Talk of the Town: Town creatives share what makes Oakland home for them

Why do creatives and transplants make Oakland home?

Many of the Bay Area transplants who started as dwellers of the City echo a common sentiment when deciding to make their way across the bridge to stay: Oakland is beautiful, full of love, and real.

One evening at Joyce Gordon’s Art Gallery, Oakland Voices correspondent Patricia Fox asked creatives assembled there what inspired them to become residents of Oakland.

What makes Oakland ‘home’ for you?

TheArthur Wright 

TheArthur proudly standing next to the Queen Calafia Seal that he painted being exhibited at Joyce Gordon Art Gallery. “Every monarch on earth has a great seal. In my mind, Queen Califa is as real as any monarch on Earth and as deserving of the seal – so I gave her one.”

The beauty of Oakland is real! San Francisco is not really California. We have to make a better story about Oakland” When I asked about his painting 

Kevin Woodson 

Kevin Woodson stands in front of his creations at Joyce Gordon Art Gallery.

The AIDS epidemic shattered the creative zeal of the City because galleries were not looking for individualism in art anymore, and instead tried to pigeonhole every artist as David Wajnarowics. I moved here in the 90s. I found my soul in Oakland. I love it here.

Darryl Thompson 

Darryl poses next to a painting he created of Rappin’ Duke and Shock G that is displayed in front of his tattoo parlor.

This is my soul place. It would be good to get back to our roots, Mom & Pop shops, Big Mama, and just [being a] community. Despite the gun violence and how crack impacted the community generations ago, there is still so much Black love. 

Photos by Patricia Morrow.


If you moved to Oakland, what makes it home for you? If you were born and raised here, what keeps it home for you?

Author Profile

Patricia Morrow, also known as "Fox", is a Brooklyn native and self-proclaimed "Renaissance Woman" who is relatively new to the Bay Area. With fresh eyes on the Town and a beautiful network of friends, Fox is exuberantly immersed in Oakland's dynamic culture. As a published
writer and advocate, she's passionate about reporting stories with a tone of compassion and a splash of abstract thought. A fun fact about Fox is that she's a beauty influencer.

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