Search Results for: Spruce + sculpture

Tom Dalzell: The man behind new book, ‘Quirky Berkeley’

Tom Dalzell, holding his new book, Quirky Berkeley, at the Homemade Cafe. There will be a book launch party tonight at the North Branch of the Berkeley Public Library. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Tom Dalzell has so many passions that he has to get up at 3:30 a.m. each day to attend to them all.

A highly regarded labor leader, a world expert on slang, and – in the last five years – the world’s strongest proponent of Berkeley’s quirk, Dalzell’s constellation of interests would exhaust a lesser man. But, at 65, Dalzell seems to be just gearing up.

His next act starts tonight, Monday, with the launch party for his new book, Quirky Berkeley, just published by Heyday.

The almost-pocket-sized tome is a compilation of how Dalzell has spent much of the past few years: walking around Berkeley, noticing the odd and interesting objects created by residents, and writing about them for his website, Quirky Berkeley, as well as for Berkeleyside. The $15 book, which seems destined to become an instant Berkeley classic, is full of colorful photos and probing insights into many of Berkeley’s most interesting quirks, including the Giant Orange House on Spruce Street, Buldan Seka’s large ceramic creations (also on Spruce), artist Mark Bullwinkle’s steel sculptures around town, Mark Olivier’s beach trash art, and Eni Green’s Doggie Diner head and other dachshund knickknacks on Harper Street. Dalzell also highlights the city’s many colorful mailboxes, benches, animal sculptures and sidewalk art.

     Read Tom Dalzell’s Quirky Berkeley articles on Berkeleyside.

“I am struck every time I walk in Berkeley by the plenty of the quirk that I see,” Dalzell writes in his introduction. “We enjoy a special kind of freedom in Berkeley, unbound by convention or conventional thinking, unafraid of change or what others may think. The quirky stuff is an outward and physical manifestation of that inward freedom.” … Continue reading »

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How Quirky is Berkeley? Buldan Seka’s ceramic friends

"Quirky Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif., on May 7th,  2015."
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Buldan Seka’s giant, brightly painted, freakish ceramic sculptures have caught the eye and attention of drivers and bikers and walkers on upper Spruce Street in Berkeley for years. Her front yard is a stunning gallery of her large, ceramic works.

Seka was born in Macedonia to Turkish-Yugoslavian family that moved to Istanbul at the outbreak of World War II. She studied ceramics in Istanbul and opened a gallery featuring small pieces, nothing like what she has in her Berkeley yard. … Continue reading »

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How quirky is Berkeley? Mailboxes that resemble houses

1273 Hearst.  Photo: Tom Dalzell.
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The 2010 Census reports that there were 46,029 households in Berkeley. Some households, to be sure, get their mail in banks of mailboxes that do not permit innovation in design, but there are many thousands that do.

To an extent not seen in most cities, Berkeley residents see their mailboxes as an opportunity for creative expression. I have several hundred photographs of whimsical mailboxes, including the two presented (one above and one below) in which the mailbox mirrors the color of the house it serves: … Continue reading »

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How quirky is Berkeley? The art of Conny Bleul-Gohlke

148 Marin.  Photo: John Storey
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Coming up Marin Avenue, just before Colusa Avenue on the south side of the street, you will have seen the collection of folk art: the garage door, the bench, the pigs in the ivy and the mailbox. They were designed and created by Conny Bleul-Gohlke, an autodidactic artist who came to Berkeley from Berlin with her husband in 2002 for an 11-month work assignment which has turned into 12 firmly entrenched years here. … Continue reading »

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How Quirky is Berkeley? Marion Fredman’s Tunnel Rd art

Local found-object sculptor Marion Fredman. Photo: Tom Dalzell
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It is only natural that Marion Fredman would infuse her home and garden with whimsical art, given her long association with MOCHA, the Museum of Children’s Arts in Oakland.  For years, Fredman worked at MOCHA; she still serves on the board. Over the years she has collaborated with her children and seven grandchildren to use mosaic tile, tiny statues, ceramic plates, stones, and other found objects to create art around her home at 22 Tunnel Road.

As you walk up Tunnel Road, across the street from the Claremont Hotel and the Berkeley Tennis Club, you might notice a hint of Fredman’s well-executed artistic quirkiness.Continue reading »

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How quirky is Berkeley? Check out these dinosaurs

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For the last few years, Tom Dalzell has been wandering the streets of Berkeley, camera in hand, to document all the strange, fascinating, and unusual items he can spot in yards and gardens. They range from animal-themed birdhouses to Hansel and Gretel cottages to wild lawn art to unusual signs to art cars. The only criterion he has: they must be quirky.

Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,400 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-year resident muses on what it all means.  … Continue reading »

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Getting ahead: Artist adds fun to Berkeley streetscape

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Visitors to the Elmwood shopping district on College Avenue may have spotted something a little unusual recently.

While Berkeleyans are no strangers to pop-up street art — be it yarnbombed lamposts or front yard sculpture — the heads that have appeared on defunct parking meter posts there are particularly striking. Reminiscent of heads on a stake, with some vaguely sacrificial undertones perhaps?

The heads, which are made of cement and ceramic, are the work of artist Lynne-Rachel Altman who lives in the Elmwood and has a studio in East Oakland.

The idea sprang from a conversation Altman had a few months ago with her 14-year old daughter who complained that she couldn’t find a place to park her bike on College Avenue because they had removed the parking meter heads when they installed the new parking machines. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 01.04.12

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Update, 8:56 am: Tony got it in one. This sculpture is on the 800 block of Spruce, near Halkin. Congratulations, Tony, on being this week’s winner.

Photo: Nina J. Hodgson.

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