2300 Telegraph Ave, Oakland
There’s nothing quite like early September. Coming back after summer and returning to school life, work life and life in general, the mayhem feels just as maddening. But the possibilities are even more endless. If you’re like me, and spent the summer many miles away, nothing beats being back in the Bay Area — especially for an art lover. The area has one of the highest concentrations of art galleries, which are always displaying new local art and putting on special events exclusively for the public. The first week of each month, I will take you into some favorite Bay Area sweet spots, and hopefully you can go check out the galleries for yourself.
Since this Friday is the first Oakland Art Murmur since began, the featured gallery this month is Johansson Projects, on the corner of 23rd and Telegraph. While it definitely fills up fast on First Fridays, there’s always a certain energy to the hustle and bustle here, as this is the first stop for many gallery goers. The space is sectioned off into two large, low-ceilinged rooms and several smaller back spaces with arched entryways in between. With simple white walls and grass realistically sprouting from the ceiling (courtesy of artist Misako Inaoka’s permanent “Moss Ceiling” installation,) the gallery works well for all different media. The last show I saw there featuring works of Robet Minervini and Tadasha Moriyama showed paintings, sculpture and video. Currently, handcrafted animal sculptures run wild in the space, which Inaoka has turned into a freakish zoo for Johansson Projects’ latest show, Back Domain. The reception is Friday from 5-8pm.
Try to see the gallery before it gets crowded, so you can get a good look at the art before the space fills with bodies. However, to get the real Johansson Projects vibe, also be sure to see the gallery as it swarms with people at its peak time.
Anna Carey is the lead visual arts critic. Contact her at [email protected]
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