Farewell to 25th Street

Posted on: December 28th, 2015 by Irene Imfeld

To my friends in the photo community,

In the summer of 2010 I noticed a growing group of artist spaces in the uptown area of Oakland. Here were all kinds of workshops and galleries, on one block of 25th Street, showing exciting painting, ceramic art, photography, and mixed media. Sharing the block with car repair shops, the area boomed with First Friday’s free-form street fairs, and the more organized events sponsored by Oakland Art Murmur, of which PHOTO became a member.

For the past five years I have had the honor of working with my partners Henry Bowles and Charles Anselmo in directing a wonderful space to exhibit fine photographs. As our work here comes to its end, I want to thank you for being part of it.

As we originally discussed opening an exhibit space, Henry and I realized that we knew a large number of really good photographers. Remarkably, I have met many more! Well known artists have walked in the door, and photographers unknown to me have brought thoughtful and fantastic imagery to the gallery. It has been a true voyage of discovery.

PHOTO has given me the opportunity to get to know many artists who make this such a vibrant arts community. I cannot think of a more meaningful experience than sharing their work with the curious visitors we welcomed every day.

I could not be prouder of the artists and outside curators we worked with and I look forward to PHOTO’s future, whatever/wherever that may be. I welcome your ideas and participation as we move forward in the coming months. We will continue to show new work online, and send an occasional email newsletter. You can contact us at info@photogalleryoakland.com.

None of it could have been possible without the support our helpers, especially Hyeyoung Kim who stepped in for a temporary stint and ended up running the show for our last seven months. It was a real pleasure to depend on Hyeyoung to remember everything, and I will miss having her around. Also big thanks to PHOTO’s previous assistants Erica Ramos and Adam Cardello for their energy and great ideas.

With PHOTO’s closing, I’m looking forward to attending events at galleries I haven’t seen much of over the past five years. I will spend some time working with the Photoalliance board, which I joined in 2015, and seeing what’s happening at the other photography venues in the Bay Area–not to mention the exciting new buildings at SFMOMA and the Berkeley Art Museum.

Now at the end of 2015, we all have an opportunity for a new beginning. I will soon spend six weeks at an artist residency continuing the abstract work I’ve been making for the past year. I am looking forward to the ongoing evolution of photography, wherever it takes me.

With my heartfelt appreciation for all who participated in and came to see our gallery, I wish you and yours a Happy New Year!

Irene Imfeld