by Sam Levin
Last month, organizers of Oakland First Fridays preemptively canceled the monthly street festival due to rain. Oakland Art Murmur, the open-house art gallery portion of First Fridays, did not cancel its events, but because of the bad weather and the somewhat confusing cancellation announcement from the festival team, the art venues saw a low turnout.
That might be why the Art Murmur organizers have sent out a press release today stating that the galleries will be open this Friday, rain or shine.
The cancellation last month reignited ongoing tensions between the First Fridays street festival and Oakland Art Murmur, which are run separately. Since the street portion of the monthly events has grown in recent years, the galleries that first launched the first Friday concept have questioned whether the outdoor party has actually benefited the local art scene. And when it was announced that First Fridays was canceled in February, some Oakland venue owners were not pleased.
So let it be known — Art Murmur will be in full swing this Friday, regardless of the weather. As of now, with somewhat promising forecasts, the street festival is also scheduled to move forward.
From the folks at Art Murmur, here are some of the many art options this Friday:
Uptown-KONO: This First Friday, Oakland Art Murmur Uptown galleries along the Telegraph-Broadway corridor feature a great variety of exhibitions. On 26th Street, Warehouse 416’s continues In Search of Sheba: Black Women Artists 2014, while Classic Cars West opens a site-specific painting installation by Joshua Nissen King. 25th Street is a gallery hub with eight independent venues, from the artist-run gallery/studio of FM to Vessel Gallery, winner of Oakland Magazine’s Best Gallery 2013. On 24th Street, Creative Growth hosts an opening reception for its time capsule exhibition Recollection. And at 480 23rd Street, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary presents mechanized drawings in Remote Control, while Krowswork opens the multimedia show Kadet Kuhne: The Way Through.
Downtown + Jack London: Along Downtown’s Broadway corridor, four Oakland Art Murmur galleries are featuring new exhibitions. Betti Ono kicks off International Women’s History Month with the west coast premiere of Stop Telling Women To Smile, and ProArts opens Not of This World, curated by Renny Pritikin. Joyce Gordon Gallery opens the group show Exit from Anonymous, while affiliated retailer Field Day presents the whimsical work of Jenny Jo Kristan and Harriette Ray’s textiles. And just south in Jack London, lOAKal exhibits Sam W. Grant’s distinct paintings and photography works.
West Oakland + Temescal: In West Oakland, at the intersection of West Street and Grand Avenue, Aggregate Space Gallery presents a solo video show by Doug Garth Williams, and Transmission Gallery shows abstract paintings by Eva Bovenzi. And in the midst of the Temescal First Friday festivities, Oakland Art Murmur’s newest gallery member Royal Nonesuch opens Working On It - Part 2: Indira Martina Morre and Farley Gwazda, while Temescal Alley’s Interface Gallery premiers Endograph, an installation by the art and architecture team smith | allen.
Many galleries open their doors on Saturday afternoon as well as part of the Saturday Stroll. Details here.