Over the past several years, Uptown has improved in so many ways. The Fox opened, many restaurants and bars opened (and all seem to be doing quite well), the Art Murmur brought new people to the area, and most recently, the Broadway Shuttle started running through Uptown on Friday and Saturday nights. But there are a few places in Uptown that could use some work. One is of course the huge lot next to the Fox that will turn into a sculpture garden next March. Another is the 17th Street BART alleyway between Telegraph and Broadway.
If you’ve ever walked through that alleyway, you know it’s not very appealing or welcoming – definitely not the first thing we want Oakland visitors to see as they come out of BART for a show at the Fox or for dinner at Flora. Thankfully, the Oakland Cultural Arts Department is working to improve it. From their website:
Artist Dan Corson (Seattle) was selected early in 2010 to work with local landscape designers Sasaki Associates on an integrated redesign of the BART 17th Street alley, located between Telegraph and Broadway in Oakland’s burgeoning Uptown Arts and Entertainment district. The artist will collaborate on the overall design with Sasaki, and fabricate and install a seminal light-based artwork. This will be the first permanent artwork realized as part of the city’s Luminous Oakland public art program.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting this installation, ever since I saw a drawing of it at a presentation about the Uptown sculpture garden. And luckily I won’t have to wait much longer. Yesterday dto510 told me that the artist had put up some of the materials as a test so I of course went down there after work and snapped some photos. It looks incredible already, and I can only imagine how it will look enhanced by light and filling the entire alleyway.
I look forward to the project completion and will post more photos here when it’s done.