Peralta Junction

Submitted by Marcus Guillard

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Client: Local Arts Community

Location: Oakland, CA, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $200,000

Project Team

Artist

Local Artists

Overview

Peralta Junction was a collaborative project in an abandoned lot in an underserved Oakland neighborhood. Our goal was to engage with the community through art and entertainment. We created an interactive carnival midway and music venue. We worked with artists from the area to design and construct an immersive space with a vintage aesthetic that was nostalgic as well as novel. Peralta Junction was open to the public at no charge, and ran for 8 weekends over the summer. After that summer, we helped the neighborhood turn the lot into a community garden.

Goals

Collaborating with local artists gave us the chance to showcase the talent and creativity of our community, as well as creating an opportunity for a truly unique experience for participants. We selected six 'midway games', a main stage with hobby horses, a 'stage coach' for puppet shows, and a Bingo 'game show' area for inclusion in the project. We worked closely with the artists to realize their visions. Using a high-end folk art theme, we created a modern take on a traveling carnival. It was important to us to give back to the community that we have been involved with for so long. Working with these artists allowed us to provide them with an opportunity to have their ideas and skills seen by a wider audience. Through the relationships that were formed we have built a dynamic group of creative individuals that we enjoy working with to this day.

We value the collaborative nature of all of our projects, and we were very honored to work with such a talented group of individuals.

Process

Our process started with establishing a theme, and general aesthetic style. At that point, the artists were asked to submit sketches for the stages and games and we worked from those to assist the artists with the design and construction of their pieces. Everything was built in house at our shop, and the artists were able to work with our team of experts to bring their ideas to life.

Once the individual pieces had been created, we installed the carnival in the empty lot and opened to the public. The artists manned their own games or stages and acted as hosts for our event. This enabled them to se their art in action, and to engage with the audience in unique ways that transcended a typical gallery experience.

Additional Information

This was an unusual project for us, as we typically create art for clients ourselves, and having the opportunity to create art for and with our community directly was an extremely gratifying experience. We hope to be able to do more projects like this in the future.