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AscenDance Mural: Progress Report

In the midst of the strangest summer in modern history–thanks, COVID!–progress is still being made, if you know where to look. Up in the skies, that is. Eight stories above ground level, one block on 14th St. in downtown Oakland is quietly being transformed into a vibrant artistic statement which resonates with energy, vitality, and fierce, passionate conviction. If you’ve been following the story of the AscenDance mural, whether through this blog, or as an observer passing by, you’ve seen…

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AscenDance: Coming Into View

In the last couple of weeks, the AscenDance mural has turned a corner. What once was a bare and unremarkable wall now pulses with color, vibrancy, and life. Gridlines have become outlines; outlines have metamorphosed into distinct figures, Details and backgrounds have emerged. The entire wall has taken on form, shape, and substance. Its new character is being slowly revealed, day by day, brush stroke by brush stroke. There is no going back — only forward.

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Downtown Oakland Becomes Ground Zero For Street Art in Wake of George Floyd Protests

The “AscenDance” mural has finally kicked into gear. After several weeks of build-up, the project — located on the side of The Greenlining Institute’s headquarters, at 360 14th St. in downtown Oakland — has moved from gridding to sketching to outlining to images being colored and starting to come alive. The past two weeks have represented a giant step forward for the eight-story mural, which is beginning to take on a character as the faces of its subjects are given…

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AscenDance: The Greenlining Mural Moves Forward

CRP’s newest mural, at The Greenlining Institute’s downtown Oakland building, looks like it’s going to be a powerful work of public art. On Friday, May 29, the artists had just completed a day which saw the first sketch outlines hit the wall. That night, what started as a peaceful protest in honor of George Lloyd became a violent and chaotic scene. The morning light revealed scores of vandalized storefronts, dozens of scrawled tags, and broken glass everywhere. It was a…

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Desi Mundo Breaks Down the 360 Mural

The Community Rejuvenation Project’s highly-anticipated collaboration with The Greenlining Institute, the “360 Mural,” has completed its community input and design review phases. Now it’s on to the actual painting, which begins May 18. But before that happens, we thought you might enjoy a sneak preview of what the finished design will look like, as well as a breakdown of the images, people, and symbolism contained within. Here’s a mock-up of the design: A front-facing view of the same image: Here’s…

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Pandemics and Public Art

Pandemics have a way of impacting the best-laid plans (of mice and men). What happens to artists who do public-facing works, when  there’s an emergency order to shelter in place? What happens to projects? Read on and find out.  Earlier this year, the Community Rejuvenation Project announced a collaboration with The Greenlining Institute to paint a large-scale mural on GLI’s headquarters, the “360 building.”  The project had literally been years in the making. The planned mural was the culmination of…

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CRP X Greenlining Mural Events & Activities

“THE STATE OF PUBLIC ART 2020”    THURSDAY FEBRUARY 6     The Greenlining Institute (360 14th Street)      6 – 8 PM     Panelists: Francisco Sanchez, David Young Kim, Dan Fontes     Moderator: Eric Arnold COMMUNITY INPUT SERIES     TUESDAY FEBRUARY 11       Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts – 1428 Alice St. Studio D     6 – 8 PM     WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 12     Oakland Asian Cultural Center – 388 Ninth Street, Suite 290     6 – 8 PM     THURSDAY FEBRUARY 13     The Greenlining Institute – 360 14th Street…

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Reevaluating the State of the Arts in Oakland

Oakland’s Cultural Affairs Department (CAD) is severely underfunded and understaffed. According to a memo sent by CAD to the Funding Advisory Committee last November 26, current staffing levels are just one full-time employee and one temporary service contract employee. $1.2 million in grants were awarded in the last fiscal year, a number which has not seen a significant increase since before the recession. (By way of comparison, the San Francisco Art Commission handed out $1.6 million in grants in 2014-2015…

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 A Mural For Jennifer

This past November, CRP Executive Director and Founder Desi Mundo unveiled a new mural at the Eastmont branch of the Oakland Library. The painting was the artist’s most deeply-personal work to date: a portrait of his late wife, Jennifer Ana’ Finefeuiaki, who transitioned this past March, following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.  The mural dedication ceremony was well–attended by Mundo’s friends and family, along with Denise Pate of Oakland’s Cultural Affairs Department — who funded the project — and…

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