Oakland

Legacies of Respect: Culture, Politics, Art, and the Community Mural Tradition (Part One)

Chicago’s community mural movement coincided with the emergence of the modern graffiti movement in Philadelphia and New York—underground subcultures which, like Oakland and Chicago, found their artistic voices in expressing messages born out of inner-city life, strife, resistance, and resilience. It also helped give rise to the notion of community-based art lending a sense of cultural identity and attachment to place, long before the term “creative placemaking” came into vogue in public art circles.

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Abatement Alternatives: Why Oakland Needs a Mural Program (Part One)

Perhaps the highest level of praise a mural organization could receive is from a city abatement worker, who by his own estimation has been covering up graffiti for “eight hours a day, five days a week” for 28 years. Indeed, during the Community Rejuvenation Project’s recent Alice Street Symposium , an abatement worker known as Erase, revealed that he’s been “promoting murals” for eight years. Erase spoke highly of murals in general, and singled out CRP for praise: “I’ve been…

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CRP Participates in First-Ever Bay Area Mural Festival

The Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) recently joined a handful of selected muralists to participate in the first-ever Bay Area Mural Festival (BAMF), held in late October 2017. Along with CRP, other invited artists included some of the Bay Area’s top muralists: Juana Alicia, Dan Fontes, Los Pobres Artistas, Trust Your Struggle, The Bay Baes, Daniel Camacho, Ernesto Olmos, Dave Kim, Daz, Dignidad Rebelde, Teodoro Saavedra, Caleb Duarte, Angel Jesus Perez, Eli Lippert, and Keneda Gibson Conceived as a co-partnership between…

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Why Are Representatives of Oakland’s Blight-Challenged Districts Reluctant to Commission Abatement Murals?

On March 18, District 6 Councilmember Desley Brooks told Hard Knock Radio’s Davey-D, “Neighborhoods in West Oakland and East Oakland need to have public art.” The Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) couldn’t agree more. In fact, as part of the Oakland Community Art Coalition, our efforts in 2012 led to the creation of a $400,000 budget line item for abatement murals in the city’s budget – 50k per Council district (plus the at-large seat). But those murals have been slow to…

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CRP Artists Featured in New Art Exhibition, “The Modern Animist”

CRP artist Pancho Peskador and Communications Director Eric Arnold are among a group of talented artists featured in “The Modern Animist,”   a new exhibit at Oakland’s SomaR bar, which opens Thursday, Sept. 11 and runs until October 18. Curated by Joanne Ludwig, the exhibit “honors our oneness by illustrating our connection to both nature and spirit. “The term animism is derived from the Latin word anima meaning breath, life or soul. The animist believes that non-human entities possess a spiritual essence.…

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Alice Street Mural Project A Big Hit With Local Media Outlets

  Recently, CRP pulled off a pretty cool feat: within the course of ten days, the Alice Street Mural Project received media hits from the Mercury News , Oakland Tribune, KQED, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s newsletter, Oakland Tribune  (again), and the Contra Costa Times. That’s easily the most attention from local media CRP has ever gotten for any of the 150 mural projects the organization has done in the past four years. Even more impressive was what the media had to…

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Alice Street Mural Phase I Completed; Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Announced

Community Rejuvenation Project artists Desi Mundo and Pancho Peskador have completed Phase I of the monumental Alice Street Mural Project, capping two weeks of intensive painting which often saw the artists pulling ten-hour days. The first wall, completed earlier in July, covered a large wall facing the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts on Alice and 14th Sts., which was decorated with portraits of Malonga, dancer Carla Service, an Ohlone Indian chief and drummer, social justice activist Cephus “Uncle Bobby”…

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Alice Street Mural Project Report-Back

  After a little more than a week of painting the wall at 14th and Alice, CRP is pleased to report the wall is nearing completion. This project has been a real eye-opener; the level of interaction we’ve had with the community has been unprecedented. It’s not an exaggeration to say the mural has started to become a magnet for community-building, even before it’s completed. The project started with covering the entire wall—covered with unsightly and highly unartistic graffiti tags–with…

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The Community Rejuvenation Project Announces the Alice Street Mural Project – Phase I

  For Immediate Release: July 8, 2014 (Oakland, CA) — The Community Rejuvenation Project, an Oakland-based non-profit organization specializing in community murals, proudly announces Phase I of the Alice Street Mural Project, which runs from July 2 -Aug 3rd, 2014. This mural project will encompass painting three large walls surrounding the parking lot at 1401 Alice Street (opposite the Malonga Casquelord Center and facing the historic Hotel Oakland.) The walls cover an approximate surface area of 2500 ft., and have…

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South Shore Mural a Shining Beacon in Chicago’s Sea of Bureaucracy and Brown Paint

Chicago, Illinois, is a city with a deep division over public art. A case in point: The city’s controversial “Graffiti Blasters”  abatement program, which for the past 21 years has criminalized street artists and muralists, by linking aerosol expression of any kind with gang violence. Introduced in 1993, the same year as the classic hip-hop albums “Midnight Marauders” and “93 Til Infinity,” Graffiti Blasters – the name sounds like a lightweight racist take on the term “ghetto blaster” – became…

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