Art Walk Ready to Grace Bay Farm

Over the last year, Rhythmix Cultural Works has produced six Love Our Island Art Walks, an art-centric creative placemaking project that utilizes public art, storefront art installations and live musical performances to activate Alameda’s historic downtown districts and business corridors. In 2018, 20 visual artists and 150 performing artists graced Park and Webster streets and the South Shore Shopping Center in support of the project theme of Radical Beauty. 

On Friday, April 12, from 6 to 9 p.m., Rhythmix will produce its seventh Love Our Island event across the bridge at the Harbor Bay Landing Shopping Center with a myriad of artistic treats. 

In celebration of Earth Day, the walk will spotlight four Bay Area artists utilizing natural elements, recycled materials and environmental themes in their work. Josie Iselin’s digitally scanned seaweed prints feature bright and colorful organic shapes and forms from the sea, while Hopi Breton’s examination of nature as physical and spiritual sustenance utilizes careful juxtaposition of natural items as symbols of material culture.Susan Brady’s found-object horse assemblages pose elegantly with the majestic presence of their living counterparts and Sophia Lee reveals the inner beauty of rhythm and movement of the environment through layers of overlooked and discarded everyday items. 

In addition to the environmentally themed window installations, several Bay Area performance ensembles will be sharing their cultures through music and dance.

Rooted in his French-Creole heritage, Grammy nominated accordionist, Andre Thierry, will headline the evening with his band, Zydeco Magic. Thierry’s style of Cajun-Creole is exciting and unconventional, effortlessly delivering electrifying sounds and fun dance beats.  

Alameda’s only Polynesian dance company, Halau Makana, will bring an impressive cast of 30 dancers and musicians to perform dance and music from the islands of Hawai’i and Tahiti. Local Salvadoran folkloric ensemble, Flor de Café, will share traditional dance from El Salvador. Members from the Bay Area Children’s Theater youth ensembles will also present excerpts from Guys and Dolls, Jr. and Seussical, Jr. China’s Spirit Music Ensemble, led by Winnie Wong, presents guzheng, Chinese zither music, as a way to share beauty and diversity with the community.

Family-friendly activities include a found-object instrument-making table with Thingamajigs, Bay Farm Library’s Words on Wheels Book Bike, housing more than 350 books on the go and classroom art presentations from Bay Farm Elementary, Small Size Big Mind and Jumpstart Discoveries. Ten-year old activist duo Lauren and Lily from Oakland will be bringing Hot Chocolate for Peace! to spice up the event and raise funds to help reunite families seeking asylum at the border. All ages are welcome to come enjoy the art, music and dance while helping out a great cause.

Love Our Island Art Walk: Radical Beauty Part 7 is supported by the California Arts Council, the City of Alameda, the Downtown Alameda Business Association, and Rhythmix 2019 sponsors including AEC Living, Alameda Sun, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Catellus, Compass and Alameda Point Partners. Learn more at www.rhythmix.org.

 

Tina Blaine is the executive director of Rhythmix Cultural Works.