The jury still isn’t out on the deadly and devastating Ghost Ship fire from late 2016 but Oakland is grappling with another artist-filled warehouse that caught fire just one mile away.
A three-alarm fire hit a former metalwork facility at 976 23rd Ave. in East Oakland early Friday morning, sending black smoke that could be seen for miles. Fortunately, no deaths or injuries were reported at the resident-free warehouse known as m0xy.
But several artists lost their workspaces. About 10 studios were damaged in the fire, which took several hours to extinguish. In response, at least five GoFundMe campaigns have been launched to help the artists recover work materials, tools, and find another studio that may very well be less affordable.
One of them is for artist Rachel Sadd, known as The Crafty Avenger. She hopes to raise $12,000 to get back to projects made out of recycled materials, garment design, and leading Emeryville’s MakerSpace Ace Monster Toys.
“I’m just incredibly sad,” Sadd told Bay City News. “That’s 20 years of my work gone. And I’m incredibly grateful for how m0xy was run and that nobody was hurt.”
Parts for her latest project, the Gift-o-Matic had not been shipped to the warehouse but she still needs help build and install it in time for the Oakland Museum’s “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” exhibit scheduled for Oct. 12.
Sadd isn’t the only one looking for contributions to get back on track. Artist Ryan Montgomery, whose large-scale installations he rents under Geary & Hyde Design were destroyed, is seeking $15,000 to recover.
Woodworker Aaron Pirata Cronshey is hoping to raise $25,000 to buy back all of his tools in order to earn a living once again. Skiff, a fabrication business that makes furniture among other things, needs $20,000 to get back on its feet. Another woodworking group, 02 Treehouse, is seeking $30,000 despite the total replacement cost being more than $100,000 to continue building treehouses.
“Our business and livelihood, as well as the livelihood of our workers and many of our peers, has been put in very real danger by the fire,” reads the 02 Treehouse GoFundMe. “If you are able to support in any way during this time of crisis we will be eternally grateful.”
This post has been updated to reflect the new GoFundMe for Ryan Montgomery.