Untitled (If I am scum I am yours) by Erin Allen at Pro Arts.

Supporting artists has been the theme locally.  Allergic to holiday drama, substantive empowerment and change is at the top of my shopping list.  Celebrating artists is the best gift.  Creativity inspires and nurtures freedom of expression.  Artists stand on the frontlines 365 days a year not just for a season.

Holiday Arts Sale.

Recently, Pro Arts in Oakland held its Holiday Arts Sale from Dec. 14-22nd.  All works were $200 or less and thoughtfully placed throughout the gallery.  I had a West Oakland studio for many years and witnessed firsthand Pro Arts unwavering advocacy outreach.

Pro Arts provided the push to continue as an artist.

West Oakland 2003.

From the website: “Pro Arts is among the oldest and most significant institutions for contemporary art in Oakland.  Shortly after its formation in 1974, under the name of Alameda County Neighborhood Arts Program, Pro Arts became an important venue for artistic experimentation and engagement with the arts.  Today, Pro Arts continues to support art that pushes boundaries, generates critical discourse and challenges the status quo.”




Artists desperately seek studios that are financially viable.  The San Francisco Bay Area is very expensive to live and create.  Populations including artists become displaced and exposed to dangerous conditions resulting in practice extinction.  As a result, artists faced with limited options reconfigure life and spaces to secure creativity.


Bridge Storage and ArtSpace in Richmond provides artists a chance.

On December 13th, Bridge Storage and ArtSpace had an open house showcasing a digital arts area, meeting location, exhibition gallery, and various workshops.  The versatile venue allows creativity to morph into various multidisciplinary forms.  With endless options and an affordable monthly membership fee, access is now for all not just a few.


Bridge Storage and ArtSpace website: “Over time we converted about 5,000 square feet of storage units into studio space serving 28 artists.  This process began by connecting with local artists who already were tenants and discovering their needs and beginning a build out that allowed the proper space for artists activity.  We built a gallery area where artists, musicians, and makers could display their work as well as invite other artists to come and exhibit…and Bridge Storage and ArtSpace was born.  Our efforts multiplied and grew into over 25 artist spaces and in a short period of time developed into a bustling art hub that coexisted in harmony with—and fed the original self-storage business.

Digital zone.



Pro Arts along with Bridge Storage and ArtSpace are two bright beacons of hope.  Both venues give artists the ability to celebrate again.  A “Happy Holidays” includes fostering creativity locally.  This season started off just right….

The links: