Since our beginnings in 2006, Oakland Art Murmur (OAM) has connected thousands of artists in thousands of exhibitions to over 1,000,000 visitors.
The OAM experience introduces visitors to Oakland’s visual arts movement in a welcoming and inspiring environment. While visiting arts venues, OAM goers become educated about different styles of creative expression, trends in contemporary art, and starting a collection. Participants gain an appreciation for sculpture, painting, textile and all manner of artistic media, including the street art in local neighborhoods.
OAM continues to contribute to the economic health and reputation of Oakland by attracting new visitors, residents and businesses to the area, and providing a positive and engaging cultural experience for those who come.
OAM also supports its community by generating not only local, but also regional, national, and international press attention to Oakland, providing good-news stories about the city’s thriving art scene and cultural renaissance.
WHAT WE DO
Oakland Art Murmur (OAM) focuses on promoting the awareness, visibility, understanding, and vibrancy of visual art in our wonderful city. We strive to increase access to, and participation in, abounding rich and diverse local visual art experiences for the residents of Oakland, the Greater Bay Area, and visitors to our community. Our aim is to aggregate information and to be a resource concerning Oakland’s visual arts for the public and the broader arts community.
HOW WE DO IT
FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK – OAM presents a free monthly evening art walk, known as the ‘Art Murmur’, when visual arts venues are collectively open to the public. This takes place throughout Oakland on the first Friday of every month from 6–9pm, rain or shine. (Oakland First Fridays is a separate event and organization – please see Our History below.)
SATURDAY STROLL – Most OAM visual arts presenters also participate in the weekly Saturday Stroll, when visual arts spaces are open every Saturday from 1–5pm. This is a self-guided activity where many galleries host free cultural programs such as receptions, artist talks, lectures, musical performances, and literary readings on Saturdays.
GUIDED WALKING TOUR – Every third Saturday of the month OAM offers a free Guided Walking Tour, when a gallery director or other prominent member of the Oakland art community takes visitors to 3-5 galleries for presentations from curators or artists about their current shows. Tours are themed and take place from 2–4pm.
VISUAL ARTS GUIDE – Once a year OAM updates and distributes thousands of printed maps of visual arts venues and exhibition spaces, and maintains an interactive map on this site.
OAKLANDARTMURMUR.ORG – OAM maintains this website, which provides detailed information about current exhibitions, installations and events.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
To accomplish our objectives, OAM needs your support—whether you are an individual, you represent a business or institution, or you are among the many artists and producers of exhibits, installations and events who make these experiences possible. Donate today!
Oakland Art Murmur began as an acknowledgment by eight arts spaces located in Oakland’s Northgate and Temescal neighborhoods that a cooperative effort to promote the arts in the city would garner more attention for their individual visual art programs. This led to the first First Friday Art Walk in January 2006, when all participating spaces held concurrent receptions. The gallery walk grew over the years, and Oakland Art Murmur now includes over fifty visual arts venues and mixed-use art spaces throughout the City of Oakland.
Alongside Oakland Art Murmur’s First Friday Art Walk, a popular street festival now known as Oakland First Fridays evolved, which includes street performances, food and craft vending, one-night art installations, receptions and shows at art venues not affiliated with OAM. In 2012, Oakland Art Murmur and Oakland First Fridays formalized into separate entities so each could better serve its community. Oakland First Fridays focuses on the growing popularity of its monthly festival, while OAM has since expanded its influence across Oakland. Together, Oakland First Fridays and Oakland Art Murmur attract up to 20,000 pedestrians, bicyclists, BART riders and car-poolers from the local community across the Bay Bridge and beyond the Caldecott tunnel one evening each month.
The OAM organization has turned its energies to bringing visitors to visual arts experiences on other evenings and days, raising awareness about Oakland’s ever-growing arts movement to Oakland and outside audiences, and building relationships with other cultural institutions and patrons, both in Oakland and beyond.
For more about OAM history and a timeline, click here.
WHO WE ARE
Oakland Art Murmur (OAM) is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation, run by a volunteer Board of Directors. Its day-to-day operations are managed by a part-time Operations and Communications Manager.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kiffanie Stahle, President (Founder, Stahle Law)
Pam Versaw, Vice President, (Consultant, Former CEO and Senior Executive in several biotechnology start-ups)
Ron Scrivani, Treasurer (Property Owner, Warehouse 416)
Cameron Brian (Co-Owner and Director, Transmission Gallery)
Jean Marie Durant (Director of Creative Teams, Gap Inc.)
Howard Flax (President, Flax Art & Design)
Virginia R. Garcia (Artist)
Alexa Hall (Performing Arts Funder, Hewlett Foundation)
Claudia Worthington Hess (Hess Art Advisory)
Moss Kardener (Brand Advisor, OnStrategy Consultants & Curator, Gallery Sinai Visual Arts)
Dasha Matsuura (Director, Spoke Art San Francisco)
Conrad Meyers (Director/Co-Founder, Aggregate Space Gallery)
Amira K. Richmond (Founder, MIR Art Consulting)
Sawyer Rose (Artist)
Paul Szymanski (Artist, Digital Marketer)
Zoa Town (Vice President, Asset & Property Management at TMG Partners)
Curtistine Waldon-Hoes (Associate Director of Development, Stanford University)
HONORARY ADVISORY COUNCIL
David Abernathy (Business Strategy Consultant)
Julie Armistead (Independent Curator/Registrar)
Renee Bott (Principal, Paulson Bott Press)
Squeak Carnwath (Artist)
Alfonso Cosio (Publisher, Oakland Art Enthusiast)
Tom Di Maria (Director, Creative Growth)
Monique Delaunay (Publisher, Oakland Art Enthusiast)
Donald Farnsworth (Principal, Magnolia Editions)
Era Farnsworth (Principal, Magnolia Editions)
Danielle Fox (Director of SLATE contemporary gallery and SLATE art consulting)
Terry Furry (Artist, Studios 11)
Foster Goldstrom (Collector)
Jeff Kelley (Independent Curator)
Roderick Kiracofe (Collector, Curator, Author)
Gary Knecht (Historic Preservation Planner)
Sally Landis (Artist; Founding President, Oakland Fund for the Arts)
Carrie Lederer (Curator of Exhibitions and Programs, Bedford Gallery)
Pamela Mays McDonald (Alameda County Arts Commissioner)
Sasha Mardikian Bainer (Collector)
Marianna Stark (Director of Alumni Engagement and Giving, San Francisco University High School)
Dick Watts (Chair, Board of Trustees, California Pacific Medical Center)
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