A Visit to Oakland Art Murmur

In search for something artsy to do in Oakland? Well if you’re free on the first Friday of the month then Oak­land Art Mur­mur is place to be.  What started off as a hum­ble lit­tle art walk in 2006, has transformed into an energetic 8 block street fes­tival that celebrates all things creative.

21 gal­leries stay open late to show­case the wonderful (and weird) works from local artists.  And though there’s some really cool contemporary work inside the galleries, in my opinion the real magic is from the community outdoors.  The mixture of art, food truck aromas, live muic, and outrageous fashions, lends itself to a sensory overload of all things Oakland.

A few things you might see:

  • The bubble guy – biggest bubbles you’ll see in the Bay Area.
  • Someone’s aunt selling homemade Jambalaya.
  • Animated films on the ‘The Wall.
  • Fashionistas dressed to the nines.
  • Soul marching band.
  • Hip hoppers and bow ties.
  • Protesters wearing neon.
  • The constant smell of herbs in the air, and I’m not talking about oregano.
  • A freestyle dance competition breaking out.
  • Ceramic monsters.
  • Circus performers.
  • Independent sidewalk art shops.
  • Tatted up girls rocking red lipstick and pin curls.
  • Live jazz performed by 14 year olds.
  • Little old Salvadorean lady demonstrating Pupusa making techniques.
  • Crafty grandmas.
  • Hipsters carrying brown bags.
  • Crafty grandmas carrying brown bags.

If I had to describe OAM in one word, it would be ‘fresh.’  I’m always sur­prised by some­thing new here.  Once I went to check out a live bal­let per­for­mance, but ended up tak­ing part in a spon­ta­neous dance party that shut down the streets.  Not a bad way to spend an after­noon. Not bad at all.

Here are a few pics from a day at Oakland Art Murmur in 2012. Decided to try out some monochrome toning for this set.

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If you’re interested in checking it out, here’s a map: