Bench Projects

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1. Seyed Alavi, “Bench Marks”
2. Seyed Alavi, “Bench Marks”
3. Seyed Alavi, “Bench Marks”
4. Andrea Brewster, “Beauty Virus”
5. Andrea Brewster, “Beauty Virus”
6. Lori Fischer, “Oakland Through the Windows/Oakland Woman Walking”
7. Lori Fischer, “Rise”
8. Ronnie Sampson, “Three More Roadside Chairs”
9. Ronnie Sampson, “Sign Language: Point of Departure, Sign Language: Please Hold On”
10. Steve Briscoe, “From the History of Everything”
11. Steve Briscoe, “From the History of Everything”
12. Lynn Beldner, “Never Give Up”
13. Lynn Beldner, “Never Give Up and Don’t Think Too Much”
14. Bench Warming Parties
Bench Projects Lisa Solomon
Bench Projects - Lisa Solomon
Bench Projects - Kelly Ording
Bench Projects - Jet Martinez

1. Seyed Alavi, “Bench Marks” - 2015, MLK Jr. Way/between Aileen and Arlington Street

Seyed Alavi’s site-specific installations and public art projects often engage with the poetics of language and space and their power to shape reality. His Bench Marks project consists of a number of posters for the public bus benches that have been created in response to the idea of travelling as a passenger on a bus. Each poster proposes a question that can be read/interpreted either literally in terms of travelling from one spot to another, or metaphorically, in relation to the concept of life as a journey. http://here2day.netwiz.net/

2. Seyed Alavi, “Bench Marks” - 2015, MLK Jr. Way/between Aileen and Arlington Street

Seyed Alavi’s site-specific installations and public art projects often engage with the poetics of language and space and their power to shape reality. His Bench Marks project consists of a number of posters for the public bus benches that have been created in response to the idea of travelling as a passenger on a bus. Each poster proposes a question that can be read/interpreted either literally in terms of travelling from one spot to another, or metaphorically, in relation to the concept of life as a journey. http://here2day.netwiz.net/

3. Seyed Alavi, “Bench Marks” - 2015, MLK Jr. Way/between Aileen and Arlington Street

Seyed Alavi’s site-specific installations and public art projects often engage with the poetics of language and space and their power to shape reality. His Bench Marks project consists of a number of posters for the public bus benches that have been created in response to the idea of travelling as a passenger on a bus. Each poster proposes a question that can be read/interpreted either literally in terms of travelling from one spot to another, or metaphorically, in relation to the concept of life as a journey. http://here2day.netwiz.net/

4. Andrea Brewster, “Beauty Virus” – 2015, MLK Jr. Way/between Aileen and Arlington Street and Shattuck/55th Street

Andrea Brewster’s most recent works are centered within the contemporary art/craft context, while also examining issues of identity, gender, and biomorphic form. Looking at biological processes and forms, Andrea finds the structures of cells and the complexity of proteins endlessly inspiring. For Bench Projects, she created a series of drawings, imagining Beauty as a virus. These Beauty Virus panels ask what if Beauty were contagious and could replicate itself and spread, infecting every one of us, with its magic?

5. Andrea Brewster, “Beauty Virus” – 2015, MLK Jr. Way/between Aileen and Arlington Street and Shattuck/55th Street

Andrea Brewster’s most recent works are centered within the contemporary art/craft context, while also examining issues of identity, gender, and biomorphic form. Looking at biological processes and forms, Andrea finds the structures of cells and the complexity of proteins endlessly inspiring. For Bench Projects, she created a series of drawings, imagining Beauty as a virus. These Beauty Virus panels ask what if Beauty were contagious and could replicate itself and spread, infecting every one of us, with its magic?

6. Lori Fischer, “Oakland Through the Windows/Oakland Woman Walking” - 2015, MLK Jr. Way/ Arlington Street.

Lori Fischer is a designer/artist and has lived in the same home in North Oakland for 21 years. She has received several grants through the City of Oakland’s Cultural Arts Funding for work creating hand-sewn dolls and creatures with children in long-term care at local hospitals. Her illustrations are bold, high contrast, simple designs.

7. Lori Fischer, “Rise” – 2015, Shattuck/55th Street

Lori Fischer is a designer/artist and has lived in the same home in North Oakland for 21 years. She has received several grants through the City of Oakland’s Cultural Arts Funding for work creating hand-sewn dolls and creatures with children in long-term care at local hospitals. Her illustrations are bold, high contrast, simple designs.

8. Ronnie Sampson, “Three More Roadside Chairs” – 2015, MLK Jr. Way/Aileen Street

Ronnie Sampson is a graphic artist/illustrator/animator/painter/printmaker. He and his wife have their own creative services business in Oakland, CA. For Bench Projects, Ronnie created two bench panels, side-by-side Sign Language: Point of Departure and Sign Language: Please Hold On, intended to suggest different ways we define time, place and direction. Ronnie’s third bench Three More Roadside Chairs is an invitation to sit and think about objects for which aesthetics outlast usefulness.

9. Ronnie Sampson, “Sign Language: Point of Departure, Sign Language: Please Hold On” – 2015, MLK Jr. Way/Aileen Street

Ronnie Sampson is a graphic artist/illustrator/animator/painter/printmaker. He and his wife have their own creative services business in Oakland, CA. For Bench Projects, Ronnie created two bench panels, side-by-side Sign Language: Point of Departure and Sign Language: Please Hold On, intended to suggest different ways we define time, place and direction. Ronnie’s third bench Three More Roadside Chairs is an invitation to sit and think about objects for which aesthetics outlast usefulness.

10. Steve Briscoe, “From the History of Everything” – 2015, MLK Jr. Way/Aileen Street

For this project Steve Briscoe wanted to extend the vocabulary of his graphic work into public space. On two bus bench panels titled From the History of Everything, 2015.001 and 2015.002 , images of words, DNA, planets, symbols are connected into a pictographic flowchart that begs and yet resists deciphering. http://briscoestudio.com/

11. Steve Briscoe, “From the History of Everything” – 2015, Shattuck/55th Street

For this project Steve Briscoe wanted to extend the vocabulary of his graphic work into public space. On two bus bench panels titled From the History of Everything, 2015.001 and 2015.002 , images of words, DNA, planets, symbols are connected into a pictographic flowchart that begs and yet resists deciphering. http://briscoestudio.com/

12. Lynn Beldner, “Never Give Up” – 2015, MLK Jr. Way/Aileen Street

Lynn Beldner describes her creative process like journal writing, but more visual, makingart in response to something that just happened to or around her. For Bench Projects she creates affirmations. These particular affirmations, Never give up and Don’t think too much were in response to neighborhood violence a year ago. Other influences in Lynn’s studio work: potatoes (only russets), handkerchiefs, laundry, laundry lines, pillows, collections, organizing, fossils, anthropology, archeology, biography, and cartography. http://www.lynnbeldner.com/

13. Lynn Beldner, “Never Give Up and Don’t Think Too Much” – 2015, MLK Jr. Way/Aileen Street

Lynn Beldner describes her creative process like journal writing, but more visual, making art in response to something that just happened to or around her. For Bench Projects she creates affirmations. These particular affirmations, Never give up and Don’t think too much were in response to neighborhood violence a year ago. Other influences in Lynn’s studio work: potatoes (only russets), handkerchiefs, laundry, laundry lines, pillows, collections, organizing, fossils, anthropology, archeology, biography, and cartography. http://www.lynnbeldner.com/

14. Bench Warming Parties

Each time we change the Bench Projects artwork we have a bench warming party, a community gathering at the bus stop celebrating local artists and public art.

15. Lisa Solomon, “Grannies in North Oakland” - 2016, Market Street/Arlington Street

Bus benches are not usually comfortable places. In thinking about what constitutes comfort hand made granny square blankets are high on the list. For Bench Projects, North Oakland artist Lisa Solomon depicts both real granny squares that she crocheted, and ones that she painted and embroidered on. She is interested in the space between “reality” and “rendering” – especially when the items are loaded with potential personal meaning and could be symbols of warmth and comfort.

16. Lisa Solomon - "Grannies in North Oakland" - 2016, Market Street/Arlington Street, Oakland

Bus benches are not usually comfortable places. In thinking about what constitutes comfort hand made granny square blankets are high on the list. For her Bench Projects work, North Oakland artist Lisa Solomon depicts both real granny squares that she crocheted, and ones that she painted and embroidered on. She is interested in the space between “reality” and “rendering” – especially when the items are loaded with potential personal meaning and could be symbols of warmth and comfort.

17. Kelly Ording - "Sunshine and Nighttime" - 2016, Market Street/Arlington Street, Oakland

Kelly Ording blends organic and geometric shapes with exact lines, pairing intuitive and mathematical mark-making like in Sunny Side Up, Sunshine, and Nighttime (pictured here). She questions the singular object and its amplification through massive repetition often resulting in vivid ethereal landscapes.

18. Jet Martinez - 2016, MLK Jr. Way/59th Street, Oakland

Jet Martinez brings his signature paintings to Bench Projects. His work is recognized for a psychedelic tinge, op-art inspired patterns, natural settings which incorporate patterns into plant forms, and is inspired by folk art from my Mexico.

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I started Bench Project in 2015 as an artist-led public art platform that rents advertising space at AC Transit bus stops to create ‘bench galleries’ in my North Oakland neighborhood with funding from Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Grant Program. The project commissions Oakland-based artists to create new site-responsive work and encourages community members – including public transit riders, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers – to engage more deeply in their surroundings. Support for Bench Projects is provided by The City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program, Keep Oakland Beautiful, and The Clorox Company Arts Mini-grant. If you live in North Oakland and are interested in participating, email me at ellendlake@gmail.com

To read more about the project click here.

Bench Projects / Richmond recently did a project with NIAD in Richmond, CA. Thanks to California Arts Council Artists Activating Communities for funding this collaboration with NIAD.

 

 

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All content © Copyright 2018 by Ellen Lake.