Supporting Artists and
Strengthening the Community

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A Vision of Art,
Business, and Community

The San Pablo Arts District fund’s (SPAD) mission is to establish an arts district along the San Pablo Avenue corridor, between 53rd and 67th Streets in Oakland, CA. This stretch of San Pablo Avenue, also known as the ‘Golden Gate Business District,’ is suffering from the recent economic downturn, furthering extant vacancy and blight.

Through a series of programs focused on property and community revitalization and active neighborhood promotion, SPAD will establish artist spaces and galleries along the corridor, and set up art initiatives and events in the community. The programs will benefit existing residents and businesses along the San Pablo Avenue corridor and encourage others to visit, work, shop, and move here.

Proposed programs will include utilization and improvement of existing structures to form affordable artist work spaces and live/work spaces. This will be accomplished through volunteer work, donations, and grants. SPAD will establish partnerships with well-known local and international galleries and art associations set up community outreach programs, foster public art, and produce events to promote the district.

For more information please email us.

































































































































San Pablo Arts District presents:
Lip Service West: TRUE STORIES
Pegasus Books - 02.07.14

True Stories

San Pablo Arts District presents:
Lip Service West: TRUE STORIES
Pegasus Books - 06.14.13

True Stories

San Pablo Arts District presents:
Rotating Shanghai Ι

Rotating Shanghai Ι

TinT Gallery
Theassaloniki, Greece
part of the 22nd Photo Biennale in Thessaloniki

30 March – 27 April 2013

Participating Artists:

Curated by: LIU CONGYUN (writer and curator)
Organization: SPAD
Coordination: TinT gallery and Museum of Photography Thessaloniki

Rotating Shanghai I was started by Shanghai-based writer and curator Liu Congyun as a project that aims at bringing Chinese art to wider audiences, facilitating communication and discuss on contemporary art from diverse culture backgrounds.

The project, which travelled first to the US, is also open to creative exhibition space and concept.

We, perhaps this time, should try to understand the four Shanghai-based artists' works in a context of today's China, though the artists themselves never give us such restriction. After a well-known three decades economic development, the country seems under a pressure of transformation both cultural and systematical, while the society tensioned by changing and uncertain, institutional innovation and direction vague, cultivates the so-called contemporary Chinese art. To some extent, the artists' works question the term of "contemporary", its hidden meaning inherited from that of the West. If there is a story line for "contemporary Chinese art", it may links first to the society and the very unique cultural traditions of its own.

SPAD is dedicated to promoting art while facilitating urban development in emerging or underserved neighborhoods.  Converting storefronts into functional, alternative art galleries, SPAD confronts inner-city blight and strengthens community relations, while showcasing cutting-edge art.  Visit their website at

October 2012

San Pablo Arts District
Fund Presents:

Lip Service West:
True Stories

Featuring Authors
Joe Clifford
Sean Craven
Paul Corman-Roberts
H.K. Rainey
Tom Pitts
Samuel Sattin

Friday, Oct 13th, 2012
The Liberties Bar
998 Guerrero (@22nd)
San Francisco, CA
7:15 p.m.

Media Contacts:
Joe Clifford, Producer, Lip Service West:

Idan Levin, Executive Director, San Pablo Arts District Fund:


Joe Clifford is the producer of Lip Service West. His collection Choice Cuts and novel Wake the Undertaker will be published this year (Snubnose Press).

Sean Craven is a former manual laborer forced to turn writer/artist. His work has appeared everywhere from galleries to paleontological databases

Paul Corman-Roberts is the author of Sometimes You Invent New Words for Old Losses(Tainted Coffee Press), as well as co-founder of Oakland's Beast Crawl.

Pearce Hansen was born in the City, misspent his youth on the back alleys of the East Bay, and wrote Street Raised and Stagger Bay.

H.K. Rainey
 is author of Memory House. She is currently at work on a fantasy novel about the battle for the human soul.

Tom Pitts writes gritty tales of urban wanderlust. His novella, Piggyback, is slated for publication this year (Snubnose Press).

Samuel Sattin lives in Oakland, with two dogs and his wife. His novel, The League of Somebodies, will be published by Dark Coast Press, 2013.

SPAD is dedicated to promoting art while facilitating urban development in emerging or underserved neighborhoods.  Converting storefronts into functional, alternative art galleries, SPAD confronts inner-city blight and strengthens community relations, while showcasing cutting-edge art.  Visit their website at

June 24-September 17 , 2011, Zombie-Proof House, The Videos

San Pablo Arts District Fund and di Rosa Present

Apocalypse Party and Video Works from Zombie-Proof House

Still from Afterlifers:  Walking & Talking (Exten-Dead Version)
HalfLifers (Torsten Z. Burns & Anthony Discenza) 2004/2008
Digital video
Courtesy Anthony Discenza and Torsten Z. Burns


OAKLAND, CA – The San Pablo Arts District Fund (SPAD) and di Rosa are pleased to present the Apocalypse Party on Friday, June 24, from 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.  This free event launches a show of video works by artists from the Di Rosa exhibition, Zombie-Proof House, curated by Robert Wuilfe, at SPAD’s storefront exhibition space, located at 5516 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland, CA.  The party will also feature indoor movie projections, zombie-inspired foods, and drinks by Tieton Cider WorksDJ Tom Thump spins music.  Admission is Free.

Projected onto a storefront window, these contemporary video works will be visible every evening after dark to passersby and drivers along San Pablo Avenue. SPAD’s partnership with the di Rosa introduces local audiences to new, experimental and evocative art.  Projection space is provided courtesy of Create In Clay School of Ceramics (

Zombie-Proof House is a meditation on anxiety and hope, and what that means in a troubled time.  The work tackles recent history and speculates on potential futures as each relates to collapse, political upheaval, and shared responsibility.  Taking its tongue-in-cheek title from pop culture’s latest infatuation with zombies, the exhibition broaches challenging topics with an often darkly humorous sensibility.

"Zombies keep popping up in political, economic and philosophical theory,” says Wuilfe adding that “[t]here are certain zombie ideas that have been proven not to work, like trickle-down economics, and they’re these dead ideas but they won’t go away.”

While mindful of post-apocalyptic images and end-of-the-world scenarios, the exhibition also tries to expose some of the absurdity of paranoia and fear, grounding itself in the present and resuscitating the idea of hope and resistance.  The artists in Zombie-Proof House share a real concern for the world around us, and their work helps examine our individual and shared roles in times of crisis.

Artists in the video exhibition at SPAD are among the most innovative in the Bay area, and have exhibited both nationally and internationally. They include: Anthony Discenza, HalfLifers (Torsten Z. Burns and Anthony Discenza), Suzanne Husky, Inka Hoots (Joshua Short and Joel Dean Stockdill), Packard Jennings, Robin Lasser and Adrienne Pao, Whitney Lynn, and Carol Selter. The work of these artists, as well as Lucy Puls and Julio Cesar Morales, will be on view in the main exhibition at di Rosa till September 17th.



May 13, 2011, Reconstructed World

Oakland, CA, Friday, May 13, 2011, at 5512 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, the San Pablo Arts District Fund (SPAD) and di Rosa launch their partnership with a selection of video works from the di Rosa exhibition, Reconstructed World. The video series will be on display indoors throughout the evening’s reading series, Lip Service West, which begins at 7 p.m., and show outdoor daily from 7p.m. through 1a.m. in the storefront window. Admission is free.

SPAD and the di Rosa are pleased to present a selection of video works by artists from the di Rosa exhibition, Reconstructed World, curated by Robert Wuilfe. Artists in the SPAD presentation include leonardogillesfleur, Samara Halperin, and Liz Hickok. The collection of videos will show for the duration of the main exhibition at di Rosa, which also includes projects by other artists. In June, artists and videos from di Rosa’s upcoming exhibition, Zombie-Proof House, will show in the SPAD storefront window.

Reconstructed World focuses on the work of artists who draw viewers into complex narrative tableaux through recreating and restaging sites, objects, and stories. Rather than striving for perfect realism or objective documentation, these projects side-step traditional representation for a more uncanny and ultimately affective experience. The projects in the exhibition utilize a range of media that include animated video, assemblage, constructed photographs and installation to evoke realities beneath the perceived surface of the everyday.
-Robert Wuilfe, di Rosa curator

“We are very excited to have this collaboration with di Rosa and curator Robert Wuilfe at SPAD,” says Tracey Snelling, founder and visual arts director of SPAD. “As one of the largest and best-known collections of Northern Californian artists, di Rosa continues into its next phase with ambitious, new ideas for exhibiting, collecting, and collaborating. This collaboration gives us a great opportunity to share diverse contemporary art with the Golden Gate District.”

Experimental filmmaker Samara Halperin presents Day and Dusk to Night, films of Coney Island that evoke a longing for a disappearing past. Known for her award-winning experimental stop-motion film Tumbleweed Town, Halperin is presently in preparation to film the sequel, West of the Wonder Wheel. She received a BFA in film from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in film from The California College of Arts and Crafts, and currently lives and works in Oakland, California.

San Francisco artist Liz Hickok asks us to consider the fragility and transitory nature of human endeavor through her remarkable video reconstructions of cities constructed from Jell-O. In Suburban Growth, Las Vegas in Jell-O, she revisits the idea of the sublime for a contemporary audience. The San Francisco-based Hickok has shown at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; San Jose Museum of Art; Southern Exposure; the Headlands Center for the Arts; Works/San Jose; and the Kala Art Institute. She has also exhibited internationally at the Ha’Kibbutz Israeli Art Gallery in Tel Aviv.

The collaborative duo leonardogillesfleur will be showing the videos In To You Phase 1 and Rendez-Vous Reloaded. Favoring ideas of the collective whole over notions of individual artistic identities, the work of leonardogillesfleur explores ideas of artistic production through collaboration, straddling the genres ofperformance, video and sculpture. leonardogillesfleur has exhibited in solo and group shows in Mexico City, Miami, Paris, Prague and San Francisco. The artists, part if di Rosa’s permanent collection, spent years in the Bay area, and currently live and work in Argentina.



Mirka Morales and Jessie Wiedel

Friday, March 11, 2011
5512 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA
7 p.m.


OAKLAND, CA – The San Pablo Arts District Fund (SPAD) is proud to present the art of Jesse Wiedel and filmmaking of Mirka Morales on Friday, March 11, at 5512 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland.  Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and both installations will be on display during the evening’s reading series, Lip Service West, which begins at 7 p.m.  Admission is free.

In his narrative streetscapes, Jesse Wiedel uses a variety of visual references to create a pastiche of fictionalized, street culture tableaus that are all at once sad, coarse, and degenerate, where people aimlessly wander and interact in a state of somnambulistic rebellion.  The weary structures and street signs that backdrop these individuals mimic their isolation and subtle desperation, and sordid tales of public humiliation serve as an allegory for the ever-expanding malaise of the working class.

Mirka Morales’s Elfmädchen is an abstract portrait of a narcoleptic girl who sleeps and dreams too much.  It’s set amongst the urban decay of Soma, San Francisco.  One night a magical dream casts a hypnotic spell, and her dreams become weirder, more lucid, flowing in and out of reality, each dream study with its own feel, from tropical to wacky to ominous and to childlike.  The short film features live action and stop-motion animation, and is shot in 16mm color film.  It stars Rachel Birdsong, the Lady Nigel Butterfly and Ghis Glittoree.  Running time is 16:30 minutes.

“We are excited to be a catalyst to further cultural and economic development in the revival of the Golden Gate District of North Oakland,” says SPAD Executive Director Idan Levin.  “For this event, we have a truly wonderful cast of well-respected authors and contemporary visual artists.  We are grateful for their enthusiasm and commitment."

A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Jesse Wiedel resides in Eureka, California, where the local seedy buildings and colorful inhabitants feed his work. Capturing the underbelly of society in his art with humor, banality, and a dose of the unreal, Jesse juxtaposes burnt-out trailers and Greek mythological figures with patrons from the corner bar. An internationally exhibiting artist, Jesse has exhibited at Jack the Pelican Presents, Brooklyn; Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica; Art Queen, Joshua Tree; The Shooting Gallery, San Francisco; and at exhibitions in Italy and Argentina.  His paintings have been reviewed in Beautiful Decay magazine, PapermagWhitehot Magazine, and Artweek, among others.

Originally from Puerto Rico, Mirka Morales is a San Francisco-based experimental filmmaker, animator and artist. Her films explore reality and fantasy from a feminine, intimate, seductive, DIY, underground perspective, using beauty, horror and humor.  
Her film Elfmädchen received a Film Arts Foundation grant and premiered at the 2009 Chicago Underground Film Festival, where it won Best Animation Award.  It also screened at MOCAD Detroit, Antimatter, Boston Underground Film Festival, SF Frozen Film Festival, the Oakland Underground Film Festival, Black Rock International Film Festival, and SF’s Artists’ Television Access, among others.  Her previous films Goiter Girl and Eat Me were part of the 2000 Seattle Underground Film Festival and Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Animation Festival.  Mirka received her MFA in experimental animation from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Paintings by Jesse Wiedel



December 2010

For Immediate Release:

San Pablo Arts District Fund Presents

Rotating Shanghai: Works by Zhou Hongxiang, Lu Chunsheng, Tang Maohong, Zhang Qing, Maleonn, and Zhou Ming

Friday, December 10, 2010
5512 San Pablo Avenue, CA 94608
6 p.m.
Reception: Friday December 10, 2010 at 7:00pm, followed by Lip Service West event at 8:00pm. Light snacks and beverages will be provided.


The San Pablo Arts District Fund (SPAD), in conjunction with Shanghai based art critic Liu Congyun, is pleased to present rotating video selections by six Shanghai artists: Zhou Hongxiang, Lu Chunshen, Zhang Qing, Tang Maohong, Maleonn, and Zhou Ming.  A collection of fourteen videos will be shown over the next few months, unveiling a vibrant scene of artists’ practices in Shanghai rarely seen in the Western world.

The series kicks of this Friday, December 10th, at 6 p.m., with Zhou Hongxiang screening three of his works: Water 1, A Puff of Wind, and The Cornland

A new artist will be featured every two weeks.

SPAD is dedicated to promoting art while facilitating urban development in the Golden Gate District in North Oakland.  Converting abandoned storefronts in long-neglected neighborhoods into functional, alternative art galleries, SPAD confronts inner-city blight and strengthens community relations, while showcasing cutting-edge art.

“We are fortunate to have Liu as curator, assembling such a strong body of work from leading Chinese contemporary artists” exclaims SPAD Executive Director Idan Levin, adding, “Rotating Shanghai demonstrates the cultural exchange that SPAD aims to promote in North Oakland”


Best known for his conceptual film and new media art, Zhou Hongxiang was once called “the Chinese Godard.”  Zhou favors the poetic over the political, infusing his work with lightness and levity.  He has exhibited at the Head of New Media Arts, Watermans, UK, Anthology Film Archive, New York, and the Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art.

A video artist and photographer, Lu Chunsheng has been showcased at London’s Red Mansion Foundation and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.  Fusing sincerity with humor, his work consistently blurs the line between documentary and fiction.  Works featured at “Rotating Shanghai” willinclude Where Are the Bachelors? The Cough-able Curve,and The Square Loaded with Nuclear Power is Going to America.

Perhaps best known for his animated film Orchid Finger (2005), which draws upon traditional Chinese paintings and contemporary popular culture, Tang Maohong has exhibited at the 7th Shanghai Biennale 2008, the Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation in Vienna, and the ZDM Center in Karlsruhe, Germany.  His films will include Orchid Finger, Sunday, and On the Way.

Winner of Honorable Mention at the Chinese Contemporary Art Awards in 2004, Zhang Qing has been a key member of Shanghai’s new media art arena for the last a decade.  His solo exhibition “Don’t Go So Fast” was featured at ShanghART in Beijing, 2009.  Here, he shares three recent works: 603 Football Field, Don’t Be Bad, and Integrated.

Known for his staging photography, Maleonn has exhibited at Bejle Kunst Museum in Denmark, the Santa Fe Photography Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, among others.  His new video work, White on White, continues his distinct style, which simultaneously broaches the nostalgic and the satirical.

Zhou Ming received his BA in Oil Painting from the Art College of Shanghai University in 2002.  His work, which encompasses oils, performance installation, and animation, explores the human psyche as it relates to the natural world.  He has been featured at the BizArt Art Center Shanghai, MOCA Shanghai, Nanjing Museum, and the Duolun Art Museum in Shanghai.  For “Rotating Shanghai,” he will present The Migraine.


San Pablo Arts District Fund Presents

A Video Installation by Jemima Wyman

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
5512 San Pablo Avenue, CA 94710
8 p.m.

Installation opens Wednesday, October 27 through Thursday, December 9, 2010.
Reception and New Filmmakers’ Shorts Screening: Friday, November 12, 6:30-10:00 p.m

OAKLAND, CA – The San Pablo Arts District Fund (SPAD) launches a new video installation by Jemima Wyman, Whak’emall, Wednesday evening, October 27, 8 p.m., at 5512 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland.

Whak’emall is a visually aggressive, humorous and sinister video work that wrestles with the politics of vision and embodiment. The protagonist looks out from a body that desires the viewer’s gaze from a complicated, ever-changing, non-classical body in the process of understanding its own parameters. The work utilizes optical tactics of camouflage as it exaggerates identification through the psychology of vision.

Through the manipulation of patterned fabrics and the human body, Wyman creates special effects and the result is a marriage of form and space that challenges our perception of the everyday world around us.

Following Saturday’s launch, the storefront window video will run through December 10th, with a reception and New Filmmakers’ Shorts Screening on November 12, 6:30 p.m. Curated by Michael Patrick Perez, the filmmakers include Jeremy Garcia, Alexander Collins, Eric Stracke, Dominic Mercurio, Joe Wolfe Sams, Donnie McCormick, Jessica Salgado, and Michael Patrick Perez. Wyman's video Lady in Red will also be shown in the screening at this time.

“As a fan of Jemima’s super-vibrant, playful, yet cutting-edge work for many years, I am very excited to have the chance to present this video in a public arena to the Bay Area arts and culture scene, and to the community in general,” says Tracey Snelling, SPAD curator.

“We are thrilled to host Wyman’s work,” adds SPAD’s Executive Director Idan Levin. “We strive to create strong ties between the Golden Gate District and the international art community, as a foundation for future exchange.”


Jemima Wyman is a contemporary artist who lives and works between Brisbane and Los Angeles. Wyman’s art practice incorporates various mediums including installation, video, performance, photography and painting. Her most recent artworks utilize these mediums to specifically focus on visually based resistance strategies employed within contemporary “irregular military,” in an aim to explore the formal and psychological potentiality of camouflage in reference to collective identity. In 2007, Wyman graduated with a MFA from California Institute of Arts in Los Angeles, which was made possible with the support of an Anne and Gordon Samstag Scholarship. Jemima is represented by Milani Gallery and has exhibited throughout Australia and Internationally. Past exhibitions were held at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (Melbourne), Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), Plimsoll Gallery (Hobart), Westbeth Gallery Kozuka (Japan), 40000 (Chicago) and Steve Turner Contemporary Gallery (Los Angeles). Her work was exhibited in the 17th Biennale of Sydney’s the Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age. Jemima recently finished a residency at the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland.

Her work can be found at

This showcase is made possible by the San Pablo Arts District Fund, which is dedicated to promoting the arts and facilitating economic development in the Golden Gate District by converting empty storefronts along the San Pablo corridor into functional galleries.

The storefront at 5512 San Pablo Avenue is made available through the generosity of the Whittier Family.



San Pablo Arts District
Past Events

San Pablo Arts District Fund Presents

Freestyle, a Video Installation by Kristen Poola

Friday, September 3, 2010
5512 San Pablo Avenue, CA 94608

OAKLAND, CA – The San Pablo Arts District Fund (SPAD) is proud to host Kristen Poola’s latest video installation at the storefront 5512 San Pablo Avenue. The exhibition pairs freestyle slalom skating with cutting-edge visual art.

Freestyle slalom skating is a technical field of skating encompassing an assortment of tricks performed around a straight line of equally spaced cones. The most common spacing used in competitions is 80cm, with larger competitions also featuring lines spaced at 50cm and 120cm. The action is fast-paced and gravity defying.

Having discovered freestyle slalom on YouTube, Kristen quickly moved from the basics of the sport to creating his own tricks and combos, turning transitions and techniques into a highly stylized skating performance, which he records and digitally manipulates.

To create the visual and auditory effect, Kristen films with a high frame rate camera to make his slow motion videos, and experiments extensively with music selection and color correction in the final editing process to supply the desired mood and tone.

“We are very excited to present Mr. Poola’s video work,” says Idan Levin, SPAD’s Executive Director. “This is a true form of street art that brings people of all cultures and backgrounds together in a very positive, friendly, yet competitive environment that fosters imagination, skill-building, and determination."

A new media artist, Kristen Poola is a native of Estonia, who recently completed studies at San Jose State University. He will begin teaching at the Tallinn University in Estonia next semester.

This showcase is made possible by the San Pablo Arts District Fund, which is dedicated to promoting the arts and facilitating economic development in the Golden Gate District by converting empty storefronts along the San Pablo corridor into functional galleries. The storefront at 5512 San Pablo Avenue is made available through the generosity of the Whittier Family.

The event is free and visible from San Pablo Avenue Mon-Sat 8pm-1am, Sun 8pm-midnight

For more information about this and other events hosted by the San Pablo Arts District, please visit



San Pablo Art District Fund
Silver Screen Meltdown
a Storefront Installation by Oakland Artist:
Michael Patrick Perez

OAKLAND, CA – May 14, 2010, The San Pablo Arts District Fund (SPAD) is proud to host Oakland-based artist Michael Patrick Perez and his “Silver Screen Meltdown,” a dazzling mixed-media exhibit, at 5512 San Pablo Avenue in North Oakland’s Golden Gate District this Friday from 7p.m. to 10 p.m. Infusing video compression techniques with computer software applications, Perez manipulates Hollywood blockbusters through a series of multiple looped projections, blending pop culture and high art, with a result that challenges popular attitudes regarding commercialism, creativity, and what constitutes originality.

“Nothing seems to be original,” says Perez, currently attending the Art Institute of California in San Francisco where he studies digital filmmaking and video production. “Everything is re-used or derives from something that already exists. What about taking that ‘something’ and pushing it beyond itself to new forms of originality?”

With an eclectic background that includes classical music, photography, and digital art manipulation, Perez draws upon modern psychedelic cinema, forging work that displays a heavy 70’s influence.

Curator Tracey Snelling is an internationally exhibiting artist based in Oakland. Snelling explores reality and scale through her sculpture, photography, and video, which is featured in numerous collections, including the Baltimore Museum, de Saisset Museum, and the West Collection in Pennsylvania, among others. Most recently Snelling completed a four-month residency in Beijing, and exhibited a sculptural/video installation at the Sundance Film Festival, January 2010.

“As curator,” Snelling says, “my interest is in creating opportunities for both unknown and renowned artists to show their work in unconventional and urban settings, [as well as] nurturing strong ties between global art and local community. We hope to foster an experimental drive in the arts—one that will attract and excite not only art appreciators but also the general public and neighborhood alike.”

The San Pablo Arts District Fund is dedicated to promoting art while facilitating urban development in the Golden Gate District in North Oakland. Converting abandoned storefronts in long-neglected neighborhoods into functional, alternative art galleries, SPAD confronts inner-city blight and strengthens community relations, while showcasing cutting edge art.

“We are pleased to present Michael Patrick Perez’s work to such a wide audience as we continue our quest to turn the Golden Gate District into fertile ground for the arts and business alike,” says SPAD Executive Director Idan Levin. “Art events in the San Pablo corridor contribute to strengthening the community and making our district a safe and desirable destination.”

Opening night reception:
Friday May 14, 2010 7:00-10:00pm
Storefront projection viewable to the general public
everyday through July 5, 2010 from 8:00pm until 1:00am
5512 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94608


Click to download an invite

Photos from this event:


For Immediate Release

Idan Levin
San Pablo Art District Fund Executive Director

San Pablo Art District Fund
BY Oakland

San Pablo Art District Fund (SPAD) begins its storefront/art program with a collaborative installation by Oakland artist Michael Louis Young. 5512, a vacant storefront on San Pablo Avenue in North Oakland's Golden Gate District, is being transformed into SOS/SOL, a dynamic multimedia installation. Made with cardboard, paper, paint, lights, and video, SOS/SOL explores a narrative of sorrow and solitude on the high seas. According to Young, “There is a man who undergoes some heartbreak, and rather than staying home to deal with his loss he sets out to sea without means or destination to float away his life. It is like a tableau of his tragedy, but devoid of his physical presence.” Salty songs mix with seafaring video, leaving one to wonder whether the invisible protagonist is lonely, bored, or on the crest of sanity. Jason Byers adds to the installation with a lone Paper-Mache ox, stranded in the waves.

SPAD will host a one-night reception with paintings by Christopher Russell and video installation by anonymous artist on Friday March 5, 2010 from 6 to 10 pm. In keeping with the theme of uncontrolled nature and the elements, Russell paintings explore mountains and the forest as seen as magnificent, somewhat magical giants. His reverence to nature is combined with psychological aspects from within, culminating in dramatic landscapes often devoid of people. The anonymous artist's multimedia video installation combines video, sound, and found furniture into a dreamlike scene melding the interior and exterior.

SPAD is dedicated to spreading arts in the Golden Gate District in North Oakland. SPAD's programs include the use of using vacant storefronts for art installations, undefined by the conventional exhibition space. By turning an empty space into something of wonder and interest, blight and undesired activities can be lessened.

“Over twenty thousand cars and their drivers go by here every day, many just trying to get to the next place. We are trying to inspire them to slow down, look around, smile, perhaps even park their car and take a closer look. They will find that there are great businesses around here, a beautiful library, and lots of local culture.” Idan Levin, Executive Director, SP.

These installations would not be possible without the generous donation of space by the Whittier family, owners of 5512 San Pablo Ave.

Founded by Artist Tracey Snelling, former Global Heritage Fund Chief of Operations Terry Quan, and businessman and artist Idan Levin, San Pablo Arts District Fund works to bring economic development to North Oakland’s Golden Gate District through the arts.

Opening night reception:
Friday March 5, 2010 6:00-10:00pm
5512 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94608

Window installation visible to passer by's all times day or night

More information about SPAD and participating artists on

San Pablo Arts District Fund | 5516 Vallejo Street, Suite 100, Oakland, CA 94608
Ph: 510.547.0616 | © SPAD 2010