Right before New Year’s we dropped into Oakland to visit The 25th Street Collective & Mercury 20 Gallery. Mercury 20 said they were open and had their sandwich sign out but the door was locked, so we couldn’t visit their show.
The 25th Street Collective is a number of gallery spaces (hence, the “collective”) and a sewing showroom. The only art that drew us in was a show of ceramic works by Derik Van Beers, in the Roscoe Ceramic Gallery.
Derik’s ceramics are bold, whimsical and colorful skull head vessels with applied found objects – many are small toys or game pieces. Many had words or sentences relating to an expression or theme of the face – some funny, some sad and some contemplative known phrases. We’re not sure whether these were usable as cookie jars but they certainly had our vote for a fun kitchen addition. The great gift boxes displayed called them “Ju-ju Jars” and we can all use a little juju in our lives! Really nice, graphically interesting and fun engaging works.
More: for a video interview and look at Derik’s process click here.