As you walk up Tunnel Road, across the street from the Claremont Hotel, you might notice a hint of well-executed artistic quirk.
Intriguing, but not major.
And then you walk up Tunnel Road, turn right on Oakridge Road, wind up to the top of the hill and turn down Oakridge Path.
Not too far down on the path you enter the world of Marion Fredman. The back of her light blue Tunnel Road house (top of photo) is on the right side of the path. She owns the lot on the left side of the path – it drops down a hill to El Camino Real.
Starting on the right side of the path as you go downhill.
There is a gate to her house.
The steps leading to the gate and the retaining wall that runs down the path are mosaic. Sort of.
Somewhere in there is a Mexican dicho. I think it is an ashtray. The sentiment of the dicho is that a women and money are not good companions. Keep walking down the path. Keep looking on the right.
This sculpture defies description. Just dig it. And then look a little farther down the path.
Yes, that is Buddha in an antique water heater.
Not to be confused with Buddha in a bathtub that is in the front yard – not visible from the street or path.
PENALTY! RULE VIOLATION – but relevant and quirky.
The left side of the path as you walk down the path from Oakridge is defined by a chicken coop.
Lots of different chickens. A great antique “Pullets” sign. Hubcaps. And then art everywhere. Quirky art. Everywhere. Art that suffers if you describe it. Photos:
Wine bottles burried upside down. Buried, not cut-off. Memo to self: next time cut off before burying.
The remnants of an elaborate bathroom floor. When it had to be torn out, it was repurposed as garden art.
At this point, it is fair for you to ask a few questions.
This art is purely a gift to the street – no, correctly it is a gift to the path. Marion Fredman made the art and made the gift. What a gift!
Here she is standing in front of the Unfinished Wall in her front yard. It is not visible from the street or path and thus not covered by the scope of this project. If it were covered, I would show you these photos:
And, new in 2016 – adorned steps:
Word for the day: paralypsis. Here is what the OED has to say about paralipsis:
No further explanation. No further forbidden photos.
For years, Marion worked at the Museum of Children’s Art of Oakland.
She is still on the MOCHA Board. Much of the art that you can see along the path and in her garden is the result of collaboration with her children and her seven grandchildren. Here is a photo from the Chronicle of Marion with a grandchild in her house.
What a place for a child to go! What a grandmother! Marion doesn’t discard things that others might throw away. She re-uses them. And, one suspects, she acquires things that others might leave unacquired.
And she wraps it all up into a gift to Berkeley. Is there a greater treasure along Berkeley’s paths? I think not.
I had a hunch that my friend was going to like Marion’s work and the fact that it is presented as a gift to the path. He was looking at the October, 1969 issue of GQ magazine.
The cover is by Leonard Nones, one of my friend’s favorite photographers. I could see how it would interest him, knowing his taste as I do. He opened the magazine and showed me this:
“I short circuit thinking of everything that is wrong with this page.” I invited him back to the present day and showed him the Marion Fredman art photos. What did he think of them?