Walkshop 16

Downtown Oakland Multi-Cultural Legends, Legacies and New Directions”

april 13th, 2019
LED BY mary b. white

History of place richly informs and feeds our future. Mary White led a walk in downtown Oakland were one could learn about the legendary Joyce Gordon Gallery, Jeffery’s Inner Circle, historical tiles, the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, Malonga Casquelourd Center, Oakland Library and meet a family from the famous porcelains town, Jingdezhen, China. This walk was an exploration of histories and artistic heritages of different local communities residing and located in Oakland’s downtown and provided a glimpse into the rapidly changing downtown landscape.

Mary B. White inherited an explorative spirit from her geographer father. She uses exploration of place, site history and community collaboration to inform her sculptures. She works on site-specific projects, engaging art making, environmental issues and social justice. In 2011, as part of a science/art collaboration, she designed and worked with citizen/science team to make a 18’ high flood marker. She is currently collaborating with teen artists of the Akataka tribe south of New Orleans on a triptych stained glass window for their church, which was recently reconstructed after being swept away by storm. Mary moved to Oakland, CA in 1967 from points east to study ceramics/glass at California College of the Arts, and has lived in the East Bay ever since. She began her career teaching art at Oakland High in 1971, when 38 languages were spoken by students. She ran a glass sculpture studio in West Oakland in 80s and 90s, taught design and glass at SJSU Art and Design School from 1985-2005 and worked at the Crucible art center until 2012. She bikes or hikes around Oakland whenever possible.


  • Location: Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612 (The Walk ended on Broadway and 8th Street, three blocks from the starting point)

  • Start Time: 2pm

  • Duration: approx. 2 hours

  • Equipment: Journal, notebook, camera or related recording devices

Photography by Sun Lab