Tag Archives: Oakland Museum of California

What goes around comes around: ‘Vinyl’ at OMCA

Photo: Courtesy of Raphael Villet
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Vinyl, it’s not just for DJs anymore. The Oakland Museum of California’s new interactive exhibit Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records, highlights the resurgence of the LP and the enduring appeal of leafing through a bin of albums searching for unexpected aural pleasure.

Opening on Saturday, which is also international Record Store Day, the exhibition features listening stations, a newly commissioned art work by MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Walter Kitundu, hundreds of albums, and thematic playlists — dubbed “curated crates” — by an array of cultural figures, including BAM/PFA’s Steve Seid (remembrance of life as a teenager), actress and spoken word artist Aya de Leon (musical influences growing up and becoming a parent), and Berkeley-based novelist Michael Chabon (growing up as a nerd).  … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

A musical adaptation of the beloved children's book "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" opens this weekend in Berkeley. Photo: Bay Area Children's Theater
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WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON UC Berkeley grad Min Kanhg is a triple-threat: composer, lyricist, and playwright. And he donned all of those hats to create Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, a musical Bay Area Children’s Theater adaptation of the beloved book of the same name. The story follows an adventurous young girl in an ancient mythical China as she and a friendly dragon set out on a quest to help her family. The music of the erhu, a two-stringed Chinese violin, accompanies the performance. Director Mina Morita is also based in Berkeley, where the show opens on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. at Osher Studio on 2055 Center St. The two-hour show is recommended for children ages 7 and up. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 for children. … Continue reading »

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Bird’s eye view: San Francisco Bay as seen from the air

Aerial view of Pt. Molate in Richmond. Photo: CLUI
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The eyes of the Bay Area have been on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge this week. The self-supported suspension span, conceived after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, took 24 years of planning and building, and $6.4 billion, to complete.

But man has been building on the shores of San Francisco Bay for hundreds of years, and a new book and exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California documents those changes and pushes viewers to ask whether it has been for the good.

Matthew Coolidge, one of the founders of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, a research and education organization that uses art and other methods to explore and examine landscape issues, is fascinated with man’s impact on the land. The organization got its start in an office in Jack London Square in Oakland in 1994, but now has offices and exhibition space in Los Angeles, and residency and research outposts in Wendover, Utah, the Mojave Desert, and Kansas.   … Continue reading »

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Local boy shoots 2 bay bridges under construction

Collection of the Oakland Museum of California
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As the new, eastern span of the Bay Bridge enters its final building phase, you can’t quite see this happening today: a young man is hanging around the construction site, his cherished Leica 35-millimeter camera in hand. He’s looking for an “important subject” to shoot. A construction worker who has spotted him a few times shouts out, “hey kid, want to come out with us?” That, basically, is how Oakland boy Peter Stackpole spent two and a half years, between 1934 and 1936, documenting the construction of the original Bay Bridge. (He also shot some compelling pictures of the emerging Golden Gate Bridge.)

At some point, Stackpole was given a hard hat, says Drew Johnson, photography curator at the Oakland Museum of California which is exhibiting 23 of Stackpole’s bridge photographs together for the first time. But safety procedures were lax to say the least compared to today. Twenty-three men died while building the bridge  – the photo “Quitting Time,” top, likely shows workers heading home early after one of their colleagues died on the job, Johnson says. … Continue reading »

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Paulson Bott Press: A creative hub for artist Hung Liu

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Hung Liu, one of the most prominent Chinese painters working in the United States today, lives locally and teaches at Mills College. The Oakland Museum of California is currently exhibiting Summoning Ghoststhe first comprehensive survey of her work (it runs through June 30), and a new show of her work, Questions from the Sky, opens today at the San Jose Museum of Art. In his review of the Oakland show in the San Francisco Chronicle, Kenneth Baker said: “The [paintings] are really something to see.”

But it is to a favorite spot in Berkeley, rather than Oakland, that Liu often heads in order to see some of her work come to fruition.

Since the 1990s, Liu has worked closely with Pam Paulson and Renee Bott, the founders of Paulson Bott Press, a fine-art printmaking press located on Fourth Street that specializes in limited edition intaglio prints.

Liu says working with the Berkeley press has been, and continues to be, liberating. “We have done things I could not have done by myself in the studio,” she said recently in an interview with Berkeleyside. … Continue reading »

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Off The Grid launches in Oakland for Museum nights

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Food truck market Off The Grid is making its first foray into Oakland with the launch of a new weekly market outside the Oakland Museum of California. The street food gathering  is part of the museum’s new Friday Nights program which will include films, live music, dancing, as well as half-price admission for adults (under-18s go free).

The final truck line-up for Off the Grid: Lake Merritt @ OMCA has not been finalized, according to a spokesperson for the San Francisco based street food organization, but some of the East Bay trucks that used to be regulars at Berkeley’s Wednesday Gourmet Ghetto market (which was canceled last month), and at the Thursday Berkeley Telegraph Avenue market, will likely be there. So too will some of the perennial favorites that cross the Bay Bridge to attend Off The Grid markets in its two other East Bay venues, Alameda and Hayward, such as Gua Bao bun specialist The Chairman.

OMCA said the idea was to build on the success of a Summer Nights program that the museum has been running since 2010 and incorporate food trucks, music and other foodie attractions. … Continue reading »

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A Berkeley magazine celebrating native culture turns 25

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Ohlone artist Linda Yamane has spent the last three years weaving 20,000 stitches and thousands of feathers and beads into a traditional tribal basket. Yamane is the first artist to follow the Ohlone basketweaving tradition in over 150 years, and her work displays just the enthusiasm and dedication to Indian culture that the magazine News From Native California celebrates.

This magazine, which was started in 1987 by Malcolm Margolin, author and founder of Berkeley’s Heyday Books, features articles, artwork, and a calendar of events dedicated to the native culture of California. The magazine’s 25th anniversary, along with the unveiling of Yamane’s basket, will be celebrated this Saturday at the Oakland Museum of California.

The anniversary party will include a welcoming speech by Yamane, conversation with Margolin, and traditional Indian singing, dancing, and music. Many artists and basketweavers will also display their work and have a chance to teach the public about their art. … Continue reading »

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With elegy book, community becomes part of exhibition

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Speaking about his new exhibition of photographs which opened simultaneously at the Berkeley Art Museum and the Oakland Museum of California this week, Richard Misrach says it is as much a community event as an art show.

The haunting images, taken 20 years ago in the wake of the 1991 Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm, document the aftermath of a disaster that touched everyone who lived or worked locally. And, now, because the photographs have never been shown before, people who lost homes — or perhaps even family members — are seeing these large scale, beautifully composed images for the first time. The impact is bound to be strong and responses are likely to be emotional.

Misrach knew he wanted to create a way for community members to articulate their reaction to the photographs and contribute to the exhibition directly. So he decided to create two handcrafted elegy books, one for each museum. Exhibition goers are encouraged to write in the books — or include photos or drawings — and the tomes will become part of the museums’ exhibition archives.

The design of the books fell to Brian Scott of San Francisco’s Boon Design, who worked with Misrach 20 years ago on his book, Bravo 20, and Berkeley bookbinder John DeMerritt. Scott and DeMerritt share a love of ledgers — the type that banks or courthouses would use in the past, or that hotels still sometimes have on display as guest books. … Continue reading »

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Richard Misrach: A focus on the after-story

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Richard Misrach is nothing if not patient.

When, in 1997, the renowned photographer moved into a home in the Berkeley hills and decided to capture his new view of the Golden Gate Bridge, he didn’t just take a few dozen shots and leave it at that.

Rather, over the course of three years, he shot hundreds and hundreds of photographs. The result was Golden Gate [Aperture, 2005], 85 beautiful meditations on the iconic bridge seen through the seasons from a single … Continue reading »

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