Oakland’s Jingletown: Arts, Crafts, Cool Kitsch — And Cookies

The facade of Jingletown Art Studios in Oakland, CA, is decorated with colorful mosaics of fanciful castles and towers. Photo by BF Newhall

Jingletown Art Studios in Oakland, CA, is decorated with mosaics inspired by Laurel True, founder of the Institute of Mosaic Art. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It was a lovely afternoon for wandering in and out of artists’ studios in Oakland, California’s Jingletown neighborhood, where a vibrant, up-and-coming arts community mingles with a robust Latino population.

More than a dozen neighborhood artists joined hundreds of other San Francisco East Bay artists in opening  their doors for the annual Pro Arts East Bay Open Studios earlier this month. And there was lots to see — fine art, beautiful crafts, and a dollop of fun, kitschy stuff. Also, fruit, brownies, chips and cookies being offered everywhere.

The Institute of Mosaic Art has departed Jingletown for a site in Berkeley. But founder Laurel True and her colleagues and students left their dazzling handiwork behind on walls and buildings all over the neighborhood.

Is Oakland the West Coast Brooklyn? Take a look at “Amazing Places — A Walk Around Oakland’s Jingletown.”

Red and yellow pantyhose are featured in Hannah Woebkenberg pantyhose art. Photo by BF Newhalllution.blogspot.com

Hannah Woebkenberg dyes new and used pantyhose … 

Hannah Woebkenberg sits in front of a large sculpture made with dyed pantyhose. Photo by BF Newhall

… to make wall hangings and sculpture. Photos by BF Newhall

Food is served at Jingletown Art Studio on a table with flowered oilcloth tablecloth before a pink mosaic wall. Photo by BF Newhall

Brownies, fruit, an oilcloth table covering, and an indoor wall mosaic designed by Isaiah Zagar, a Phildelphia artist. Photo by BF Newhall

Christopher Kanyusik in his Oakland sculpture studio with his ceramic figures in background. Photo by BF Newhall

Sculptor Christopher Kanyusik has moved from creating life-sized ceramic figures …

A Christopher Kanyusik sculpture of five 4x8-foot sheets of steel rolled and bent and leaning against a wall. Photo by Bf Newhall

… to working with bronze and steel. Here, 4×8-foot sheets of steel, rolled and bent. Photos by BF Newhall

A cast and scored clear acrylic bowl by Philip Dow, "Vessel Seven," Photo by BF Newhall

“Vessel Seven,” a cast acrylic bowl by Philip Dow. Photo by BF Newhall

Bill Silveira cut up US license plates to make a sign reading "Kustom Signs Made to Order. Photo by BF Newhall". Photo by BF Newhall
Bill Silveira repurposes license plates. Photo by BF Newhall

"White Roses" is a glass mosaic inset with pink and white flowers by Rachel Rodi. Photo by BF Newhall Photo by BF Newhall

“White Roses” is a glass mosaic inset made for a client’s garden by Rachel Rodi. Photo by BF Newhall



  1. Wow the repurposed license places are an amazing idea!


  1. […] neighborhood and street art at “Oakland’s Jingletown — Arts, Crafts, Cool Kitsch — and Cookies, “  “The Funky Charms of East Austin, Texas”  and “Christmas Eve in Mexico — […]

  2. The Institute of Mosaic Art: Where Berkeley Riffs on an Ancient Art | Social Dashboard says:

    […] crafts of San Francisco's East Bay at "Amazing Places — A Walk Around Oakland's Jingletown" and "Oakland's Jingletown — Arts, Crafts and Cool Kitsch."Photos and text, c 2014 Barbara Falconer Newhall. All rights […]

Leave a Comment