Welcome to the Pop Art Continuum!

Date & Time

What:     An AOK Online Art Auction

Where:  Here! bit.ly/AOKPopArt

Why:      Fund Arts Education Grants for 

                Oakland Public School Students

When:   Auction Preview Opens on 5/16

 First Access Reception on 5/22 @ 2-4pm 

                Online Auction Launches 5/22 @ 4pm PST

                Online Auction Closes 6/5 @ 8pm PST

About the Auction

This online auction has been built around two limited-edition prints by Mel Ramos from his private collection— generously donated by the Mel and Leta Ramos Family Foundation. The Mel and Leta Ramos Family Foundation is a non-profit family foundation focused on supporting arts education programs such as scholarships, teaching artist opportunities, visual arts curriculum, youth projects, and exhibitions by and for youth. Founded by family members of the late Mel and Leta Ramos, the Foundation’s work is in keeping with the lifelong passion of Mel and Leta Ramos to support the visual arts and visual artists through art-making, teaching, and creating learning opportunities for youth and future arts leaders.

Mel Ramos is one of the founders and luminaries of the American Pop Art movement. At the first U.S. Pop Art exhibition in 1963, Pop Art, USA, Mel Ramos, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein cemented the American movement.

Radiating out from that first “Pow!” moment to today, Pop Art Continuum features exhilarating works from renowned Pop, Graphic, Graffiti, and Street Artists.

All proceeds from this auction will fund arts education grants for programs reaching students in under-resourced Oakland public schools.

About Our Organization

Arts for Oakland Kids (AOK), is a 25-year-old, 501(c)(3) Arts Justice fund. AOK provides community-funded grants to teaching artists and arts organizations for hands-on arts education programs in Oakland’s most under-resourced public schools. 

AOK’s Arts Justice work is built on the belief that access to arts education shouldn’t be based on wealth, race, or zipcode. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts in the 1990s, Oakland has a two-tiered education. 20% of Oakland’s public school students receive arts education 3-5 times per week in multiple art forms while the other 80% have little or no arts education at all. Arts Justice will be achieved when all Oakland public school students are receiving the benefits of a consistent, world-class arts education.

AOK works to address this inequity with targeted grants to teaching artists and arts organizations to provide hands-on, in-school, weekly programs. One of the ways that we raise funds for these grants is by holding quarterly, online art auctions. 

All proceeds from this auction will directly fund grants.

About Mel Ramos

Mel Ramos is internationally recognized as a contemporary master and luminary in the Pop Art pantheon. In 1963, Mel Ramos, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein took part in two, first of their kind Pop Art exhibitions that are credited with cementing the American Pop Art movement: “Pop Art USA” at the Oakland Art Museum and  “Pop Goes East” at the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston. These artists are heralded as ushering in the beginning of the American Pop Art movement, and the end of Abstract Expressionism as the dominant style.

Cat Woman

Mel Ramos (1935-2018) became known for juxtaposing glamorous, stylized female nudes with artifacts of American commercialism – recognized by his distinctive pin-up girls posing with and popping out of larger-than-life consumer goods, such as candy bars and soft drinks. 

While Ramos is widely viewed as one of the most significant representatives of the Pop movement, he created far fewer works than his contemporaries; don’t miss this rare chance to own one of his legendary works. Ramos’s auction record of $1.69 million was set in 2012 at Sotheby’s London.

Black Cat

Mel Ramos meticulously hand-painted all of his works while also maintaining his commitment to mentorship with a full-time position as an art professor at California State University, East Bay. Both Mel and his late wife, Leta, were passionate arts educators and Arts for Oakland Kids is deeply grateful to the Mel and Leta Ramos Family Foundation for their donation of these limited edition (signed and numbered) lithographs. The sale of these works will carry on Mel and Leta’s legacy by funding grants for teaching artists to bring arts education programs to students in Oakland’s most under-resourced public schools.

The Program from the “Pop Art USA” Exhibition at the Oakland Art Museum in 1963

Check out our grantees!