Saturday Stroll Uptown

Above:  Healing Spirit by Robert Beier

Oakland Art Murmur offers a free guided Saturday Stroll each month, third Saturday, through a different gallery district of the city. This month’s Stroll, themed Luminosity, explored gallery-rich Uptown along 23rd and 25th Streets, capping off at the uniquely fun Classic Cars West, a vintage car showcase/art gallery/vegan beer garden on 26th.

Curator Donna Napper began the tour at  Chandra Cerrito Contemporary where she serves as Artistic Director. Cathy Cunningham-Little‘s glass LED sculptures refract colorful, layered, geometric light beams. They hung on the walls like enchanted jewels, a highlight of the walk. Next door at Johansson Projects, we enjoyed two slow-moving light works by Craig Dorety. Influenced by light artists James Turrell and Jim Campbell, Dorety creates electronic flower bud-like sculptures whose hues transform over time. Dorety’s work belongs to the growing influence of LED and technology-based artwork in the Bay Area and abroad.


Pictured: Field of Tulips and Green Forest by Craig Dorety

Further aligned with this theme of “luminosity”, Krowswork Gallery presented Divine Invasions: Six Male Artists Allying with the Divine Feminine. I found Robert Beier’s pieces especially enjoyable.  His saturated digital drawings, primitive in style, belie a pleasing knack for composition and an authentic communication of spiritual states.

The day included visits to Mercury20 and Manna Gallery where several artists and curators discussed their work in person and gave us a deeper understanding of their motives and sources. Overall, we experienced a wide variety of art in this fulfilling tour of Uptown Oakland’s gallery scene.

Saturday Stroll in Temescal

Every third Saturday of the month, Oakland Art Murmur offers Saturday Stroll district tours on foot.  Today it began at Interface Gallery, a one room space in Temescal Alley next to tiny specialty shops offering doughnuts, ice cream and exotic plants.  I am well acquainted with microcinemas but this was my first experience with microgalleries.  The Interface exhibition currently displays a single painting by Linda Geary (pictured) and a single sculpture by May Wilson.  Curator Suzanne L’Heureux passionately shared her process of starting a gallery, her curatorial process and the background of the artists.   She then led the Stroll (about a dozen folks) a few blocks away to the Royal Nonesuch Gallery at 43rd & Telegraph wherestood Free Alterations: A solo exhibition by Sarah HotchkissHotchkiss’s playful pieces colorfully drew attention to flaws in the physical space, though the concept suffered a bit as it served more as an inside joke among gallery staff.

While I loved the minimal offering at Interface and its spotlighting of a mere two (TWO!!) works, the Stroll as a whole left me hungry for more.  Two tiny galleries, and the event ended before the two hours advertised.  A seasoned Stroller told me it usually includes more gallery visits and sometimes runs over two hours.  I’ll have to check out a future stroll.  It seemed to be a great way to comfortably meet fellow art lovers, take in a neighborhood, hear directly from curators and artists, and check out local art.


Photo by Kristin Cato