Anti Lab: A Resource Center for “Creative Resistance”

By Sarah Elizabeth Adler

Resist and assist: A tidy couplet that captures the spirit of Anti Lab, a self-described “resource center for creative resistance” whose uses, like its political stances, are multiple. Anti Lab, which opened in Oakland in April, is an exhibition space for local artists, a meeting place for organizations that don’t have their own, and a hub for visitors to make use of free art supplies or grab a cup of coffee. It’s also the brainchild of UC Berkeley grads Sarah Burke and Holly Meadows-Smith, close friends who began collaborating on the project in the weeks following the inauguration.

In one corner, a reading nook is stocked with a “library for liberation,” a curated selection of books and essays on alliterative themes including “Questioning Capitalism” and “Forming Feminism.” On a wall there is a banner by conceptual artist and Cal assistant art professor Stephanie Syjuco that reads, “No bigotry / No racism / No hatred / No business as usual / Resist!” A dozen or so posters by other artists fill the same wall. “Good night ‘Alt’ Right” reads one. Further down, there’s another rhyme: “Resist fear, assist love.”

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