Tag Archives: Berkeley murals

South Berkeley residents aim to preserve history with art

By Kathleen Costanza
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Sitting in a circle on a recent Saturday afternoon, there were lots of things South Berkeley residents agreed they loved about their neighborhood: crop swaps, the farmers market, and Wat Mongkolratanaram, Berkeley’s Thai Buddhist Temple. Streets and storefronts packed with a rich history. A diversity of people and ideas.

But they also discussed a host of issues they believe are threatening the neighborhood they love, including gentrification, displacement and a lack of affordable housing.

A new mural, residents hope, will encompass the past, present and future of South Berkeley, and educate newcomers and long-timers on its history.

“We all admit we love this place,” said muralist Edythe Boone, 78, a South Berkeley resident and arts educator since 1976. “Now, what can we do to make it better?”

With residents’ help, Boone and a team of artists plan to paint a mural on a 9-foot-tall fence at Ashby Avenue and Ellis Avenue. The meeting on Aug. 20, held at South Berkeley Community Church, was the first of several the mural team is hosting to gather neighborhood history, stories, artifacts and other inspiration to weave across the mural. … Continue reading »

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How Quirky is Berkeley? The city’s hidden murals

Osha Newmann mural, Trinity Methodist Church; photo John Storey
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Murals are usually front and center, loud and clear, impossible to miss. In my systematic wandering of Berkeley, I have come across several hidden murals. Murals in and of themselves are quirky, and the fact that a mural is not easily seen makes it even more quirky.

In addition to the previously published Jane Norling mural that was originally painted in San Francisco and now can be seen if you peek over her Berkeley fence, I have found three (or four, depending how you count) hidden murals.

The first, “Winds of Change,” appears on what used to be the eastern wall of the Co-Op Credit Union on University Avenue. The Consumers Cooperative of Berkeley, which we knew simply as the Co-Op, operated from 1939 until 1988. In its prime, it was the largest cooperative of its kind in the United States or Canada. The University Avenue store was opened in 1937 by the Berkeley Buyers’ Club, an organization founded by members of the Upton Sinclair-inspired End Poverty in California. The Co-Op closed in 1988 as a result of financial and internal governance disputes. … Continue reading »

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Edy Boone: A life spent inspiring others captured on film

Edy Boone
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If you have lived in Berkeley for a while, you have probably crossed paths with Edythe Boone. A spry 74-year old with a quick laugh, Boone has worked as a counsellor and as a health activist, and taught art at several local schools, including currently at Berkwood Hedge and West Oakland Middle School. With her warm personality, she imbues the very young, as well as the very old, with the spirit of creativity. She also transforms lives.

The results of her work can be seen on our cities’ walls. She collaborated on the “Let a Thousand Parks Bloom” mural at People’s Park, and, in conjunction with Berkeley’s Youth Spirit Artworks, the “Music on our Minds” mural at the corner of Ellis and Alcatraz. She also worked on the well-known “Maestrapeace” which graces the façade of the San Francisco Women’s Building, and on the “We Remember” AIDS mural in San Francisco’s Balmy Alley. … Continue reading »

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Neighbors welcome transformation of eyesore on Arch St.

Ganesh 2
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By Sylvia Rubin

On a short sleepy stretch of Arch Street, between Eunice and Spruce, a bold jungle-themed mural is materializing on the back wall of a crumbling concrete carport.

It’s the work of Beth Emmerich, a tattoo artist from San Diego, who is filling the space with a giant Ganesh, India’s elephant-headed god.

This is only Emmerich’s second mural ever (the first was a Day of the Dead skeleton in West Oakland). She created that artwork at the corner of Campbell and 24th Streets off Mandela Parkway last June.

A trained fine artist and a tattooist for more than a decade, Emmerich had never spray painted anything before, but she’s a complete convert now. “This is so much quicker than tattooing. I’m having so much fun, I’m really thinking about going in a mural direction with my art. Every time you pick up a different medium, your brain starts working in new ways.’’ … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s newest mural unveiled in Gourmet Ghetto

Food mural
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Berkeleysider Michael Moore has the photographic scoop on the newly unveiled mural in the Gourmet Ghetto (above).

The mural is on the south-facing wall of Virginia Bakery at 1690 Shattuck Avenue. Read about its creation as Berkeleyside reported it on our mural stories.

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Last chance to make your mark on Berkeley mural

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Today, July 10, the final lick of paint and sealant will be applied to Berkeley’s newest mural. The foodie mural, being painted by an entirely voluntary crew of Berkeley residents, artists, community organizers and chefs on the south-facing wall of Virginia Bakery at 1690 Shattuck Avenue, is nearing completion as can be seen in the photographs here.

Artist David Stern-Gottfried has been directing the effort — also on a voluntary basis — and says he is pleased with how … Continue reading »

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A fittingly foodie mural for the Gourmet Ghetto

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A group of local artists, teachers, chefs and community organizers is working to produce a mural on the south-facing wall of Virginia Bakery at 1690 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley (above).

The theme of the piece will be sustainable agriculture and the Slow Food culture of North Berkeley. The artists have worked with students from MLK Middle School this year to develop ideas and images that will be incorporated into the mural, and they are … Continue reading »

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Wavy Gravy and the fish

Wavy Gravy
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Our post on the Berkeley mural treasure hunt prompted Berkeleysider Ira Serkes to share this photo he took of “Berkeley institution” Wavy Gravy sitting in front of the mural depicting him holding a fish at the Berkeley Amtrak Station dedication in 2008. Naturally, he was holding a fish.

Earlier that day, Ira had run into Gravy at the Berkeley YMCA and had asked him if he’d brought his fish into the hot tub.  To which Gravy responded:  “No, … Continue reading »

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Photo essay: Berkeley’s lost murals

Willard Middle School's mural
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The pictures above depict Berkeley murals, some of which no longer exist.

They were uploaded onto Berkeleyside’s Flickr pool by Wnewton1948.

For descriptions of those shown here, and more of this photographer’s Berkeley shots, check out Wnewton1948’s photostream.

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