Downtown Mural Updates: Oaksterdam & Water Writes

17 May

It’s been a while since I first wrote about the Oaksterdam and Water Writes murals, so I thought it was time for some updates.

Oaksterdam Mural

Though progress was slowed initially due to rain, the Oaksterdam mural was completed, I think at the end of March, and it looks awesome. I’m lucky enough to pass it every day on my way to and from work. Particularly when I walk south down Broadway, it changes the entire feel of the area and brightens my mornings, even on gloomy mornings like this one.

You’ve probably seen the mural by now. (If not, stop what you’re doing and head down to 17th and Broadway now!) But you might not have seen this time-lapse video of the mural’s creation (via the East Bay Express):

Since I followed the mural creation nearly daily, it was particularly fun for me to watch this video and remember the anticipation and wonder I felt as I tried to figure out what they’d be painting next.

Water Writes

A lesser known mural is one in a parking lot on Broadway and 21st that I wrote about in March. At the time it was half finished, and I had no idea what it was called or who created it.

I finally found out more about the project and am now much more excited about it. Water Writes is a project of the Estria Foundation – they’re creating 10 collaborative murals in 10 cities around the world reflecting on water themes and problems. From their website:

Water Writes will travel to ten cities around the planet over the next year creating original murals that will express the perspectives of communities highly affected by water issues. The campaign aims to educate and empower communities to express their voice visually through public art.

The Estria Foundation takes a community building approach to the creation of the  Water Writes mural series.  In Oakland, the Foundation partnered with local organizations that work with community youth to host a series of workshops on their relationship to water. While the water crisis is global, each community struggles with their own issues and has their own perspective, and the workshops are a vehicle for these impacted communities to constructively and artistically tell, or write their stories.   Working side by side, artists and youth came up with a storyboard depicting their local to global visions of water. The public paint party will mobilize over 100 community members  to bring the mural to life, each person painting a part of their own story with their own hands.

They’re having the unveiling party for Water Writes this Thursday from 4-7pm in the lot on Broadway at 21st. There will be music, performers, a photo booth, and of course, the mural.

You can find out more about the event on Facebook. If you go and tweet about it, they’re asking you to use the #waterwrites hashtag.

If you can’t make it, you can find out more about the project via this YouTube video:

One Response to “Downtown Mural Updates: Oaksterdam & Water Writes”

  1. Chuck May 17, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    I thought the Oaksterdam one was pretty lame, based on the sketches I saw… And now it’s up, and it’s just gorgeous. I agree — a regular ray of sunshine in the day!

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