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.