“By vending my art on the streets, I am forcing myself to put myself out there and get seen by as many people as I can,” says the quote on the wall attributed to Oakland-based artist Erin Crawford. “I also try to be the artist, the manager, the business woman, and the worker all in one.”
‘You gotta have multiple sources of income — as many as possible,” adds a quote by Oakland’s Gregorio de Masi. “It’s really tough to make it just on selling original art. Prints, art books and commissioned art really help pay the bills… These long term payouts are the best way to survive in any creative field. They can pay your bills so you can focus on creating and spend less time hustling.”
Those are just two of the many quotes and artist perspectives that, intermingled with original artwork and prints, provide the primary focus for Town Business: State of the Art Hustle, the group exhibit currently on display at Uptown Oakland’s Warehouse 416. Curated by Trevor Parham, the exhibit features 11 local artists who make a living off of their art — and who therefore have things to say about how one actually manages to make a living as an artist in the Bay Area.
The exhibit’s featured artists all do their own hustle in different ways. Nancy Cato, who specializes in caricature-like character sketches, vends her illustrations on notecards and t-shirts. Crawford sells both prints and originals of her strikingly colorful, sensual figure drawings on the street and via her Etsy shop online. And maybe you’ve seen de Masi displaying his art around town on his pedal-powered Bicycle Gallery, which he bills as “the first pedal-powered roaming art gallery and fine arts print store.”
In line with the theme of the exhibit, many of the original pieces are also quite affordable. Angela Scrivani, owner of Warehouse 416, says that, as a rule, at least 20 percent of the work in any given Warehouse 416 exhibit is priced at $500 or less, to make the artwork more accessible to the demographic that her gallery is dedicated to serving.
“I have two goals with this gallery: to reflect Oakland, and to cater to Oakland,” Scrivani said.
For tonight’s Oakland Art Murmur/First Friday reception, Warehouse 416 helps you accompany your art-viewing with a drink or two, courtesy of Scrivani Productions’ handcrafted cocktail bar. There will also be food and art vendors, music by dj fflood and, of course, artwork for sale.
Need more inspiration to get your own art hustle on? The Town Business exhibit also serves as a launch for an ongoing initiative of the same name, which hopes to feature perspectives and profiles of Oakland’s creative entrepreneurs on its website and through subsequent group exhibits. Rest assured, there is no lack of artists and creatives in Oakland to contribute their own thoughts on creative entrepreneurship — it ain’t called “town business” for nothing.
IF YOU GO:
Town Business: State of the Art Hustle
WHERE: Warehouse 416, 416 26th Street, Oakland
WHEN: September 14 through October 19. Art Murmur reception TONIGHT, October 4, from 6 to 10 p.m.; closing reception on Saturday, October 19, from 1 to 5 p.m.; gallery hours Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.
MORE INFO: www.oaktown.biz
OTHER NOT-TO-MISS ART EXHIBITS & EVENTS THIS WEEKEND:
FLAUNT: An Oakland Fashion Photography Show
A party, photography show opening and fashion show all in one, Femme Cartel’s FLAUNT event features Oakland-centric fashion photography (the exhibit will be on display at Classic Cars West throughout October), a fashion show curated by GG Page, a photo booth, vendors, food, ping-pong and an outdoor beer garden courtesy CommonWealth.
WHERE: Classic Cars West, 411 26th Street, Oakland
WHEN: Saturday, October 5, from 12 to 7 p.m.
MORE INFO: Facebook event page
Timeless: The White Mountains
In the White Mountains of California’s Eastern Sierras, the ancient bristlecone pines stand testament to the passage of time. They’re the oldest non-clonal living organisms on the planet, many of them between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, persevering in desolate 11,000-foot elevation desert landscape where little else can survive. This photography exhibit pays tribute to the majesty of these miraculous trees and the mountains that they grow in.
WHERE: PHOTO, 473 25th Street, Oakland
WHEN: September 5 through October 12. Art Murmur reception TONIGHT, October 4, from 6 to 8 p.m.; gallery hours Thursday through Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday by appointment
MORE INFO: photogalleryoakland.com
SLATE Autumn Collection: Focus on Photography
Be sure to make it over to SLATE to check out the current exhibit, SLATE Autumn Collection: Focus on Photography, before it closes tomorrow, October 5. Featuring work ranging from Roy Berkowitz’s epic Bay Area urban landscapes to renowned street photographer Richard Koci Hernandez’s evocative images, this exhibit invokes the power of masterful photographic innovation.
WHERE: Slate Contemporary, 473 25th Street, Oakland
WHEN: August 22 through October 5. Art Murmur reception TONIGHT, October 4, from 6 to 9 p.m.; gallery hours Thursday through Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment
MORE INFO: slatecontemporary.com
Oakland Social is a weekly arts and culture column devoted to upcoming events, new places, and narratives about going out in Oakland. Have ideas for what to cover? Contact email@example.com.