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Journey to Jingletown

Through my involvement with Oakland Unwrapped's Indie Awards and my recent participation in a beginning mosaic class (inspired by the work of Laurel True), I've discovered a new neck of Oakland where the artist population is growing fast, or so claims the neighborhood association.

Down Fruitvale Ave. is what's known as Jingletown. What I like about this name is that it's historically accurate, like the name "Fruit vale" which comes from a different time when the canneries in Oakland were thriving because the hillsides were filled with orchards. Unfortunately, this is far from the picture of what the East Bay hills look like now. In 50 years, will any of it be put back as a result of the Oakland Food Policy Council? Wouldn't it be cool if someone in the hills donated 250 acres to integrate back in a growing operation for fruits- right in the hills of the city? That would be an incredible things with all sorts of public and municipal benefits. But I digress, or perhaps rather, "I digest..."

Sensing that my first attempt at mosaic would be rough, I decided to take my tile in a whimsical direction and make it a bit of an ode to several bowls I broke that we got as wedding gifts (as well as to David and the cats). In fact, with our hardy granite countertops, the volume of things we've broken (and that I'd been storing in hopes of turning into art) was large. All the pieces here you see were things I broke, save the red tiles, funky Cheshire Cat mug handle, and piece of mug with the word "husbands" on it among the materials I was given.

Indeed, getting into this now as we're soon to journey into Barcelona really is amazing for how much I will appreciate the Gaudi and other artists all over that city.

Maybe this is a wedding blog post because a Jewish tradition is that broken wedding pottery must be re-used in a piece of art- how fitting! My shards have finally found a home in some cozy grout blankets with glitter.

Since 2005, I've admired True's work and now she has the IMA in Jingletown. True is known to my by her work in Jeffrey & Gregangelo's house on the south wall of the Cardinal Room and in the Dawn Room at the Gregangelo Museum in San Francisco--a house I have had the honor of touring twice. She was also a Hearts in San Francisco artist who created one of the more inspiring pieces.

A final salute of gratitute to the vibrant arts and their creators in the Bay Area! Oh, and for those of you reading close to publication date, don't forget Open Studios weekends coming up June, the IMA is participating.

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