We recently had the pleasure of working with local Bay Area artist Zio Ziegler and the United Nations on a large scale mural on the historic Cathedral Building in Downtown Oakland. The mural was painted for the UN's seventieth anniversary taking place in San Francisco at the end of the month.
Ziegler wanted the mural to be somewhere relevant to the causes that the United Nations fights for. So instead of doing it in San Francisco, he decided to reach out to his frequent collaborators at Athen B gallery in downtown Oakland, who have organized Oakland murals for him in the past. Ziegler and Athen B director Sorell Raino-Tsui were able to convince UN representatives to move the mural to Oakland and put it on one of the most iconic buildings in the city: the flatiron building at the foot of Latham Square, where Telegraph and Broadway merge, referred to as the Federal Realty Building in the National Register of Historic Landmarks. "I think it's really important to make something in a hotbed of change and equality, like in Oakland, not in San Francisco, where it's not necessarily as diverse anymore economically or creatively," said Ziegler. "You're pulling all these divergent threads together into one melting pot and that's really present here — that's what I want to do with my work."
Ziegler and his painting partner Velia De Iuliis started the 135-foot mural on Wednesday, June 10 and finished it last Saturday. The seated figure and birds that it depicts have a personal meaning to Ziegler, but he often prefers that his paintings be left to interpretation. An unveiling event will take place on June 26 at 2:30 p.m., at which time the United Nations Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin will speak about the UN's goals and cut a ribbon with Ziegler. Athen B will be selling limited edition T-shirts and prints with original artwork by Ziegler at the event, with profits going to the Eleanor Roosevelt Fund. - Sarah Burke, East Bay Express
Zio also has a piece in our current 'House Warming' exhibition currently on view until July 3rd. Stay tuned for our four person exhibition 'CONDITION' this September 4th with Zio Ziegler, Ever Siempre, Franco Fasoli aka JAZ and Troy Lovegates!