Even Jazz Gets The Blues

Public art is important. It’s not an expense to be regarded as unnecessary. Even though many cities have a 1% for the arts program which essentially forces developers to incorporate art into their project, (or pay that amount to the city coffers) it’s ultimately beneficial to the developer, community, local artists and participants of the process. Public art gives charm and identity. It provides context to the set and setting of a neighborhood or district.

We were very proud to work with SMA Events to fabricate our concept of “Even Jazz Gets The Blues”, a large metal art screen residing in West Oakland’s Hollis News apartment community. The name of the piece essentially hints at the fact that although economic infusion from development is necessary for cities to stay operating, it also has a dark side of collateral damage. This dark side is the irony of artists and artsy types being priced out of the areas that were once affordable. Musician and artists of all kind having to move somewhere affordable. This displacement isn’t the fault of new residents moving there and it’s not necessarily the developers fault either. I would say that this fault ultimately is the breakdown of short sighted city policies, that politicians are ultimately the weak link between development and the robust community that loses some vitality when displacement happens.

So yes, even the wild bebop cats that used to blow at ramshackle night clubs with madcap abandon have to move on. They have to find a new city to make “cool” and the cycle repeats.

A brief article from NY Times