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.
Hex signs are a form of folk art indigenous to southeastern Pennsylvania. German immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch. They delineated themselves as the “fancy Dutch” (mostly Lutherans) and the “plain Dutch” (mostly Old Order Amish).
The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is not as old as you might think — early 20th century, born of the advertising industry’s grasp of the importance of visualization.
For more than 40 years, Mark Bulwinkle has lived life on his own terms, doing what he wants to do every day with a unique artistic vision, a welder’s torch, and a Yankee work ethic. His art, especially his cut-steel sculptures, add a genius quirkiness to Berkeley.
Colusa Avenue between Marin and Hopkins is not well traveled, but people who have heard about Mark Olivier’s incredible — as in unbelievable — front yard at 1118 Colusa often make a point to go there.
The city of Berkeley is hoping to dramatically rethink many elements of South Berkeley, thanks to a $750,000 planning grant it received from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in May.
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.
Berkeley zoning board commissioners asked the architect for a 120-foot-tall building planned for Shattuck Avenue to make the project less suburban, craft a better street-level retail experience and take steps to retain existing local merchants on site during a review late last week.
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. (more…)
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.
Community supporters of Berkeley’s municipal animal shelter have been raising alarm bells about the shelter’s budget for the coming fiscal year — and their concerns about the city’s lack of budgeting transparency are broadly shared.