Urban Landscape

Local Social
Mar12

This is pretty impressive. During the 2012, Ghent Light Festival Ghent, this cathedral was covered with 55,000 LED lights in celebration of the long standing tradition formed by the De Cagna family in the 1930′s. The light festival includes over 30 other displays in Ghent this year. This must look so beautiful from space!

"Ghent Light Festival" Ghent Belgium LED

P.S. You can rest assured that the global impact of all those lights is taken into consideration! Ever since the De Cagna family switched to LED lights, this immense work of art with 55,000 LED lights consumes only 20Kwatt per hour of electricity while still bringing in amazing loads of enjoyment for less of the global impact!

"Ghent Light Festival" Ghent Belgium LED

"Ghent Light Festival" Ghent Belgium LED

Posted by on March 12th, 2012 at 5:45 PM | Comments (0)
Dec09

I came across this awesome typographic video yesterday. Doyle Partners, a design firm in New York, created these incredible typographic installations at KIPP Infinity, a charter school in Harlem, and Riverdale, a private school in the Bronx. The New York Times commissioned these installations for the recent article, “What if the Secret to Success is Failure?” I love how each of the set of letterforms create these graphic installation pieces that students interact with in different ways, while also subliminally getting a dose of positivity and realism.

In The Gym from Doyle Partners on Vimeo.

"Graphic Design" "Doyle Partners" "Info Graphics" Harlem

"Graphic Design" "Doyle Partners" "Info Graphics" Harlem

"Graphic Design" "Doyle Partners" "Info Graphics" Harlem

"Graphic Design" "Doyle Partners" "Info Graphics" Harlem

"Graphic Design" "Doyle Partners" "Info Graphics" Harlem

Posted by on December 9th, 2011 at 6:38 AM | Comments (1)
Nov09

Following our post earlier this week on the Oakland Train Station – currently in a beautiful state of decay and awaiting a revitalization – we found two intriguing and creative projects (both coincidentally in Spain) that have successfully reappropriated abandoned train stations across the world.

Attocha Train Station transformed into a lush garden oasis (Madrid, Spain)


Via Nedbeaumontjr

Train Station revitalized as a youth art center (Spain)


Via Inhabitat

Posted by on November 9th, 2011 at 11:27 PM | Comments (0)
Nov07

Today’s post is one that we’re pretty passionate about: having to do with people making a contribution to the revival of the Oakland community, art and historical architecture. I’m talking about the Oakland Train Station. Many of you may wonder “what train station?”. I also had only heard stories of this place, but can now say that I’ve visited and am on the quest myself to make sure that we raise awareness for it’s survival. Read on for history of the station, to see what HBO show that this venue was just shot for as well as future plans to develop the space!

Support the Station!
All Aboard II event this Sunday, Nov 13th!

Sunday, November 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. 245 Second Street
Enjoy station tours, live music, local food trucks and kids’ activities!

A Brief History:
Recently, I had the opportunity to take a personal tour inside the space with Frankie. Frankie is one business savvy lady serving the non-profit Bridge Housing organization, helping to gain funding to turn the Historic Oakland Train Station into a community space.

Once serving the whole Bay Area and marking the ending point for most transcontinental trips, the train station was Oakland’s first Southern Pacific Rail Station. The small wooden building just North of the large Beau-Arts complex that was built in it’s place, was constructed in 1870 at 2nd and Woods. Both buildings remain today. From this station, you could either take a ferry or streetcar to SF. In 1941 the streetcar service was shut down because of the explosive highway system and in 1989 (after the Loma Prieta earthquake) the train station closed its doors.

A Recent cool factor is that this train station was used in the filming of the upcoming HBO movie, Hemingway & Gellhorn, staring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman. In order to prepare, HBO put in a lot of money to perform a facelift on the inside (stripping most of the graffiti from the walls, putting in bar and valences, building new wainscoting and stairs) and made the space appear worn, but not in disrepair.

"Oakland Train Station" "Southern Pacific Rail" Oakland Bridge "Hemingway and Gellhorn"

The Train Station today!
Frankie and Bridge have big plans for this station. The ideas being tossed around are utilizing the front for community garden space, the indoor space for rentals and community gatherings, the backyard area for a beer garden, and the wooden baggage house for a market/café. These are only a few of the exciting ideas for reviving the building.

Unfortunately, due to lack of water and electricity and some seismic problems with inthe space, no one can step foot inside without first signing a liability waiver, which makes it very inaccessible to the public. This is why we need your help.

"Oakland Train Station" "Southern Pacific Rail" Oakland Bridge "Hemingway and Gellhorn"

Support the Station! Come to the event this Sunday, Nov 13th!
First: come out to the second All Aboard event being hosted there this Sunday, November 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. 245 Second Street
Enjoy station tours, live music, local food trucks and kids’ activities!

Second: support the station buy helping to raise funds through indiegogo.
Then spread the word and invite your friends to this Sunday. “Like” us on facebook, and follow us on Twitter @16thStStation.

Stay tuned. In the future you may be able to rent out this fabulous historic venue for your next event!

Posted by on November 7th, 2011 at 1:02 AM | Comments (1)
Oct24

Recently, I came across a new and very welcome change on my route to work in Mission Bay, a new mural along the CalTran tracks. The artist was San Francisco’s own Brian Barneclo. Barneclo has been creating murals all over SF for some time. The grand mural, over 600 feet in length, is the largest mural yet to be completed in San Francisco and stands at a pivotal location for those entering and exiting the city on CalTran. Named the Systems Mural Project, this mural represents the intersection of systems and man; from the solar system to government, making a commentary on the interconnectivity of man and nature.

"Brian Barneclo" "Systems Mural Project" CalTran mural SF "San Francisco"

"Brian Barneclo" "Systems Mural Project" CalTran mural SF "San Francisco"

If you’d like to find out more, go to http://systemsmuralproject.com.

Posted by on October 24th, 2011 at 4:44 PM | Comments (0)
Oct10

Theresa Himmer is someone to watch. The young Danish/Czech artist was born in Denmark where she studied, lived in Iceland from 2005 – 2009 and is currently working in New York. She creates mostly site specific pieces of art that interact with existing art and city life. The pieces we’re showing below are only a few that focus on her use of a specific material, but her talent extends far beyond. I bet these pieces within her sequin series really do glimmer in the light and dance in the wind. I wish I could see one in person. I love how she chooses to layer her material and art over existing pieces of graffiti, in a way creating a conversation between both expressions of art as well as a conversation between her art and the landscape in which she places it.

"Theresa Himmer"

Photo // Kristinn Magnusson Volcano #01 (2008) (DETAIL)

"Theresa Himmer"

"Theresa Himmer"

Photos // Gunnar Þór Nilsen The Mountain Series Waterfall #01 (2006)

"Theresa Himmer"

Photo // Gunnar Þór Nilsen Glacier #01 (2008) (2006)

Posted by on October 10th, 2011 at 2:35 AM | Comments (0)
Sep09

Once taken for a defacement of public property, Graffiti art has now become a way to express community individuality in the form of public art. We’d like to introduce a group of women graffiti artists, collectively known for a project called Few and Far.

Few and Far is comprised of 17 (and growing) solid and rockin’ women from all over the country who not only installed a large mural (spans two warehouses) on Mandala Parkway this past year, but who plan on continuing their effort in various cities all over the country. I recently interviewed Meme, the artist responsible for organizing this event. Read below for more.

"Few and Far" Oakland

"Few and Far" Oakland Mandala art

Check out this cool video of the installment of the mural in Oakland!

Few & Far 2011 from MTN COLORS USA on Vimeo.

Tell me a bit about “Few and Far”?

F&F started as just one all female mural project, because we enjoyed producing this mural together so much, I decided I wanted to branch out more and start a collective.

How did you come up with the concept?
Ksra (Our PR) and I were talking about what to call this mural after a few days it came down to there are few women in the graff scene and we all far from each there..so Few and Far.

How did all 17 of you find each other?
I always wanted to paint, skate and hang with lots of females all ages with the same interest. I reached out and found a great group of girls who desired the same thing.

"Few and Far" Oakland Mandala art

What are your backgrounds?
I only can speak for my own background. Every person in our collective is very unique and brings something different to the table.

I’m from a small town in Northern California. My mother was always supportive of her kids to be expressive and different. I was never an artist as a child. I was much more interested in being out side helping with the family garden. I couldn’t get enough of dirt!! I’m still addicted to gardening!!

Do you have any upcoming events/mural projects?
Next year we are doing an animal rights mural at the same spot in Oakland. We hope to have a great turn out!

"Few and Far" Oakland Mandala art

How do you all work together? Does everyone work on their own portion of the piece or do you collaborate?

For Few and Far I picked out spots for the girls and invited a group to participate. I had 3 women show up randomly to the previous event. With a mixture of styles, I curate where whose artwork will sit next to whose…It works out nicely;)

How did you go about getting funding and approval for the process?

Funding is very difficult to receive, very few people see the same vision as us.
I received local funding (Mtn Colors and Nomad Body Piercing to name a few), but a lot of the funding comes out of my own pocket. Getting the right wall for this mural took a lot of persistence, I did months the foot work to find the right location for what I had in mind.

One Love Meme!

I want to thank my awesome boyfriend (Jersey Joe) for helping with everything!! I couldn’t have done it as well with out him!!
As well as all the women/girls and men, wanting to be apart of this movement!

"Few and Far" Oakland Mandala art

Check out more of their up coming events here.

Posted by on September 9th, 2011 at 11:20 PM | Comments (2)
Jun17

We ran across Candy Chang’s art recently. This one project in particular inspired us to think about our own Oakland, abandoned houses included. In her project, Before I Die, she transformed an abandoned building into an interactive piece of Urban Art, encouraging passers-by to engage in the piece by filling in the blank after the title. The art has recently been recreated in Kazakhstan! Maybe some day we will see it travel here.

Before I Die
Candy Chang is passionate about redefining the ways we use public space. As a public installation artist and designer, her work, “Before I Die”, is both provocative and engaging.

"Candy Chang" public art

"Candy Chang" public art

"Candy Chang" public art

Photos // Civic Center

Kazakhstan "Candy Chang"

Kazakhstan "Candy Chang"

Photos // provided through Candy Chang’s web site

Posted by on June 17th, 2011 at 3:19 PM | Comments (0)
Jun10

Urban Art can take form in many ways. We’ve seen (and we’ll show you in this and future posts) performance art, sculptural gardens, graffiti, temporary art (like in our yarn bombers posting), architectural urban spaces, and community involved art. Just to name a few. Oakland has been blessed with urban art at times, but we want more. We are just crying out for art and interaction that makes us think or see beauty; something that is supported by the city and lives for longer than people can paint over it or tear it down. I see tons of spaces, empty lots, and fabulous community areas that could use a bit of inspiration. I wonder if we had more urban art, if we might also have an increase in people interested in art! Here are a couple examples of how communities embrace the old and rebuild, with an artistic approach, on top.

The High Line in NYC
A structure was originally constructed in the 1930s, known as the High Line, to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan’s streets. Now, the Line is being repurposed as a pedestrian walkway by building a natural extended city park above ground on top of the existing structure.

NYC "High Line" Public Space

Photo // Martin Palmer

Tuija Seipell, contributing writer for The Cool Hunter, said it well:
We need more councils that have the vision and passion to ‘create art in urban settings’. We need people to demand and rally for them, and we need visionary designers, architects, planners and artists to design and propose and speak for them.

NYC "High Line" Public Space

Photo // Flickr user 1 hr photo

NYC "High Line" Public Space

Photo // Flickr user bugbrooklyn
Design // landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro,

Paseo Marítimo de la Playa Poniente
Originally, this area was a poorly paved surface of road that the city of Benidorm Spain decided to fund and turn into a beautiful promenade in 2008.

Spain promenade "Playa Poniente"

Spain promenade "Playa Poniente"

Spain "Playa Poniente" public spaces

Design // Luca Cerullo – Dirección de Obra Juan Calvo – Estructura

Posted by on June 10th, 2011 at 6:22 AM | Comments (0)