Monday, December 1, 2008

The Holidays are here- SHOP LOCAL!!!

Hey All,

So I have list of some great local, small businesses where you purchase great, unique, handcrafted, high quality gifts for those you care so much about in your lives!!

Let me stand on my soapbox for a few sentences first...

Now more than ever it is important to support your local economy, the small business is the backbone of this economy. The Eastbay Express has been on the forefront of helping to get people to think about their own backyard as a great place to buy gifts this season. EBExpress sums it up nicely so here are their words cut and pasted from their online newspaper:

Shop Local Pledge
Want to help your community and shop at the same time? Please take one minute to pledge that you will spend $100 at local shops this holiday season.
Here's how to do it: Send an email to elerts [at] eastbayexpress [dot] com with the subject heading "I PLEDGE." Here's what it means: By pledging to spend $100 of your shopping dollars at locally-owned stores, you will have a potential $58.8 million dollar impact on our community, an estimated $8.75 million dollars more than if it was spent at a non-local big box retailer. YOU can help the local economy this Holiday Season. Here's a cool little bonus if you pledge: The Express will automatically enter you to win $1000 in gift certificates from independent locally owned merchants and restaurants.

Not only will you find things that are unique and well-made, but you'll also feel good about your purchases because you're helping to support a local artist or craftsperson, who will in turn spend that money in the community.

Here are some of my picks for finding the perfect gift:

Of course I have to start out with the totally awesome Holidayland Gift Sale at Blankspace!! But the rest of these great sales are listed by the date they begin....


3rd Annual Holidayland Gift Sale
Dec. 5 - Dec 15th, 2008

First Friday-Holiday Sale kick-off Reception:
December 5, 6-10pm

Holiday Cheer Sunday Reception:
Dec 14, 4-7pm

This is our 3rd annual holiday gift sale- once again this year the sale will include lots of great locally produced, hand-crafted items and small works of art. Along with some fun holiday surprises at the receptions!

This year we have partnered up with the Compound Gallery to offer items from more than 50 artists, including small artwork, ceramics, t-shirts, wallets, paper goods, jewelry, accessories, scarves, pillows, plants and so much more....

Extended gallery hours for the sale will be: Sat, Sun, Mon 12-7pm

All art and items will be available for immediate purchase (cash & carry).

6608 san pablo ave
oakland, ca 94608


Oakland Art Gallery
Holiday Sale
This is their first holiday sale. There are over 100 artists involved, so you should be able to find at least 3 things you like. The sale runs Dec 8-12th 11-6pm
reception Dec 11th 5-8pm

Oakland Art Gallery
150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza(bottom floor), Oakland, ca 94612-this is the plaza where city hall is located in downtown Oakland



Magnet, Herringbone and Feather Vintage invite you to a holiday trunk sale


20% off Magnet fall items
15% off Feather Vintage


Rowan Morrison Gallery
RoMoLoCo group show
Saturday, Dec 13th 5-10pm
Great group of artists, offering fabulous small works of art at affordable prices-great one-night event.

Rowan Morrison Gallery and Artist's Bookstore
330 40th Street
Oakland, Ca 94609


That is all for now. Happy Holidays! Remember to support small business this holiday season.


Monday, November 10, 2008


So it has been a few weeks since I have blogged. A lot has happened in that time, there was a battle with City Council, an historic election (yeah OBAMA!!), a disappointing loss for No on 8, with a new battle brewing (stay tune for more on that!!) and an ongoing economic crisis. So I have much to say...

With all of these things going on the idea of community has been floating on the top of my brain, now more than ever. Right before most of these things went down, I curated a show at Blankspace called Double Exposure that highlights just a few of the great artists who do double duty as amazing gallery owners, curators and administrators. The idea behind the show was to really highlight them as working artists and to also spotlight the great spaces they are working with.

As anyone who has met me knows, I believe strongly in supporting the local arts community, my feeling about it is that when one of us does well, we all do well.

So it gave me great pleasure to be able to put a show like Double Exposure together and to know that it will continue on as a multi-part show in 2009 at Rowan Morrison and possibly 2010 at another venue.

Double Exposure
Exhibition runs Oct. 25 - Nov. 17
Sunday Tea: Nov 16, 3-5pm

Kevin Chen, Jen Elia, Narangkar Glover, Peter Glover, Eleanor Harwood, Daniel Healey, Carrie Lederer, Michelle Mansour, Nicole Neditch, Margaret Tedesco

go to for more info and links to all of their venues.


It made me very happy to see how quickly the Oakland art scene mobilized a couple of weeks ago when the City Council was threatening to eliminate the arts grants funding already promised for the 08/09 fiscal year, as well as putting the entire Cultural Arts and Marketing dept on the chopping block. Two of the Council members met separately and came up with this plan themselves the Thursday night before the monthly meeting the following Tuesday. Essentially giving the other Council members and the public 4 days notice. In those 4 days we were able to come together for a meeting of the minds, gather over 300 ipetition signatures, send over 2000 emails and phone calls to the council members and to show up enmass at the Council meeting with over 300 people, 200 of which went on to take their speaker card minute at the podium. ( I am happy to report these efforts resulted in success with keeping the grants for this fiscal year and within the Cultural Arts dept.-the dept was saved and instead of laying off everyone or even 2 people, jobs were saved and people made very selfless sacrifices by opting to split one full time position into 2 part-time positions).

(images of the City Council meeting at City Hall)

This mobilization, not only sent a very strong and clear message to the Council about the importance of the arts in Oakland, it also , I think, showed the members of the community that working together for a greater cause, actually works. This has always been the underlying belief that the Art Murmur was built on. I hope members of the greater community walk away with this burned in their minds.

Riding on this heartwarming show of support, this past First Friday, I picked-up an EastBay Express and to my pleaseure and surprise there was a full page advertising First Friday, paid for by EastBay Express, pretty awesome show of support!!!..if this was not enough they have gone on to create this amazing pledge of support for people to spend $100 shopping at locally owned establishments this holiday season. By pledging your support of the local economy you could win $1000 in goodies. I am so happy to see a local paper ( who for those who do not know the EastBay Express was recently bought back by a group of employees, so it truely is a locally owned and operated weekly again, so support them when you can) showing so much support for the local economy. EBExpress has even gotten other weekly's around the country to create their own local shopping heart is warm and fuzzy right now just thinking about it.

Well, I have so much more to say about the idea of community, but will wrap up with this: I think the Presidential election and the City Council meeting both had a great impact on the national and local levels to re-energize people and help re-awaken the idea that your small contribution can make a big difference.

So support small business and shop local.


Here is the info, with great economic statistics:

East Bay Express readers,

by pledging to spend $100 of your shopping dollars at locally-owned stores, you will have a potential $58.8 million dollar impact on our community, an estimated $8.75 million dollars more than if it was spent at a non-local big box retailer. YOU can help the local economy this Holiday Season.

E-mail "I PLEDGE" to and the Express will automatically enter you to win $1000 in gift certificates from independent locally owned merchants and restaurants.



PS: Please remember to personally thank Ignacio De La Fuente (district 5) and Jean Quan (district 4) for their lack of support next time they are up for re-election by voting them out of office...

PSS: I am still new to blogging and have not figured out how to get comments to show up on the blog, so if anyone has any suggestions or can walk me through it, please email me at




John Casey has a great book out, published by Rowan Morrison, the book is available through both John and Rowan Morrison gallery.

I (kerri) have some new drawings up at the Compound Gallery in their artist of the month gallery.

6608 san pablo ave
oakland, ca 94608
galelry hours: sat-mon 12-5pm, first fridays 7-10pm

Monday, September 15, 2008

When is tea just a tea?

When it is just a tea.

Seems that there has been some confusion about the afternoon teas that Blankspace and the Compound are hosting once a month. The teas usually happen on the 3rd Sunday of the month. We offer up Numi Teas both iced and hot and some free baked goodies. Sounds pretty delightful right? But it seems that people are confused about the what and the why...

So here is a little back story to help clarify:

The Compound gallery and Blankspace collectively came up with the idea to help bring in foot traffic on a regular Sunday. Nothing more, nothing less. Tea seemed to be the best way to have an event without having to host another big event for the month (much easier than the rock & roll bingo we use to host!). Having it on the 3rd Sunday seems the best choice because it usually falls in the middle of an exhibition, no too close to an opening or first Friday reception and by then we have cards or info for our next exhibition, not to mention foot traffic has usually slowed by then. Also, it is a nice way for us to support and be supported by a great local company, Numi Tea....

I hope that explains it....tea on Sunday is fun....nothing more.

Change is in the Air
Now lets talk about a few changes and happenings with a couple of art galleries in Oakland.

If you have not already heard Adam Hatch has taken over the space that was Ego Park and will be calling the space simply "Hatch". If I had a great last name like that I would also use it as a gallery name. Unfortunately "Johnson" doesn't cut it. Anyway, he had already been curating the space for 6 months prior to the official change but I am excited to see the shows he will be hosting in the coming year. Adam has been the master mind behind some epic Oakland exhibitions in the past. One to watch....

Esteban Sabar gallery has officially closed and is rumored to become another gallery. I don't have much info on the new tenant, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

In the next few months there will be some changes happening over in the Jack London Square corner. Swarm will be moving one block up and over and Pro Arts is said to be moving over to the the Swarm space and possibility be taking over the studios? But that has not be fact checked so do not quote on that. I am excited to see what the new Swarm gallery will look like. Speaking of both spaces there are two good shows happening at both right now, so if you find yourself in the London Square 'hood check them out.

Rowan Morrison gallery will be doing a book with artist John Casey due to be released in mid fall, very excited to see the fruits of that labor. Love John Casey, love Rowan Morrison.

and of course I can't end this bloggy blog without mentioning the next exhibition at blankspace. We will be hosting a exhibit( having trouble coming up with a kick-ass title) of artists who are gallery director/owners. Let me tell you the artists I am including in the exhibit are just the tip of the iceberg. Once I starting thinking about it and writing down names I began to realize that this is a much larger project than one exhibit. So it looks like part 2 may be hosted at Rowan Morrison in 2009.

Anyway here is the list of artists for part I:

Eleanor Harwood
Nicole Neditch
Narangkar Glover
Pete Glover
Kevin Chen
Carrie Lederer
Michelle Mansour
Jen Elia
Daniel Healey
Margaret Tedesco

the show will open October 25 - November 17, 2008

thanks for reading


Friday, August 15, 2008

Blankspace Community Board

Hello Everyone,

Well here is the second installment of the Blank[space] Blog. For this weeks blog I would like to list all of the exhibition/artist opportunities that I have info for. Please don't be greedy- forward this info on to all for the artists that you think may be interested.

One thing I would like to do before starting the list is to help de-mystify the "Open Call". There are many open calls out there, some free, some not. I would like to help you as artists to understand that just because there is a fee for an open call, you should NOT disregard it. Some of the most prestigious open calls have a small entry fee.

It is easy to think "Well why should I pay a fee to pay for a show I may not be in"? What you should understand is that yes, these open call fees do go to the gallery, but what it pays for is the galley's efforts to create a great opportunity for emerging artists . The fees really go to paying the time and effort to create the call, the advertising, press, and most importantly securing a well known juror that will look at your work.

All of this may not seem important to you, but if you break it down it is a very important opportunity to not only exhibit your work, but have it seen by respected curators and gallery owners. In my experience, just because your work is not chosen for a specific exhibition, does not mean that you may not receive a phone call or email for the juror down the road for a studio visit or inclusion in a show they are curating.

One great example is the Bay Area Currents show at the Oakland Art Gallery. One year they had Rosemund Felsen, of the well known Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Santa Monica California. She juried the show at OAG and then went on to do a group show at her own gallery with some of the Bay Area artists from the OAG show and studio visits she had done.

She has since picked up at least 2 of the artists to represent and show regularly. None of this would have happened if OAG had not taken the time to create this opportunity...get what I am saying...? Your fee helps the gallery to keep creating these great opportunities.

So the lecture is over here is a list of some current Open Call opportunities: I have done them in order of deadline date:

Pro Arts New Visions: Introductions 2008

Pre-Registration Deadline: August 16
Same-Day Registration & Artwork Drop-off: August 20

Exhibition: August 28 - October 24

Selections by Lucinda Barnes, Chief Curator and Director of Programs and Collections, Berkeley Art Museum, and Karen Tsujimoto, Senior Curator, Oakland Museum of California.

New Visions: Introductions 2008 presents works juried by members of the Bay Area arts community. Selections are made from actual works in person. Participation is open to all artists, from anywhere, of any age, who are members of Pro Arts. Artists may submit up to five works.

click here for more info and registration instructions


Oakland Art Gallery

Deadline: Sept. 6, 2008
Prospectus for California History Walk Exhibit
September 2008

Jurors: Maria Porges, Jo Ford
Exhibition Dates: September 17 – Sept 27, 2008 Read more
Prospectus for California History Walk at the Oakland Art Gallery
September 2008

Artists are invited to create a single work about an experience or memory pertaining to California history. This memory can be personal or traditional/ collective, or evoke the “natural” history of the state.

A personal history can be of a particular place, a remembered event or a personal influence; a childhood field trip, or a more recent visit to a particular site or building. It does, however, need to be something demonstrably evocative of California.
A work based in traditional or collective memory might evoke a “historical” person, landmark or event.
Natural history includes events relating to any flora, fauna, fish or fowl, land or seascape that is California.

Why California? Why history? And why a memory of history? California has often been invoked as the furthest frontier and the seedbed for the future of the country, for good or ill. It is undeniably a place that nourishes new ideas and trends. But California has as many histories as inhabitants-- and few of those histories have been publicly explored.

History is based upon memory as much as fact—and on who has control of the historical narrative. This exhibition offers an opportunity for Californian artists to explore the relationship between their own recollections and experiences and public conceptions of the state’s past.

Memories of course can be investigated and substantiated as the artist see fit.
The work will be judged upon artistic integrity, poignancy and aesthetics, rather than on historical accuracy.
Already existing works can be submitted, (work no older than 3 years please) but this is primarily an invitation to create something new.

The Closing Event: At the conclusion of the show there will be a closing event in which all artists will be required to participate. Through a “cakewalk,” works will be exchanged for either another piece of art or for a prize. The event will be interactive and non-submitting participants will be able to purchase a ticket to play.

Further details will be given out for participating artists.

“California History Walk”

Open: California
Jurors: Maria Porges, Jo Ford
Media: All except Performance, (Film / Video acceptance based upon willingness to supply media support)
Size: 3’ x 3’ (maximum)
Fee: none
Hand deliver: Sept.4 – Sept.6 (Thursday – Saturday) Thurs / Fri 12pm - 6p.m., Sat. 12-2p.m.
Pick-up of non-accepted work: Sept. 11 – Sept. 13 (Wednesday – Friday) Wed / Fri / Thurs 12p.m. -6 p.m., Sat. 12-2p.m.

Exhibition Dates:September 17 – Sept 27, 2008


Deadline: September 12th, 2008



September 12th, 2008

September 12 -19, 2008

September 26-28

October 15- November 22, 2008

October 16, 5-8pm

November 20, 6-8pm

JUROR: Aimee Reed
Aimee Reed earned her M.A. in art history at San Francisco State University, focusing on spatial theory and the previously marginalized artist. She has worked with a variety of artists and curators including LeFalle Curatorial, The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX, Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco, Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco and New York, and with the San Francisco State University Fine Arts Gallery and the International Center for the Arts. Currently she is the Curator of Exhibitions at the Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco, as well as a contributing writer for Artweek Magazine and the website Open Door Contemporary Art Projects (

Artists must be at least 18 years of age. Artists who have exhibited at the gallery in 2007 are ineligible to apply. Artists must live or have a studio in one of the 9 Bay Area Counties.

Works in all media are acceptable. Works must have been completed within the last two years.

The schedule for studio visits is September 26th, 27th and 28th. Artists must be available (or arrange for a representative) at their studio for a visit during this time.

How do I apply?
The application can be accessed here: You simply create an account, fill out an application and submit your images online. There is a $30 application fee. All standard entries must be submitted online. We will only accept works in new media by mail.

All Completed Entries Must Include:
1. Completed Entry Form
2. Up to 5 images
3. Image List
4. Artist Statement: The statement must be no longer than one page. Include your name and contact information on the top.
5. Entry Fee: $30.00 in the form of Visa or MC. New media entries can send a check or money order payable to: Oakland Art Gallery.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blankspace virgin post

Hello blogger world, this is the very first blog that blankspace has ever

Well lets get to it..

As most of you know by now blankspace took the summer off. It was great to have some time to ourselves, of course the plan was to relax and regenerate...well not much of either happened. But here is a rundown of some things that happened or are coming up.

If you are reading this blog than you are probably familiar with the blankspace. Well Jason and I were fortunate to have a 2 person show of our own work at the Fleetwing gallery in New Jersey. It was really fun to create a whole new body of work for the show.

Here is a link to a page of images from the show. Like a dummy I did not photograph my work before I framed it, so the quality of the images are not the greatest...sorry.

other things happening this summer:

Jason's, band Lady Genius on Gold-Robot records a local label started and solely operated by our friend and fellow artist/engineer Hunter Mack.

Kerri will be sitting on a panel for the a show of Oakland Artists at the Di Rosa Preserve in Napa.

THERE! New Art From Oakland-curated by Michael Schwager.

August 9 through September 20, 2008

RECEPTION: Saturday, August 9, 2008 6 - 8 PM
PANEL DISCUSSION: Thursday, August 21, 2008 7 PM
Contemporary Conversations: Oakland Art THERE! and Now
Moderated by Michael Schwager, with René de Guzman, Senior Curator, The Oakland Museum of California; Adam Hatch, co-director of Lobat; Kerri Johnson, co-director of Blankspace and the Oakland Art Gallery; Faviana Rodriguez, artist.
$5 di Rosa Preserve members / $10 General
RSVP 707.226.5991x47 or

So that kind of fills you in on what has been going on this summer.

Some of the events coming up at Blankspace:

Break Dancing Lessons for Beginners
Two separate sessions
WED. August 6th 7-8:30pm
SUN. August 10th 5-6:30pm sliding scale fee $10-$100 at the door
Space is limited so please email to reserve a spot.

Already a good break dancer, than come by for the last 10 minutes of the lessons and dance with the class.

Our next exhibition will open on September 5th.

Eth6 Magazine
Issue Three: contributing Artists Exhibition
Opens friday, Sept. 5, 7-10pm
Art: Bert Bergen, Brian Caraway, Eve Ekman, Jana Flynn, Tara Foley, Richard Nyhagen, Juliette Oken, Brion Nuda Rosch, Sham Saenz, Adam Wier
Photography: Beryl Fine, Rachel Styer, Kari Orvik, Norma Cordova
readings and more events will be posted soon.

Well thanks for reading our first blog post...please email us with comments, bitching or praise...this was fun, so I anticipate many more blogs to be coming soon.