I was recently asked to contribute to an art installation collaboration for a local art gallery. What?! I know, so official. I only had one night to think about my contribution so I decided to just show up and let art happen when I got to the studio to create my piece. The installation was to be a collaboration of Bay Area artists to showcase “Oakland.” Eighteen artists were invited to design foam boards to be installed on a metal structure that rotated the boards.
Artists Nick Dong and Corrie Messinger were the masterminds behind the piece and we were invited to Nick’s Oakland studio to create. Walking into a legit art studio was the cheese balls (and I love cheese balls!). Lots of space and natural light, all the art supplies and tools you could ever need…amazing.
The piece I created is called Fly. It started with a sketch. I was inspired by a butterfly and wanted to incorporate the whimsy of their wings. I went back and forth with colors and feelings. After all, people were going to have to look at it.
Here is the final piece. My favorite parts are the sparkles and gems.
Tell us what you do. What is your relationship to Oakland? I am local maker, owner of Feed the Fish co and blogger at Crafterateur. I got my first grown up job in Oakland as a Public Health Researcher. It was here I’d spend my evenings gallivanting the city, enjoying the local flavor.
What were your ideas for the piece? I designed “Fly” to portray Oakland as a place full of life. I mixed colors to represent the food culture: hummus, taro, and sriracha mayo. Bee stripes represent the robust city life. The butterfly-esque component represents the artistic and creative side, a place where you can be uniquely you. And Oakland tree roots show city pride and love.
It was such a fun process and the panels look great together. Here are some of the other artists working on their pieces and some finished works.
The Common Thread exhibit will be at Mercury Twenty now through April 4, 2015. If you’re in the area, come check it out and see what Oakland means to all of the artists.
Collaborations are always fun, especially when it’s doing something you love to do. What are some of the projects you like to collaborate on? Share your tales below.