Over the next three weeks I will be installing our Oakland FusionÂ project at Jack London Square in downtown Oakland, CA. The project consists ofÂ four consecutive 10′ x 10′ lenticular murals, comprised of over 45oo hand painted tiles, mounted to a custom-manufactured, corrugated steel substrate. Each mural functions like a two-cell animation; the image morphs as the viewer changes position. The eight images are based upon the textile patterns of Oakland’s major ethnic demographics. Mounted to the exterior wall of a new parking garage immediately opposite Oakland’s main train station, the murals are intended to viscerally orient new arrivals to Oakland’s cultural geography.
The project was commissionedÂ by Ellis Partners, who have played a major role in developing Jack London Square as a robust residential/commercial hub, kind of an alternative/future downtown. We worked closely with Winifred Day of Fine Art By Day to develop the project, and have spent the past eight months transferring images and glazing tiles at the Wowhaus compound, with occasional help from friends and from community members at the Jack London Square Farmer’s Market.
Oakland residents glazing tiles at the Farmer’s Market
Ene and I developed this technique over six years ago, when we wrapped two buildings in lenticular murals in Stockton, CA, for a project called Calaveras Murals, where we hand-glazed over 14,000 tiles. We’ve since streamlined the technique and made improvements in image quality. The major challenge at Jack London Square will be working off the ground in a scissor lift, the murals starting at about an 8′ elevation.
Svea Linn Vezzone, Swarm Gallery, Oakland, CA
To my extreme good fortune, I happened into a dream living arrangement during my three week installation. Through a fledgling artists residency program organized jointly by the nearby Swarm Gallery and Metrovation, I’ve been offered temporary housing in a new, unsold live/work space literally across the street from my site. The space is ample, modern and efficient, at street level and with an enormous glass curtain wall facing West. In a way, I’ll use my time during the installation to prototype how the space functions when visiting artists use it for site-generated projects.
Swarm Gallery Project Space/Residency at 200 2nd Street, Oakland