Visit Oakland Debuts City Mural for Official "Selfie Wall"

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Commissioned design highlights destination’s attractions and vibrant art scene.

The Visit Oakland team stands in front of the destination's first designated selfie wall mural

Visit Oakland, the city’s official destination marketing organization, debuts an original commissioned mural at the Oakland Marriott City Center Broadway entrance. Work on the mural began late last week and wrapped up final touches yesterday.

The mural is a reflection of the city’s iconic attractions such as Lake Merritt, Tribune Tower, and Children’s Fairyland as well as Oakland’s place in Bay Area pop culture lifestyle. Homages to Oakland’s vibrant culinary scene, art and music, nightlife and the Oakland Urban Wine Trail are represented in the design.

The purpose of the mural is to support the local arts community while offering an official visitor “selfie wall” for tourists and proud Oakland natives. The size, colors, and location of the artwork enable easy and safe access to the background for photography. Visitors are encouraged to post their selfies on social media with the hashtag #oaklandloveit.

“The arts scene in Oakland has long been one of the city’s greatest assets,” says Mark Everton, President and CEO of Visit Oakland. “Oakland’s creativity in artists, performers, and makers are contributing to Oakland as a trendsetting arts city. The opportunity for a “selfie wall” invites visitors to interact with Oakland in person and on social media. It positions the destination for future endeavors in mural tours and more arts collaboration between Oakland and the local creative community.”

The tourism bureau commissioned local street artists, Illuminaries, to create and paint a design based on the cover of the tourism board’s Inspiration Guide 2016, available now. The Illuminaries have received Bay Area attention with their work on Warriors themed-murals in Oakland, most recently the Steph Curry and Under Armor collaboration adjacent to the 880S onramp at 5th and Oak Street.

“Our mural adds flavor to the ever growing street scene here in the Town because it combines elements of a traditional mural, street art, and graphic design,” says Steve Ha, of the Illuminaries. “By overloading it with so many small components it almost forces you to study the artwork. Working on this Visit Oakland mural put us in the heart of the city. With so much foot traffic we had the opportunity to engage with people from all walks of life and get instant feedback to make sure this mural reflected Oakland properly.”

In a collaborative effort by the arts community, the Illuminaries invited Oakland Chinatown nonprofit artists Dragon School, to paint their signature golden dragon symbol into the Visit Oakland design. Echoing the city’s attitude of diversity and inclusion, the impromptu partnership showcases Oakland’s arts fraternity and respect for each other.

The mural’s unveiling at the Oakland Marriott City Center coincides with the completion of an entire interior renovation of the hotel property. The mural’s tribute to local culture and urban aesthetic complements the Oakland Marriott’s efforts to offer a truly Oakland experience with completely redesigned rooms and décor to characterize the city’s unique vibe.

“We are thrilled to host the new ‘selfie wall’ for the city of Oakland,” says Lisa Kershner, General Manager of the Oakland Marriott City Center. “Community involvement and local art are integral parts of our brand and are reflected in our comprehensive redesign. Our newly-opened restaurant and bar, Iron & Oak, will pay homage to the area with a menu highlighting Oakland-based purveyors.  Oaklandish, a strong community partner who also designed the logo for Iron & Oak, will debut a suite in the coming weeks featuring items created by local artisans. We have a great deal of pride in our city and are excited to partner with Visit Oakland on this engaging new installation.”

The Visit Oakland mural is on display starting today. Visitors are encouraged to post and share their photos on social media. Follow @visitoakland and #oaklandloveit to see the brand new Oakland selfie wall in action.

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Frances Wong
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