Last Tuesday, in the parcel of land off of Telegraph Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets in Oakland, Randy Colosky discussed the orientation of his wooden sculpture, The Pressure to Hold Together That Which Held Things Back Part 2. Three assistants and two arts commissioners weighed in. The word of the hour, it seemed, was “dialogue.”
“It’s about starting a dialogue,” Steven Huss, the city’s Cultural Arts Manager, said on the phone earlier that day. He reiterated the same on site as he moved a portable chain-link fence aside to enter the Uptown ArtPark, a large-scale temporary sculpture garden that will open to the public tonight during Art Murmur. His favorite part of the park’s construction, he told me, was talking to people who stopped to ask questions.
Huss is experienced in the art of dialogue. Over the past three years, he has witnessed and participated in the many that have transpired between the community, the city, and developers during the planning of the space’s use.