Tag Archives: Streets Alive!

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

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STREETS ALIVE BENEFIT FOR PUBLIC ART The very first Annual Streets Alive! Benefit for Public Art takes place on Friday, Nov. 15, 4pm-8:30pm at the Firehouse Art Collective in the Lorin District. Enjoy live music by Ghost Town Jenny and Eyes on the Shore, art, food, drinks, a silent auction — and meet your local artists, community supporters and friends! The goal, in line with the mission of Streets Alive which is probably best known for turning our utility boxes into works of art, is to bring more art and nature into our community. Tickets are a sliding scale of $10-20 at the door. Students with valid ID get in for $5. The Firehouse Art Collective is at 3192 Adeline St. For details, visit the event’s Facebook page. … Continue reading »

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Calling all artists: Chances to make your mark in Berkeley

Artist Misako Miki designed this utility box at Durant and Shattuck avenues. Photo: Streets Alive!
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Two local organizations have put out separate calls seeking artists to participate in projects underway in collaboration with the city of Berkeley.

One of the projects, with a focus on sprucing up utility boxes, is spearheaded by the Earth Island Institute’s Streets Alive! effort, and the other comes from Expressions, a local art gallery that’s organizing a January 2014 show about homelessness.

Brighten the streetscape

Streets Alive! is looking for local artists to design six utility boxes in South Berkeley — on Sacramento and Adeline streets — and on Telegraph Avenue near UC Berkeley.

The call for artists outlines thematic suggestions for each box, along with its proposed general location: Sacramento Street (sustainability); Adeline Street in the Lorin District (arts and theatre; the farmers market; food and eats; and diverse cultures); and Telegraph Avenue (“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow on Telegraph Avenue”).

Streets Alive! welcomes artists “of most art mediums,” including painters, photographers, mixed-media artists and graphic designers. Artists are asked to submit three to five work samples and complete an application. Portfolios will be accepted, via email or postmarked, through Nov. 15.

Any artist from Alameda County is eligible, though “strong preference” will be given to Berkeley-based artists. Artists whose designs are selected will receive a stipend of $300 to $400 for the creation of a final design; all rights of use and ownership will be turned over to the city of Berkeley and the Earth Island Institute in the end. … Continue reading »

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Vandals target artists’ work on Berkeley utility boxes

Utility boxes at Shattuck and Kittredge before the vandalism (left) and after (right)
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Two utility boxes in downtown Berkeley, decorated by artists as part of the city’s Streets Alive initiative, were vandalized over the weekend.

One of the boxes, on Allston and Shattuck, whose artwork was unveiled a year ago this month, had two sides almost completely ripped off. The letters “FLIGO” were also inscribed at the top of the box, on the east-facing side, according to Christina Monzer, Restorations Project Associate at Streets Alive. The design, titled “Redwood,” is by artist Ryan Kerrigan who is known for his rock poster art. It is sponsored by the Earth Island Institute.

The other vandalized box was recently installed at Kittredge and Shattuck outside of Peet’s coffee shop, which sponsored the artwork. Two panels were removed from the box. The artwork, titled “Cup to Cup,” was created by Amelia McCrea, Jamine Hain, Alaytra Johnson, and Lilian Zakki Manahl of Berkeley’s YMCA-PG&E Teen Center, and unveiled on Oct. 2.

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BUSD to spend Lonely Island $250K on theater programs

Lonely Island box
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The Berkeley school district will spend the $250,000 donated by Doritos by way of The Lonely Island, a music group made up of three BUSD alumni, on theater programs at both Berkeley High and Willard School.

At an informal ceremony held outside Berkeley High’s main entrance Friday evening, two representatives from Doritos presented a giant check for the quarter of a million to outgoing BUSD superintendent Bill Huyett. On hand to represent The Lonely Island trio — Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, who met at Willard and all attended BHS — were their mothers: respectively Margie Samberg and Suellen Ehnebuski, and Akiva’s godmother, Susan Stone. Schaffer’s brother Micah was also in attendance.

Margie Samberg said she could never have imagined the day would come when she would see her son contributing to what constitutes the single largest donation ever given to the Berkeley school system. But, she said, she was not surprised. “It’s who they are. They believe in giving back.” Ehnebuski said she believed the young men’s upbringing in Berkeley and in its schools had been a significant factor. “It afforded them an awareness about being part of the community and the importance of education,” she said. … Continue reading »

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City project will transform utility boxes with vibrant art

A painted utility box in Palo Alto
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There are 60 different utility boxes in downtown Berkeley and they are all gray. But not for long.

A new civic art project has plans to transform these dull, bleak and utilitarian boxes, which are owned either by the city or by PG&E,  into a kalidescope of color and art.

Called the “60 Boxes Project,” the idea is to pair patrons with artists who will paint the boxes or make a design that can be transferred to large polymer stickers and be affixed to the boxes.

“We’ve had a very very positive response to this project,” said Elyce Klein, who is coordinating sponsorships for the group, a collaboration between the Earth Island Institute‘s Streets Alive! program and Berkeley’s Civic Arts Commission.  “The quality of artwork on the boxes will be very high.”

A wide range of sponsors have already pledged their support for the initiative, including Berkeley High School, Peet’s Coffee, the Downtown Berkeley Association, numerous private schools, businesses, individuals, public officials, and non-profit organizations — even the city’s Mayor, Tom Bates.

Now the 60 Boxes Projects is putting out a call for artists to participate. They must fill out a form and submit examples from their portfolio. Each sponsor will get to choose their own artist. The theme is “sustainability.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley beautification: Transforming the utilitarian

Utility box Berkeley
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Following our coverage of the mosaic-covered bollards on Ashby and Fulton, the person behind their metamorphosis, Lisa Bullwinkel, got in touch to let us know of a great way for people to get involved with a beautifying project for our fair city. She writes:

Attention local businesses and artists:
There are 60 utility boxes within the Downtown Berkeley Area. All of them are grey. [Ed: As shown in photo, top left. The other two … Continue reading »

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