(OAKLAND, CA) February 6, 2019— The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) will open Black Power, a compelling new addition to its Gallery of California History beginning February 8, 2019. Kicking off in Black History Month and remaining as a new addition to the Gallery, Black Power will honor and explore the contributions of black activists, including the Black Panther Party, to California’s dynamic history and culture.
In response to OMCA’s widely-popular 2016 exhibition All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50, this new installation will illustrate the creative ways black anti-racist activists in California supported their communities and challenged the U.S. government. Focusing on the example of the Black Panther Party, Black Power will bring to light the tensions between a culturally and socially progressive California and examples of economic racism and oppression in the state. This moment in California history will be represented through historic photographs, objects, iconic posters, paintings and interactive prompts that encourage visitors to take action out in the world.
“OMCA is delighted to give this important story a permanent home in our Gallery of California History. This installation will help visitors understand the complicated relationship between social, political, and economic forms of racism in California through the inspiring example of Black Power activism,” said Erendina Delgadillo, Associate Curator of History.
In Black Power, visitors will learn about the Bay Area’s role in this national story, and the impacts this history continues to have today. Black Power will be on view in OMCA’s Gallery of California History beginning February 8, 2019 as a permanent installation.
SCHEDULE OF PUBLIC PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
Join us for a panel discussion on the Black Power movement and its lasting impact on Oakland’s arts, culture, and community. This panel will feature Ericka Huggins, a former leading member of the Black Panther Party, Mwende Hinojosa, production manager at Reveal News, and more. Be sure to visit Black Power, our newest gallery addition illustrating the ways Black anti-racist activists in California supported their communities and challenged the U.S. government.
Program ticket included with regular Museum admission. Members receive free admission. RSVP required.
UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS & PROJECTS
Queer California: Untold Stories
April 13–August 11, 2019
In Spring 2019, the Oakland Museum of California will present a major exhibition exploring California’s LGBTQ+ history and culture. Going beyond mainstream narratives, Queer California: Untold Stories will deepen and expand our understanding of this history through a multifaceted exhibition. Visitors will experience powerful examples of social activism through contemporary artwork and historical materials and view rarely-seen artifacts, archival documents, photographs, costumes, and ephemera such as zines, stickers, and flyers. The exhibition aligns important milestones in LGBTQ+ culture with lesser-known stories, focusing on a diversity of queer identities, civil rights, and resistance to oppression.
Visitors themselves can share the events and places in California that have impacted their personal experiences, thereby creating a participatory in-gallery display that maps queer sites and reflects the range of the state’s queer history and expression. Queer California presents a future of possibility; through themes of memory, mourning, anger, desire, and hope, this exhibition draws on histories of struggle for self-determination to help us imagine a more inclusive future. There is a $4 charge for this special exhibition in addition to regular Museum admission.
Pushing West: The Photography of Andrew J. Russell
Gallery of California Art
May 4–September 1, 2019
Travel back in time through Andrew J. Russell’s epic photography of the Transcontinental Railroad’s western expansion, completed 150 years ago in 1869. Though commissioned to document the railroad and its successful development, Russell’s photography reveals the tensions between the economic and technological advances and the Railroad’s significant impact on western lands and Native peoples. His powerful imagery highlights the majesty of the landscape with locomotive engines set amongst vast plains and colossal mountain ranges, captured through Russell’s remarkable technique using the collodion photographic process in remote locations.
In this intimate exhibition, visitors will view rare vintage and digital prints, powerful landscape and 3D images, and original collodion negatives, as well as memorabilia, ephemera, and a video demonstrating the collodion process. Learn about Russell’s legacy as one of the most important photographers of the 19th century in this inspiring presentation of one of the most historic and controversial moments in American history.
No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man
October 12, 2019–February 16, 2020
With spectacular artwork and large-scale installations from one of the most widely-celebrated cultural events in the world, No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man takes over OMCA in Fall of 2019. Each year the weeklong Burning Man event attracts over 70,000 people to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Participants create and build Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis where experimental art installations—some ritually burned to the ground—are the centerpiece for innovators, makers, and a burgeoning artistic community. The exhibition illuminates the values of Burning Man through its guiding Ten Principles: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation, and Immediacy. The exhibition features many works by Bay Area artists including jewelry, costumes, “mutant” vehicles, sculptures, photography, and paintings. A companion exhibition within the gallery, City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man, organized by the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, traces Burning Man’s origins from its countercultural roots in the San Francisco Bay Area to the world-famous desert gathering it is today.
This immersive and multi-sensory experience will extend beyond the gallery walls into the Museum’s public spaces—including an OMCA-commissioned 40-foot-tall outdoor temple by internationally-acclaimed sculptor David Best.
No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man is organized by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, No Spectators will make its final stop at OMCA after traveling to the Cincinnati Art Museum.
The museums especially thank colleagues from Burning Man Project, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, for their close collaboration and assistance throughout the preparation of this exhibition and tour.
Lead support for the exhibition was provided by Intel and Bently Foundation. Support for the exhibition’s tour is provided by the C. F. Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund.
The World of Charles and Ray Eames
*NOW EXTENDED Through February 18, 2019
Fueled by their belief in design as a way of life, the innovative husband and wife duo Charles and Ray Eames were two of the most influential designers of the twentieth century. Go beyond their most well-known designs in this intimate and inspiring exhibition portraying their legacy and lives in California. The Eameses—who founded The Eames Office—valued knowledge and discovery, embraced the joy of trial and error, and saw no separation between life and work. Through multi-media installations, films, rare prototypes, photography, furniture, toys, products, as well as personal letters, drawings, and artwork, discover the story of the Eameses from a fresh perspective. Explore the breadth of their work across many fields in this interactive exhibition that brings their ideas and playful spirit to life.
The World of Charles and Ray Eames was curated and organized by Barbican Art Gallery, London. The Oakland Museum of California presentation is made possible by Herman Miller and the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, in collaboration with the Barbican Art Gallery and Eames Office, with support from Terra Foundation. There is a $4 charge for this special exhibition in addition to regular Museum admission.
Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline
Gallery of California Art
Through March 17, 2019
Drop back in time to see the natural environment of California in a new way. Discover the connections between art and science through fantastically colorful renderings by artist Ray Troll and the research of paleontologist Kirk Johnson, who made an incredible journey to map the ancient world with a fresh perspective. Together, the fossil-loving scientist and his artist friend paint a vivid picture of the land and creatures that once roamed the West Coast thousands of years ago. Learn how fossils teach us about how California’s landscape, plants, and animals have evolved over millions of years. With the addition of sculpture, maps, a giant sloth—or Paramylodon harlani— and other fossils and bones from the collections of OMCA and the California Academy of Sciences, and a fun hands-on activity, this exhibition will thrill fossil fans and curious culture-seekers alike. The exhibition is organized by the Anchorage Museum.
Discover Mildred Howard’s TAP: Investigation of Memory, a powerful multimedia installation that examines themes of identity, church culture, gentrification, dance, activism, and more. Born to activist parents, Howard’s family lineage and community inform much of her work. Part of OMCA’s Collection, this major artwork incorporates an antique shoe-shine stand from Oakland’s historic California Hotel, once a cultural center for the Black community, as the altar-like centerpiece, alongside white shoes and metal shoe taps arranged in a pattern covering the gallery floor. Symbolizing memories from her past and tap dance’s influence on her life, learn how Howard’s work has helped shape the narrative of activism in the Bay Area and continues to inspire artists today.
Take Root: Oakland Grows Food
Gallery of California Natural Sciences
Through November 2019
Unearth Oakland’s multi-layered world of food in Take Root: Oakland Grows Food, an exhibition exploring aspects of growing food in Oakland. Enjoy this hands-on exhibition with the entire family to understand what factors determine where, how, why, and what is grown throughout the city. Hear personal stories from farmers and growers within the community, see compelling illustrations and maps, and meet the diverse flavors of Oakland. Learn what motivations Oaklanders have for growing food—including access to healthy and delicious ingredients, environmental and social justice values, or simply the joy of tending a garden. Visitors will be invited to share personal stories, explore interactive activities, and gain a deeper understanding of Oakland’s agriculture.
Question Bridge: Black Males
On view now in the Gallery of California Art
Hailed as one of the Bay Area’s Top Exhibitions by the San Francisco Chronicle, Question Bridge: Black Males returns to the Oakland Museum of California’s Gallery of California Art. Immerse yourself in intimate videos—woven together and arranged to simulate face-to-face conversations between participants—among a diverse group of over 160 Black men across the United States. Hear these men answer each other’s questions with exceptional honesty and vulnerability, and share stories, beliefs, and values in a personal portrayal of their lives. Encompassing themes of family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, and wisdom, Question Bridge: Black Males presents nuanced portraits of past, present, and future of Black men in American society. Listen, watch, learn, and start your own conversations with this profoundly moving installation.
A recent acquisition to the Oakland Museum of California’s permanent collection, Question Bridge is an innovative and widely exhibited video installation from artists Chris Johnson and Hank Willis Thomas in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. Joining the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Brooklyn Museum, OMCA is proud to acquire this groundbreaking and poignant work for its collection.