.Special Sections

May 25, 2022

Critical Viewing: Essential documentaries to watch this summer

The documentary art form has evolved into an everyday tool to learn about and understand the world. True, sometimes people just need to take a load off and melt their brains with a streaming bonanza of light summer television fare, not too challenging at the beach. At times like these though,...
Mar 16, 2022

Tech and Terroir: Fern Stroud’s diverse talents grow Black Vines

The Black Vines Festival celebrated a jubilant, yet carefully safe, return to a live event late last month. The 11th annual festival hosted 400 sippers, noshers, art-lovers and networkers—half of capacity at Berkeley’s CIEL Creative Space. “The energy...
Sep 8, 2021

Out in Force: Support Oakland Pride with mind, body and wallet

Oakland Pride, formerly East Bay Pride, was founded in 2008 with the goal of creating “a vibrant and viable organization worthy of the LGBTQ+ community in the East Bay.". To get ready to celebrate, shop the following queer-owned businesses that are making change in our community year-round.
Sep 8, 2021

Ah-Mer-Ah-Su: Oakland soul transported to the sunny South

“I want my art to deal in reality, so the vibe expresses a temperamental feeling,” Amerasu said. “Being inside for a year was exhausting. I want to go out and do all the things I like to do. I wrote it a while ago, but it fits perfectly with the mood of post-pandemic life. I know it’s not over. We’re still moving toward some version of a new reality.”
Aug 25, 2021

Our Man ‘Ish’: Ishmael Reed reflects on life, art, music and home

"Some have called Ish a 'trickster,' and Ralph Ellison—in a drunken rant at a gala in New York City when he was in his 30s—once called him a 'criminal and a con-man,' but few call this poet, author, publisher, Columbus Foundation president, musician, playwright, founder of the American Book Awards, screen-writer and cartoonist a Renaissance man," D. Scot Miller writes.
Aug 25, 2021

A Strange Alchemy: Keenan Norris brings deep listening, dystopia and hope in latest novel

"Norris says important themes in the novel—such as micro and macro time spans, social protest, anti-Blackness history, the perils of miseducation and the dramatic conflicts often generated in public spaces—are vastly important, but never preempts his central concerns of creating compelling characters and continuous plot movement. 'You never know when you make something, what impact, if any, it will have,' he says."
Aug 25, 2021

Capturing the Essence: Anshil Popli’s ‘Wild Wild West’ both commemorates and elegizes the complicated...

"In his debut book, 'Wild Wild West', Popli provides a window into the diverse micro-cultures and lifestyles throughout the Bay—with a particular interest in rap and street life. His photos are most notable for how they capture the underground elements and raw truths of Northern California’s cities, particularly among marginalized communities that are often stigmatized by mainstream media and institutional policing. He’s celebrated for his work with local icons like Koran Streets, White Dave, sndtrak, Big Spence and many others."
Aug 25, 2021

Functional Beauty: New OMCA exhibit showcases the life and work of Edith Heath

‘The goal of “Edith Heath: A Life in Clay” is, obviously, to showcase Heath’s artistry; her work’s clean, simple forms and glazes that enhance the clay’s textures. “But we want to go beyond,” Johnson said, “and talk about her personality and her processes.”’
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