Events

Since 1999, The Crucible has brought our community of artists, neighbors, families, students, and makers together for events ranging from artists’ talks and demos to fire performances, benefits, and community open houses. In-person events are all currently suspended due to the shelter-in-place mandate. For updates about all upcoming events, subscribe to our newsletter.

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Important Dates

Upcoming Events

Bike Shop: Free Events and Education

The Crucible is offering free, community bike maintenance and education to West Oakland and neighboring community members through our quarterly Bike Fix-A-Thons, Open Bike Shop Hours, Femme Bike Night, and Flat Fix Clinics. Drop off your bike for a tune-up or learn basic bike maintenance skills from our faculty and volunteers. We are also leading offsite events at other West Oakland locations.

See our Bike Shop event page for upcoming event dates.

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GIFTY: Annual Craft Show & Open House

GIFTY, The Crucible’s annual Craft Show & Open House returns this December 2-4. Join us for three days of the best shopping in the Bay Area. In between shopping, enjoy family-friendly activities and demonstrations. And make sure to stop by our bar for refreshments and snacks.

Saturday, December 3, 11am-6pm
Sunday, December, 4, 11am-4pm

Member Preview Night: Friday, December 2, 6-8pm 

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Watch Past Virtual Events

Have Your Event At The Crucible

When We Re-Open—We have spaces big and small

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Browse Past In-Person Events

Seven Deadly Sins – 2006 Fire Opera

Lust. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Wrath. Envy. Pride. Upon setting fire to the stage, Michael Sturtz, Founder and Executive Director of The Crucible, welcomed the audience to its 7th anniversary fundraising event — Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s The Seven Deadly Sins — in a unique fusion of Opera and Fire Arts. Designed and produced by Sturtz, this unique production was directed by Roy Rallo and featured artists from San Francisco Opera and The Oakland East Bay Symphony, conducted by Sara Jobin.   It is The Crucible’s second Fire Opera. The Crucible’s vast industrial arts studio was transformed into a dreamscape of fire and passion as the lights dimmed. The 30-piece symphony began, and three lawn chairs became the Louisiana home of Anna and her family.   The personality of Anna I is practical with a strong moral conscience, but Anna II is emotional and impulsive; she craves artistic beauty. As Anna journeys through seven cities, she encounters a deadly sin in each, and each personality must face the dilemma of choosing between money or dreams. The first sin is Sloth. Anna leaves home and the stage comes alive with fire and light. Glowing hot cubes rain from above and sparks fly as hammers strike anvils. The sisters find themselves in a nightmarish scene, compelled to work while the family chorus (lounging in their chairs) exhorts them to keep their nose to the grindstone, singing, “Lazy bones are for the devil’s stock pot.” Anna encounters Pride and learns about trading favors for money when she arrives in Memphis.   Encouraged by her success, Anna travels to Los Angeles, where she is introduced to Anger, “Mr. Big” (Ed Holmes), and the casting couch concept of success. Anna II is pulled away from her artwork, and trailing oxyacetylene hose across yards of stage, she torches Mr. Big’s office. Anna becomes successful and moves on to Philadelphia, but her contract forbids her to eat what she wants when she wants to, and she is continually tempted by Gluttony. Anna perseveres; her house is getting built – grinders spew sparks, torches flare, hammers on metal keep the beat of Anna’s obsession. In Boston Anna is kept by a wealthy man, but falls in love with another artist and discovers Lust. Anna I warns her sister about betraying her benefactor, but Anna’s love deafens her. Wealthy Edward makes a contract with an assassin; Anna’s lover is dead, her family cheers the assassin, and she moves on to Baltimore. Anna’s family reads about her success in the newspapers; they display their Covetousness as Anna grieves over the shards of her lost love, piously demanding even more of her as they sing: “Shameless hoarders give themselves a bad name.” In her final destination, San Francisco, Anna faces Envy. She envies all those who can engage in the sins she has been deprived of — those able to express anger, be proud, enjoy themselves freely, and love whom they love. But Anna II reminds Anna I that “we write […]

The Crucible Collection Benefit Art Auction

Champagne Reception and Silent Auction Thursday, April 8th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm Organized with a sharp eye on the future, The Crucible Collection presented 10 contemporary artworks by some of the most renowned visual artists working today. This outstanding auction offering included sculptures in bronze and steel by internationally renowned artists Beverly Pepper and Albert Paley, as well as works by nationally acclaimed artists Bruce Beasley, Bella Feldman, Michael Hayden, Preston Jackson, Susan Kingsley, John Lewis, Randy Strong, and William Wareham.     “This important fundraiser will help to continue our programs like the Legends of Sculpture series that introduced many of the collection’s artists to our educational facility and its unique commitment to sculpture and the industrial arts. We are deeply thankful for the artists’ contributions and their belief in our mission.” Michael Sturtz, Founder and Executive Director of The Crucible   The public was invited to preview The Crucible Collection in person at A New Leaf Gallery / Sculpturesite in Berkeley through April 2, 2004 (scuplturesite.com). Silent Auction bids were accepted during previews, although bidders were encouraged to attend the reception to ensure success. The Crucible Collection Silent Auction and Champagne Reception is made possible by the generous support of the following co-sponsors: A New Leaf Gallery/Sculpturesite The International Sculpture Center The Oakland Museum of California   The Crucible Collection Art   Bruce Beasley’s interests in natural science and technology inspire him to construct dynamic sculptures that simultaneously expand into and envelop space. He achieves this through the repetitive use of planar crystalline forms acting as building blocks for the complex structures. His conceptions and designs are aided by a sophisticated, three-dimensional computer program that enables him to experiment with variations of an idea before actually building the components.   Bella Feldman’s deeply philosophical work challenges the viewer to shift their affiliations with familiar objects and icons. In her biological and mechanical works there is a persistent message of interconnectedness and a fierce yet formal beauty that is testament to the artist’s passion and skill. Feldman has participated in over fifty solo exhibitions including showings at The Oakland Museum of California, San Jose Museum of Art, the Fresno Art Museum and the Downey Museum and group shows in all parts of the US and in Switzerland.   For more than 30 years, Michael Hayden, has explored light as a medium, and it remains the most important and unifying component in his “Lumetric” sculptures. His work includes architectonic sculptures for public spaces, including “The Sky’s the Limit”, a monumental illuminated neon installation in the United Airlines Terminal at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, IL. Hayden collaborates with architects, designers, engineers, landscape architects, technicians, composers, poets, and other artists to create works that are large in scale and massive in scope, often measuring hundreds of feet and weighing multiple tons.   Distinguished artist and educator, Preston Jackson, uses representational imagery to symbolize and reflect current social and political policies. His sculptures often incorporate as themes issues concerning war, racism and our culture’s […]

Dido and Aeneas – 2004 Fire Opera

The Crucible Celebrates its Fifth Anniversary in Style with a Fire Opera The roar of the furnace, the hush of the crowd: hundreds of faces turn towards the flickering candle held by Katherine Rohrer as she prepares to fill The Crucible’s cavernous interior with her powerful, heart-wrenching voice. So began Dido and Aeneas, The Crucible’s Fire Opera. Katherine Rohrer is one of the four opera soloists who left the luxury of the San Francisco Opera House to brave the bridge cranes, scissor lifts, molten metal, fire dancers, fork lifts and other sharp objects featured in the production’s revolutionary staging. The Crucible employed its unique resources to turn this baroque masterpiece, originally written by Henry Purcell in 1689 for a convent girl’s school, into a passionate, fiery spectacle that riveted even the youngest, hippest audience members to their seats.                 The story follows Dido, Queen of Carthage, who forsakes her royal obligations out of love for the Trojan hero Aeneas. When he abandons her after one night of ardor she cannot bear the heartbreak and impales herself on his spear. Purcell rendered the drama in delicate arias and choral laments, exquisitely performed by the four soloists and the well-known early music ensemble American Bach Soloists, conducted Jeffrey Thomas. The Crucible added texture to the tragedy, weaving elements of the school’s daily activities into the fabric of the tale. Glassworkers and welders depicted the industry of Carthage, while fireplay and the flying sparks of a grinder represented the mad descent into passion. The stage too was a work of art—no velvet curtains here. The area usually occupied by The Crucible’s metal shop became a custom-built seventy-five foot panoramic stage with an orchestra pit in the middle, flanked by installations from Bay Area sculptors Michael Christian and Kiki Pettit. Set before a row of red welding screens and the boxy metallic arches of the ventilation system, the impression was one of an industrial fairytale.       Produced and designed by The Crucible’s own Michael Sturtz, and directed by San Francisco Opera Associate Director Roy Rallo, the entire production was a collaboration between artistic genres that would scarcely nod as they passed each other in the street, much less work side by side. Yet the result was an original performance where contrasts became compliments and the performers were just as invigorated as the audience. “It was a terrific experience,” said Ms. Rohrer, “the arts truly combined to enlighten and project the human condition and spirit. As a singer and actress I was in awe of the other artists and felt blessed to be there and a part of this project.”   Audiences on both nights of the sold-out celebration were also treated to post-show entertainment. On the Opera Premier on Friday, the main bay of The Crucible was filled with metal, glass, ceramic, and neon art. Bathed in soft red light, delicate glass bowls and cast metal jewelry vied for attention in a silent auction that […]

Illuminated Sculpture – Ohlone

Illuminated Sculpture from the Crucible Showing at The Louie Art Gallery, Ohlone College 43600 Mission Boulevard, Fremont CA January 29 through February 27, 2004 A growing art form, Illuminated Sculpture From The Crucible represented 18 of the Bay Area’s most innovative artists. Curated by The Crucible’s own Christian Schiess, Head of the Neon Department, this exhibit explored of a variety of artistic disciplines, from welding to neon, foundry to found art. The opening reception on February 11 at the Louie Meager Art Gallery at Ohlone College in Fremont featured Michael Sturtz, The Crucible’s Founder and Executive Director. With humor and passion Michael outlined the history, development and direction of The Crucible from its inception five years ago. He ended his presentation with an invitation to the Ohlone College community to attend The Crucible’s Spring Open House and Student Art Show and Sale on April 3rd. Margaret Stainer the Gallery Director has scheduled a tour bus transport from the Ohlone Campus to The Crucible on April 3rd. For further information please contact Gallery Director Margaret Stainer or contact Guest Curator Christian Schiess at The Crucible.

Lecture Series – Beverly Pepper

Beverly Pepper Sculpture, Abstraction, Steel & Environment A Retrospective by the Internationally Renowned Sculptor On Sunday, October 12th, The Crucible welcomed celebrated artist Beverly Pepper to the Bay Area for a lively lecture, a Meet-the-Artist reception, and a live bronze pour of one of her sculptures. Coming from Italy to present at The Crucible, Beverly Pepper is internationally respected as an abstract metal sculptor whose work is informed by the forms and forces of the natural world. The evening began with the Meet-the-Artist reception, drawing art supporters from across the Bay Area. The furnace roared with the preparation for the bronze pour as guests mingled, chatted and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres prepared by Jacqueline Burns Catering, and sipped drinks donated by the Four Vines Winery. As the sun set, The Crucible’s foundry team turned up the heat on the furnace holding a crucible full of molten bronze, ready to be transformed into a work of art. At 6:15pm, the team gave the ready signal, and guests clustered around the foundry area to witness the first major bronze pour in the Crucible’s Oakland facility. The furnace used for the pour is one of two donated by the art department at the University of California at Berkeley. These furnaces and the massive overhead crane are some of the key components in the build out of a world-class foundry at The Crucible facility. With the continued generous support from our members and donors The Crucible will complete its industrial foundry, enabling high-end casting commissions and vocational training opportunities. As guests watched eagerly, the molten metal began to flow, illuminating the night with a lambent glow. Beverly stood front and center, watching as her piece became reality. The pour culminated with Executive Director Michael Sturtz welcoming Beverly to the Bay Area, and thanking the guests for their support of The Crucible. As the metal cooled in the mold, the audience moved to the lecture hall for the main feature of the evening, a retrospective lecture by Beverly. The lecture was the second in The Crucible’s Legends of Sculpture lecture series, a lively program featuring world-renowned artists who present their work and answer questions about the processes and techniques they use to produce their art. Beverly showed slides illuminating her work from the beginning of her career to present day. Over 150 members of the community came to hear her speak, and Beverly’s engaging and warm presentation offered insight and advice from over 40 years of her very active career as an artist. With anecdotes about the early days working in the steel industry, to inside views about the thought processes, planning, creative thinking and fabrication challenges inherent in creating large-scale public art, Beverly held the audience enthralled with slides from locations throughout the world where her monumental, site-specific works enhance public squares, parks, sculpture gardens and busy walkways. Beverly’s outdoor environmental projects are a collaboration with the landscape and are on permanent display around the globe. Art – engaged in solving environmental problems – has […]

Lecture Series – Albert Paley

ALBERT PALEY Sunday, October 27, 2002 7:30 – 9:00pm “When I started doing iron, all of a sudden it was a revelation…it became my vehicle for exploration.” Born in Philadelphia in 1944 and internationally acclaimed as a metalsmith artist, Albert Paley is particularly known for his work with ferrous metals as architectural ornamentation. During his thirty-year career, he has moved from jewelry to decorative arts to architectural adornment to sculpture, and is often identified as one of the artists responsible for breaking the boundaries between sculpture, design, and the crafts. Albert will show images of his work and discuss the diversity and significance of his prolific creations in metal. Albert first came to prominence as one of the leading craft jewelers in the United States, but it was his twin foundation of jewelry and metalwork that has forged his legendary career as a metal worker, blacksmith, monumental sculptor or simpley “Master of Metal.” His most famous commission: the portal gates of the Renwick Gallery at The National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. is a testament to masterful design, skill and ability. ABOUT ALBERT PALEY Paley received his BFA and MFA degrees from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. Currently, he is a professor and artist-in-residence holding the Charlotte Fredericks Morris Endowed Chair at the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Paley exhibits nationally and internationally; his work can be found in museums around the world in places such as the the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge University, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the White House. Commissioned works are located at Bausch and Lomb’s headquarters in Rochester, and a new courthouse in San Francisco. Paley’s honors include the American Institute of Architects Award of Excellence and honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts from State University of New York at Brockport, St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, and the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. In 1997 Paley received the Masters of the Medium award from the Smithsonian Institute.

Lecture Series – Jackson, Kahn, Hayden

PRESTON JACKSON Figures, Monuments, Steel & Society Figurative Metal Sculpture & the Dialogue of Teaching Sunday, July 28, 2002, 7:30 – 9:30pm Preston Jackson, a leading Chicago artist and educator, is a prime example of an established artist who is exceedingly generous in devoting his time to teaching others, and who seeks to make art accessible to all. Jackson’s bronze figurative work, monumental steel sculpture and small abstract pieces reflect his concerns about the direction society is taking; common themes include protests against war, racism, sexism, violence and injustice. One of Jackson’s major pieces is Bronzeville to Harlem, a large-scale work depicting the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance period. Bronzeville to Harlem consists of 300 small bronze figures in an 125-foot neighborhood of approximately 30 buildings; the painted steel and cast bronze installation continuously evolves with new ideas and images, kinetics, sound and lighting. Join us for a presentation of his work, a discussion about how his teaching philosophy both engages his students and invigorates his art, and a demonstration of his metalworking techniques and processes. Jackson’s commissioned works include “Let’s Play Two”, a sculpture of Ernie Banks at the Chicago ESPNZone; the Martin Luther King Memorial Bust in Danville, IL; a memorial sculpture at the Fire Training Academy, Peoria, IL; and a memorial sculpture to Frederick Douglass in the Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL. Monumental works include the bronze building façade and entry doors at the Cahokia Mounds Museum, Cahokia Mounds, IL. He is represented in numerous collections, including Purdue University, the Union League Club, Illinois State Museum and the University of Illinois. Jackson earned a B.F.A. in painting at Southern Illinois University in 1969, and an M.F.A in sculpture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1971. He taught at Millikin University and Western Illinois University before joining the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1994 to 1996, Jackson was the Chair of the Sculpture Department, and currently serves as the Head of the Figurative Area. In 1998, Jackson was chosen as Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the highest honor given to individuals in the State. Learn more about Preston Jackson at www.artic.edu/~pjacks. NED KAHN Art, Science and Creation through Chaos Kinetic & Environmental Sculpture Sunday, August 25, 2002, 7:30 – 9:30pm Ned Kahn is a sculptor, kinetic artist and scientific phenomenon visionary, whose internationally acclaimed works both delight the eye and provide visibility into some of nature’s most dynamic systems. Working with fog, wind, sand, fire and light, Kahn’s interactive works respond to their surroundings and swirl, whirl, flow and dance, as tornado vortices illuminate properties of air and water, dunes of sand sculpt ever-changing landscapes, and copper filaments emulate the plate tectonic motion of earthquakes. By blurring the lines between art and science, Kahn coaxes natural phenomenon to reveal their turbulent and complex behaviors, as he manipulates metal, sand and glass to create microcosms of the natural world. Join us for a presentation of his work, a discussion […]

Lecture Series

The Crucible hosted lively lecture series, featuring artists, artisans and tradespeople who present their work and answer questions about the processes and techniques they use to produce their art. Lectures were held on Sunday evenings, and provide the opportunity to hear from creatives on the vanguard of arts and industry today. Fall 2003 Beverly Pepper: Sculpture, Abstraction, Steel & Environment Fall 2002 Albert Paley: Master of Metal Summer 2002 Preston Jackson: Figures, Monuments, Steel & Society Ned Kahn: Art, Science and Creation through Chaos Michael Hayden: The Art of Luminosity & Light Spring 2002 Lanny Silverman: Kinetic Art and Art & Technology – from a Curator’s Viewpoint Alleghany Meadows: Rhythm, Labor, & Form: Utilitarian Pottery Susan Kingsley: Metalsmithing & Postmodern Alchemy Mike Hill: Monuments of Stone, Metal & Cement

Lecture Series – Silverman, Meadows, Kingsley, Hill

LANNY SILVERMAN Kinetic Art and Art & Technology from a Curator’s Viewpoint Sunday, July 28, 2002, 7:30 – 9:30pm As a curator, Lanny Silverman is ringmaster of sorts: he choreographs shows that refuse to lie flat on the walls or sit quietly for contemplation. Lanny will discuss the ins, outs, downs and ups of orchestrating exhibitions that feature the works of contemporary and kinetic artists such as Jean Tinguely, Robert Rauschenberg, Dennis Oppenheim, Alice Aycock, Roxy Paine, and Michael Paha. Lanny Silverman has been Curator of exhibitions at The Chicago Cultural Center for over ten years, curating over fifty exhibitions, including The Nature of the Machine, a major survey of kinetic and biokinetic art. Previously, he was Curator of Education and Programming at The Madison Art Center where he managed exhibits of art, new music, performance art and film. Larry has taught in the Education Departments of the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Akron Museum of Art. ALLEGHANY MEADOWS Rhythm, Labor, & Form: Utilitarian Pottery Ceramic sculpture February 24, 2002, 6:30 – 8:30pm Alleghany Meadows seeks alchemy in clay. Join him as he discusses how he uses the plasticity and subtle responses of the medium to create objects that are intimately connected through size, form and surface to both the human body and to nature. His lecture will focus on the creative process within the context of utilitarian pottery, and how his studies in Nepal and Japan have influenced his work. Alleghany Meadows is a studio potter in Carbondale, Colorado. He earned an MFA from Alfred University and a BA from Pitzer College in California. Alleghany studied indigenous pottery in Nepal as a Watson Fellow, and apprenticed in Japan to Karatsu potter Takashi Nakazato. He has taught workshops and lectures at Penland, Greenwich House Pottery, Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, and the Mendocino Arts Center. His work is collected and exhibited nationally, and has been featured in over thirty group and solo shows. Learn more about Alleghany Meadows at www.art-stream.com. SUSAN KINGSLEY Metalsmithing & Postmodern Alchemy March 24, 2002, 6:30 – 8:30pm Susan Kingsley makes objects that play perversely with desire and culture of display, and with the constructs of self and sexuality. Join her as she discusses how she uses her work to destabilize accepted definitions or art, craft, gender and the body and to propel the viewer into spaces where meaning begins to fragment and metamorphose. Susan will focus on her recent work and her use of the hydraulic press to transform metal. Susan Kingsley is an independent studio artist living in Carmel, California. She received a BA from the College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio and an MFA from Vermont College, Montpelier, Vermont. A writer on art, craft and feminist issues, she is also the author of the technical book, Hydraulic Die Forming for Jewelers and Metalsmiths. She has taught workshops and lectured throughout the U.S. and Canada and is a part-time instructor at Monterey Peninsula College. She received an NEA/Western states Arts Fellowship for her […]