With a few exceptions, most Oakland’s major murals are of one-of-a-kind works of art by the likes of Pablo Picasso, David Foster Wallace and Frank Stella.
They’re often the work of the city’s leading artists and, in the case of the Flower mural, were commissioned by Oakland’s Mayor Libby Schaaf to memorialise her late father, Fred, who passed away in October 2015.
As the Flower murals have been painted over, they’ve also been the subject of a series of public works projects in recent years.
In 2017, for example, a mural by the artist Amanda Karr, a local artist, was painted over after the city said it was not an appropriate place to put it.
Since then, Oakland’s art department has also undertaken dozens of murals to mark its birthday, including the mural by local artist James Meehan, whose artwork is on display at the Oakland Art Museum.
But the most recent murals were commissioned after Oakland’s mayor and city council passed a resolution in 2018 that declared the Flower and other muralist works “inappropriate”.
“The city’s position was that the Flower was a work of art that had no place on our streets,” said Michael DeWitt, an artist who’s worked with the Flower, and who has collaborated with the city on several murals.
“It’s been an incredibly difficult period for artists to find a way to show their work on the city streets, but they are in a unique position to do that.”
DeWitt said the city was seeking to make sure that people had the ability to see and appreciate the work they have commissioned.
It also wants to ensure that its murals can be maintained and restored as the city moves forward in redeveloping its neighborhoods, which will be the case in coming years.
It’s an opportunity to show our appreciation and appreciation of Oakland for its history and our city and for our culture, he said.
The Flower mural was one of a number of publicworks projects by the city to commemorate its 75th anniversary, which included a series on public art in Oakland that was painted in 2016.
Some murals in Oakland are now being painted over.
A mural by Amanda Katt, an Oakland artist, is seen on the Oakland art museum’s walls.
The artist said she and her partner are planning a mural for the Flower soon.
Oakland’s flower mural has been the target of a public works project, which has been commissioned by the City of Oakland to honour Fred Flower.
Karr’s work is on view at the Art Museum in Oakland.
Oakfield artist James H. Meegan has been working on a mural at the Rose Garden in the city.
Meegan said he and his partner were planning to paint a mural on the Flower as well.
If the city wants to continue to put up public works on Oakland, it needs to consider what it can do for artists like Meeham, he added.
This is a beautiful place and a great city, he wrote in an email.
After Fred Flower died, the artist and city commissioned a mural of flowers that has now been painted in the garden.
I think it’s important for Oakland to have a city that’s diverse, he told the Guardian.
“If you don’t have a diverse city, it’s very difficult for us to create the art and the culture that’s necessary to make our city what it is.”
Meeshan said he has been contacted by several other artists who want to do similar work for the city, including local artists who’ve worked on the Rose.
He said that the City Council’s resolution means the city will be able to maintain and restore these murals over time, although he said that he would be open to making changes to the city if the resolution were to be removed.
Schaaf and her council colleagues said they were committed to the art community’s right to be able see and enjoy public works, even if they were commissioned for private purposes.
City council voted in October to allow public works to be commissioned to honour city buildings, parks and monuments.
At the time, Schaaf said the resolution would allow artists to be protected from political pressure.
“The artist has a right to make his or her art available to the public and we will continue to protect that right,” she said.
“I’m very proud of the art that’s been commissioned for our parks, our buildings, our monuments, but we also know that there are people who want them removed.”