Oakstop Featured on NBC Bay Area

February 03, 2017

Oakstop featured on NBC Bay Area as part of a Black History Month PSA series. The 30 second spot will run on repeatedly on air all throughout the month of February 2017.

Take A Virtual Tour of Oakstop

October 02, 2015

We’re constatnly reconfiguring our space here at Oakstop, but we invite you for an online virtual tour of our space to give you a sense of our overall layout and our general aesthetic. This is a quick snapshot of Oakstop in August of 2015.

Tour our coworking areas and conference rooms. Take a look at our gallery, and hop on the elevator to head downstairs to see the most recent addition to Oakstop featuring an array of conference rooms, private offices, event space, and of course even more art.

Got Questions? Please don’t hesitate to call us at 510-698-9370 for answers, or to arrange a tour.

Thank you to Xspaced for providing this interactive platform for touring our space.

Black Artists on Art: The Legacy Exhibit

February 02, 2015

This monumental exhibit will feature over 36 black fine artists, spanning three generations, and including several contemporary and legendary fine artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Charles White, George “P-Funk” Clinton, and Samella Lewis— America’s leading historian and collector of black fine art.

Black Artists On Art Book Covers

The exhibit is based on the Black Artists on Art book series, created by Dr. Samella Lewis in 1969, that catalogued over 150 actively producing black fine artists, who were generally overlooked by the mainstream museums, galleries, and fine art institutions. The revolutionary book series was an instant hit and sold thousands of copies in its first 3 years before going out of print.

“I wanted to make a chronology of African American artists, and artists of African descent, to document our history. The historians weren’t doing it. I felt it better the artists do it anyway, through pictorial and written information… It was really about the movement.” — Dr. Samella Lewis

Now in 2015, Samella Lewis’s grandson, Unity Lewis, is continuing her legacy by reviving the book series and creating new books that will feature contemporary black artists, and stretch far beyond the traditional mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. The exhibit will serve as a campaign launch to recruit over 500 new black artists for upcoming volumes of Black Artists on Art.

The Legacy Exhibit will unite artists from the original Black Artists on Art books with contemporary artists, who will be featured in the new books, resulting in an intergenerational display of black fine art, spread across 7,000 square feet of gallery space in the heart of downtown Oakland.


Across the bay, the Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) is also displaying works from the Samella Lewis collection for the Art of Elizabeth Catlett exhibit. As a result, MoAD and Oakstop have joined forces to engage in a joint effort to recruit as many black artists as possible for the Black Artists on Art books.

Oakstop Gallery opened in February 2014, and is now a 10,000 square foot mixed-use facility dedicated to shared workspace, events, meetings, and the proliferation of local entrepreneurs and artists. Oakstop will also celebrate its one year anniversary at the exhibit grand opening, making this a highly visible, must-see event. Oakstop’s Founder and Director, Trevor Parham, is featuring his art in The Legacy Exhibit, and is the co-author of the new Black Artists on Art books alongside Unity Lewis.

VIDEO: Oakstop Exhibits “The Art of A Journey”

December 02, 2014

Oakstop Gallery is proud to present “The Art of A Journey”, an exhibition by Abba Yahuda.

The exhibit features an extensive collection of paintings and drawings by Abba Yahudah that illustrate the history, people, and ideas referenced in his latest book, A Journey to The Roots of Rastafari. In that spirit, the exhibit serves as both a celebration of Abba Yahudah’s artwork as well as a launch for the release of the book.


“Abba Yahudah has gone where no book has gone before in documenting different aspects of the Rastafarian phenomenon.

In this book, you will be presented with information about what preceded the Rastafarians and see how this prehistory helped shape the philosophy and livity (life) of the Rastafarians, both in their original beginnings and in their present evolution. Abba Yahudah will take you to Ethiopa – to Egypt – to Palestine. He examines the role of Christianity in shaping movement, and the movement’s connection to ancient Egypt. See how the redactors of the King James Bible usurped the original intent of the scribes writing some three to four thousand years ago.”

– Mutabaruka
Poet, Author and Activist


Abba Yahudah - A Journey to The Roots of Rastafari - The Essene Nazarite Link
Throughout the course of the exhibit, Oakstop will host a series of artist talks and book signing events, where guests will have the opportunity to hear more from Abba Yahuda about the underpinnings of this incredible book, which took nearly twenty years to research, compose, illustrate, and edit. The artist talks or “Reasoning Sessions” are designed to delve deeper into the ideas referenced in the book by encouraging participants think critically about historical fact vs fiction, contemplate the affects of art on the psyche, and dissect the relationships between spirituality and power found in most religions.


The exhibit itself is meant to serve as a springboard for ongoing movement building around the book and the core tenets of Rastafari. We’re excited and honored to be hosting such a dynamic project at Oakstop!

Abba Yahuda - Art of A Journey to The Roots of Rastafari


More about the author and artist, Abba Yahudah:

Born in St. Catherine, Jamaica to a family of artists and builders. Abba Yahudah vowed early in life to devote himself totally to art making everything he did a creative exercise. By age ten, he developed a very detailed eye, showing remarkable skill with the pencil and could draw and render the identical likeness of anything he saw. “I seriously took up painting at about age thirteen, some watercolor, but mostly oils. Supplies were expensive so we explored many other cost free creative outlets, such as pottery, carving and writing.”

Abba Yahudah migrated to the United States in 1981 and at the age of fifteen took his first job as a sign painter, intimately exposing him to typography and layout. Several of his works were published in local and national media such as Sights and Sounds, The Apprentice Writer and Student Voice. While living in New York he enrolled in 1985 in Parson’s School of Design, majoring in graphic design. A year later, he enrolled in the School of Visual Arts, majoring in design and illustration. In 1987 Abba Yahudah was working as an art director/ illustrator for one of the larger design firms in Manhattan. He designed and illustrated for companies such as Sony, Sharp, Revlon, Maxwell House, and Pepsi, to name a few. In 1996, he opened the first Rastafarian Gallery in Park Slope, Brooklyn, calling it Lalibela after the monolithic churches of Ethiopia’s New Jerusalem.

His art has traveled internationally to Ethiopia exhibiting at the Habesha and Lela Art Galleries, to the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., as well as many galleries in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Oakstop is Fundraising on Kiva Zip!

October 30, 2014

Oakstop has been endorsed to receive a $5,000 loan from Kiva Zip and we need your support!

Lend $5 to Oakstop’s Expansion Fund


Kiva-Zip-logoKiva Zip is part of Kiva.org. It is a small project through which lenders make microfinance loans directly to borrowers in the U.S. and Kenya via the Internet.

A new feature of Kiva Zip that sets it apart is the “Trustee” role. Trustees can be individuals or organizations, and are responsible for identifying borrowers that would be a good match for Kiva Zip loans.

The City of Oakland is now a Trustee of Kiva Zip.


Oakland is the first U.S. city to become a trustee of Kiva Zip. Its growing economy and community oriented culture makes Oakland the perfect city for a community driven funding platform like Kiva Zip. Oakstop is proud to be amongst one of the first businesses here in Oakland that Kiva Zip is promoting as an ideal business for this model of funding.


How will Oakstop use this loan?

The purpose of this loan is for the buildout of 6 additional private offices in Oakstop’s coworking facility to bring the total number of private offices to 10.

With 6 additional offices we can serve up to 15 new Oakstop members.

We already have a group of Oakstop members who are experienced construction contractors and are willing to barter their time for membership. With labor costs covered, we will spend the loan primarily on materials (framing, drywall, paint, doors, windows, wiring) and office furniture.



What impact will this loan have on Oakstop… and on Oakland?

1. Stabilize Oakstop’s business model with more consistent revenue from offices.

2. Strengthen the Oakstop community with more anchoring members.

3. Increase access to capital for other Oakland entrepreneurs in Oakstop’s role as a Kiva Zip Trustee


Make a Contribution to Make an Impact on Oakland!

VIDEO: Oakstop Exhibits the Art of Bryan Boutwell

May 09, 2014

Video by Kenji Okamura Wong


Oakstop launched its newest gallery space to the public in conjunction with First Fridays/Oakland Art Murmur festivities on Friday, May 2. The solo exhibit features the work of abstract artist and recent Oakland transplant Bryan Boutwell. The show includes 15 paintings, 4 sculptures and interactive features such as white boards/boxes and a spoken word album.

Boutwell’s artistic range is wide, although this exhibit focuses mostly on his recent paintings. Still, the artist’s sculptural talent is clearly in evidence throughout, as many of the paintings take on complex sculptural and tactile qualities.




“Almost all of my pieces in this show were born out of a place of sensitive introspection. The topics revolved around fatherhood, addiction, relationships, innocence, and the fear and love that we all encounter when pursuing our dreams. I was honored to have had the opportunity to showcase all of the 20 pieces I made over my first year in Oakland at Oakstop, and I am extremely excited for the up and coming (re-)opening show on Friday, June 6th”   (another Oakstop/First Fridays event – mark your calendars!).

bryan boutwell oakstop first fridays art opening


A steady stream of art enthusiasts flowed in from Telegraph Avenue through the late evening hours and were treated to a live band in the gallery space as well as a DJ in Oakstop’s main coworking space, vegan soul food to eat and plenty of drinks to complete the celebration. Tea lights spread around the gallery cast an emotive glow, contributing to the intimate yet festive atmosphere.


Bryan Matthew Boutwell Oakstop First Fridays opening


Reflecting on the opening event, Boutwell said:

“The evening was a success! The gallery looked beautiful, and inviting. The band and DJ sounded amazing. The Vegan soul food that was made for the show was exquisite. I met new and talented artists, sold an original painting, and watched my beautiful (now 5-year-old) son get the chance to watch his sober dad do what I love to do most in life.” 



VIDEO: Oakstop’s Multimedia Meeting Room

April 18, 2014

Video produced by Stefan Ruenzel

Dave Polk, professional sound engineer and Oakstop member, describes his process for transforming Oakstop’s conference room into an acoustically enhanced studio for audio and video production. Oakstop’s conference room, dubbed “The Multimedia Meeting Room”, is now equipped to function as both a standard meeting room and production studio.

The room can be rented hourly or daily by anyone from the public. View availability or book online now via LiquidSpace.com

This actually is a great conference room…

It’s quiet, it’s sealed off from the rest of the office, there’s a table and everything

It’s a great place for collaboration, meetings, for coordination, conferences…

Especially for people that are really dealing with any type of production… that touches more on the whole vision or purpose of Oakstop in general

The space itself is alive, there’s a circulation there, it’s alive… it’s a really great space for getting together and getting things done.


Watch another interview with sound engineer, Dave Polk

Video produced by Stefan Ruenzel

VIDEO: A James Gayles Moment

April 05, 2014

Video Produced by Stefan Ruenzel

James Gayles is a talented artist who lives and paints in Oakland, California. Listen to his first story in a video series about his life’s work. See and hear more James Gayles Moments in the days to come.

I’ve been painting all my life actually…

As far back as I can remember I had a paintbrush in my hand, painting

My parents had a thick bible in the house and the bible was illustrated by the renaissance masters… Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Rafael… doing all these religious pictures

And I just took it into my room everyday and read it each day and hung out in the streets with the rest of my friends, playing basketball and stuff.

I just went to my room, close myself off from the rest of the world, and just started copying all these pictures.

I guess that was really my best learning experience… of anatomy, shadowing, shaping, highlights… just the structure of the human form…


VIDEO: Oakstop Artist, Matt Hunter

March 17, 2014


Fine artist, jack of all trades, and Oakstop member, Matt Hunter, speaks on his artwork and his appreciation of Oakstop as a focused space to collaborate with other creatives. In addition to having Matt’s paintings on display in the Oakstop Gallery, we are also proud to have had Matt leverage his construction and woodworking skills in building our 16ft countertop for the bar style seating in our common area. Matt is a perfect example of Oakstop members who contribute to the space, while also using it to showcase their talent.

Directed & Edited by Aled Ordu


I want there to be an immediate connection or unity between the viewer and the subject

My name is Matt Hunter and I’m a painter in Oakland, CA

I really don’t want people to use their mind when they look at my art

I use the example of looking at a sunset or hugging a loved one… you don’t have to think about that; it’s intrinsically amazing

I’m a home body at heart. I like to work in a quiet space; in a focused space.

To connect with other artists… it certainly keeps my head above water in terms of what’s going on.

I think coming here has been great, because it is more collaborative. People I’ve met here are trying to do their thing full time.

When you let what is… be… without filtering it through anything; meaning your mind, it’s pretty damn incredible…

It’s very incredible.

And I wanna paint that.


Creating Sustainability Mixer & Jennifer Johns Birthday Celebration

February 28, 2014
Jennifer Johns Creating Sustainability

Celebrating Jennifer Johns’ birthday at the end of the Creating Sustainability Mixer

It was only a week ago that Oakstop was filled with over 150 people to celebrate the unveiling of the Creating Sustainability campaign and Jennifer Johns‘ birthday. The event itself was a true display of Oakstop’s ability to embrace interdisciplinary arts. We featured fine art, live music, DJs, live painting, a photo portrait booth, and studio style video interviews with our guests on sustainability.

Oakstop - Creating Sustainability - Jennifer Johns Birthday

Oakstop Creating Sustainability

Oakstop - Creating Sustainability - Kev Choice

The event also featured a multimedia presentation about the Creating Sustainability campaign lead by Jennifer Johns and Trevor Parham. The presentation outlined the concept and mission behind the campaign, reminding everyone that the practice of creating sustainability is essentially a matter of “using what we have to create what we need”. Jennifer explained how the campaign directly ties in with her vision for the GO LIV mobile app, a yelp-like tool designed connect people to local resources that facilitate sustainable lifestyles. Trevor demonstrated how Oakstop aligns with the campaign by providing artists and entrepreneurs with a venue to establish more economically sustainable careers.

Oakstop - Creating Sustainability - Jennifer Johns Birthday

Oakstop - Creating Sustainability - Trevor Parham

Oakstop - Creating Sustainability - Joseph Griffin Media

The event was a prime example of Oakstop’s ability to provide consulting services to its members as means of facilitating their larger goals as entrepreneurs. Jennifer approached Oakstop about the idea of collaborating on the campaign and the event, and explained that there she would need help with a variety of resources and services in order to make the project a reality.

Some of the services that Oakstop provided or sourced for this particular project included:


Happy Birthday Jenn!!

• Event Planning
• Food & Beverage
• A/V Support
• Photography
• Videography
• Graphic Design
• Art Consulting
• Presentation Design
• Communications Strategy


Overall, the event was a huge success and demonstrated Oakstop’s capacity to host even larger events in the future. We are so thrilled to have the chance to collaborate with one of our members on such a compelling campaign and are excited to see it unfold as we move forward.

Jennifer Johns posted this thank you message to all of her friends on Facebook:

What an amazing night! A billion thanks to all who came out to celebrate my birthday and our first Creating Sustainability Mixer. The vibration in Oakstop Coworking was beyond beautiful! I felt so loved and inspired!

In a matter of days we turned out over 150 people. Oakstop was full of shape shifters and movement makers, artivists, organizers, entrepreneurs, educators and more. As I scanned the room I found myself humbled- MY Homies are #CreatingSustainability- though food, fashion, education, entertainment etc. OH #OAKLAND I LOVE YOU!!!

I look forward to seeing you all much more in the months to come!  

Oakstop - Jennifer Johns - Creating Sustainability