Everybody’s Favorite Art Bar

August at Zza’s. A FLIGHT. curations by Obi Kaufmann

Artists: Brük Dunbar, Jeanne Lorenz, Jeff Riley, Micke Tong

location: 550 Grand Ave. Oakland. Open everyday at five pm.

Zza’s is back. I was so concerned about how, when and if Zza’s would come back. Is the name gonna change? Will it take too long for them to reopen? Is Chris, the world’s best wine-bartender, coming back? The future looked bleak and I was ready to walk. That meant walking away from two years, 22 shows and a well manicured culture of art receptions that were built on community, beautiful art, great food and of course, the world’s best wine.

 Jeff Riley at Zza’s Wine Bar and Gallery, August, 2010

Then I got the call.  Regina said that they got their license back after the ownership transfer and needed some art. So, reluctantly, I made an appointment and strolled into the newly reopened Zza’s Wine Bar. This was Wednesday evening. The light from the dim sunset was bouncing off of Lake Merritt and reflecting off those slate gray walls, warming up the whole place in a romantic, mission-like, old-California way. I knew I was screwed because I was in love again before I even stepped inside. Rasaan was cooking his amazing vegetarian, organic paninis on the front porch and the smell wafted around me like the fine sangria I was about to drink.

Then there was Chris. Big smile. Ready to go. Yes, he is back. Regina was hanging out with her beautiful daughter and the whole thing felt like we didn’t miss a beat. It is the best job ever, a total no brainer. How could I say no? I am in. I got the artists and we are going to fire up the scene once again!

The first call I made was to Alison Tharp. Her show got cancelled when Zza’s lost their liquor license last month. To my tremendous relief, she was totally thrilled that Zza’s was reopened and that I agreed to keep running the art shows out of there. So, October 2 is the date for that reception…the grand reopening of our quiet movement. A great and triumphant return and the victory that is throwing an art show at all! How hard it can be! What wierd obstacles. I am so, so glad Alison is back on board.

Today I hung so work from the curatorial collection. We won’t be having a reception for this show, but please know that it is there and the work is for sale. I can be reached anytime at 925-951-7501.

Brük Dunbar behind the bar and Jeanne Lorenz to the right.

Jeanne Lorenz

Brük Dunbar

Micke Tong. Installation view.

above works by Micke Tong

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  1. lexawalsh

    yay. love and miss you!

  2. Hey Obi,
    Work looks great.
    Thanks for including me. I like the way you roll.
    Best, Jeanne




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