In April 2016, the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) will open a new exhibition exploring marijuana, its uses, and the evolving public attitudes and complex issues surrounding it. This will be the museums first ever exploration of a topic that is slowing becoming part of the national dialogue.
On view in OMCA’s Great Hall, the exhibition, titled Altered State: Marijuana in California, is designed to serve as a catalyst for discussion and reflection, as well as to facilitate conversations about marijuana outside of the exhibition space. The exhibition plans to explore the many ways that people consider marijuana, including historical, social, and political perspectives, scientific data, and opinions of a diverse range of community members and groups. Altered States will provide people with the platform to contribute their perspectives to this ongoing debate.
Through historical, scientific, and social stories, the exhibition will present ten ways that people consider cannabis in California, including: Cannabis Science, Medical Marijuana, Profitable Pot, Sacred Ganja, Criminal Dope, Creative Grass, Evil Weed, Politically Loaded, Youth and Marijuana, and Recreational Reefer. Each topic will be explored using the most current data, expert and community voices, historical and contemporary media and ephemera, interactives and prompts to stimulate conversation, and direct contributions from museum visitors.
“The roles of museums in today’s world are shifting,” says OMCA Director Lori Fogarty. “At OMCA, we aim to inspire Californians to create a more vibrant future for themselves and their communities. As part of this, we are dedicated to being a place where people can come learn about complex topics and, more importantly, add their voices and stories to the dialogue. This exhibition is proof of that in action.”
With marijuana increasingly in the news the exhibition will be a timely opportunity to explore how people have constructed different perspectives and sets of values about marijuana over time, many of which are in conflict.
“California is on the verge of making important decisions around marijuana that will impact people living in this state,” says Kelly McKinley, Director of the OMCA Lab. “OMCA is a place where people can come together to learn, question, and add their voice to the different points of view around this topic at a very critical time in public decision making.”
The exhibition will be on view in the Oakland Museum of California’s Great Hall April 16 through September 25, 2016.
Altered State: Marijuana in California is made possible in part by generous support from the Oakland Museum Women’s Board.
The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $15.95 general; $10.95 seniors and students with valid ID, $6.95 youth ages 9 to 17, and free for Members and children 8 and under. OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. The accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum. museumca.org
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.