downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

First Friday highlights – April 2009

April 3, 2009

This evening is of course First Friday, an art-oriented day popularized by the Art Murmur galleries around 23rd and Telegraph. Besides other Oakland neighborhoods muscling in on the action, tonight’s First Friday includes downtown art exhibits outside of the immediate area around Mama Buzz. Those include:

Swarm Gallery 3rd Anniversary

It’s the third anniversary of arguably Oakland’s most professional art gallery, an Indie Award winner in 2007. The exhibition features John Casey’s pen and ink drawings, a politically-oriented group show called Regime Change, and faux-naive pipe-cleaner sculptures by Don Porcella in the conceptual space. April 3, 6-9p, 560 2nd St, with live music. Exhibit closes May 10.

Hive Space Gallery: Paper Works

The Hive is an innovative experiment in providing high-quality studio space in the Oakland’s competitive real estate market (as opposed to the less-competitive industrial real estate market). Tonight, a dozen artists who use the studios present works on paper, appropriately titled Paper Works. April 3, 6-9p, 301 Jefferson St. Exhibit closes April 15, gallery open only by appointment.

Uptown art presentation

The Uptown Apartments, having spurred much of its neighborhood’s revitalization even before its construction was complete, is helping emphasize Uptown’s cultural scene by hosting a temporary art exhibit and party in its retail space. Catering by Yoshi’s, including free food and drinks. 1951 Telegraph Avenue.

Enjoy your First Friday in the DTO!


1 Justin { 04.04.09 at 12:08 am }

There’s a new opening at 1234 GO! Records at 40th and Webster also. It’s a three person art show featuring some stencil work, woodcuts and faux-traditional japanese paintings. From 6-9. free beer, buy records!

2 Joanna { 04.04.09 at 5:22 pm }

We stopped in at the Uptown last night and while I didn’t have any food or drink, we did enjoy the art.

Before that we had been to the Oakland School for the Arts student sale, which was very exciting, mostly for the overheard comments from the students. A few were over the moon that they’d made $35 for some art!

We continued on to 23rd & Telegraph and most of the galleries in that area were so full of people that I couldn’t go in and just peaked in the windows. So many places, SO many people! It was invigorating to see so many people downtown walking around. (of all colors and ages)

On to Mua for a reviving drink, where we saw Omar Benjamin, Phil Tagami, and Jerry Brown. Again, SO many people! Where are they coming from? Do they all (mostly) live uptown?

More galleries on the walk back towards JLS. We were commenting on all the new restaurants and bars in the last year or two – Flora, the Den, Ave, Pican, Ozumo, Franklin Square Wine Bar, Mua, the Uptown, and I’m sure there are way more that I can’t name off the top of my head.

I must admit a bit of jealousy that Uptown is so hip and happening. So much more so than JLS. Will we ever get hip places to help support Swarm and Hive?