Saturday, August 30th, 2008 at 9:31 am in Night Owl.
Art and wine are, after all, what make life worth living. That is basically how Obi Kaufman, impresario of Swee(t)Art zine, summed up his new gig curating art at Zza’s wine bar. As the heatwave began to subside Friday night, Kaufman was combining business with pleasure for the opening of his first project: “Give and Take” — a series of works by Carrissa Bowman and Robert Porter. The turnout — including Porter’s proud mom and Oakbook’s art correspondent Theo Konrad Auer — was pretty good with people pilling out onto Grand Avenue from the polished adjunct to the otherwise casual, homey main restaurant.
“Small things made bigger,” was how Natalie Moore described the work of her Acalane High School teaching colleague. He “examines things closely and pulls things out,” she said, adding how she admired Porter for teaching and working on his art.
The combination of venues (restaurant-gallery etc) seems to have taken hold particularly in Oakland, where artists are making their way with or without the help (and sometimes despite the help) of the city. There aren’t too many handouts from the city coffers so the artists get grassroots or shrivel up for lack of sustenance. I think the overall effort (did someone mention Sisyphus?) of running a gallery is behind the sudden and unexpected shuttering of two galleries in the art enclave around the West Grand/Broadway: Egopark and Esteban Sabar.
The question is who will fill their shoes?