Located near the Port of Oakland, American Steel once served as a repair facility for ships. Today it’s a one-of-a-kind artist community, studio space, and manufacturing facility in West Oakland. The complex of buildings takes up and entire city block.
Sculptor Karen Cusolito runs American Steel. She’s standing in front of “Ecstacy,” one her all-metal, 30-foot tall sculptures. Seven of her towering sculptures are headed to the Brazilian rainforest where a private collector has purchased them.
“Ecstacy” normally stands upright, but she’s on her back in Karen’s studio for a little tune-up.
Several of Karen’s sculptures reach for the sky just outside of American Steel.
The late artist Tom Kennedy’s art car is now community property within the West Oakland art world. The rocket is stenciled with the words “military industrial complex.”
This is one of a pair of “king” and “queen” sculptures just inside one the door at American Steel made entirely from old auto parts. I think this is the King. They are the work of artist Ryon Gesink.
This is the Queen.
A mural outside American Steel features an AT-AT and the shipping container cranes that reportedly served as George Lucas’ inspiration for the armored transport.
Glass rods, the raw material for glass artist Jay Musler.
Across the street from American Steel is Peralta Junction, a carvinal and community fun spot created by West Oakland artists. The “Life Size Mousetrap,” a Maker Faire favorite, recently appeared.
Creative gardening space outside the gates of Peralta Junction. I like the hanging feedbags/planters.