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Storefront History
Mixed Media, dimensions variable, 2016

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For almost three years, I worked on a long-term multimedia project that investigates the histories of old commercial storefronts. Hours and days were spent in the Oakland History Room at the Public Library, sifting through old documents on the internet and borrowed from the current owner of these buildings, and looking through microfiche courtesy of Oakland Historian Betty Marvin.

 

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Storefront History examines a row of old commercial storefronts in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Oakland. Constructed in the early 1930s, the buildings underwent numerous changes until they were converted into live/work artist spaces in the late 1970s and mid-1980s. The ghosts of these eight structures include beauty parlors, grocery stores, laundromats, tailors, bakeries, restaurants, and bars. This experiential exhibition presents a long-form video component that integrates found footage with imagined scenes based on factual findings; a short documentary; and large-scale reproductions of ephemera and archival documents. Storefront History invites the viewer to explore the stories of this East Bay neighborhood corner in a unique, intimate manner.

 

This exhibition is partially funded by a grant from the City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program.

 

Imagined scene from Storefront History.

 

Storefront History Documentary, Single-channel video with sound, 07:58, 2016

 


Storefront History, A Historical Timelapse, Single-channel video with sound, 28:30, 2016

 

Closeup of Storefront History Timeline, Polaroids on paper, 17x22", 2016

 

Piggly Wiggly Ad from 1930 with Handpainted Sign, Acrylic on wood, 2016