Saturday, December 6, 2014

San Francisco Main Library
Galleries and Exhibits

The San Francisco Main Library at 100 Larkin Street currently has eleven exhibits throughout the building, including three in the two main galleries and eight in other areas of the library.  

Some of the current exhibits are:
Ohlone Elders and Youth Speak: Restoring A California Legacy (Pictured above)
Jewett Gallery – Lower Level  
Through: Sunday, 1/04/15
Photographs and oral histories of young and old Ohlone tribal members celebrating their culture.  During this exhibit, the annual October Ohlone Big Time Gathering was held at the Rob Hill Campground in the San Francisco Presidio.     

Compositions: A Filipino American Experience
Skylight Gallery Exhibit Area - 6th Floor
Through Sunday, 12/07/14
Historical photographs by Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado of the Filipino community in San Francisco during the 1940s and 1950s

Primal Green II
Our Environment 
through Quilt Artists’ Vision and Voice
Wallace Stegner Environmental Center - 5th Floor
Through Friday, 4/24/15

Over 20 local quilt and fiber artists exhibit quilts with an environmental theme, including abstracts, landscapes, kayaking and more, from five foot square to placemat size and smaller.

My favorite was “Compost,” an artistically accurate and tasteful rendition of a wide spectrum of rotting garbage.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bay Area picks for post-Thanksgiving activities

Visit the Contemporary Jewish Museum and explore the delightful world of the bird-chasing dog Mr. Lunch in a new exhibition inspired by the much-loved children’s books illustrated by J. Otto Seibold and written with Vivian Walsh.

The museum has created a three-dimensional version of Mr. Lunch's office, complete with a modern computer hidden behind a clunky 1980's interface, a jail and a simulated airport security gate.

 The experience of "Mr. Lunch Takes a Plane Ride" begins at the gallery entrance where visitors go through an airport security gate and children receive a free take home activity passport for use during their visit. The passport includes scavenger hunts, drawing activities, and more.
This Friday, Drop-In Art-Making Friday, Nov 28 (continued on Sunday, Nov 30, Sunday, Dec 7)

Contemporary Jewish Museum. Free with regular admission

Fred Lyons and more at: activities

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Arnold Newman at the CJM, Keith Harring at the de Young & a bit more


Ben Gurion
"Arnold Newman, Master Class," at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM): Nobody will be able to accuse Arnold Newman of promoting a simplistic or easily recognizable brand. An influential 20th century portrait photographer, "Arnold Newman: Masterclass" at the CJM presents some of his most famous portraits as well as numerous works which have never before been shown in public.

 Martha Graham

 Divided into 10 sections that delineate Newman's various approaches – the extensive exhibition, which is too much to take in at one visit, expands on how he thought and practiced his craft. Empathetic and sympathetic, he never descends to romantic cliche or facile glamor.

 Henry Miller
 Newman found his vision in the empathy he felt for artists and their work. Although he photographed many famous personalities—Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, and Audrey Hepburn—he maintained that even if the subject is not known, or is already forgotten, the photograph itself must still excite and interest the viewer. He sought to capture the person in their environment, avoiding the staged cliches of other photographers.

 Marilyn Monroe
A vulnerable Marilyn Monroe has never been photographed with such delicate understanding or the grand diva of dance, Martha Graham, with such respect for her icy power.

"I didn't just want to make a photograph with some things in the background," Newman told American Photo magazine in an interview. "The surroundings had to add to the composition and the understanding of the person. No matter who the subject was, it had to be an interesting photograph. Just to simply do a portrait of a famous person doesn't mean a thing."

"We want to show another side of Newman," said co-curator Todd Brandow. "There's a whole body of his work that hasn't been explored. For the first time we're getting into the way he worked. He kept his secrets to himself, but we had access to his archives."

The first major exhibition of the photographer's work since his death, "Arnold Newman: Masterclass" examines the evolution of his singular vision. Contemporary Jewish Museum. Through Feb 2015.

The Haring show is bound to be enormously popular - jazzy, brightly cartoon figures, all fun and games. But Arnold Newman's photos require much more attention and should not be missed.

More about Keith Haring, Mark di Suvero and Udo Nöger at

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

'Roads of Arabia' explores the Arabian peninsula's ancient past

A new exhibit "Roads of Arabia," now showing at the Asian Art Museum displays a treasure trove of the Arabian peninsula's largely unknown pre-Islamic past, some of which dates back to the beginnings of human history.The objects on display may radically transform our understanding of the history of that now barren wasteland, still largely closed to Westerners. Although the exhibit is not lacking in beauty, “Roads of Arabia” is an archaeological and historical exhibition, rather than an art show.

In 2009, Australian scholar David Kennedy used Google Earth to identify almost 2,000 unexplored archaeological sites. He was able to focus attention on the battle between the powerful Saudi Arabian clergy for the destruction of that heritage and the determination of the  Saudi Arabian monarchy to protect that inheritance.

more at:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bay Area Weekend Picks for Sept 30-Oct 2. Hans Hoffman, SF Giants and more

The weekend will get off with a roar on Friday with the SF Giant’s victory parade and Halloween.Eric Fischl has some critical words about American art in the Guardian, Lee Krasner and Nicki de Satint Phalle were born this week and it’s the 3rd weekend of SF’s Open Studios

Weekend 3 (11 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 1-2): Mission, Castro, Bernal Heights, Noe Valley, Upper Market, Glen Park

It's Alfred Sisley's birthday as well! 

Happy birthday to Alfred Sisley, born on this day in 1839. Enjoy "The Seine at Bougival."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

'Houghton Hall; Portrait of an English Country House' at the Legion of Honor

Have you ever dreamed of living in a sumptuous English country estate, being served tea by a liveried footman, going to grand balls and sleeping in 4-poster beds, covered with rare Chinese silk? The current exhibit at the Legion of Honor, "Houghton Hall; Portrait of an English Country House" should satisfy even the most avid lover of Downtown Abbey and of a particular kind of very upper class, very elite English life style.

Houghton Hall brings to San Francisco a wonderful array of objects from one of Britain’s great country houses, and reflects the history of this magnificent estate across nearly 300 years, from the 18th century to the present day. The show features more than 100 pieces from the estate, including old-master paintings from their once-lost collection, Sèvres porcelain, and pieces from the eighteenth-century interiors and furniture designed by William Kent.

More at:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Día de los Muertos and more events for October 10 - 12

October at the Oakland Museum of California: A new exhibition opened at OMCA this Wednesday, October 8, honoring the Mesoamerican and Californian traditions of Días de los Muertos.

"Songs and Sorrows." Días de los Muertos 20th Anniversary marks two decades of OMCA exhibitions devoted to the evolution of this tradition. Spanning three galleries and including immersive new installations, "Songs and Sorrows" offers many ways to revel in the history of this celebration.

The 20th anniversary of the exhibition at OMCA will explore the tradition from its pre-Hispanic origins to its present expressions in California. Pre-Hispanic funerary artifacts, Mexican folk art, contemporary art, and installations will convey the iconic imagery and the aesthetic and spiritual qualities of this festival.
Friday, October 1, 7 - 8 p.m. Opening Artist Ritual for "Días de los Muertos"

For more information:   

SOMArts' 15th annual Día de los Muertos exhibition, "Visions at Twilight." Each year, more than 80 Bay Area artists from diverse cultural backgrounds acknowledge the cycles of life and death in the Day of the Dead exhibition at SOMArts. Through their installations and altars, they look at local and global issues, ranging from the deeply personal to the political and emphasize viewer interaction.

This year the exhibition pays special attention to cycles of change and the loss of people and culture being felt in the Bay Area now.

More information about the exhibition & accompanying events:
Tickets are $15 each. Opening this Friday, October 10, 6–9 p.m.

Yerba Buena Night. This free outdoor arts festival includes more than 40 performances on five stages throughout Jessie Square, Yerba Buena Lane, the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts and Annie Street Plaza. The event kicks off with the Yerba Buena Alliance Art Walk at 4 p.m., during which galleries and institutions will be free; area restaurants and bars will offer discounts. 4-10 p.m. Saturday. Check website for schedule and locations.

Litquake. The biggest literary festival in San Francisco celebrates its 15th anniversary with a quinceanera at 7 p.m. Friday at Z Space, 450 Florida St. (tickets: $15). Then, the nine-day affair kicks into high gear, with some 30 events around the area on Saturday alone. Through Oct. 18; check website for schedule.

Flourish Oakland. Oakland Art Murmur’s annual fundraising party-auction presents works by emerging and mid-career artists as well, chosen from member galleries and donated by the artists themselves. There will also be live music from the Oakland Manouche Project and cameos by Oakland Ballet dancers. 6-10 p.m. $75. Saturday. Classic Cars West, 411 26th St., Oakland.