See Oakland in technicolor at new Camron-Stanford House art exhibit

See Oakland in technicolor at new Camron-Stanford House art exhibit
Written by Publishing Team

Most locals familiar with the Camron-Stanford House will associate it with its late-19th-century decorations and decorations. Built in 1871, it is the last remaining original Victorian home overlooking Lake Merritt. Since 1907, it has become a museum dedicated to preserving the prevailing culture of its time.

The museum will offer a different view starting Sunday, with the unveiling of a new exhibition, Landmarks: Abstract Oakland by Jorge Bejarano.

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The gallery showcases local artist Bejarano’s work in iconic venues across Auckland – some old, some new – using his digital and hybrid paint techniques to create a Technicolor version of the landmark.

Bejarano, who calls the artist “Abstract Oakland,” was at the Camron-Stanford House last Sunday, nervously greeting people as they walked through the doors to check out a preview of his exhibition.

“This is my first exposure, and it’s a very sensitive moment,” Bejarano said. “You have invested a lot of time, effort and ideas. And when you show your artwork, it is a scary moment.”

Bejarano’s work has previously been shown at the Crooked City Cider tap house in Jack London Square, and the Ale Industries factory in Fruitvale. Laurel’s now-closed ink movement and pop-up exhibition Oakland Artist Collective also showcased his work.

He may be best known for “Town Lotería,” which came out in the fall of 2020. The Mexican board game has gained enough fame to sell at your local Oaklandish retailer over the holidays. He was also one of many local artists to appear on Starz Show, blindness.

Eliana Morton became the first female CEO of Camron-Stanford House in the spring of 2021. credit: Amir Aziz |

The Bejarano exhibition is the museum’s first highlight of the contemporary Auckland artist, and part of new programming being planned at the museum by Ileana Morton, who became the first CEO of Camron-Stanford House in March of 2021. In the past, the museum has run it volunteers. Morton previously worked as the museum’s collections registrar and later as assistant director of collections and exhibitions. With this new exhibition spotlighting the artist, Morton wants to help celebrate Auckland’s diversity and history.

Landmarks: Abstract Oakland by Jorge Bejarano Pairs of historic landmarks – some identified by the city of Auckland, such as Paramount Theater and Morcum Rose Park – with others that, while not officially designated, hold special meaning for Bigrano and others like him who have grown up in and around Auckland. Old black and white photos hang alongside Bejarano’s artistic interpretations of each landmark.

The exhibition asks: How do these landmarks make you feel when you think of them? What do they mean to you or your community? For Bigrano, his drawings of the Mormon Temple are his favorites from the collection.

“We grew up poor and couldn’t go to amusement parks, and all we had was a Mormon temple,” he said. “Our parents couldn’t take us to Disneyland and were telling us that the Mormon Temple was the princess’ castle. A lot of people relate to that.”

Artwork: Point Me to Heaven by Jorge Bejarano, Auckland Abstract, 2022. credit: Amir Aziz |

When Morton took over as CEO, she knew how important it was to make sure the community saw itself represented within the museum.

“In order to do that, I felt we had to open up the home to our community in new ways. This includes collaborating with other people and other groups in our neighborhood,” Morton said. “So this collaboration between Jorge and the house kind of resulted in that.”

Morton, who was already a fan of Bejarano’s work, reached out to the artist via Instagram. The exhibits at Camron-Stanford House are historical in nature, and trying a different approach to celebrating local history was an opportunity Morton wanted to take.

“I’ve seen Jorge’s work for a long time, and I’ve always thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if he could come and paint this house?'” “As he does with the famous Auckland photos,” Morton said. “We communicated through a mutual love of Auckland history and architecture in Auckland. We had a shared vision of what we could do in terms of bringing art and history together and how that could be fun for people.”

After several meetings to chat about seeing the exhibition, Bejarano started work in early December.

While Bejarano usually creates a piece and then gives it a name, he did it in reverse for this project. Bejarano said Pink Floyd is one of his favorite artists, and decided to play the entire English rock band’s discography for inspiration.

I started with the Tower Tribune and listened to the song time, They run on repetition sometimes. “I was drawing, listening to songs,” he said. “Listening to that specific song helped me create what you see now,” he said, noting that at the time it was built in the 1920s, the tower was “the tallest building in Auckland.”

Bejarano worked to perfect each piece until the day he hung it on the museum’s walls, a week before the private preview opened.

The 3D piece displayed is part of the artist’s personal collection. credit: Amir Aziz |

“Every day, we were figuring out how we wanted people to walk around the gallery. What we wanted to show in the main room, and in the other room. It was definitely functional.” “I am grateful that Eliana took charge of creating this entire place.”

Visitors can also play Bejarano’s Town Lotería at the fair, some must ask how they can buy their own. Bejarano said he prefers not to visit previous artworks and does not plan to make another batch of this particular release. However, he’s working on two new Town Lotería games: a kid-friendly version and one that depicts visuals that evoke the experience of growing up in Auckland. “I want to highlight the real moments, the good, the bad and the ugly,” he said. He plans to release two new versions of the game in the fall.

Morton hopes so the landmarks of the city It is the beginning of more comprehensive programming at the Museum that can be continued.

“In the past, all of our programs were entirely in-house, working with historians and history students, and they were all very academic,” she said. “That, it required me to convince the board of directors to seize the opportunity.”

Reviews have been positive so far, something she hopes will encourage members of the museum’s board of directors to support similar exhibits in the future.

“I hope people leave feeling connected to the city, and feel proud of the city and the people in it,” she said. “People like Jorge are the people who make up Auckland.”

Sightseeing: Abstract Oakland by Jorge Bejarano is open Sunday, January 30 (every Sunday through May 1), from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., $5 (free for members)And Cameron Stanford’s house1418 Lakeside Dr. Cameron Stanford House as presented virtual viewing For those not ready to visit the gallery in person.

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