Arts and Creative Expression (ACE Arts) is honored to apply for support from 510 Arts to Highlight World Culture in the East Bay. We propose a dynamic project EO-Graf for your consideration. The project is a documentation of East Oakland Graffiti and it's impact on the community.
ACE Arts is an organization (fiscally sponsored by non-profit Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation) created to bring the Arts to artistically underserved communities in Oakland. ACE Arts partners professional artists with communities, youth interns, institutions and organizations to create socially relevant work, which is presented in a public exhibition. EO-Graf is the first major project presented by Hector Estrada and Ramon Miranda who have completed their internship with ACE Arts.
Forms of graffiti can be found internationally, some call it street art, writing, piecing, and to some it’s a crime of gang related destruction. Either way it is increasingly desired for use by media campaigns, galleries and museums around the world. East Oakland is where some of the most groundbreaking global graffiti exists. Some creators have been featured in the Smithsonian Museum, the Whitney, some are acclaimed for their art and social message by art historians, critics and global media.
East Oakland is also where we stay, an area where little public-funding reaches, where the potholes are nearly big enough to swim in, and gun violence is a daily occurrence. The position of the community has made way for the allowance of graffiti, which is not so often seen in more affluent developed areas. Local, national, and international urban graffiti pieces can be found on tracks, box trains and trucks, posted on businesses, and vacant buildings throughout East Oakland. EO-Graf aims to give well-rounded documentation of community feelings about graffiti through a complex series of interactive audio interviews, video installations, and photographs documenting work of the interview process.
To obtain a holistic perspective of vast viewpoints about graffiti in East Oakland, we will complete a series of interviews with “Old School” (elder) and “New School” (young) graffiti creators, local community individuals and groups as well as institutional sources who often address issues of graffiti such as employees of Oakland’s Department of Public Works\Graffiti Abatement and the Oakland Police Department. The premiere exhibition on initial EO-Graf documentation is set to for the Main Branch of the Oakland Public Library with subsequent exhibitions at Krowswork Gallery and other community spaces in Oakland.