Jill McLennan watches Jingletown, her neighborhood of 14 years, transform into a community of development. McLennan has completed her first public art project with Madison Park Development Corp. in Jingletown at 401 Derby Ave. She designed 12 panels depicting birds flying over the Oakland and Jingletown skyline, framing the entryway with a 40’ visual screening above and the main doors, reviving the wetlands, below. Working directly with Claire Han of Madison Park, and the architect, Toby Levy, she partnered with DEKA Fabrications and GK Welding to fabricate the pieces.
McLennan’s concept for this piece is to emphasize the mixed use history of this neighborhood and to celebrate the balance that exists between residents, businesses and the natural environment. The industrial nature of the material, steel, reflects the steel industry that once dominated Jingletown. The skyline depicts vantage points throughout the neighborhood, both local details and familiar views of Oakland and Mt.Tam. The birds in flight and on wires are based on direct observation of the activities of birds living here, migrating through and filling our neighborhood with activity and song. The birds are also a metaphor for the people, coming and going, roosting and nesting, working independently and as a community to create a place to call home.
Jo Ann Biagini and KC Rosenberg participate in Gray Loft Gallery’s “Tangible Abstractions”
Johanna Poethig’s public project for AC Transit with team Mildred Howard, Peter Richards and Joyce Hsu is featured in their newsletter:
With construction now in full swing to build the East Bay’s first Bus Rapid Transit system, we thought now would be a great time to help you get a sense of the artwork that will grace the completed BRT stations. We believe the beauty of the artwork can be a sustaining image as you journey with us through the year-plus construction process.
Extensive input from the community helped create the artwork theme of “Cultural Corridor/Urban Flow.” All 34 stations will have windscreens as well as decorative handrails that flow into the station platform. Seven stations will have “artistically enhanced” windscreens. The honeycomb panels on the windscreens of the stations are reflective and will show the ever-changing movement (flow) of passengers, buses, lights and even the shifting sky above.
Johanna Poethig, Mildred Howard, Peter Richards and Joyce Hsu, artists for the BRT station artwork project, comment on their work:
“The BRT project, Cultural Corridor/Urban Flow, draws a ribbon winding through the neighborhoods like a creek, a metaphor for the flow of people, cultures, businesses, natural and urban environments along the corridor. As transportation systems are inherently linear this unfolding visual poem complements this exciting new bus line. What we were seeing and trying to capture is the diversity of the neighborhoods and the people. We who live in the East Bay know that what we are doing is broadening our love for the city to those passing by and those who live here.”
The diverse neighborhoods along the BRT corridor will be served by 34 stations. The artwork that connects all the stations is a visual poem of images and words that tells the many rich and history-filled stories of the diverse neighborhoods along the 9.5-mile BRT route. Downtown San Leandro, Elmhurst, Havenscourt-Lockwood, Fruitvale, San Antonio, Eastlake, Chinatown and Uptown/Downtown Oakland, are but a few of the neighborhoods along the BRT corridor.
Johanna Poethig’s installation and curatorial project Songs for Women Living With War is featured in Art Practical’s special issue “Art Can’t Do Anything If We Don’t.” The article titled Teaching and Talking about Art and Performance in Unprecedented Times is written by Thea Quiray Tagle and is, in the writer’s words “a mini manifesto about the kinds of art I think matters especially in these times.”
Two Mercury 20 artists, Charlie Milgrim and Fernando Reyes have been chosen to exhibit at San Francisco’s contemporary art fair for independent artists, the StARTup Art Fair. Charlie will be showing a series of work based on photographic explorations at the defunct Bethlehem Steel Factory in Pennsylvania. Fernando will be showing abstract collages inspired by Matisse’s “Cut Outs”.