"This up-and-coming arts district — home to many established and emerging artist and musicians— including Green Day — since the mid 80s.
Hundreds of artists have lived and worked here — but our roots go back to the turn of the century when the area was canning factories and dairy farms. The Portuguese workers would walk home at the end of the week with their salary in coins jingling in their pockets — hence the name Jingletown..."
— Jan Watten
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Jan Watten is an artist. Jan Watten is an Oaklander. It's interesting how often those two things go together. Born and raised in Oakland, Jan is an extraordinarily talented photographer. A product of the California College of the Arts, she photographs with this thing called "film" and only in black and white, and creates some incredibly beautiful images. Jan moved to a big, rambling loft space in Oakland's Jingletown more than 30 years ago and has seen that neighborhood go through decades of changes. Believing that art is, "a vehicle for communication, community building and inspiration," three years ago she turned her loft space into Gray Loft Gallery. It is here that Jan has created a place where she hopes to, "inspire, engage, celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of artists at every level," in an environment that is an alternative to the traditional gallery model. It is because of people like Jan and the work she is doing that so many emerging artists choose Oakland as their alternative.