I watch my step as I enter, careful not to step in the rubble and debris that have tumbled down from the walls and ceilings of this derelict building over time. The bare sandals I’ve chosen to wear on this hot day in late September are not the best footwear for this kind of exhibit. But never mind my feet for now, the space all around me exudes passion, sadness, poetry. It is beautiful in the grittiest, ugliest way—decay covered by layers of quirky and vivid street art. It’s something of a dream gallery; not bound by expertise or pretense, it’s all heart.
When I heard that 80 local street artists would be taking over a three-story abandoned factory in Berkeley for a temporary exhibit called Special Delivery, there was never any doubt that I was going to go. It was open to the public on weekends for four weeks in September, and I made it on the very last day.
Someday, the art-loving building director who hosted this exhibit with Endless Canvas will oversee the transformation of this site into an office building. But for four weeks, it was a grungy artistic wonderland open to the public; a living but ephemeral museum of underground culture that will only last in photographs: