An Open Letter to our Artists and the Community we Serve:

My name is Brock Brake and I will be curating exhibitions at Athen B. Gallery in Downtown Oakland.  I, alongside Director Sorell Raino-Tsui, would like to express our gratitude for the opportunity to serve the neighborhood.  In this letter, I would like to address both the artists we plan to work with and the community directly with our intent and promise.  

I have been working as a documentarian of the arts here in the Bay Area for almost 3 years.  In that time, I have worked intimately with many galleries and artists here.  Before the Bay, I was in Chicago working as a freelance photographer for publications while serving my passion photographing the processes of artists on their large mural projects and in their studios.  I enjoy highlighting the work it takes to get to a final piece.  I love to preserve those moments outside of our memories after the work is finished.  An archived process provides an intimate window into the finished work and the artists behind it.  My work documenting artists has now brought me to my next journey as a curator.  I am excited to showcase the work of artists whose processes I admire.  My intent is rooted in my connection to process; I will cultivate valuable partnerships with artists and a collaborative spirit with my community.

I want the Oakland community to know that we will not operate in a vacuum within our space.  We will extend our project outside of our space to include vibrant murals for the neighborhood to enjoy.  We would also like to welcome and encourage any opportunity to work alongside other local establishments.  This cross-pollination provides an opportunity to create unique and exciting projects that may otherwise not occur.  This includes work with other art establishments, educational programs, schools and local businesses in any capacity whether it’s curating artists for a mural on your building, providing guest artists to a local classroom or curating collaboratively with others.  

We plan to reach out to Oakland schools and enlist students to assist local and international artists on large mural projects that will provide kids a unique hands-on experience in the arts.  Our artists will open their spaces for visits by members of the community and they will participate in presentations and open discussions about their work.  We will conduct neighborhood mural tours to inform the community about the artists contributing work to the landscape.  We hope you will join us on our journey and provide us your feedback whenever you’d like.  You are an integral part of our conceptual intent.  We look forward to seeing you.

To the artists we plan to work with in the future; thank you for all of your hard work and your support in our endeavor.  We promise to work hand in hand with you every step of the way.  We will provide you with much more than just walls.  We will work tirelessly to make sure your exhibition is presented perfectly and promoted extensively.  We will document every step of your process and help you build upon your career and portfolio.  Our work won’t end after your exhibition with us.  We are there to help support your career in any direction it takes you with ongoing promotion of your work as it grows.  We look forward to working with you and calling you family.  

 

With gratitude,

 

Brock Brake - Curator / Owner
Sorell Raino-Tsui - Director / Owner