March Art Murmur & First Friday

by admin on March 8, 2013

There was a wonderfully positive, communal spirit surrounding March’s Art Murmur and First Friday. Many artists of disparate experiences and backgrounds filled the walls and rooms in the Art Murmur galleries, exhibited in alternative spaces, and sold from booths and tables on Telegraph Ave. Many attendees were wearing Respect My City green T-shirts produced by Oaklandish in remembrance of the violence that occurred shortly after February’s First Friday and Art Murmur. This simple T-shirt, accompanied by a peace pledge, was a strong symbol by Oakland citizens they remained resolute to reclaim pride and positive investment in Oakland.

At Mercury Twenty, Dave Meeker’s new sculptures and appropriated objects conceptualize the luck that surrounds with a witty sense of humor. For Meeker, luck is aligned with chaos and chance, coming in assorted shades of good and bad, big and small. These works are built on the premise that every day one is presented with moments opportune for good luck, or avoidance of bad luck of some kind or another: from steering around walking under ladders to snapping a wishbone with a friend. It is also important to convey that it is an individual or cultural choice how to interpret, accept or reject these occurances to a prediction of the future.

Slate Contemporary Gallery currently presents Carol Ladewig’s artworks that give Time a literal and visual shape. To create this visual record of time, Ladewig chooses colors derived from a primary palette: red, blue, yellow, and white, but mixed to create a seemingly infinite array of hues. The color for each day begins with the previous day’s color, and develops from responses to personal and public events that happened. Travel days are all colored gray; they represent transitional days in the year. This month, Slate reached beyond its walls: on view in the Hall Gallery were new works by Slate artists Lisa Fernald Barker and Victor Cohen Stuart. Shadravan’s Gallery on Telegraph Ave. also featured Slate Gallery artists: Patricia Thomas’ charcoal drawings, paintings by Pouke Halpern, multi-media work by Caroline Seckinger and Madeline Nieto Hope.

At Crown Nine, Maria Kanevskaya’s dream-like photographs fill the walls above the impressive displays of an assortment of local jewelers, metalsmiths, and designers. Kanevskaya picked up a camera just a few years ago and never thought she would end up feeling so passionate about photography at the time, but she began to materialize scenarios from daydreams with skill. She moved to San Francisco to follow her heart to create, and is currently earning an associate degree in Photography at The Academy of Art University. Kanevskaya is influenced by  the vision of dreams blended with everyday life, childhood memories, and the films and works of other artists.

At Studio Quercus, Joanna Salska’s series of artworks are explorations that strive to give visuality to the experiences and scars accumulated as one travels through life in the symbolism of broken and discarded doll heads. Also known as “Uba Owl” in an attempt to distance her own personal touch from her work, Salska’s work contains a sense of quiet power: “of emergence and beginnings, of wisdom against an anticipated struggle.” Born and raised in Poland, Salska is passionate about political and social issues, and often touches on these themes in her work. There is also an educational video presented in the exhibition of Joanna Salska discussing her artistic practice in her studio.

Last Rites, a solo show by Bay Area street art collective FilthGrime at Loakal Gallery examines the underbelly of society through the eyes of a subculture they call the Street Cult. Featuring new mixed-media artwork and installations in dark, apocalyptic imagery, Last Rites presents a look into a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world while reflecting on the politics and social inequalities Filth Grime sees. “This exhibition is a post-mortem preview of where the world may end up, nay, has ended up, in the many places where those who can do something to help have instead locked themselves up in high-rise buildings and private jets. All the piss that has been cast from on high has come filtering down through humanity to end up as this exhibition. It’s a look at ourselves from our worst angle, a good smell of those parts that never get washed.”