This past weekend the unveiling of our major new artwork happened!
Had been reading about this proposed sculpture, here and there, but didn't quite know what to expect. This video I shot a few days ago will give you an overview of what we saw. It was absolutely astounding and I am so proud of Oakland for giving this masterpiece a permanent home here.
We are a often-beleaguered city that needs all the good P.R. that we can get. It's very hard to explain to most people that the horrible shootings we read about so often, usually take place over 10 miles away, in an area known as East Oakland - usually occurring late at night/early morning hours and gang or drug related. Only those who also live in large cities have some understanding of this....the rest of the world just has a very dark image of us that they hold of the entire city.
This bronze sculpture, the work of artist Mario Chiodo, will do much toward helping to focus on the Oakland that rivals other great metropolitan cities. More importantly, it is a sculpture that has tremendous depth and meaning for all people....many of the faces carved into the bronze are of people we all grew up with, hearing and seeing them in history books, on TV, etc. It is a tribute to these wonderful champions of humanity, showing the very best of people....those who have made it a goal to help others!
Already we are seeing people show up continuously to admire this wonderful piece. It is located in our newly revitalized downtown area. When we moved here about 9 years ago they were in the process of tearing down many of the old buildings in the area. Problem was that it remained desolate looking for too many years (at least 5) and often gave the impression of being dangerous, especially at night. Were it not for the nearby Sears store and the shoppers coming in and out, the entire area would have appeared as a no-man's land.
Then began the complete renovation of the old dilapidated Fox Theater, restoring it to its former glory.................
after that.......the entire empty one-block area next to it was converted into wonderful condos ..........
.......and the whole neighborhood was now known as "Uptown Oakland", soon bringing in new restaurants, nightclubs, etc. converting a once-dead area into one of the most vibrant and now oft-visited areas of Oakland. And it continues to grow in stature.....
Can't begin to tell you how proud I am of our city now. It's total transformation of the downtown area, one that will now bring more people into the area, including out-of- towner's, tourists from nearby San Francisco (15 miles away).
Here is a very short video I shot of the art piece, which includes still photos as well. At the beginning is the video overview, then the still photos. For those of you that don't know this, if you click on the "You Tube" logo when it begins to play...it will open up the video on the You Tube page, increasing its size 3 times what you see here....it's really the best way to view it, to capture the beauty of it all:
There is so much more I want to say about this sculpture, but their website gives all of the details about the creation of it, listing all of the distinct heroes that are included in it, etc. :
Remember Them - the website