East Bay history fans should make note that this afternoon at the OMCA (Oakland Museum of CA) there will be a premiere screening of Rick Prelinger's Lost Landscapes of Oakland, with live narration by the filmmaker, and followed by a Q+A session. This Oakland themed production is part of the writer/archivalist/filmmaker's ‘Lost Landscapes’ series of archival compilation films on the history of San Francisco (Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, eight annual films, 2006-2013, and Lost Landscapes of Detroit, three films, 2010-2012.) Today's East Bay themed presentation is about "highlighting the hidden histories of Oakland" with a montage of "rarely-seen film clips of life in Oakland, captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen, and industrial filmmakers" according to OMCA curators. The fact that Prelinger will do accompanying live narration himself is an added bonus. Plus, like so many of the wonderful events that OMCA produces, this too further breaks down that wall between exhbiti and museum goer. Those who attend today will undoubtedly be mostly local residents who know Oakland and the East Bay first hand. They are encouraged to participate and share stories about their own memories of Oakland and the East Bay. Event from 3pm to 5pm. All ages. Admission to screening/lecture included in general museum admission. More info
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day may not be until tomorrow (January 20th), but MLK celebrations and events in the East Bay honoring the civil rights leader begin today with events at both Oakland's Scottish Rite Center and the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) where, as part of the downtown Oakland museum's ongoing HistoryMakers / ScienceMakers Series, there is an exhibit honoring MLK and other black innovators. Today's program features hands-on science activities and a presentation by physicist Dr. Hattie Carwell. And throughout the rest of the month, OMCA goers can celebrate MLK with family workshops during the popular Friday Nights @ OMCA when kids can make their own matchbox-sized dream world (in keeping with the MLK "dream" theme). Also on exhibit at OMCA are such MLK themed pieces as Ivan Garrik's 1968 offset lithograph "I Have A Dream" pictured above.
Then a little later today in Oakland - within walking distance from the OMCA - is In The Name Of Love, the annual Oakland musical tribute now in its twelfth year. The talent-packed program begins at 7pm sharp and will feature Martin Luther McCoy, Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and Oakland Children's Community Choir with Oaktown Jazz Workshops. Admission $23, $25 at the door, $8 for children 12 and under. Tickets.
With the slow demolition process of the East Bay span of the Bay Bridge just begun the fate of the fabled Bay Bridge Troll, as pictured above, is no longer undetermined. The troll has taken up temporary residence at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) which recently welcomed the small guardian of the Bay to its Gallery of California History, where it will remain on exhibit through February 2014. It will be on display alongside his "brother" - a replica of the actual Bay Bridge troll now known as "Troll Senior." Back 24 years ago during the repair work due to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the Bill Roan designed and created Troll has been protecting and keeping ward on the Bay Bridge's East Bay span section.
As the curators of OMCA point out trolls, based on Nordic mythology, are master builders, metal workers, and protectors of treasure who live under bridges. Bay Area blacksmith Bill Roan is a fan of the Nordic mythology and hence designed the 18 inch tall steel sculpture - with its slightly menacing look that include two large horns and a spud wrench in hand - during the repairs to the East Bay section of the Bay Bridge following the '89 quake. This work Roan did without any fanfare at the time as it was not officially authorized. Watch video coverage of the Bay Bridge troll installation to OMCA's Gallery of California History for more background info. And for more museum info click here.
Students of the Bay Area's history, its inhabitants, geographic make up, and its gradual transformation over the past several thousand years should enjoy the new exhibit opening at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) this weekend including the free First Sunday (Sept 1st). Titled Above and Below: Stories From Our Changing Bay the curators at the downtown Oakland museum say it unveils the quirky stories of how people and nature together have shaped the San Francisco Bay Area over the last 6,000 years. It's a large scale exhibit spread across all three of OMCA’s galleries (Art, History, and Natural Sciences). The multi-media exhibition, that will employ oral histories, community voices, and interactive as it highlight historic and contemporary place-based stories about the Bay, hopes to engage exhibit viewers in discussions about the Bay’s future and topics such rising sea levels, wetlands restoration, invasive species, earthquake preparedness (or lack thereof), and the general changes to the land and water of the greater Bay Area. The opening weekend of the exhibit begins this evening (August 29th) with a preview and reception for donor forum members. Tomorrow, Friday August 30th, OMCA members will enjoy a preview before a public sneak peek during a pirates-and-mermaids-themed Friday Nights @ OMCA, featuring Off the Grid food trucks, live music, a costume contest, and more in the museum's ongoing fun community driven events. Then on Saturday, August 31st, the exhibition officially opens to the public. Free First Sunday is this weekend, September 1st, when it is completely free. More info.
With Halloween less than a week away and Christmas / holiday decorations already on sale at most stores it is almost time to say goodbye to summer. Almost meaning after one last summer fling event (Summer Nights Finale - which Amoeba has been supporting since the series began) that takes place tomorrow (Friday, Oct 26th) at the Oakland Museum of California from 4pm until 11:45 pm.
This special multi-faceted OMCA event not only offers museum goers a nice farewell to summer but also a hello / early taste of Halloween with what the curators at OMCA promise will be an eclectic evening featuring Days of the Dead tours, monster books, home movies, and a cult horror cinema classic - and some of it interactive too.
Summer Nights Finale includes a tour of Forgotten Stories, Remarkable Lives: Días de los Muertos 2012 and a meet-and-greet with the artists responsible for the exhibition (5pm in The Great Hall), an almost all ages event dance class to learn the moves for Michael Jackson's "Thriller" for ages 4 and up (7:30pm to 8pm at the OMCA Gift Shop), and a sneak peek of the (currently closed to the public) Gallery of California Natural Sciences with artist Helena Keeffe on hand to give a guided tour of the fort exhibit that she co-created with Oakland YMCA families.