Latham Memorial Fountain Unveiled

When: Nov. 13-April 1 2014

A city is an ever-changing skeleton of historical relics, with architectural bones that date from various eras. Yet citizens rarely recognize the significance of landmarks. Kari Marboe hopes to change that with her text-based public installation Latham Memorial Fountain Unveiled. In collaboration with the City of Oakland and Lacey Haslam of BLOCK Gallery, the project marks the hundredth anniversary of Latham Memorial Fountain — an iconic, yet often underappreciated, Oakland landmark at the juncture of Telegraph Avenue and Broadway. Marboe brought its story out of the Oakland Public Library and onto the towering windows of Rotunda Dental, which overlook the fountain. The piece is a poetic retelling of how Edith and Milton Latham built the fountain, which was inspired by their parents, who were early pioneers of Oakland. The story mines the history of the space, narratively re-contextualizing it as the heart of the city. In doing so, Marboe frees text from the page and weaves it into everyday life, highlighting our roles as characters in a collective narrative.

Sarah Burke

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