MISSION & VISION
Oakland Art Murmur strengthens Oakland’s diverse visual arts communities by providing access to resources, programming, and experiences. We connect and sustain Oakland’s vibrant visual arts culture to engage and enrich the Oakland community.
OAM organizes a free monthly First Friday gallery walk, known as ‘The Art Murmur’, when member galleries and mixed-use venues are collectively open to the public and hold artists receptions. This takes place on the First Friday of the every month from 6–9pm, rain or shine.
Most member galleries also participate in the weekly Saturday Stroll, when galleries and mixed-use venues are open every Saturday from 1–5pm. Many galleries also host free cultural programs such as receptions, artist talks, lectures, musical performances, and literary readings on Saturdays.
OAM offers a monthly Guided Walking Tour on the third Saturday of each month, 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 2–4pm.
OAM distributes printed maps of member galleries and exhibition spaces.
OAM maintains this website, which offers detailed information about current exhibitions and events.
OAM member venues exhibited over 1200 artists in more than 400 exhibitions in 2012, to an estimated 84,000 visitors.
OAM ran 14 free public walking-tours in 2012, introducing hundreds of visitors to Oakland’s galleries and the artists they show, while educating them about topics such as ceramics, drawing, textile approaches in art, starting a collection, street art in Oakland, and trends in contemporary art.
OAM member venues offered over 100 free Saturday programs for the public during the year, including artists talks, panel discussions, curator’s introductions, artists performances, concerts, film screenings, art demonstrations, and book signings.
OAM continues to contribute to the economic health and reputation of downtown Oakland by filling storefronts, attracting new visitors and residents 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.
Oakland Art Murmur began as an acknowledgment by eight arts spaces located in the Northgate and Temescal neighborhoods that a cooperative effort to promote the arts in the region 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 (which then included 21 Grand, 33 Grand, Auto 3321, Boontling Gallery, Buzz Gallery, Ego Park, Front Gallery, and Rock Paper Scissors Collective) held concurrent receptions. The gallery walk grew over the years, and Oakland Art Murmur now includes over forty galleries and mixed-use art spaces throughout the City of Oakland.
Along side Oakland Art Murmur’s First Friday gallery walk, a popular street festival known as Oakland First Fridays has also evolved, which includes street performances, food and craft vending, one-night art installations, receptions and shows at art venues who are not associated with OAM. This event is currently managed by Oakland First Fridays with infrastructure support from KONO, City of Oakland, and Uptown CBDs. Together, Oakland First Fridays and Oakland Art Murmur attract up to 20,000 pedestrians, bicyclists, BART riders and car-poolers from across the Bay Bridge and beyond the Caldecott tunnel on that one evening a month.
With First Friday so successful, the OAM organization has turned its energies in the to bringing visitors to the galleries on other evenings and days, raising awareness about Oakland’s galleries and artists among audiences outside of Oakland, and building relationships with other cultural institutions and patrons, both in Oakland and beyond.
Oakland Art Murmur 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 Communications Manager, who is supported by President of the Board Conrad Meyers, Dasha Matsuura, Designer Jason Kulp, and a team of wonderful volunteers.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Conrad Meyers, President (Director/Co-Founder, Aggregate Space Gallery)
Dasha Matsuura, Vice President (Art Consultant, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary)
Ron Scrivani, Treasurer (Property Owner, Warehouse 416)
Julie Armistead, Secretary (Independent Curator/ Registrar)
Pamela Mays McDonald, Chair of External Relations (Alameda County Arts Commissioner)
Amira K. Richmond (Marketing/Sales, Thelma Harris Art Gallery)
Sawyer Rose (Artist)
Kiffanie Stahle (Founder, Stahle Law)
Marianna Stark, Board Member-at-Large (Director of Brand Engagement, GapTech/Gap Inc.)
Claudia Worthington Hess (Hess Art Advisory)
HONORARY ADVISORY COUNCIL
David Abernathy (Business Strategy Consultant)
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)
Marjory Graue (Collector, Graue Family Foundation)
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)
Sasha Mardikian Bainer (Collector)
Dick Watts (Chair, Board of Trustees, California Pacific Medical Center)
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