Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — For three months this fall, a 24,000 square-foot vacant lot at the intersection of Mandela Parkway, West Grand Avenue and Peralta Street in West Oakland will be transformed into a creative community space filled with art and commerce. Each weekend from October 4 to December 15, the Peralta Junction Project will harness the strong local presence of the industrial arts and artists to create rich social and economic opportunities for an often-challenged neighborhood.
With the help of scores of participating artists and volunteers, the project team has begun to clean up and rejuvenate the space, which until recently was full of weeds. Talented local mural artists have transformed the long fence facing Mandela Parkway into a vibrant, interactive perimeter. Soon tents will rise, art projects will be installed, carnival lights will be illuminated and the space will come alive with art installations, creative workshops, performances, micro-retail shops featuring local artisans, Oakland-based food trucks, a tented gathering place, and pumpkins.
“We hope to create an economically sustainable, communal creative space for people who live and work in our neighborhood,” said Leslie Pritchett of Commonplace Productions, one of the project’s organizers. “We invite anyone and everyone to help shape and share in this evolving social project.”
Key features of the project will include: A series of three highly-interactive, large-scale art installations, beginning with M.T. Pocket’s Traveling Midway of Curiosities and Delights A Pumpkin Patch, with artist-led pumpkin carving programs Food Trucks, featuring some of Oakland’s finest mobile purveyors A Pop-Up Market, featuring the wares of local artisans D.I.Y. workshops and demonstrations with local arts organizations such as The Crucible Community Movie Night on Thursdays An artist-built stage featuring local performing artists
Marcus Guillard, a founder of the One Hat One Hand design-build collective and Leslie Pritchett, Director of Commonplace Productions will lend their experience as artists, administrators, and change agents in leading this group effort. A strong list of key collaborators includes The Crucible, American Steel Studios, Stageworks Productions and The Burning Man Project.
The project team is busily preparing for the Grand Opening Weekend, October 6 and 7, when Peralta Junction will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature performances, pumpkins and pumpkin carving, workshops, live painting demonstrations, face painting, clowns, carnies, food trucks, vendors and more!
If this pilot project is demonstrated to be viable, the project team hopes to move forward with a longer-term, five-year program at the site that includes arts-based programming, community space, and micro-retail shops and restaurants housed in artist-designed and converted shipping containers.
Details regarding participating artists, key collaborators, vendors, food trucks, and the current project event schedule are available online at http://www.peraltajunction.com.