There’s only a few more days to catch Alameda photographer Jan Watten’s work, which is up now through April 25 at the Pro Arts Gallery at 550 2nd Street in Oakland. The 10-person show, called Jingletown Junction, is a celebration of the art and artists who’ve made their home in the area of East Oakland between the High Street and Fruitvale bridges.
Watten, who also participated in the recent Alameda on Camera project now up at the Frank Bette Center, says her work for the Jingletown show includes portraits of neighborhood artists, many of whom she’s worked around for years. “I lived in Jingletown from 1984 to 1997,” says Watten. “Then then I got married and moved to Alameda—but I kept my studio because I loved it so much.”
Watten has two pieces in the show:
One piece is called An Aspect of my Jingletown [pictured left]. In the late ’80s, I started photographing people with objects—with something they felt revealed something about their identity. I’m going back to those people and photographing them again. The work is a grid of faces.
I also have some photographs I took with a plastic camera, a Holga. I photograph the neighborhood. I’m in love with my Holga—it’s freeing. You go out and you never know what you’re going to get. It’s sort of like zen photography.
The East Bay Express has a nice little write up of the show and more on the history of the Jingletown neighborhood.