OMCA

The People’s Museum: Evelyn Orantes Connects Oaklanders with the OMCA

When Evelyn Orantes studied history at UC Berkeley, she lived just a few blocks from the Oakland Museum. To her and her roommates the museum seemed as inaccessible as a castle, complete with moat. The Class of ’99 had gotten involved with Chicano politics while at Berkeley, so when she finally went to the museum for its Day of the Dead celebration, it wasn’t to enjoy but to see how OMCA was co-opting the Mexican holiday.

Bruce Beasley Provides a Bright Spot for Oakland and for California

New York City or West Oakland? That was the choice facing young sculptor Bruce Beasley after his graduation from UC Berkeley in 1962. New York City was, as now, the epicenter of the art world, bursting with energy and promise, and teeming with young, aspiring artists from around the world. West Oakland, on the other hand, was an all but forgotten wasteland—impoverished, neglected, and crime-ridden. Yet, somehow, Beasley glimpsed opportunity.

“Rough as it appeared to the eye,” he said in a recent speech, “it seemed like a good place to be.”

Subscribe to OMCA