Jingletown Art walk, Ford & Glasco Streets Oakland
It was rainy in Oakland this weekend, but it didn't stop the visitors who came out to the annual Jingletown Winter Art Walk, highlighting the work of more than 35 artists who live and/or work in Jingletown - an arts community situated between the Park and Fruitvale Street bridges right off Highway 880.
With two friends, I spent about two hours visiting open studios around Peterson and Ford Street, including the Gray Loft Gallery, the Institute of Mosaic Art and Apples & Oranges Gallery. We also hit a number of open artists' studios.
Here's some of what stood out for me; I recommend checking with these artists to see if visits are possible and to find out what other holiday events they are showing at:
Peter Dreyfuss, steel sculpture and watercolors, peterdreyfuss.com #35
Ford Street Studios, 2934 Ford St.
Peter Dreyfuss' steel sculptures and bright watercolors are like two sides of the same vision. The bright drawings and the complicated three-dimensional shape complemented one another, leading my friends to spend more than 20 minutes looking at his work.
Stan Peterson, sculpture and drawings, stan-peterson.com #4
My friend Jonathan and I agreed that if we were buyers for a public space in Oakland, Peterson would be one of the first artists we'd commission. The women with birds on their heads, the birds being carried in wheelbarrows, the rabbits standing like holy witnesses in gardens have a blend of surrealistic grotesquery and downright cute that is pretty disconcerting. Is this artist an outsider primitive or a sophisticated storyteller? Some of these whimsical wood sculptures suggest a darker side that I found haunting.
Fernando Reyes, painting, printmaking, drawing, freyesart.com #26
Reyes, who left banking to train as an artist more than 20 years ago, made a wise choice in choosing his second career; this artist is so good, he's collectible. The range of art in the studio, much of it produced over the past 15 years, showed both his growth as a figurative artist and patternmaker; and the adept and vigorous portrayal of the figure that makes his recent work - woodcuts, etchings, constructions and paintings - so compelling. Reyes is having a show called "Form" in San Francisco starting Dec. 7; visit the Nieto Fine Art Gallery at 565 Sutter St. until Jan. 4 to see his new work.
White Wall Gallery – 2934 Ford St. #8
Maira Dizgalvis, handmade gourd lamps
Metalworker and Crucible instructor Maira Dizgalvis is making humorous and amazing lamps out of dried gourds encrusted with jewels and metalwork. There's no way to see any of these gourds, which have the charm of a Maxfield Parrish drawing gone steampunk and not want to own one, no matter how much they might clash with your decor. Brilliant, in so many ways.
Apples and Oranges Gallery – 2934 Ford St. #21
Christopher Ellingson, painting, christopherellingson.com
Judy Chamberlin, painting, judychamberlinart.com
Ellingson of Apples and Oranges Gallery is a talented and expressive painter, whose large scale painting of a horse dominated the gallery's upstairs space. Downstairs, Ellingson and Chamberlin both hung paintings worth a look, but the real gold was the self-portrait and the magnificent horse upstairs, stunning on a canvas perhaps 12 feet by 10 feet in size.
Counterpoint Studio – 2899 Ford St.
Lisa Levine, photography, lisalevinephoto.com
Peter Tonningsen, photography, petertonningsen.com
Lisa Levine and Peter Tonningsen work together to take photos of Oakland street scenes - and of other locations and images - and manipulate them on the computer to create multi-panel layered landscapes that are both dynamic artworks and narratives of what they see. Working at a scale and size that cries out for more public installations, this duo produced stunning work that reflects a changing Oakland in the most sensitive and exciting way.
4:20 Gallery – 420 Peterson St.