The city of Oakland has announced that there will be free parking at meters on Saturdays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. How great for all of us who want to support our local Oakland businesses. Please continue to observe the time limits (or you may still be ticketed) and we’ll all have a great holiday season!
We recently framed a wonderful piece of oversized art by a local artist, John Parente, a professor of art, creativity,philosophy, and religion at Chabot College. His work is filled with symbolism and knowledge reflecting world religion and philosophies.
This piece is a large-scale watercolor done in 3 pieces that are presented together as a triptych. Since it is a waterborne medium on paper, one of the major challenges was to keep the pieces flat and supported inside the framing package. We utilized a large fabric covered liner that is strong and won’t flex like a matboard might, and attached the art to a sturdy backing. The larger center section is nearly 7 feet tall, so plexi is a must. We went with Optium museum plexi which has no reflection and is anti-static as well as scratch resistant.
They are now proudly hanging in the Language & School of Arts building at Chabot College in Hayward, CA. A fitting tribute to a much appreciated artist. As John would wish for us all, “Peace and Fullness of Life!”
Do you have well-loved but not too worn picture books you’d love to pass along? Would you like the opportunity to augment the Gross National Happiness quotient of Bhutan? In the Spring, Elida will be voyaging to Bhutan with a group of adventurers, and while there, they would like to supply an elementary school with as many books as they can carry. Kids there are in need of picture books (not chapter books) for grades 1 – 6. We will be collecting them in the shop for the next several weeks – until March 17th. When you bring in your books, you can choose to be entered in our drawing to win a Bhutanese painting. All books the travelers cannot carry with them will be passed along to the East Bay Children’s Book Project. Tell your friends!
Despite recent news coverage, Oakland is a wonderful place to live and work. Even the New York Times says it is one of the top 5 places in the world to visit in 2012. Grand Avenue in particular is home to 2 of their recommended restaurants: Boot & Shoe, and Camino as well as 2 attractions: Grand Lake Theater and Morcom Rose Garden. As those of you who live in our neighborhood can attest, this barely scratches the surface of things to do and places to eat & shop. And as we can attest – the lively atmosphere of our city is a direct result of the vibrant folks who live & work here!
We at Galleria Scola know that all of you who shop in our store and all the other small businesses that thrive along our avenues do so because you want us to be here now and into the future. It is a conscious decision that we appreciate and it inspires us, in turn, to give back to our community. In the last few months, we have supported many great organizations: Mother Mary Ann Wright Foundation, Girl’s Inc., Beth Jacob Congregation, Corpus Christi School, Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay, Clausen House, Children’s Fairyland, and First Place for Youth. Check out these causes and maybe you will feel moved to support them in whatever way you choose.
Another way to show your Oakland Pride is with a giclee print of a charming scene from Oakland’s history. We have reproduced a few images found on vintage pamphlets advertising Oakland as an up-and-coming place to settle. They are printed on thick cotton rag paper using archival, pigmented inks, and so will last far into the future. Show your Oakland Pride – Oakland Rocks!
A great guy stopped in a while back with a special challenge. He wanted something unusual to display a group of posters – “Do you have frames made of old barn wood?” Well, not exactly, but what were you visualizing? As we discussed further I came to find out he is Chris Pastena, owner of Chop Bar in downtown Oakland. He has done great projects with local artisans in many areas of the restaurant – the reclaimed wood on the walls, the bar area itself – all utilizing repurposed materials of all sorts. This is the kind of challenge we love! We brainstormed a bit more and landed on the idea of old windows. He has posters from the monthly pig roasts Chop Bar hosts in the Spring and Summer, so something quite sizable was in order.
Chris went to a reuse center and found a wonderful long glassed door and pretty much said, “Go to town!” Great!
We started with the window – cleaned it up a bit and lightly sanded the painted frame. Then came the base coat for the crackle distressed finish we had decided upon. After the paint was dry, we applied a crackling medium which goes on very thick then settles itself into odd littel circles. When that was set-up and almost completely dry, the top coat went on – then the magic happens! It begins to crackle!
After about 24 hours, the cracks get even more pronounced. We used two related shades of paint and applied them oppositely on opposing legs of the frame – dark over light in one direction and light over dark in the other direction. We think it came out pretty darn great.
To finish it off, we painted the outside and inside edges black to give the whole piece a little more depth, then mounted the posters onto an oversized matboard backing with thumbtacks. The piece hangs horizontally from the hardware that was formerly it’s door hinges.
Chris was so delighted with the way it turned out, we had to take a photo of him with his new masterpiece!
You can now see it proudly displayed at Chop Bar, and you will not regret stopping in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or happy hour! And know that you are supporting a local dining treasure that is hosted by people who support local artists, food producers,and the local economy! Thank you Chris!