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When: July 1-Aug. 13 2011
San Francisco's Tonga Room and Alameda's Forbidden Island dispense that Oceanic feeling in fancy drinks amid replicas of tikis, carved Polynesian heads. These tiki bars now have an artistic rival in Uptown Oakland. This exhibition blends contemporary works by 22 local artists, artifacts (tribal masks and war clubs), and ephemera (piano/ukulele sheet music of the Thirties and Forties, easy-listening album covers from the Fifties and Sixties, and the timeless kitsch of wahines on black velvet). Emil Barber's lanai and tiki bar, Kyle Milligan's hanging lanterns, and Tim Sharman's faux Gauguin painting and painted kapa mats set the aloha tone that continues in works by Alex Carabella, Gael Fitzmaurice, Lana Kai, K.G. Greenstein, Nathaniel Parsons, and others. Dashboard-hula-girl photographs by Susan Casentini are also on view. Tiki! runs through August 13 (when Trivalve surf band will play at 8 p.m., accompanied by Spam noshes) at Studio Quercus (385 26th St., Oakland). 510-452-4670 or
— DeWitt Cheng


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