Bringing Art to the Bar


Live Art Wednesdays at Levende East in Old Oakland offers culture with your cocktails.

Amidst half empty pint glasses, plates of nibbled fried chicken, and wine bottles turned into lamps, local artist Alex Rosmarin sits hunched over his sketch pad at Levende East in Oakland. Around him, 19 other artists sit along a long wooden table, drawing, sketching, and painting for the bar’s Live Art Wednesdays event.

Hosted by promoter August Varlack and curator Obi Kaufmann since September of last year, Live Art Wednesdays brings together a rotating list of 80 artists of all genres and various live musical acts. The event allows patrons to mingle with artists while watching them create works from beginning to end—and then purchase any of that art for not much more than a modest night’s bar tab (anywhere from $10 to $50).

“My curatorial efforts have always been about community and participation so the fit was completely natural and harmonic,” says Kaufmann, about signing on as curator for Live Art Wednesdays. A Danville native, Kaufmann has been an art curator centered in Oakland for six years.

Read the rest of this article (along with more images) at Diablo Magazine