Who's that hanging out under the freeway in Emeryville? Nobody -- just art you can drive through. Neighborhood Convergence, a new public art tableau of flat figures emerging from behind columns along the Powell Street pedestrian walkway to the Emeryville Marina beneath I-80, is actually a caricature of everyday Emeryvillians. The cartoonish sculpture project is a harmonic convergence of the talents of three artists -- M. Louise Stanley, Vickie Jo Sowell, and Jeremy Hamm -- whose brightly colored and lit 2-D forms contrast against the formerly dark shadows (now painted a bright blue) of the freeway undercrossing. Stanley's steel silhouettes of painted people, forged by veteran metal sculptor Sowell and illuminated by lighting designer Hamm, depict a bicycle cop, a jogger and dog, a couple consulting a roadmap, and even Stanley herself. Noted painter M. Louise Stanley is recognized for her comic commentaries. Her work is in the permanent collections of the San Jose Museum of Art as well as the Oakland Museum. Vickie Jo Sowell has hammered and welded imaginative public art projects for the cities of Oakland, Dublin, Concord, and Emeryville, including "Big Daddy's Rejuvenating Public Garden and Sculpture Park" at the West MacArthur exit of Highway 580 E. For more than 25 years, Jeremy Hamm, who currently teaches stage and lighting design at Las Positas College, has fashioned dramatic lighting for museums, restaurants, and the stage. His credits include the entry for the Outer Bay Wing of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Bucci's Cafe in Emeryville.
Join the artists for the inaugural walk within the recently completed installation at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Pedestrian walkways on both sides of Powell Street, from Denny's and the Powell Street Plaza (west) to the Marina (east), are wheelchair-accessible.
Live It Up
Though Cocaine Unicorn saddled itself with arguably the most '80s-like name in the underground, the band skips the sex-robot poses, instead fishing its sound from the catchy pop streams of Big Star and the Flamin' Groovies. But its recent history lives up to the moniker. The Portland band broke up early this year, but now the 'corn rides again, like a mythical beast glimpsed in a little girl's dream. And why? To open up for the Brian Jonestown Massacre on its West Coast tour. If you've seen Dig!, well, you can probably guess where the "cocaine" comes in. CU plays the Ivy Room Sunday with the Meek and Willow Willow. 9 p.m., $5. 510-524-9220. -- Stefanie Kalem
Alameda Gets Lit
Literary types? In Alameda? The East Bay's favorite island, previously known more for its naval base than for its artists' and writers' colony, is stretching out in a big way this weekend with the Alameda Literati Book Faire 2004. Meet local writers such as novelist Pam Chun, movie-story analyst Diana Birchall, and short-story author Stephen Gutierrez, along with a sportswriters' panel, an editors' panel for aspiring contributors, a workshop with agents (ugh), and numerous writers' workshops -- all day Sunday at the Albert H. DeWitt O Club at Alameda Point. Best of all, the whole shebang is free, so every writer can afford it. For more info: AlamedaSun.com -- Kelly Vance
At the end of the '70s, Los Angeles punk came into its own, forgoing London's fashion-forward aesthetic and New York's tatty downtown one for its own SoCal style and dramatic overtones. 45 Grave was there, with a B-movie horror sensibility and a vampiric look. Now 45 Grave is back -- well, its songs are anyway, performed by original frontwoman Dinah Cancer and her new band, the Grave Robbers. Cancer took a dozen years off to raise and teach kids; see how the fishnets and black lipstick have held up when she performs at the Golden Bull, 412 14th St., Oakland, with Retching Red and Hep.Si. 8 p.m. showtime, $5 cover. 21 and older. Info: 510-893-0803.-- Stefanie Kalem
What the Fork - January 17, 1:52 PM
Culture Spy - January 11, 9:55 AM
What the Fork - January 3, 2:06 PM
What the Fork - December 22, 12:12 PM
What the Fork - December 20, 11:39 AM