Must-Visit Galleries in Uptown Oakland, California

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Teresa Burns Gunther

The art scene in Oakland has evolved into a captivating attraction for Bay Area residents and guests from around the world. Whether long established or an exciting new venue, these galleries offer an eclectic blend of innovative and traditional new work and perspectives. Check out these galleries in the Uptown area for just a taste of the wide range of possibilities for viewing—a little something for everyone.

1. Johansson Projects

Art Gallery

This hip gallery on Telegraph Avenue is definitely one to look out for. A small, inviting space, Johansson Projects features contemporary works that captivate and inspire—the work is fresh and surprising, yet remains accessible. Curator Kimberly Johansson’s goal is to “reflect the unorthodox art-making [she has] encountered locally and abroad, amplifying the energy we are surrounded with in the ever-experimental state of Oakland.” Don’t forget to look up and see the fabulous ceiling, an artwork in itself.

2. Vessel Gallery

Art Gallery

Vessel Gallery is one of Oakland’s finest. The recipient of many art awards and recognized in art and culture magazines across the country, Vessel features fine art in a unique, two-story 5000 sq. ft. exhibition space that is itself a part of Oakland’s history. Once the Oakland Fire Department’s horse livery, then an auto glass factory, Ms. Lee has now brilliantly transformed this multi-purpose space into an exquisite gallery. It exhibits the work of emerging and mid-career artists, both local and international, in a range of mediums — there is always some new to love. In addition to a selection of painting, sculpture, installation art and artisan jewelry, the gallery also offers programming that includes a rich mix of musical performances, video interviews, and monthly artist talks. Don’t miss the urban rooftop garden and check out Vessel’s Art Books.

3. Chandra Cerrito Contemporary and Krowswork Gallery

Art Gallery

Creative Growth
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Here you’ll find two art galleries in the same building. An important part of Oakland’s arts district, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary presents the work of emerging and mid-career contemporary artists in exhibitions and site-specific installations. The gallery’s mission is to highlight regional and national artists whose work is innovative and refined. Jasmine Moorhead is the owner and director of Krowswork Gallery, which was named the “Best New Innovative Gallery” within its first few years of opening. This vibrant gallery offers new media and work that falls outside traditional definitions of art—a genre she’s defining as she goes—including photography, multimedia, and film. She’s interested in “exploring a visual language that transcends pre-established boundaries and eschews normal paths.”

4. Creative Growth

Art Gallery

Creative Growth provides artists with developmental disabilities a professional studio environment for artistic development, gallery space to show their work, representation, and a social atmosphere among peers. These artists’ work have been exhibited nationally and are included in prominent collections and museums worldwide. The Gallery presents seven in-house exhibitions each year. A sister gallery, Creativity Explored, is located 3245 16th Street in San Francisco.

5. Joyce Gordon Gallery

Art Gallery

The Joyce Gordon Gallery is a commercial fine art gallery located in the downtown district of Oakland. The gallery exhibits art that reflects the social and cultural diversity of the Bay Area as well as international artists. The aim of the gallery is to respect the creative pursuits of the individual and make such work accessible to a broad audience.

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