Oakland’s Creative Culture Is Adding Vibrancy for East Bay Residents
Now that we’re comfortably settled in our new Abio Properties office on Grand Avenue, we can take time to enjoy Oakland’s art scene that’s flourishing all around us.
While we like to think some artistry goes into being a great Realtor, we feel so inspired by the beautiful, creative and cutting edge artwork we see during the First Thursday Art Walks on Grand Avenue. Stroll with us some Thursday night through the local galleries, boutiques and spaces shared with artists. Soon we hope to invite artists to exhibit in our Abio Properties space, too!
Locals like to say that Oakland has the country’s highest number of artists per capita. Some liken Oakland to Brooklyn, where exorbitant city housing costs also spurred a creative migration across bridge. With affordable housing and warm weather, Oakland’s creative energy makes the East Bay all the more special for renters and homebuyers.
With the East Bay’s long history of cultural depth, and a new generation of creativity emerging, Oakland’s art scene, food, style, and culture has not only attracted artists, but has also become an treasured feature for residents and visitors alike.
Lonely Planet recently featured The Reinvention of Oakland and distinguished Oakland as a Top 10 US destination (Best in the U.S. 2015). The New York Times called Oakland Art Murmur’s First Friday Art Walks “a street party that embodies the spirit of this changing city.” Another New York Times piece featured the impressive work of the Creative Growth Art Center on 24th Street, a training ground for developmentally disabled adults.
The Oakland City Council is considering establishing a new arts district on 14th Street and the neighboring blocks west of Lake Merritt. This area is home to the African American Museum and Library, the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, the Joyce Gordon Gallery, the Oakland Post, Geoffrey’s Inner Circle and the Betti Ono Gallery. The designation is an effort to protect artists from rent hikes and seek grants.
Want to experience Oakland’s creative culture yourself? Here are some great options:
- First Thursdays Art Walk on Grand Avenue (6-9 p.m.) While you’re strolling, notice the surge of untraditional galleries popping up in clothing, jewelry and vintage shops.
- Art Murmur’s First Fridays Art Walk (6-9 p.m.) Explore dozens of galleries in Uptown. Telegraph Avenue fills with food trucks and live bands. Art Murmur also hosts more mellow Saturday Strolls (1-5 p.m.)
- The Great Wall Of Oakland is a 100′x100′ projection installation in Uptown on West Grand Avenue between Broadway and Valley Street. The Wall projects monthly during the First Friday Art Walk.
- Art in BART: The alleyway entrance to the 19th Street station was transformed into a illuminated installation of undulating waves of blue, green, gold and silver by sculptor Dan Corson. Corson’s website says his inspirations for “Shifting Topographies” included the rolling Oakland hills and the ripples in the Bay. More art is coming to BART; the transit agency recently invited artists to submit designs for 19th Street stairwells, El Cerrito Del Norte station and Powell Street station.
- Creative Growth has a gallery space at 355 24th Street that showcases talented artists with developmental disabilities.
- Aggregate Space Gallery is open on Saturdays 1-5 p.m. at 801 West Grand Avenue and showcases various artists.
- Get arty yourself: Flax Art & Design, a mecca of art supplies, left its popular mid-Market location in SF for a former indoor soccer arena at 15th and MLK Drive in Uptown. Lucky us! It’s due to open in Spring 2016.
- For some creative family fun, visit the Museum of Children’s Arts: “developing interactive spaces where children and their families create, share and connect through art”. Located at 1625 Clay Street, Oakland.
Want to know more about the creative community in the East Bay? Our agents at Abio Properties would love to chat with you. Call or email us at 888.400.ABIO or hello@localhost.