While riding in downtown Oakland this afternoon, I noticed not one but two HUGE murals being worked on, each in various stages of completion. All I can say is, it’s about time. For the longest time, Downtown has looked flat-out drab. Don’t get me wrong, it is not without it’s charms – Downtown Oakland is littered with beautiful architectural and historical gems. But I think that most people, if asked to characterize the aesthetic character of Downtown Oakland, would use words like “sparse,” “empty” or “disconnected.” By taking advantage of one of downtown Oakland’s most abundant commodities, empty wall space, the people of Oakland have taken an active step toward combating urban blight. Instead of zipping past two of Downtown’s many surface parking lots, I stopped to admire these gigantic works of art – and I was not alone. The impact of these murals on the community was, to me, immediately apparent. They are at the same time powerful, thought provoking and absolutely gorgeous. A welcomed addition to the neighborhood, indeed – a beautiful trend that I hope will continue.
Oaksterdam Mural at 17th & Broadway
With multiple panels, showcasing some of Oakland’s most iconic features and landmarks, Oaksterdam’s new mural will welcome visitors to the heart of Downtown Oakland for years to come (I hope!). Click here for more information regarding the creation of this mural.
Water Writes Mural at 21st & Broadway
Pieced together by a number of local organizations and schools, “Water Writes” paints a vivid portrait of the many complex issues that arise when considering one of our most precious and increasingly scarce resources: water. Peep this for more info on the creative process:
And a few more pics for good measure. Cannot wait to see the finished products *squeal!*