Accidental Art: Berkeley & Oakland, California

A couple of months ago, I blogged about the unexpected or “accidental” art–graffiti, stickers, painting, etc–that I found when exploring other cities or while walking my dog along park trails. Other BVCers mentioned that they also encountered such displays, and we thought it would be interesting to feature them on occasion.

This collection is courtesy of Nancy Jane Moore


“Believe”: A storefront on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. I don’t know what they sell, but one of these days I’m going to go in and find out.
“Wearetheones” A mural on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. This mural was probably a planned project — neither accidental nor guerilla art — but I feel inspired and uplifted by it every time I walk by.
“Givelove” — This mural is on a side street off Telegraph. I’m sure it was designed by an artist, but I
don’t think it had any official backing. It echoes the neighborhood where it’s located, which is a mix of small stores and restaurants — many of them Ethiopian — and some apartment buildings, all near fancier parts of downtown.
“Creatures” — This is painted on the side of one of those boxes used by the utility or phone company. I found this on on Broadway in downtown Oakland, but there are some similar ones on Telegraph as well. I heard some young men talking once about them — apparently they knew the artist. I gather it’s a thing for artists to paint these spaces.
“Dog” — This dog was carved out of a dead tree in someone’s yard in Berkeley. They had a cat of similar size, but my photo of it was not as good. There’s just something about this dog.

Here’s a mural on the side of one of the taller buildings in downtown Oakland. I do not know how they did this one. I got this shot as the Women’s March was wending its way to the finish line. Probably the only time I’ll ever be able to stand in the middle of the street and get a shot of it.

BTW, there’s a website, book, and even a walking tour called “Quirky Berkeley” that chronicles this sort of thing in Berkeley:  I’m more up on what happens in Oakland myself, but Berkeley does have a reputation to uphold.




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