Since the Park Avenue Districts’ 2006-2011 renovation, the shady, tree-lined street has mostly remained a secret among the small local workforce and few residents. Slowly but surely, the street-level retail area of the David Baker designed Emeryville Warehouse Lofts is filling out. Shed Salon might have been the first to break the string of faceless legal & architecture firms and since then, we’ve added the East Bay Pilates studio.
The latest addition to the Park Avenue District is the Pacific Landscape Gallery. A showcase of the landscape, nature & wildlife photography of ten-year Emeryville resident Steve Lefkovits. Lefkovits saw the potential of the space & neighborhood and seized the opportunity to showcase his work that had previously only been available online.
Originally from Upstate New York, his family moved to San Francisco when he was 11. He was introduced to nature through the Cub Scouts as a youth and found a passion for photography at the age of 13. “I got to college and realized I just wasn’t really happy, I sat down one day and said, ‘What makes me happy?’ I used to take pictures for the school yearbook, that made me happy.” He had his father send him his camera from home and he began taking pictures for the school paper. He followed this up with an internship with the NY Times as a junior and a full-time Job working as a USA Today staff photographer after graduation. “I just never looked back”.
With an Ivy league pedigree (Econ BA from Yale and MPA from Princeton) Lefkovits “day job” is in Real Estate with a focus on the multifamily segment. “My parents always stressed balance. Photography now gives me a structured way to be out in nature, to experience nature, to interact with nature and to get the things that I don’t get living in the city.” After leaving his USA Today post covering news, sports and entertainment, his photography interests have shifted towards natural beauty.
“I’m really fortunate to go to amazing places that make me feel things I’ve never felt before. Photography gives me a chance to bring some of those things home to share with other people. So for me the whole idea of the gallery is to give other people a chance to conveniently experience some of the stuff that takes us weeks to get to or is dangerous or won’t happen again or is simply beyond what they are comfortable doing. I really feel very strongly that connecting with nature is an inherent part of what brings balance to everything. So if I can inspire people to get out and go for a hike or get out and go whale watching or encourage people to look up at the night sky away from the city and see the stars and have that connection for themselves.”
Lefkovits unsuccessfully tried to lease the prominent corner unit of the Emeryville Warehouse lofts that had been primarily used for residential. He ultimately bought the place outright when the owner put it on the market. In addition to being a gallery for his personal work, Lefkovits also plans on renting the space out for small events & gatherings of 15-20 people. With the addition of places like Steve’s gallery, The Park Avenue District seems poised for the growth and becoming “The Arts District” mapped out in the Park Avenue District Plan.
Check them out online or call to arrange a personal viewing!
1512 Park Avenue
Emeryville, CA 94608
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