Saturday was the artist talk for the EvE: Empowerment vs. Exploitation exhibition at Warehouse 416.  Tea Roots, a nonprofit public benefit corporation organized the event.  Artists shared inspirations and visitors asked questions.  The power of art was on full display!

Jenny E. Balisle (Eric Murphy photo).
Cat Sommer.
Zoe Reidy.
Kiley Ames.
Manduul Naranzogt.

According to Oakland Art Murmur’s website: “Many of the galleries that participate in Oakland’s highly popular First Friday Art Murmur gallery walk are also open EVERY Saturday afternoon.  Known as the Saturday Stroll, this is a quieter and more focused time to view art at your own pace and visit with Oakland Art Murmur gallery directors.”

Oakland Art Murmur.

The EvE: Empowerment vs. Exploitation exhibition artists include: Anda Lina Saylor, Cat Sommer, Chris Marin, Christina Hsu, Comfort Fedoke Comfort Fedoke Official Page, Crystal Azul, Ghislaine Fremaut, Helena Busansky, Henriette Kirsch, Isobel O’Hare, Jade Aldridge, Janet Braun-Reinitz, Julia Espero, Julie Thi Underhill, Katherin Hervey, Kiley Ames, Laurie Shapiro, Manduul Naranzogt, Marisa Bazán, Mary Behm-Steinberg, Mateo Carrero, Maya Chan, Melanie Lombard, Mojgan Saberi, Nicole Shaffer, Odessa Newman, Peter Doolin, Randy Babb, Reyes Segura, Tori Main, Zoe Reidy, Zoe Olivia Young, and myself.


Aishwarya Ananda Vardhana shared her extensive background and research.  From the artist’s website: “…Her practice connects the south asian anti-colonial struggle with new wave American resistance and explores the concepts of de-territoriality, materialism, power, femininity, and language.  Vardhana works in the intersection of technology and art, using this zone of creation to destabilize and reveal the nature of capitalism and colonialism.”

Aishwarya Ananda Vardhana.

Alexandra Mushinski’s powerful artworks are an intricate and haunting remnants of trauma.  Mushinski’s website: “I am a doula for peoples unresolved pain, through literal separation and deconstruction of clothing and cloth items I take away the weight of the memories one attaches to their item and reform them into something beautiful.  By spending time and giving attention to taking apart clothing that holds pain, I allow it to speak and breathe out its old storyline.  Through tapestry I give it the time to develop into a new story, one of growth and positive change.  By the end of its process, the cloth is in a brand new form and carries new life, ready to face its owner as an image of reassurance and a reminder of strength and value.  I use my art to lessen people’s burdens and open the doors for healing past trauma and into a space of acceptance and love…”

Alexandra Mushinski.

Oakland’s Saturday Stroll provided insights and exposed truths.  One by one artists shared concepts and inspirations.  Art provides meaning to empowerment and exploitation.  Artists continue to be the gatekeepers of our experience.