Berkeley Neighborhoods Council


Dedicated to improving the quality of life for all
by creating a unified neighborhood voice
for promoting livability and resolving problems


The Cultural Corner

BNC will select a neighborhood cultural treasure to feature in each eNEWS issue .  The business or activity selected must be in the City of Berkeley and nominated by a resident without the knowledge of the business, event or activity that he/she is nominating.  The Newsletter Committee will make the selection if there is more than one nomination and publish it anonymously.  Submissions can be sent to  BNC will notify the selected treasure.

BNC disclosure:  Two people nominated our October selection, and the owner inadvertently found out about the nomination, so he knew about the article before it was published.  However, that didn't change our decision to publish this because it's such an interesting place that deserves to be better known throughout Berkeley.

Our selection for the October issue is:

Art House Gallery and Cultural Center
2905 Shattuck Avenue (on the east side of Shattuck between Ashby and Russell)
Berkeley, CA 94705

The story about the Art House Gallery and Cultural Center is impossible to tell without knowing a bit more about Harold Adler, its owner and director.  Here is what Charles Kruger, painter and blogger known as “The Storming Bohemian,” and also member of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, and Board Chairman of the highly regarded reading series, Quiet Lightning, says about Harold Adler and his work at the Art House Gallery and Cultural Center:

Harold Adler, founder and curator of the Art House Gallery and Cultural Center, has been a fixture in the Berkeley arts community for over 40 years and he's still going strong.  Well known for his photographic coverage of the Beat scene, the Free Speech Movement, and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement, Harold just doesn't know when to quit.  Thank goodness.  Adler is deeply committed to keeping alive the vision and aesthetics of 1960s Berkeley and that's more than groovy, man.  But don't be fooled.  Despite the nostalgia on the walls and Bob Dylan's records playing in the background, Adler's curation is vital and contemporary, looking forward as well as back.  Likewise for his current photographic efforts, which are on display and well worth a look.

Brad Vicknair says:

If you haven't been to the Art House Gallery & Cultural Center in Berkeley, check it out.  Maybe the best venue for music in the Bay Area! A variety of great music including performances by many legendary 60's musicians, posters by 60's poster artist Dennis Loren and even an authentic 60's light show!

Jan Steckel, Poet adds:

What a groovy place!  Love the décor (including the hundreds of vinyl records, the turntable, the lava lamps, the colored light bulbs, the paintings, the posters, the photos) and loved Harold's guitar and harmonica playing and Clive's friendly, shoulders-shaking-with-laughter MCing.  The audience was responsive and collegial with a very high-quality open mike.  The features kicked ass and gave out free books.  It's like I died and went to poetry heaven.

The Art House and Cultural Center opened in June 2009 as an art gallery with cultural events on the weekends.  The events are diverse and range from poetry readings to live jazz, 60's rock bands, acoustic unplugged folk music, singer song writers, multimedia performances, benefit events and private parties.  Mr. Adler operates from the dual vision that “Variety is the Spice of Life” and “Expect the Unexpected.”  His ultimate goal is to continue to celebrate and applaud the rich vital arts, culture and legacy that IS Berkeley.

The building in which the Art House Gallery and Cultural Center is interesting in and of itself.  Historically it was a blacksmith's shop 100 years ago and then an industrial welding shop 50 years ago known to long-time Berkeley residents as “The Berkeley Craftsman” turning out beautiful, decorative ornamental railings for stairways, fences and houses.

The Art House Gallery celebrates the arts and culture and legacy of Berkeley both past and present.  Check out the website or telephone listed above for further information.