Love Our Island Friday Night

Courtesy photo    Charlie Sullivan’s artwork will grace the long-abandoned gas station across from City Hall Friday.

For the past six months, RCW has been bringing art and music to the streets of Alameda with the theme of Radical Beauty as part of its Love Our Island Art Walk series. Showcasing a diverse range of Bay Area artists and musicians, Love Our Island Art Walks feature temporary art installations in empty storefront windows, accompanied by free live musical performances to activate Alameda’s downtown districts. 

So far 12 art installations along with 17 performance groups have been presented as part of this project along Park Street, Webster Street and South Shore Center. 

Tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 14, from 6 to 9 p.m., RCW and Downtown Alameda present Love Our Island Art Walk — Radical Beauty, Part 5. On the corner of Park Street and Santa Clara Avenue in downtown Alameda, colorful light will spill through the windows of the empty corner storefront with San Francisco artist Nicole Mueller’s contemporary “stained glass” installation.

By bringing the tradition of stained glass and its connotations of spiritual or sacred spaces into a new context, Mueller creates an abstract collage that is ephemeral, light-filled and intentionally beautiful. Her vibrant collage-work is equally dynamic during the day and at night — capturing the attention of passersby, beautifying an otherwise unrealized storefront at 1501 Park St. 

In the adjacent storefront, poetic photographic images from artist Najib Joe Hakim will be projected in the windows at 2353 Santa Clara Ave. Exploring the themes of migration, borders, the environment and conflict, Hakim presents still-frame image sequences paired with short poetic statements. Each sequence benefits from a synergy of suggestive meaning and beauty that the individual frames lack. Hakim feels that we live in a new dark age. Coming upon a beautiful work of art unexpectedly may help remind us of our shared aspirations.

Next to Hakim’s moving images, the sounds of Peruvian percussion, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and popular Latin songs from Omar & Friends Latin Trio will fill the air. Across the street at 2322 Santa Clara Ave., gypsy jazz sensation Barrio Manouche will perform in front of Airloom’s front patio. 

In the long-empty kiosk at the corner of Santa Clara Avenue and Oak Street (2301 Santa Clara Ave.), artist Charlie Sullivan presents his discarded and repurposed findings: everyday items arranged in a playful balance, built to be viewed in the round to encourage shifting perspectives. Also enjoyed best in the round, Gadje 5 will play Balkan brass favorites in front of the kiosk, with plenty of room to dance nearby.
Alamedans looking for an evening out on the town filled with art and music will find the Love Our Island Art Walk does not disappoint. Bring the whole family to enjoy this end-of-summer blow out on the streets with RCW.

The Love Our Island Arts Walk project is made possible with support from the California Arts Council, Downtown Alameda Business Association and RCW’s 2018 Sponsors. Additional support for this project from the City of Alameda Public Art Fund is pending approval by City Council. For more information, visit www.rhythmix.org.