Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After…

pictur efor blog.jpgTwo colossal books guard the entrance to Children’s Fairyland at Oakland’s Lake Merritt, with their pages open to the most applicable lines in fairy-tale history: “Once upon a time” and “Happily ever after.” From the time they were erected and still today, thousands of joggers, families, and workers on lunch breaks must have passed these stony words, muttering them under their breath as they hurried along. But although we are presented with both the beginning and end, the middle seems to be missing–where’s the story?

Oakland-based artist Scott Oliver must have kept this in mind while developing Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After…, a public art project. As a way to raise awareness about Lake Merritt’s social, cultural, and ecological history, Oliver created a self-guided audio tour complete with field recordings, music, and interviews on the sights and sounds of Oakland’s “jewel.”

You can rent headphones and pamphlets at the Rotary Nature Center on Saturdays and Sundays, or you can download the audio tour any day of the week!