By Meg Bertoni
Art is not only meaningful expression that takes a multitude of forms.
It also is a means of bearing witness, a way of connecting people and building and strengthening community - a powerful instrument of resistance among other things. Most importantly, art nourishes the human spirit and is for everyone who has one.
Perhaps no one has done more for Oakland and its artists and art lovers than Joyce Gordon, founder of the Joyce Gordon Gallery, in residence at 406 14th St. in Oakland for a decade now.
The gallery “exhibits art that reflects the social and cultural diversity of the Bay Area and international artists," according to its website. "The aim of the gallery is to respect the creative pursuits of the individual and seeks to make such work accessible to a broad audience.”
In that pursuit, the Joyce Gordon Gallery also creates space and opportunity for local artists of all kinds, recognizing and promoting their unique and diverse work - and giving voice to it. Of so many notable exhibits, some have permeated and become part of the cultural imagination, from AeroSoul 2 to the celebration of women artists entitled, “She Who Comes With Her Own Things,” to the recent plein air exhibition immortalizing Occupy Oakland. Currently showing is the Holiday A.R.T. Salon Exhibit, well worth a look.
Gordon will be honored this Thursday at the first Oakland Local Community Voices Awards, as one of the entrepreneurs and change makers behind Oakland’s economic and cultural sustainability and transformation.
Oakland and the human spirits who inhabit it are richer for her incredible work.