Art on the Grounds

Wayne Shaffer bronze seed sculptures
Shawn Hibma Cronan
Curtis Arima Blister Pack Metal Works

Check out a special exhibition curated by Vessel Gallery in Oakland, California  that includes artists Luke Hiembigner, Shawn Hibma Cronan, Todd Laby, Curtis Arima, Wayne Shaffer, Gordon Glasgow

Vessel is a space where artists and art lovers journey together.  It is a conduit through which ideas can pass from person to person.  Vessel is committed to developing long-term relationships with emerging and mid-career artists of varied voices who reveal individuation and distinction.  Lonnie Lee, curator of Vessel Gallery, is concerned with the artist’s life’s work pursued over time with increasing concentration and singularity.  This approach helps collectors, enthusiasts, and viewers understand the development of the artist’s work.  Vessel strives to exhibit diverse programming above all be a destination gallery where discoveries are endless.  It is also committed to developed a close relationship with the Oakland community at large through educational outreach, and support to charitable causes both local and global.  The Vessel Gallery space is open to holding cultural meetings and events that create a unique community dialogue and experience through a variety of visual, literary, and musical happenings.

Pacific Rim Sculptors

Peter Keresztury of Pacific Rim Sculptors curates a beautiful sculpture garden that includes local artists.

Learn more about Pacific Rim Scultpors at:

Natasha Dikareva

Barry Beach

Michelle Echenique

Marguerite Elliot

Eileen Fitz-Faulkner

Catherine Daley

Zahava Sherez

Jonathan Hyman

Allison Newsome will be teaming up with Anne S. Meyer, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Rochester. The Meyer lab is giving samples of their groundbreaking, bacterially produced , mother of pearl to be incorporated onto the surface of her new RainKeep titled ‘Pearl’. ‘Pearl’ will be debuted at the 2019 Bioneer Conference in San Rafael Ca. The long-term vision of the Meyer lab is to reprogram bacteria to produce tunable materials inspired by nature. Mother of pearl, a material that lines the inner surface of seashells, has exquisite mechanical properties in addition to its beauty. Mother of pearl is incredibly tough and stiff, two properties that rarely occur in the same material, making it extremely well-suited for structural applications. The Meyer lab is currently able to fabricate artificial mother-of-pearl using only bacterially-produced materials that are inexpensive and require minimal human intervention. Our ground-breaking technologies have the potential to replace chemical approaches that require extreme environmental conditions, expensive equipment, and the generation of hazardous waste. We hope that our simple bacterial approach will help to usher in a new era of environmentally-friendly, inexpensive production of high-value, durable materials.

Richard James’ artwork brings us face-to-face with the impact of our collective consumerism. He actively seeks out, collects and documents the daily tide of plastic debris that washes up on our beautiful Pacific shoreline. His work highlights the eternal price we and and generations to come will pay for our brief convenience. As an artist and photographer, Richard hopes to break through indifference by illustrating the magnitude of one consequence of our choices, and challenge us to examine ingrained, toxic behaviors. He wants to inspire us to shift our actions and daily choices, which can slow the poisoning of the planet.

Richard is from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in Inverness, California. You can often find him on the beach, or kayaking, photographing nature, collecting and cataloging trash he finds everywhere. He serves on the board of the Lake Merritt Institute, as well as an advisor to the Tomales Bay Watershed Council Foundation. As the custodian of the coast Richard regularly coordinates and partners with local non-profits and government agencies to protect and preserve the California coast. Richard enjoys nature along with his five pet white sharks which he keeps in the sea.

Visit the coastodian here:

Experience Tiny Homes – Lindsay and her husband Eric made the move to go Tiny after spending $108k in rent in 6 years and not having anything to show for it. Halfway through the build of their Tiny Home, their builder went bust so they went from BUY to DIY quickly. 

After 8 months of finishing their home, they hit the road for a 5 1/2 month trip of the southwest. Lindsay has made a commitment to helping Tiny Home Dreamers become Tiny Home Dwellers by supporting them as a Tiny Home Coach. As a speaker, Lindsay likes to share her “Top Ten things you gotta know before hiring a Tiny Homebuilder.”

Lindsay is on the board of the Tiny Home Industry Association working to clarify standards for Tiny Houses. Lindsay is an advocate for cities and counties in the state of CA to amend the Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance to allow for Moveable Tiny Homes. She is a speaker at Tiny Home Festivals sharing about the “Choice to go Tiny”, “Tools for Simpler Living” and “The Top Ten things you need to know before hiring a builder.”

She has spoken at the Colorado Tiny House Festival, People’s Tiny House Festival and has been seen in the Ukiah Daily Journey, Press Democrat and San Francisco Chronicle.

To find out more about Lindsay and Eric’s Tiny Home and journey to go Tiny, go to or follow on Instagram and Facebook group @ExperienceTinyHomes

The Alchemy of Heartbreak – An art installation by Rosanna Kalashyan and Ashley Berry that will serve as an experiential portal for contemplation, ritual and planting seeds of alchemy. A double spiral walking path leading to a driftwood nest inside a mandala, invites participants to meditate on and be witnessed in their heartbreaks and longings. Participants are invited to climb inside the nest to rest and gestate in the grief inquiry in a held container. The process leads to a collective heartbreak mural where participants can express feelings/experience through artistic medium of choice.

The Gingerbread Hut is built by Miguel Elliott “Sir Cobalot” or Living Earth Structures. It is constructed out of used pallets, insulated with straw and covered in an Earthen cob plaster. It is complete with a has a sleeping loft , a kitchenette, a table and shelves. It’s an excellent demonstration model for super low cost, all natural housing.  To see other examples of Earthen structures, visit the website

Planetary Dance Dedicated to Community Healing

Saturday 6:15pm Central Lawn

In large group dances, something exceptional often occurs. When enough people move together with a common pulse and a common purpose, a profound force can take over. Indigenous cultures have always evoked this power that dance and community spirit have to offer, a power that can renew, inspire, teach, and heal. That same tradition and belief underlies the Planetary Dance, whose purpose is to awaken people to the need for peace and to honor all life.

This is a simple dance that everybody can do. As we all move to the steady heartbeat of the drummers, we become one collective body. Each step upon the Earth becomes a prayer for peace and social transformation.This community dance ritual has been performed for the past 39 years in over 40 countries. It will be facilitated by Daria Halprin with master musicians Barbara Borden, Claudia Cuentas, Jahan Khalighi and Dohee Lee.

Planetary Dance is a participatory community ritual dedicated to peace and honoring of all life, Created by Dance Pioneer Anna Halprin, it is being enacted every year in more than 40 countries. View a video of Planetary Dance here.

Facilitator: Daria Halprin, co-founding director of Tamalpa Institute, dancer, teacher, and author, is among the leading pioneers in the field of movement/dance and expressive arts education and therapy. Her work bridges somatic psychology, movement/dance therapy, expressive arts therapy, community-based arts leadership development, social change and performance. Bringing a life-long practice in the arts to her work, published writings include: Coming Alive; The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy; contributing author Expressive Arts Therapy: Principles and Practices; Poesis: Essays On the Future of the Field;  Somatics and Spirituality.

Musicians :

Barbara Borden, drummer, performer, composer and teacher, is a veteran of the San Francisco and women’s music scene. She is the subject of the documentary film, Keeper of the Beat: A Woman’s Journey Into the Heart of Drumming.

Claudia Cuentas is an artist, educator, somatic practitioner and researcher from Peru. She has been singing and dancing since birth, inspired by sound, the healing arts and the ability of the human spirit to overcome difficulty and transform it into new life.

Jahan Khalighi musician and co-facilitator is a poet, performance artist and youth educator. He is a leadership member of Chapter 510 Oakland, California Poets in the Schools, and performs internationally. Portions of his work can be viewed on TedEx Sonoma, Dreaming at The Edge of Collapse, Tamalpa You Tube and

Cairo McCockran is an Oakland based drummer/Jazz-percussionist and DJ. He began his career as a member of E.W. Wainwright’s African Roots of Jazz Youth Drummers and currently plays with Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums.

Dohee Lee weaves her multiple virtuosities in drumming, dancing, and singing into immersive ritualized theatrical creations. She is an internationally acclaimed performance artist, founding director of Puri Arts and is on faculty at Tamalpa Institute.

Your Final Fling: Reimagining death and dying. 

An interactive display by Anneke Campbell and Birgitta Kastenbaum

“Your Final Fling . . Reimagining Death and Dying” is an installation that informs viewers/participants about greener and more meaningful options for end of life practices and invites creative interaction with profound questions of our mortality and legacy. Through writing and drawing you may experience a glimpse of how to empower yourself to take back dying and death from the medical and funeral industrial complex. You can learn how the most intimate end of life processes are being redesigned and how exciting more ecologically sound burial practices are coming online. Take a pause in which to imagine what a good death might look like for you, and to grieve and celebrate those beloveds who have died, in community. Anneke Campbell worked as a nurse and midwife before devoting herself full time to activism and writing (poetry, journalism, a novel, scripts). She has taught writing in different settings, authored two films. She has edited Nina Simons’ books among others, teaches yoga in her Venice community and is trained as a death doula. 

Birgitta Kastenbaum, is an End Of Life Guide, Death Doula, and Life Coach. Using healing arts, essential oils, and ritual she teaches us to be conscious participants in our dying process. She mentors hospice and medical professionals to manage the challenges of dealing with the way death is done within the medical community and shows them alternative ways. She is a community facilitator of workshops, retreats, and sister circles, located in Los Angeles, California and can be reached at

The giant arrows protruding from this wagon represents the historical response from Indigenous people in regards to the destruction of our people, culture and our land. This interactive piece addresses the historical and undeniable root causes of climate change – colonialism and capitalism. Each arrow is categorized into Indigenous ideas, actions and values and had subsequent messaging for each arrow such as, Retribution, Reparations, Sovereignty and Feminize (glittered) with special remote controlled effects of fire and smoke that billow out of the wagon itself.

The chains dragging behind the flaming wagon represent colonization, racism, capitalism, environmental destruction and are an invitation meant for participants of the conference to help break, cut and saw. The broken links are meant to provide as takeaway reminder from the conference as to what organizations should be working towards moving forward.

Exhibit Hall

OR, THE WHALE  by Jos Sances (curated by Lonnie Lee of Vessel Gallery,

The mural’s title, which is the subtitle of  Herman Melville’s epic 1851 novel, Moby-Dick, the novel is about whales, whaling, adventure, myth, labor…. The mural is about the consequences of capitalism, of our actions or inactions seen against  visions of the future we are leaving our children and grandchildren.  It is also about whales. For example, the scratches visible on the whale’s snout typically come from sperm whales’ ingesting giant squids, whose tentacle hooks scratch the animals as they are eaten. This art work is a metaphorical scratch on capitalism’s snout.  The mural is content to focus on the structure of capitalism as  a socio-economic system that carries with it the horrors depicted by the mural. Whether inescapable by-products of that organization of society or not, bias, bigotry, and racism, along with other anti-social characteristics constantly underlie US society. The mural explores  adverse effects of capitalist history in the United States. Or, The Whale is a political art work. Under neoliberalism, any description or criticism of capitalism is considered radically political. 

Whales, too, exist within multiple frames spatially and chronologically.  The giant, graceful beasts appear sublime because they are so much larger than humans, but they are endangered.  Step back and appreciate the beauty of the entire mural, then examine details. On its flank can be read a history of capitalism, the system that is endangering the animal.  The same beauty and vulnerability is also true of us, individually and collectively.

The work is properly described as  a mural for two reasons, size and intention.  The size allows for a double impact, one at a distance, where it looks like a whale, and one closer, where a viewer sees that the broad outline of the whale contain dozens of  specific vignettes of US capitalist history.  Viewed from a distance, the life-sized image looks like a barnacle-encrusted  whale, huge, with much surface texture. Viewed up close, the texture is seen to consist of socio-historical vignettes presenting  a history of US capitalism which, replete with impressive achievements, is simultaneously suffused with racism, sexism, greed and ecological destruction.  

For the 9th year in a row, the Singing Tree™ Project will be adding to the positive and engaging atmosphere of the Bioneers conference. This international mural series is a collaborative structure, rooted in Nature. The mural process is used by a community to envision success to a heartbreaking challenge. To date, there have been 80 Singing Trees created with over 19,500 participants from 52 countries. The project was founded by Creative Activist and Educator Laurie Marshall.

The Singing Tree™ Project was inspired by a story from a book of the same name by Kate Seredy. The author described her father’s experience as a soldier in World War I: ‘One night, our battalion crawled all night long on our bellies to escape the enemy. We found nothing alive: no people, no plant, no animal. When the dawn came, we saw one tree that had survived. The tree was filled with birds that aren’t normally together, singing a song that had never been heard before.’ This became known as the Singing Tree.

The context of the mural series is that the earth is the Singing Tree of the galaxy. There is no life around us for billions of miles. We can choose to destroy it and each other or create something beautiful that has never been seen before. That is the mission of the Singing Tree™ Project – to create unique, diverse evidence that collaboration is possible, powerful and beautiful.

The Singing Tree™ Project is an invitation for the whole world to create together. It uses the mutualism and generosity of trees as the central symbol. Trees collaborate to give oxygen to the atmosphere and support millions of different life forms. Without them, there would be no human life on the planet. This year’s mural is the Restorative Justice Singing Tree™, which is being co-created with Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), one of the presenters at the Conference. This project is supporting Oakland’s commitment to being a Restorative City. It is funded by the California Arts Council, the Peaceful World Foundation and RJOY Conference participants are invited to make images of their restorative experiences where harm has been repaired non-violently and creatively. There are many images and stories of breakdown, division and the use of force. More images and stories of healing and unity are needed.

Because of the Bioneers Conference, the Singing Tree Project has collaborated with Rez Refuge in Ft. Defiance, AZ. This service organization on the Navajo reservation has completed the Juniper Singing Tree™ of Traditional Values.

Singing Tree™ Project is affiliated with Create Peace Project and Unity Through Creativity Foundation.

Alluvia Magazine is a budding publication and creative environmental collective that centers environmentalists of color using different artistic mediums, including, but not limited to, fashion, writing, photography, design, and film. We aim to highlight creative environmental work while building a dynamic community of like-minded environmental activists and artists. A foundation started by two Bay Area-based Environmentalists, Alluvia aims to uplift the voices of POC environmentalist across the world.

Prayers for a Transformation in 2020 by Sarah Crooks – Hand silkscreened onto recycled printed materials such as junk mail, magazine covers and political advertisements, each Monarch mimic butterfly is hand cut and intentionally pinned into an ephemeral flock of hundreds. Setting the intention for a transformation in the upcoming 2020 national election, the community process of printing, cutting and placing individual butterflies into a larger flock, inspires small changes in our collective consciousness towards a culture of empathy and belonging.

“Liebigite Uranium Crystals” by Mary Lou Dauray – Through my art, I want to emphasize the fact that our planet is threatened by two alarming situations: human suffering because of the ravages of man-made global warming and total extinction of life brought about by nuclear war. During the past few years my work has focused on the Iraq war, gender inequality, glacial melt, the problem of plastic residue in the oceans, air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, and most recently the dangers of radiation. Three years ago I created a series of artworks relating to the very serious, unresolved meltdown and spread of radioactivity from three destroyed nuclear power plants at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. It was after painting about that multi-level catastrophe that I then decided to devote my painting to a source of nuclear energy, uranium, which is the principal fuel for nuclear reactors and the main raw material for nuclear weapons. I am overwhelmed and concerned about the dangers of a nuclear catastrophe.

The Holies, Themselves by Madeleina Bolduc

The Spirit of the Great Holy Being, the Giver of Life and Culture that we commonly call Corn, is singing her lifeforce into being, praising and grieving all that has happened with this precious plant.

Madeleina Bolduc has known herself to be an artist since she was young. She imagined she would partake in professional art instruction, but instead, initiatory events led her to healing and herbal work. She put painting aside to cultivate the art of medicine and ritual for the last twenty five years. As a child, Madeleina was raised in the creative crucible of the Naropa University, trained by Tibetan meditation masters, artists and indigenous elders in the practices of everyday magic, consciousness and world wisdom traditions. She is a Holistic Practitioner, integrating Clinical Medical Herbalism, traditional foods, Chinese, Mayan, Tibetan and Energy Medicine, spiritual counseling, somatic practices, and indigenous wisdom, as given permission by her teachers. She is an educator of clinical and Elemental Herbal Medicine, a lineage holder of Buddhist meditation practices, a ceremony officiant, and recently has reclaimed her artistry. Currently, Madeleina is teaching a myriad of classes, including the Elemental Herbal Wisdom Immersion that starts at the beginning of each year, holds a private practice, and is developing a series of Spirit and Plant based paintings. She was a student and friend since 1995 of the beloved, late, Sobonfu Somé,and is beginning to co-lead Grief Rituals integrating the the style and wisdom of these traditions from Burkina Faso, W. Africa with expressive arts to support grieving and healing. As well, she is a devoted student of the illustrious maestro, Martín Prechtel since 2000, attending his school, Bolad’s Kitchen for the last 10 years where Madeleina began again to paint, according to Martín’s teachings.

As a re-Weaver of Culture, Madeleina is passionately dedicated to the preservation and cross-pollination of intact wisdom and healing traditions, while infusing them with fresh color and perspective. She loves teaching people about the wonders of Plant Medicine, the Vitality of our Hearts, our relationships to the Elements, and the incredibly diverse ways in which we can awaken and Praise Life!

Eco Print Triptych – Cory Gunter Brown – Earth my body

A sensuous collaboration with the more than human world.

“I have practiced the entwined arts of sacred adornment and the handmade my whole life. I was born and raised in East Oakland and come from a radical and creative family of dancers, machinists, artists, and activists. I grew up backpacking with my family in the summer, but there was so much about my relationship to the Earth that I didn’t understand until I began practicing Eco printing and working with natural fibers and natural dyes.

Eco printing is a sensuous dye technique practiced in collaboration with the Earth. It works like a dye print, in which the image and energy of the dye plants are transferred to the textile. I love Eco printing because it is so basic and natural, but capable of such vibrant imagery it can look almost digital. And I love the way the Eucalyptus dye prints take people off guard when I tell them that these vivid reds come from green leaves, and that the leaves dye their own image into the fabric. The process itself is a conjuring, a spell, a potion like you might concoct in the childhood of your wildest dreams. Bring together fabric, leaves, and sticks, bind with string, add metal, water, fire, and time, then let sit in the moonlight.”

Chile: Not Forget them by Paulina Fuenzalida-Guzman

A long strip of brown felt resembles the shape of my country that houses the bodies of my dissident compatriots shrouded with sacks of potatoes. Stretched red threads represent the pain and violence that infringed the military over them.

Homeless Voices by Kirti Bassendine

The reality of the world we live in is that any one of us is just one day, one moment, one tragedy away from homelessness. My vision is to create a community space in which we can tell the stories of our homeless friends – without judgement or preconception. The exhibition is designed to put a name to the face of community members and understand their compelling stories, using still photography, story boards and videography. The idea is to remove the preconceptions and false images of what we may assume a homeless person may be and remind each other that we are all people, human beings, and need compassion.

The Sun as a Human Right

Seeing and feeling the sun, as natural and integral to life as it is, is not a human right. People deemed criminals and incarcerated in our penitentiaries do not have this right, to see the sun rise and set in the sky, to feel its rays on their skin. We hope to encourage dialogue and critical thinking about the sun as a human right through the exhibition of both written and visual creative works of currently incarcerated folks, as well as pictures depicting incarcerated people before and after solitary confinement.

We will exhibit written and visual creative works of currently incarcerated people in the state of California who are either currently in solitary confinement or who ever have been in solitary confinement. We will also show pictures of incarcerated people before entering solitary and after solitary, so that viewers can see first-hand the effects of solitary confinement. We hope that viewers of the pictures and creative works will contemplate if the sun is a human right, and what happens to a person when they no longer have this right.

Homeless Voices by Kirti Bassendine

The reality of the world we live in is that any one of us is just one day, one moment, one tragedy away from homelessness.

My vision is to create a community space in which we can tell the stories of our homeless friends – without judgement or preconception. The exhibition is designed to put a name to the face of community members and understand their compelling stories, using still photography, story boards and videography. The idea is to remove the preconceptions and false images of what we may assume a homeless person may be and remind each other that we are all people, human beings, and need compassion.

WEAD (then Women Environmental Artists Directory founded in 1996 by Jo Hanson, Susan Leibovitz Steinman and Estelle Akimine) is now on line as  a NON PROFIT organization: Women EcoArtists Dialog, a group of over 400 International women artists who make work about environmental and social justice issues.

Toon Muylaert

As a photographer, I go to the most inspiring places on earth. I first connect with the people, the culture and the natural environment. When I am moved, be it by the vastness of nature, the smiles of children or the wisdom of ancient cultures, I capture the moment.

For me, this is what every picture is about: 
I wander in grace, the wonder of the moment moves me, that is when I focus my camera.

I am born in Belgium. Both of my parents are passionate about photography. They are my inspiration, give me unconditional love and teach me to live in harmony with nature. I live a lifestyle of well being, with the values of equality, respect and gratitude. While exploring the beauty and freedom of traveling around the globe, I learn numerous life lessons and live many magical moments. Photography makes it possible to share these deep connections.