record shop

artist talk




This project at ELL explores the curation, performance, and transaction of culture within the record shop type. Designing a show on art and cultural transaction, through the lens of Nicholas Basta, became the prompt to reconsider:

what we sell

how we sell

the value of space and its representation.

a video by: eighty9s |

Roots & Branches embodies the decade long pact between an artist, place and community. The understated motifs and patterns of the Bay Area are modified and spliced in the works and sounds of Nicholas Basta, a process that has repositioned ELL as a Record Shop -  a space built on stories and exchange.

Oakland artist and educator Nicholas Basta brings his practice and long standing creative relationships to ELL to explore the beginnings of Roots & Branches in this collaborative exhibition - of DJ's and beatmakers; illustrators and artists; photographers and directors - and to investigate a space in between creativity and commerce.


15% of sales help Elevate Oakland, a local non profit keeping art and music alive in Oakland public schools. |

Nicholas Basta

Roots & Branches started in 2006 as a community art project focused on making art and music accessible to youth while activating public spaces and building community with block parties and all ages events. Roots & Branches was co-founded by artist/educator Nicholas Basta, who has led the project through various phases over the past eleven years. As an educator, Basta has worked with a range of Oakland non-profit organizations and schools, most recently directing an artist in residence program that brings veteran musicians into public schools with music programs in need of major support. As an artist, Basta’s work ranges from DJing, building collages from found images and sounds, creating graphics that tell stories, video editing, and creating visual art. Roots & Branches aims to produce high quality creative works in various mediums to help companies, organizations and individuals tell their story, bring people together and generate dialogue.


Born to Roam Vintage

Forthrite Printing






Dave's Records

Econo Jam

Groove Merchant


Park Blvd

Vamp Music


Jeff "Silence" Arthur

Kel Troughton

Mike Park

Patrick Sean Gibson

for more info |