Like a lot of environmentally themed art, local artist Kim Miskowicz’s work in Formation involves disrupted landscapes. Rather than directly pointing to environmental degradation, however, her mixed-media installations capture the mental and emotional dissonance caused by disappearing land. Many of these pieces, now on view at Krowswork (480 23rd St., Oakland), are layered works of acrylic paintings with video projected over them. The paintings are primarily of rocky landscapes, evoking the reliable sturdiness of massive stone monuments — an underappreciated constant. Her video work, which comes from a combination of 8mm footage and digital after-effects, depicts shifting landscapes such as foaming ocean water, stormy rain clouds, and rock formations, as well as light abstractions. The combination of the active projections layered on the heavy, fixed rocks creates a tension that reflects the disjuncture between nature as it is idealized and the reality of climate change. In an attempt to make her work accessible to the public, Miskowicz also created five small-scale collages, which include a digital download of all the show’s projections with purchase. That way, patrons can install small-scale incarnations of her pieces that will each be slightly different.
To celebrate the fourth anniversary of Betti Ono (1427 Broadway, Oakland), gallery director Anyka Barber decided to reflect on the past by looking forward. For Amen, Oakland artists Amaryllis De Jesus Moleski and Kholi partnered to create a show that depicts an idealized present by envisioning it as a future history, with a focus on the inclusion of marginalized, queer people of color. The show features paintings by Moleski with poetry by Kholi interspersed among the works and written using cutout, water-colored letters, dreamily articulating the myth that Moleski illustrates. Moleski’s paintings collapse temporal context, telling a future that draws heavily from the past. The women she depicts float weightlessly, without a setting to restrain them. They have exaggerated proportions, with massive hands, feet, and large, powerful limbs, reminiscent of old renderings of Amazonian warrior women. They sport sneakers and 1980s-esque spandex getups, and hold guitars and gemmed scepters — all in a pastel palette. Moleski also used pastel-colored synthetic hair to weave a number of textiles emblazoned with ancient geometric symbols. She is interested in complicating the Western understanding of history and craft, showing that practices such as hair-braiding are just as culturally important as traditional artistic crafts. How will queer communities of color be remembered in the future? Together, Moleski and Kholi aim to answer that question through artistic determination.
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.