As mentioned in the post for the Guerrero Gallery, April is Pao Art Month where I dedicate one night a week to checking out the abundant art shows and happenings around SF. Last week I hit up the SOMA Spring Open Studios, a three-day event presenting the works of 50+ artists from the city. A few of us hit up the opening Friday night Neighborhood Arts Crawl, in which artists opened their work spaces and studios to the public to share their creative outlets. Although ten studios opened their doors to the public, our group opted for a more focused night of culture, spending the majority of our time at the ARC Studios & Gallery on Folsom and 9th street.
ARC Studios is a bi-level warehouse type building housing 12 artists over the course of the year. A number of other artists leased out space for the event and wine and small bites were our companions through the evening. The center is a working studio and education center focused on the professional development of local artists.
The vibe was open, friendly, and unpretentious, encouraging patrons and artists to explore, ask questions, meet the artists on display, and of course, appreciate art…maybe buying a piece or two. The mediums were varied; from photography, to acrylic, oil painting, screen prints and even paper mache in the form of a woman’s sultry figure. Some of my favorites included photography photographer Eric Larson, who takes a unique spin on photography throughout the Bay area. One of his pieces fused different three-dimensional photos of the Presidio forest in a two-dimensional space, changing your perspective on the same scene.
I almost purchased a piece from Hilary Wiliams, an artist who combines different mediums like paint, patterning and screen prints to create bright artistic renditions of different SF urban landscapes.
Mike Kimball’s offering, The Cargo Series, presented clean, modern shots of cargo trucks and freight that echoed an architectural influence.
Something tells me that with Blue Bottle spin off, Goody Goodies, a cookie concoction set to open in the next couple months, ARC Studios will not be struggling to entice passerbyers into their doors.
After a successful first gallery venture into SOMA, my hunger for more artistic exposure took over and I was excited to learn from ARC Studios part owner, Stephen Wagner, that there would be a Mission version this weekend, April 24th and 25th.
The event is called The Art Explosion and honors the abundance of artists in the popular neighborhood where hipsters, fixies and foodie run amuck. This is the 10th spring art event in the Mission and will present art offerings from over 140 local artists. Sculptors, photographers, painters, jewelers and textile artists will come together for a 3 day expose of their passions. The event opened with a Friday night reception, with the main event kicking off Saturday from 12PM to 5PM and then continuing through Sunday night. Location? The galleries stretch from 17th street and Potrero to Alabama and 19th. I plan on hitting up the event all day on Sunday with some friends, and will definitely be interspersing a taqueria tour in between galleries. Check out the link below for more deets and prepare to get cultured and inspired.