pm to 7 pm, and weekends from 11 am to 1 pm.
The 100 Block Mural Project is going for a Guinness record. They created 100 murals, each their own 3×3 space, as a large continuously collaborative mural. You can admire the artwork at 300 First Street in San Jose, across the California Theatre.
The creators of this, Exhibition District, are not only on a mission to beautify the city; their plan was to discourage graffiti. And, what is really amazing, they paid the artists for their murals.
And given that women are present but not well represented in the art community, they achieved a great set of statistics. Of the 100 artists, 90% of the artists are local, 50 males, 40 females and 10 non-binary.
Each of the art pieces has a different feel. But it is not overwhelming, rather fascinating. The official unveiling was done March 1st, 2019, so you’ll be able to still get a fresh look at them. While you are out check out other murals around. The SOFA districts booms with murals. But clearly the 100 block is something special in the world of murals. It brightened up a rainy day for me. More please!
If you missed the Silicon Valley Open Studios this year, but you are still on the hunt to purchase local art, one place to consider is the Community Art show at PJCC. The Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City currently shows art to purchase by 83 local artists until August 26th, 2018.
On a variety of mediums from metal to paper, jewelry, and sculptures you get a great overview of the local art scene.
Of course you are encouraged to find your own winner of the show.
I enjoyed a light lunch at the cafe and ate outside at the Mark Hamlin Garden. The Grow Justice Mural at the garden facilitated by Jay Wolf Schlossberg-Cohen, has an eerie current relevance, one of the five panels is showing a mother with a child andthe words ‘Human’, ‘Rights’, ‘Stop Profiling’, ‘Immigration Rights’ and ‘Freedom’ on tiles below. Grow Justice is a Jewish commandment to make the world a better place; a goal we should all strive for – no matter what we believe.
If you are Inspired to paint yourself, the PJCC offers classes for young and old.
Redwood City used to be know in 1926 as the ‘Chrysanthemum Center of the World’. When Jane Kim was asked to paint six murals the original idea was to have local dogs in funny poses. Now there is only one dog in the series called Flora from Fauna, the rest are local animals like squirrels and foxes all with chrysanthemums.
I love the whimsical idea of the flowers engaging with the animals. Kim brought attention to the historical importance of the flower industry by Japanese immigrants and is also an advocate for wildlife. When I walked around Redwood City I saw 3 of the murals, all impressive in their attention to detail.
This is a great addition to the public art works in Redwood City.
Check out the murals here:
Arthur Murray Dance Studio at 2065 Broadway,
Cafe La Tartine at 830 Middlefield Road,
Polam Federal Credit Union at 770 Marshall St.,
Marshall Street Parking Garage at 750 Marshall St.,
My exploration for public art in Palo Alto started at Jerry Boden Park. If you go under the train tracks there is my favorite mural of the ocean and the creatures it might have.
From here, walking on California Ave towards El Camino Real there are multiple murals on the buildings in the side streets. It was really fascinating to me that there were so many just on this little stretch.