Public + Commissions | Public Art Installation Public Art Intervention Interior Commissions Public Art Murals
A Quilt of Many Colors
Sister Thea Bowman Manor, Oakland, CA
This public art mural, a collaboration between Laurie Polster and Debbie Koppman, is located at 6400 San Pablo Avenue on the façade of this affordable senior housing complex.
We worked with a small group of residents at Sister Thea Bowman and Percy Adams Jr. Residences in April 2021, presenting workshops at the side by side affordable senior housing complexes to generate ideas and create symbols representing aspects of their community to incorporate into our mural design. Foremost were ideas around community, connection, interaction, togetherness, and unity. The image of “quilts” both literal and metaphorical stood out as a unifying theme and became a major visual design element. The quilt as a beloved, pieced together craft activity coalesced with the concept of a quilt as a reflection of this community, diverse members with separate backgrounds, histories, and stories, each a beautiful part of what has become an interconnected whole.
Given this new mural’s proximity to our mural across the street at St. Columba’s, we also incorporated a few elements so the two would be in conversation with each other as companion pieces on San Pablo Avenue.
The project was completed June 2021 and supported by grants from the City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program and Green Walls (District 1) and St. Columba Development Corporation as a Ministry of St. Columba Church.
The Fabric of St. Columba
St. Columba Church, Oakland, CA
This public art mural, a collaboration between Laurie Polster and Debbie Koppman, is located at 6401 San Pablo Ave on the social hall facade of St. Columba Church.
The image makes abstracted connections to West African Adinkra symbols found on the church doors and website – symbols whose meaning include friendship, interdependence, unity, nurturing and resourcefulness – and to enormous interwoven plant, pod, and root structures. Images created through layering and transparency overlap, move back and forth in space, and suggest literal movement down the street, and metaphorical movement through time and place. Layering and overlapping also reference fabric, visually suggesting the interweaving of all life forms in the creation and sustenance of community, reflecting the important role this spiritual non-profit organization plays in the surrounding community.
The project was completed November 2019 and supported by a grant from the City of Oakland (Green Walls, District 1) and St. Columba Church.
Fruitvale/880 mural project
This public art mural project, located underneath the 880 freeway at Fruitvale, was commissioned by the Unity Council of the Fruitvale District in Oakland, CA. The project was painted November-December 2011 under the direction of Debra Koppman. As one of the lead painters on this project, I was responsible for facilitating overall layout of the design patterning on the columns.