Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Oakbook to open art space in JLS

By awoodall
Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 at 11:55 am in Night Owl.

Oakbook art critic (“correspondent”) Theo Konrad Auer is set to head a multi-use art gallery in Jack London Square.  They’re still searching for a name for the space that will join SWARM , Hive Studios and Oakland Metro in the Square (Pro Arts moved near City Hall). The gallery, in a storefront across from Barnes and Noble bookstore, is a collaboration between Oakbook and the Jack London District Assc. so the venture is not as precarious as it sounds at first.But Auer is still nervous. Who wouldn’t be taking on the responsibility of running and curating a gallery during a recession and in a city where art collectors have been as adventurous as naked mole rats. 
Maybe that will change now that we have more people with some kick in their wallets. I was pretty surprised when Auer sprung the news this week. But I guess if I knew him better I’d have known a gallery was something he always dreamed of, as he explained over a couple of drinks at the Lake Merritt Hotel.  Auer said he wants to create something in the spirit of the Lab and the Luggage Store in SF, which are galleries and performance spaces and idea-incubators. He’s curated some shows but this one is his baby. You can’t hide if you really suck when you’re the boss.
Of course, he’s going to have to sell art to earn a paycheck but Auer said he envisions a community space where people will be excited about good art through access to it and education about it. If all goes well, there will be a couple of guest-curated shows before he takes the helm in September. Good luck comrade. Oakland has plenty of room for fresh ideas and East Coast energy.

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