Community of Art Galleries throughout the City of Oakland / Collectively open: Every Saturday 1-5p | First Friday 6-9p.
Oakland Art Murmur 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 each month from 6–9pm.
Most OAM 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 Mobile maps are available through Mosey. And the Oakland Art Murmur website offers detailed information about current exhibitions and events.
OAM also offers supporters access to special events and discounts at member galleries and cultural partners through the Friends of Oakland Art Murmur membership program.
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 almost 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.
In 2014, Art Murmur was awarded the Leadership Award from the Oakland Heritage Alliance.
MISSION + VISION
The mission of Oakland Art Murmur is to ignite and nurture a lifelong love and appreciation of art. Through public programming and community outreach, we increase awareness of and participation in the visual arts in Oakland.
Oakland Art Murmur’s vision is for Oakland to be recognized as a nationally and internationally-known and respected contemporary art destination.
Oakland Art Murmur: The Video
Pages tagged “Art Murmur”
Links and References
- 2014-01-29: "Oakland’s First Fridays A Boon to Local Businesses" KQED