downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

First Fridays' Art Murmur continues to expand

October 3, 2008

After three years of always-increasing crowds, not everyone has yet experienced First Fridays in the Uptown area of Oakland. What was once concentrated in the emergent gallery neighborhood around 23rd and Telegraph is now a citywide event or at least downtown-wide night of events, making it difficult to see everything. But with so many options, there’s no excuse to wait another month before checking out what is possible Oakland’s most happening night. Here’s what’s going on in the DTO tonight, First Friday October 3rd.

Art Murmur and Illuminated Corridor in Uptown

The original First Friday art event was conceived at Mama Buzz by a group that included the Rock Paper Scissors Collective and OakBook writer Theo Konrad Auer, and includes the half-dozen galleries right around Telegraph and 23rd Street, one block of which is closed for the evening. The event has now spread past ever-popular Luka’s, with nearby galleries like Industrielle, Mercury 20 and Creative Growth attracting the art-lookers.

This Friday inaugurates two more events in Uptown. The Uptown nightclub on Telegraph below 20th begins a series of no-cover First Friday concerts with popular club band Death Of A Party, while the Illuminated Corridor will present visual and light art along the walls of Kahn’s Alley (the stub of 15th Street between Broadway and City Hall).

Old Oakland Events

Though nowhere near Uptown, Old Oakland’s artsy merchants and happening clubs make a lively First Friday scene, especially now that the Thursday Night Live concerts have finished their seasonal run. Cutting-edge design gallery FIVEten Studio has a party for artist Julia Goodman, and though I don’t know other specific events, last month there was a temporary gallery in a vacant retail space while neighboring Verse had a fashion show. Look for more action in that style on 9th between Broadway and Washington. If all fails, Air, Levende, B Restaurant and Jesso’s are all open for libations at the corner of 9th and Washington.