Oakland Art Murmur (OAM) seeks to be a voice for all Oakland artists and art spaces and seeks to connect all members of the public to the eclectic and incredible art of Oakland. We are motivated by a genuine desire to expand social justice in the arts and empower artists of all backgrounds and experiences. To that end, OAM seeks to promote historically underserved artists and art spaces and educate the public as to the rich and vibrant history of the arts in Oakland.
Since our beginnings in 2006, Oakland Art Murmur (OAM) has connected thousands of artists in thousands of exhibitions to over 1,000,000 visitors. OAM supports its community by generating not only local, but also regional, national, and international attention to Oakland, providing good-news stories about the city’s thriving art scenes and cultural renaissance.
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 venues 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.
Oakland Visual Arts Guide – Twice a year OAM creates and distributes thousands of printed guides; connecting the public to galleries, exhibition spaces and artists studios. We also maintain an interactive venue map on this site.
OAM has several self-guided neighborhood art tours including a collaboration with Dragon School 99 Mural Tour in Oakland’s Chinatown.
OAM curates custom tours and experiences for groups of any size. For more information and to contact us visit the Walking Tours link above.
This series will put a face to artists, curators and creative visionaries working within our city, from newly emerging to those already highly recognized. It’s be the story of how they work, what compels them and what challenges them.
Oakland Art Murmur began as a cooperative effort by eight arts spaces (21 Grand, 33 Grand, Auto 3321, Boontling Gallery, Buzz Gallery, Ego Park, Front Gallery, Rock Paper Scissors Collective) located in Oakland’s Northgate and Temescal neighborhoods to garner attention and to promote the visual arts in the city. 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. 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 across the Bay Area one evening each month.
WHO WE ARE
Oakland Art Murmur (OAM) is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation, run by a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by talented contractors and volunteers.