‘Radical Beauty’ Enlivens Webster Street Friday


The Love Our Island Art Walk, “Radical Beauty” series presented by Rhythmix Cultural Works will continue this Friday, April 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Webster Street. The event is the second in an eight-part series produced with grant support from the California Arts Council. 

On a mission to bring more arts experiences to the people of Alameda, Rhythmix is literally taking this mission to the streets, instilling “Radical Beauty” in Alameda’s historic downtown districts via art installations in empty storefront windows and live music in parklets and pedestrian corridors during select 2nd Friday Art Walk events. 

The LoveOurIsland Art Walk will feature performances from Maze Daiko and Epiphany Dance Theater in the parking lot next to Calafia Taqueria, 1445 Webster St. Taiko drums, marimba and violin will accompany dancers evoking the history of Neptune Beach. Across the street on the steps of US Bank, Gamelan Sekar Jaya will present music originating from West Bali. This style uses one of the largest and rarest gamelans,  (bronze percussion instruments) a gamelan jegog. The ensemble includes 10-foot-long, bamboo-tube “marimbas” that will fill the air with their sonic vibrations. 

The performances of live music and dance help highlight the main component of the Radical Beauty events: art installations in empty storefront windows. All of these activities are collectively intended to help activate Alameda through the arts, which is the main objective of the Love Our Island Art Walk series. 

In the former Larry’s Shoe Repair corridor, 1449 Webster St. Ginny Parson’s Nature Trash Kites (Inspired by the work of Tyrus Wong) will soar above viewers’ heads. Designed and woven into form by Parson’s art students, this installation aims to elevate perspectives of what ends up in landfills.

At 711 Santa Clara Ave., Chris Rummell and Dickson Schneider’s mixed-media installation with gold leaf will glisten causing one to ponder the meanings of symbols and society.
One block further down Webster Street, the former AAA Scuba store, 1517 Webster St. will feature ghost ghost teeth’s work. This artwork takes a journey back in time with nostalgic colors and organic forms. The artist’s work is influenced by every part of his life, including his daughter’s imagination, his father’s flea market finds, the post-punk era, Vietnamese-American culture and video games.

The variety of art and performance at April’s Love Our Island Art Walk will be sure to delight as Webster Street will be filled with people, art and energy. 

April’s Radical Beauty Art Walk is presented in partnership with the West End Arts and Entertainment District and the West Alameda Business Association. A special sneak preview of the upcoming Island City Waterways event at Crab Cove set for the weekend of May 19 and 20, also produced by Rhythmix, will also be performed. 

See islandcitywaterways.org or rhythmix.org for more information.