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Get Your Art Murmur On

Diablo’s guide to Uptown Oakland's greatest art event.

Art Murmur is a casual, social, and virtually free way to enjoy Oakland’s rising visual arts scene. Every first Friday of the month, head to the city's edgy uptown district—23rd Street between Telegraph and Valley is a good place to start since it’s closed to car traffic —and enjoy street food from local vendors, beer or coffee from a nearby cafe, and all the art you can take in while witnessing the neighborhood come to life unlike any other day in the month.


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And for those who like their art served a little lower key, the event has just tacked on Saturday Strolls for perusing art in a quieter afternoon atmosphere. Ten galleries are located within a three-block stretch, so it’s hard not to enjoy a warm summer night or afternoon filled with local art and culture. Here are Diablo’s picks for this Friday and all summer long.

Courtesy of Oakland Art Murmer

25th Street Collective
Just one year in the making, this local artisan incubator is a sewing collective and storefront for sustainable Bay Area startups. For Art Murmur, they throw a great party usually including a live band; whimsical art; handmade jewelry, clothing, and shoes; hand-milled soaps; and sustainable furniture. You can also enjoy treats like Tara's Organic Ice Cream, fresh baked goods, and chocolate Bourbon Balls.
Open during Art Murmer from 6 to 10 p.m., 477 25th St., Oakland, (510) 384-3146, 25thstreetcollective.com.

Johansson Projects
This fresh, post-modern gallery offers engaging art in a professional yet inconspicuous space. Catch “Bramblur,” a summerlong showcase of Allison Gildersleeve’s motion-inspired landscape paintings alongside Katy Stone’s orange and turquoise steel and aluminum hanging constructions that look as delicate as cirrus clouds.
The opening reception for “Bramblur” is July 1 from 5 to 8 p.m., and the exhibit runs through August 18. 2300 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, (510) 444-9140, johanssonprojects.com.

A new gallery in Oakland that specializes in fine art photography, Photo is a gallery to feel good about. This summer, they’re hosting “From Japan to Japan,” an exhibition of Japan images taken by Allison Gildersleeve's “Headed to the Pond” now on display at Johansson ProjectsAmerican photographers whose proceeds will benefit Japanese children.
The opening reception for “From Japan to Japan” is July 1 from 6 to 9 p.m., and the exhibition runs through July 30. 473 25th St., Oakland, (510) 407-0449, photogalleryoakland.com.

Studio Quercus
The conductive vibe of this artist-run gallery matches its cutting-edge shows. Celebrate summer with “Tiki,” a project by sixteen artists to transport you from Oakland to a tropical paradise with tiki artifacts and ephemera.
The opening reception for “Tiki” is July 1 from 6 to 9 p.m., and the show runs through August 13. 385 26th St., Oakland, (510) 452-4670, studioquercus.com.

The Great Wall of Oakland
This 100-by-100-foot projection brings forward-thinking video art from all over the world to uptown Oakland every Art Murmur. This Friday, don’t miss “Projects of Summertime” an hourlong show featuring short documentary-style films that capture “the creative, whimsical, fantastic, and far-out projects people find time to do when the whole world slows down for the blissful summer months.” Listen in on 89.5 FM on your car stereo or smart phone.
“Projects of Summertime” runs continuously from 8 to 11 p.m., West Grand Avenue between Broadway and Valley Street, greatwallofoakland.org.

Great Wall Of Oakland from alva films on Vimeo.

Vessel Gallery
This beautiful, airy space with an upstairs loft and balcony perfect for chatting with artists and community members is a place to stay for a while. This week, “Portraits” will introduce visitors to a multitude of faces translated through painting, sculpture, and video installations.
The opening reception for “Portraits” is July 1 from 6 to 9 p.m., and the exhibit runs through July 23. 471 25th St., Oakland, (510) 893-8800, vessel-gallery.com.

Art Murmur is held the first Friday of every month from 6 to 9 p.m. and now every Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Participating galleries are open free to the public, and most are located between 22nd and 26th streets along the Broadway and Telegraph corridors. oaklandartmurmur.org.