My growing gratitude for Oakland art

26 Nov

There are so many reasons that I’m grateful to live in Oakland that I couldn’t possibly list all of them in a blog post. Luckily, V Smoothe covered many reasons that overlap with mine (especially AC Transit and all the great farmer’s markets). But there’s one thing that I’ve grown an appreciation for over the past couple of years that surprises me a bit – Oakland art.

Growing up, art was never one of my passions. Sure, I liked seeing art and went to plenty of art museums, probably since my parents are nearly obsessed with museums and have been to so many more museums throughout this country than I can even fathom. But art rarely was at the top of my list. Writing, music, hiking, and, later on, politics beat out art any day.

But that’s started to change. Maybe it’s because of all the incredible Oakland art I’ve seen at Burning Man and the Crucible’s Fire Arts Festival, or because of the art I’ve appreciated at the Art Murmur, or because of all the time I’ve spent sipping chai at Awaken looking at the art on the walls, or because of the fight for public art instead of a surface parking lot in Uptown. Whatever it is, I now can’t seem to get enough of art and feel incredibly grateful that Oakland fulfills this need both through public art and excellent art galleries…

And, of course, through the airport. I lamented a couple months back that there was no more art at the Oakland Airport, but at least one new exhibit opened recently and I got a chance to check it out on Monday. Here’s some of what I saw.

(Yes, that is San Francisco made of Jello. Excuse the glare – you’ll have to check it out for yourself.)

Happy Thanksgiving, and if you’re flying back to Oakland after the holiday, remember to check out some of the art at the airport.


4 Responses to “My growing gratitude for Oakland art”

  1. East Lake Biker November 26, 2009 at 9:35 pm #

    Before coming to Oakland a few years ago art was never a big part of my life either. But after countless visits to Art Murmur and Open Studios I’ve come to really appreciate the active art community in Oakland and the inner East Bay (including Berkeley and Emeryville). I may not understand the artist’s intent or meaning in certain pieces, and some the art out there just baffles me, but just getting out to the galleries and being part of the social scene is a joy.

    Just wondering, is the new art at OAK outside the security gates?

    • Becks November 26, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

      The art I saw was past the security gates, in Terminal 2. But I have seen art before the security gates in the past.

    • Carin Adams December 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks for taking the time to write about the art at the Oakland Airport! “Evolution of Print: Artists from Kala” closed last week and we are in the process of taking it down as I write. The exhibit was the result of a great collaboration between the Oakland Museum of California and the Kala Art Institute. The posted images show (from top to bottom) the work of Daniel Ross, Kazuko Watanabe, Liz Hickok and Midori Harima.

      The next exhibit, “Music Makers: Bay Area Guitar and Ukulele Makers” will run from December 18, 2009 – April 9, 2010. Look for it in Terminal 1 just outside of the security checkpoint, the Connecting Walkway and Terminal 2.

      Carin Adams
      Associate Curator
      Oakland Museum of California

  2. Daniel November 27, 2009 at 3:26 am #

    I think I have appreciated art more too, because it is not necessarily just about the art. I can appreciate the art because it is so connected to Oakland, and I feel like it is a collective Oakland process. We are a part of the art in Oakland, unlike art in places outside of Oakland.

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