Director's Message

Happy 2015!

During the start of this new year, we wish you all the joy of community and offer our thanks for your support of OMCA.

The theme of community extends through our exhibitions and events this Winter. With our exhibition, Bees: Tiny Insect, Big Impact, visitors will see firsthand how communities of bees are essential to a healthy ecosystem. Ruby Neri and Alicia McCarthy, artists featured in Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California, tell us about the friendships, connections, and shared values that generated a scene of creative activity—first in San Francisco, and extending to Oakland, with many artists now living on this side of the Bay. And, check out our calendar of activities for great community events, including our beloved annual Lunar New Year celebration.

As always we want to take the opportunity to pay tribute to our hometown and all of the qualities and characteristics that make it distinctive—not just to locals anymore, but to visitors from across the world! Many Museum staff live right here in Oakland, but the partnership we have with Visit Oakland, being trained as the first official class of Oakland ambassadors, makes us appreciate even more the diversity, beauty, vitality, and rich cultural history—and even greater promise for the future—that Oakland affords. We couldn’t be any prouder to be right in the heart of it, and we are committed to continuing to help create a thriving and healthy community.

At the same time, we mourn the loss of one of our own community—and a son of Oakland—Barclay Simpson, who passed away on November 8. Barc, as he was known to all, was an extraordinary leader, both in his business and in his philanthropic endeavors, always committed to equity and fairness and ensuring access to higher education, the arts, and athletics, among his many passions. Barc and his wife, Sharon, have made extraordinary contributions to the Oakland Museum of California, particularly at crucial points in our history and development. We pay tribute to Barc for his generosity, service, and commitment to leaving the world—and especially the East Bay community—a better place for his having lived and worked here. We will miss him.

Lori Fogarty
Director & CEO