A collaboration between Bay Area Mural Festival and Oakland Art Month, the first ever Oakland Mural Festival brings together East Bay residents and local artists to create a bunch of new art around The Town, including nine brand new murals in Jack London Square.
More than 25 artists are participating in the new fest, including Emory Douglas, who was an artist for the Black Panther Party; Mike "BAM" Tyau, a graffiti artist turned videogame graphic designer; Art Forces, the same group behind the Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural; and members of the Trust Your Struggle and Creative Shields collectives.
"We have chosen artists that are dedicated to representing the cultural and historical context of Oakland and considering where they are in the communities that use those spaces," Sarah Siskin, director of Bay Area Mural Festival, told the East Bay Express.
Beginning Saturday, May 12, the week-long celebration includes daily demonstrations by renowned artists, exhibits from local art vendors and the live painting of nine new murals.
"A lot of times, mural lovers in the community don't even see when new projects are going up, so we're trying to highlight the actual process of how a mural is created," added Siskin.
The artists will only have one week to work and all nine murals must be completed by Saturday, May 19 when an end-of-fest party will go down from noon–5pm in Jack London Square. The closing festivities will include community painting, performances by local musicians and dancers, and kid-friendly activities. There will also be free bike tours of the nine new murals and food and beer merchants on the ferry lawn.
Get an idea of the festivities with this video of last year's Mural Festival in Richmond.