“Art Is Women” was rained out in March, but we’re bringing it back for May as Oakland celebrates its first Art Month! Women were not always a paint brush, let alone or a platform. As the strength and creativity of women has spread across the world, we have come to see just how much women change and impact the world. Some of these world changers can be found right here in the Oakland First Fridays street festival. As we come together this month we’re giving recognition to the women who create, do, make and participate in First Fridays. When you come out to “Art Is Women | REDUX” you’ll be supporting small local artists, food makers, performers and retailers run by women of the Bay Area and beyond.
Tune here for the latest updates on "Art Is Women | REDUX"
tORI hUNTER - BMJ ART SHOP
I create and sell prints, buttons and t-shirts of my artwork. I currently do recreations where I take nostalgic or iconic characters from comics or twelve vision and make them Black. I paint free hand with a “black manga” style. I was always asked about my style, but even “iuneveno." I try to bring all shades into my artwork as well as skin conditions, such as #albinism and #vitiligo. That way every Black person can see themselves in my artwork and not feel shut out. Every person can be a superhero.
La Toya allen - Regnum mentis
The idea to create gift packaging for men was birthed through my desire to send my husband - who was away on deployment [on] Father’s Day - a gift that conveyed the love and appreciation that both his children and I felt. I didn’t want my husband to open a plain box. That would have diminished the love that we wanted to convey. Our gifts needed a ‘final touch.’
Brittany luby - hey ma goods, co.
“What began as a space for me to share a budding collection of posters and tee shirts became an antidote to the impostor syndrome I had been experiencing since college. HMGC is me awarding myself the chance I was waiting for someone to give to me as a woman of color in the creative world..."
Imani Baylor - Eccentric Vibes
“First Fridays has helped me build my brand so fast. I wasn't expecting to have returning customers or clients in such a short time. The atmosphere is amazing and the compliments I get on my merchandise and fashion sense makes me love what I do. First Fridays is a great place to network - and thankfully, it is, because my business wouldn't be successful without this platform.
"My biggest obstacle is finding the right support to help advance my career as an artist. As with many Bay Area artists - with the rising cost of living in the city and limited resources - it can be a struggle financially to keep things going...I am grateful to First Fridays for the platform to show my work and for the opportunity to meet all the interesting people that attend.”
Mercedes Martin - Tres Mercedes
Frustrated by the fact that she had to learn more about her own Black and Cuban heritage through Ethnic Studies at Mills College, Mercedes Martin of Tres Mercedes, felt the need to exercise her unique perspective on African beauty, culture and tradition to influence “urban” fashion. Whenever she creates an item - whether it be sunglasses or a snapback hat - Martin always asks herself, “How can I add ‘favor’ to this?” As she likes to say, “favor equals African culture.”