Beyond Broadway and Telegraph


Artists have been steadily leaving San Francisco for Oakland, exchanging high rents for more space. The result is a city full of artists that seem to care less about cost and commerce and more about community. The majority of galleries and exhibition spaces in Oakland are artist-owned and artist-run. This makes Oakland distinct. Much of the art is made by locals and the exhibition spaces are often different than what you’d typically expect. We decided to visit several of these artist-owned spaces and curate our own virtual gallery where you can visit and learn about their motivation and vision. We tried to venture beyond the busy art corridor of 23rd and Telegraph, highlighting spaces off the beaten path. From West Oakland to East Oakland, we looked at places like WE Artspace, where the owners actually live in their gallery–art-gazing includes views of their eclectically designed kitchen and loft bedroom; to ABCO, a gigantic former factory, where resident artists like Aaron Geman have the space to sculpt elaborate mechanical inventions; to Float, which is not only a gallery but also a flotation center where artists can relax in Epson saltwater tanks to maximize their creativity.

Gallery Locations

View Artist Run Gallery Spaces of the Bay Area in a larger map

Oakland Art Links

The Compound Gallery, Houses ten studios and more than 20 working artists.

Forthrite, Full service print shop for artists and designers.

Sight School, New storefront gallery with monthly shows.

MG Gallery, Gallery with rotating window displays.

WE Artspace, New space showcasing emerging Bay Area artists.

Rowan Morrison, Contemporary art gallery and publishing company.

Mercury 20, A 20-artist collective with rotating exhibitions by its members.

Lobot, A 10,000 square foot collective that houses artists studios and workshops.

Inferno Gallery, Features art that’s out of the realm of commercial galleries.

Eastside Arts Alliance, An organization of artists and community organizers of color.

Blankspace, Exhibits emerging artists in a wide range of media.

ABCO, An 8000 square foot facility with a 1200 square foot gallery and performance space.

Float, Flotation center and art spa.

Art Murmur, A first Friday open art gallery night in Oakland.

Warehouse 416, Where artists and small businesses grow.

Fecal Face, A content-rich, multidisciplinary art and culture website.

Happenstand, Covers art in the Bay Area.

Oakland Art Museum