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Make Things (Happen)

Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through March 1
415-990-8028
Make Things (Happen)
To participate in Interface Gallery’s current show Make Things (Happen), follow three easy steps. 1: Take an activity sheet. 2: Make things, or make things happen. 3: Share your results. The interactive show was organized by artist Christine Wong Yap, who gathered more than forty artist-designed activity sheets intended to “multiply creativity.” Each prompt offers instructions to achieve a goal or product. Some are succinct, such as Helen de Main’s, which simply reads “Ask/Share/Do something you’ve been meaning to for a long time.” Others are more involved, like Julie Perini’s instructions for white people trying to fight white supremacy, or Lexa Walsh’s instructions on how to facilitate a community meal and cookbook. Visitors can even learn how to use IKEA furniture pieces to build one of Sol LeWitt’s famous minimalist sculptures. All of the activity sheets are available in the gallery (486 49th St., Oakland) for the taking, and some are even set up in nearby spots like Lanesplitter Pizza, where the Mystic Pizza worksheet teaches you how to tell the future with your crust. Altogether the show is a fun and fascinating reminder that art is not only visual, but social as well. Catch it before it closes. Free
Interface Gallery 486 49th St., Oakland (map)

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Artists; Women

Through March 25
510-893-8800
Artists; Women
Vessel Gallery’s (471 25th St., Oakland) new show Artists; Women: Making Art in 2015 features thirteen women painters, sculptors, and video artists. Catch Pamela Merory Dernham’s gender-bending wire sculptures, full of human movement, alongside Rosella Scapini’s bronze “Octopussy,” a Medusa-like head with tentacles for hair. Also on view are works from Younhee Paik, who is known for her celestial paintings and fabric installations, and Iris Polos, who makes giant animal sculptures. The wide variety of mediums and styles present in this show presents the idea of “a consensus of collective experience that shapes the landscape of art-making today,” one of the many themes this show hopes to explore. You can see the artists in conversation on these topics on Thursday, February 12 at 6 p.m. or on March 14 at 2 p.m. Free
Vessel Gallery 471 25th St., Oakland (map)

Black Artists on Art: The Legacy Exhibit

Through March 28
510-698-9370
Black Artists on Art: The Legacy Exhibit
Dr. Samella Lewis is a prolific painter, art historian, critic, and art collector who helped define the way the Black Arts movement is perceived when she wrote the first volume of Black Artists on Art in 1969. The groundbreaking book profiled the era’s black artists, including iconic painters such as Jacob Lawrence and Elizabeth Catlett, as well as others lesser known at the time. But the series never made it past the third volume. Now, her grandson, Unity Lewis, is teaming up with Oakstop founder and director Trevor Parham to lead an initiative to continue the series. Their goal is to recruit five hundred contemporary artists to be profiled, and contextualize them within the legacy of the artists that Lewis wrote about. Eventually, all of the info will be put into an online database that curators can use to connect with artists. Beyond the book, the goal is to bring people together to create both community and opportunity. To launch the project, Oakstop (1721 Broadway, Oakland) is hosting an expansive exhibit featuring more than forty black artists in a range of media and styles. The show features original work by legendary artists like Lawrence, Catlett, and George Clinton (yes, he paints!) along with a diverse range of work by local established and emerging artists. Plus, in March it will be reconfigured to focus solely on black female artists for Women’s History Month. Black Artists on Art: The Legacy Exhibit offers a gorgeous and powerful glimpse into the depth of the project, and is only the beginning of the impact it will likely bring to Oakland’s art community and beyond.
Oakstop 1721 Broadway, Oakland (map)

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