East Bayizing the international tradition by which neighbors meet and eat in the moonlight, the Oakland Museum of California (1000 Oak St., Oakland) will hold its weekly night market on Friday: Off the Grid’s gourmet food trucks will offer artisanal local cuisine, with local beer and wine served in the Blue Oak beer garden. A Makers & Tasters discussion will bring together great minds in the brewing and gardening communities. Live music, dance lessons, a DJ, and an LGBT history tour of the museum help guests digest all that stout and kraut.
Museums Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 22
The oil paintings of Los Angeles artist Linda Stark take her months, or even years, to create. Her piece “White Weave,” for example, required a process of repeatedly dripping thick stripes of off-white oil paint onto a canvas. Each separate layer took weeks to dry before the next could be applied. The product is a textural statement, a weaving of paint that reflects the painstaking nature of women’s handiwork. Like most of her pieces, it transcends the two dimensionality of the painting process, forming a sculptural subtly that is affecting in its soft indentations and outward bubbling. The same supple semblance appears in “Brand,” a portrait of a naval in which paint is built up to portray the protrusions of the skin where they wrinkle around the awkward dip. Around the eye-like focal point is a red outline of a flower that looks as if it has been seared into the skin of the painting, with pink irritation surrounding it. Now on view at BAM/PFA in Linda Stark / MATRIX 250, Stark’s pieces are poignant and important meditations on the pains of being a woman.
The exhibit Urban Outskirts is remarkably representative of the gallery that is housing it. Nestled in Jack London’s warehouse district, Blackball Universe (230 Madison St., Oakland) is a music, art, and film collective that hosts an eclectic variety of art shows — among many other things. To visit, ring the doorbell, ascend the narrow staircase, and enter into a disorienting, bohemian maze of varying texture, color, and lighting. The creative fun house is in perfect tune with the paintings by Seren Moran, Lorna Strotz, and Lauren Scherf-Srivastava that currently hang in its gallery. Each artist offers her own wild, architectural impressions of urban landscapes in varying degrees of abstraction. Influenced by Brazilian cityscapes, Berkeley native Moran reimagines conventional depth perspective with rebellious, jutting angles in vibrant, parrot-feather hues of acrylic. Meanwhile, Strotz’s abstract watercolors depict forms reminiscent of boats and spaceships with a romantic blend of bleeding colors. Altogether, the experience of the show pushes the possibilities for urban spaces to take on unconventional beauty.
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.
The Bay Area’s most defining weather phenomenon gets a close examination in the Oakland Museum of California’s (1000 Oak St.) new video exhibition, A Cinematic Study of Fog in San Francisco. Created by filmmaker Sam Green and cinematographer Andy Black (of The Weather Underground fame), the ten-minute video explores how we romanticize the wind, air, and water systems. It includes interviews with fog novices, like tourists whose views of the Golden Gate Bridge are obscured, as well as experts like meteorologist Jan Null who explains what fog is. While watching dramatic shots of the climate sensation rolling in over the hills, viewers can let the filmmakers envelop you in its misty haze.