Category Archives: public art

Inspirational Sidewalk


Seen on Perkins Street above Grand Avenue in the Adams Point neighborhood.


Hipster Animals

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These wood blocks are found on the bottom of utility poles in the Glenview neighborhood (how is there any space left between the gnomes, the tiny dog paintings and the alien/kitty cat/robots?).  Locals have dubbed these the “hipster animals.”  Rumors abound (okay, it was mentioned on the Glenview facebook page) that these have also been spotted in Jack London Square.  These seem to only be clustered on Wellington Street, near Vista and La Cresta.  Artist is unknown.

Nite Owl

In case you’ve noticed a colorful, slightly demented looking owl following you as you wander through Oakland, you’re inadvertently visiting the urban gallery of street artist Nite Owl.


Mural (done with LisaPisa on Mountain Blvd at Medau, newspaper box on 2nd & Clay Streets.  An interview with the noted insomniac is here:

Tiny dog paintings of Glenview



People, something is afoot in the Glenview neighborhood.  Guerrilla artists are turning utility poles (ssshhhhhh. . . don’t tell the big bad utility company) into a gallery for very small works of art.  First, the iconic gnomes came.  Now there’s a smattering of tiny paintings of dogs.  To be featured in the future on this blog (stay tuned!) – paintings that the locals have dubbed “the hipster animals” and works I can only describe as Alien/Robot/Kitty Cats.  If you want to tour the dog paintings, here are some locations: Glen Park near Excelsior, Woodruff near Excelsior, Glenfield Avenue near Park, La Cresta and Wellington near Glenview Elementary, DImond Street by Dimond Park.

I feel you, Man.


It’s Monday morning and we’re feeling like this guy spotted on 3rd Street near Jefferson, in Jack London Square.

Maxwell Park bathroom

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In 2009-2010, the Friends of Maxwell Park transformed the public bathroom in Maxwell Park from a cinderblock eyesore to a glittering tile mosaic art building.  This community group relied on thousands of hours of labor by volunteers (guided by trained mosaic artists) to complete the project.

The building features all kinds of delightful creatures and details:

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Also in the park, The City issues you both a warning and a shaming:


Maxwell Park is on Allendale Avenue between High Street and Monticello.

Stop Telling Women to Smile project


Formerly wheatpasted to a freeway overpass where Martin Luther King Blvd. feeds onto Route 24. Sadly already painted over.

But you can check out Brooklyn artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s awesome portrait project addressing gender-based street harassment at her site:

And this Bust article:

The utility pole gnomes


How could we not start our love affair with Oakland without paying homage to our City’s most charming residents, the 2,300 gnome paintings affixed to the bottom of utility poles throughout Oakland. An anonymous artist and his dog go out every night putting up small paintings, bringing magic and enchantment to our sidewalks. In one of his few statements, the artist said, “I’m a resident of Oakland who simply thought this would be a nice way to make my fellow Oaklanders happy and proud. . .We see too much garbage on the streets here, too many shootings, too much violence, not enough that makes one stop and smile. … They were meant to be an ongoing gift to my community.” We thank you.