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Oakland, I want you to know…

July 23–October 30, 2016

“This exhibition is a microcosm of the conversation about gentrification that’s going on in Oakland and the Bay Area… It amplifies those voices through art and provides another way to enter this complex conversation.” —Artist Chris Treggiari

What does home mean to you? For people in West Oakland, and all over this city, the answers to this question are extraordinarily diverse, richly complex, and surprisingly simple. Oakland, I want you to know… gets at the heart of this important conversation during a time of accelerating social, economic, and demographic change in West Oakland, as seen through the eyes of the community.

Enter into environments inspired by iconic West Oakland buildings—a classic Victorian home, a contemporary loft, a community garden, and the now-shuttered historic Esther’s Orbit Room—that play host to a series of conversations with longtime residents, newcomers, artists, activists, and community leaders. Experience artwork that asks provocative questions about who has the right to space and how land is used, and share your own thoughts about what is happening throughout Oakland right now. Encounter video installations, compelling images, and community book-making projects that capture the voices and tenor of this conversation. A community-led exhibition guided by artist Chris Treggiari and OMCA Curator of Public Practice Evelyn Orantes, Oakland, I want you to know… features work by artists and contributors including Alex Frantz Ghassan, Fantastic Negrito, Julie Plasencia, Michael Wertz, Querido Galdo, Angie Wilson, and organizations such as City Slicker Farms, Youth Radio, Acta Non Verba, Town Park, and Visual Element. Take part in these moving and complex conversations from the neighborhood—told through the voices of the people, organizations, and businesses that call West Oakland home.


Oakland, I want you to know… is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation with additional support from the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, the California Arts Council, and members of the Donor Forum including Doris Fisher, Virginia Robison Furth, Lance and Katherine Gyorfi, and The Mendelson Family Fund.  

The James Irvine Foundation
California Arts Council
An immersive in-gallery experience portrays four iconic structures: a victorian, a loft under construction, historic music venue Ester's Orbit Room, and a community garden.
Inside the victorian, a visitor watches a video of West Oaklanders responding to the changes in their community,
A BART car facade houses a map of audio pieces produced by Youth Radio about the changing neighborhood.
A video piece inside Ester's Orbit Room portrays the creative community in West Oakland as a historic blues district.
A "bus stop" built out of reused East Bay Express containers, includes a station where visitors can write to their city councilperson on issues they care about.
Julie Plasencia, 927 Chester Street, 2006. Giclée print, 16" h x 16" w. Courtesy of the artist [detail]
Julie Plasencia, 935 Chester Street, 2006. Giclée print, 16" h x 16" w. Courtesy of the artist [detail]
Julie Plasencia, 1103 Chester Street, 2003. Giclée print, 16" h x 16" w. Courtesy of the artist [detail]