Vessel Gallery Envisions the Future

Utopia and other regional events take on climate change.


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Utopia at Vessel Gallery features work by artist Kim Anno.

Photo courtesy Courtesy Vessel Gallery

The bunker mentality exuded by the White House and its petroleum plunder-bound allies seems never to gain the attention of Trump loyalists, but it is alarming enough to the reality-based community cognizant of climate change and other major challenges. California fortunately has staked out an independent path, and has not stopped, to coin a phrase, thinking about tomorrow.

Oakland’s Vessel Gallery is presenting a group show of gallery artists entitled Utopia: Forecasting Our Future in coordination with other regional events: Coal + Ice, a documentary photograph show at Fort Mason, on Sept. 4-23, curated by photojournalist Susan Meiselas (CoalAndIce.org); and Governor Brown’s Global Change Action Summit, Sept. 12-13 (GlobalClimateActionSummit.org). Brown: “It’s up to you and it’s up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change . . . Entrepreneurs, singers, musicians, mathematicians, professors, students . . . we have to do something and we can do it . . . We in California and in states all across America believe it’s time to act.”

While it is tempting to imagine America had the creative, forward-looking Jerry Brown become president in 1980 or 1992, Bay Area culturati can take some comfort from our still-vibrant, decidedly progressive art scene. Utopia will feature such established artists as Kim Anno, David Burke, Dave Young Kim, Christy Kovacs, Cyrus Tilton, and Ron Weil, with others to be announced; expect sophisticated, beautiful, complex work that will confront the human future, thoughtfully, and perhaps restore your faith in its viability.

Reception on First Friday, Sept. 7, 6-9 p.m.; a poetry/reading event, The Future is Female: Women Writing New Worlds, curated by MK Chavez, will take place Sept. 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Utopia runs through Oct. 20; Vessel Gallery, 471 25th St., Oakland, 510-893-8800, vessel-gallery.com.

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