I’ve been witness to the Oakland Art Murmur scene since 2007. The growth in galleries since way back when has been astonishing! When I first visited the Art Murmur “happening” (as I knew it then) only a handful of galleries made up the whole scene and the Rock, Paper, Scissors collective served as the main attractant. Art Murmur these days consists of 45+ art-centric establishments with the densest concentration uptown. I think it’s safe to say Oakland is ruling the art scene in the Bay Area.
The last time I visited Oakland’s Art Murmur / First Friday two three years ago it was suffocatingly crowded, the vibe was tense, and a tragic and murderous shooting occurred. Needless to say, that sort of put me off the Oakland scene for a good long while.
However, given the curiously minded ARTy gal that I am I decided to return to Oakland’s Art Murmur to check out the scene again. It was waaaay more manageable and safer feeling this time and happily I discovered a few new galleries.
The gallery featured in this post is Oakopolis which proudly offers a curatorial concept called “Art Soup”; a delightful pottage of art that is a mix of styles from a private collection along with the worlds of guest artists. At the moment they are showing the works Richard Stangl and Jan Camp. The gallery is small and uniquely configured. The caddie-corners of the gallery led to two teeny-tiny, totally adorable, show spaces. The entry hallway featured Richard Stangl's photographs. Centered in the gallery was a living-room-like setting with a coffee table displaying several handmade artist books for the touching (ooooo! I love it when you can touch the art!!). There was something oasis like about this little gallery. Here’s a sampling of the art you will find at Oakopolis in April and May.