Photo Feature: Peralta Junction

by admin on November 26, 2012

Peralta Junction, an artist and entrepreneurial urban space activation project through November 30 has transformed a 24,000 square-foot vacant lot at the corner of Mandela Parkway and West Grand in West Oakland  into a creative community space filled with art and commerce. Leslie Pritchett, Director of Commonplace Productions and Marcus Guillard, a founder of the One Hat One Hand design-build collective, have lent their experience as artists, administrators, and change agents in leading this group effort.

For three months, The Peralta Junction Project has changed West Oakland, utilizing the strong local presence of the industrial arts and artists to create rich social and economic opportunities for the oft-challenged neighborhood. Peralta Junction has clean up and activated the space through art installations, creative workshops, local performing arts programming, micro retail shops featuring local artisans, Oakland-based food trucks, and a tented creative commons. A true testament to the project’s success of reviving this space in West Oakland is the SFMOMA Family Day event which took place on November 24.

Key features of the project have included a series of three highly-interactive, large scale art installations include an monumental commissioning of artwork on the fences around Peralta Junction by local artists like Dead Eyes and Refa One; a stage built by local nd artist Bunnie Reiss that has featured local performing artists throughout the course of the Project. Collaborators include The Crucible, American Steel Studios, Small Box Revolution, and Stageworks Productions. Additionally, Engineer Mark Perez’s life size Game of Mousetrap was a special feature of Peralta Junction’s run.  Taking over a decade to complete, The Mousetrap combines Newtonian physics, large scale art, and performance  into a traveling road show where it reaches audiences of all ages in science centers, museums, and festivals across the United States. The Peralta Junction Project creates an economically sustainable vehicle for artists to lend their creative energy to build a communal and engaging space that serves people who live and work in the neighborhood, and creates an arts-based destination space.


Peralta Junction will end on November 30, see their website for remaining events!