Director's Message

Anniversaries and Milestones This Fall at OMCA

Fall is a season of tradition and a recognition of cycles renewing—from back-to-school preparation, to the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays, to harvest rituals that here in the Bay Area come during the most beautiful time of the year. This fall will be one of particular bounty for OMCA with Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California, an exhibition that brings together the riches of our Museum with those of SFMOMA to explore four specific moments in California art that were uniquely fruitful in many ways, including the deep interrelationships between artists and their communities. The collaboration with SFMOMA is one that has benefited both our institutions and, we trust, our shared communities.

This fall also marks the 20th anniversary of one of OMCA’s most beloved and well-known traditions: our annual Días de los Muertos exhibition and community celebration. In many ways, this project has been an inspiration for many of OMCA’s ongoing practices, such as partnering with community organizations in the creation of art works—or, in this case, altars—that connect traditions to contemporary issues. It is a special pleasure this year to celebrate with some of the long-standing artists who have been part of Días de los Muertos at OMCA and in the Bay Area, as well as emerging artists who are adding their voices to this annual commemoration.

There is another anniversary to note with our exhibition program—Judy Chicago’s 75th birthday, celebrated at museums nationwide, and the 40th anniversary of her installation, A Butterfly for Oakland, as seen through film documentation in the media gallery of our Gallery of California Art. It is stunning to see the courage and boldness of Chicago’s vision, with the shore of Lake Merritt ablaze in this moving expression of public art.

In closing, there is one final milestone to acknowledge. On behalf of OMCA’s Board of Trustees, staff, and creative community, I wish to convey our deepest thanks to Bruce Beasley, whose extraordinary promised gift to the Museum will make possible the Bruce Beasley Sculpture Center in West Oakland. Bruce is not only an internationally recognized sculptor of enormous influence and innovation, he is also a true citizen of Oakland. This gift is as much about making a statement on behalf of this city as it is about ensuring a place for sculpture in the coming decades. His gift truly completes our season of celebration.

Wishing you all a fall filled with fertile endeavors!

Lori Fogarty
Director & CEO