Thursday, September 29, 2011

36th Annual San Francisco Open Studios, 2011. 1st weekend

The Mission, Bernal Heights, Castro, Eureka Valley, and Excelsior are the
focus of Weekend 1, October 1 & 2. Paul Madonna, well-known Mission-based
illustrator and creator of All Over Coffee, a weekly strip in the San Francisco Chronicle and on The Rumpus, returns this year, as well as painter and installation artist Cynthia Tom, whose surreal paintings touch on cultural identity, women¹s issues, the circus and more.

 Alexandra Blum is showing her colorful monotypes at 661 Castro while Jennifer Ewing exhibits her work on "spirit boats" at 540 Alabama St. 

Felicia Hoshino's charming children's book illustrations at Art Explosion and the Metal Arts Guild on Valencia, showcasing the work of dozens of  skilled, contemporary metal and jewelry artists.

Sadie Valeri's exquisite realistic paintings, showing at the studio complex at 18th and Mission.

Check out other artists and art events at the Art Span website and download a map.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Glenda Joyce Hape: Connections Through Fiber

The de Young’s Artist-In-Residence Program returns after a short hiatus with Glenda Joyce Hape: Connections Through Fiber, October 5–30, 2011, in the Kimball Education Gallery. Hape, a Maori artist living and working in New Zealand, has had an interest in weaving for as long as she can remember. In recent years, she has enjoyed challenging technical boundaries and combining multimedia in her form making.

Hape’s strong passion draws attention to traditional and contemporary weaving techniques in the context of Maori costume, especially as it relates to kakahu (cloaks). Hape acknowledges her family, kinship group and community as strong informants in her thinking and inspiration for creating artwork. “My artwork speaks of and acknowledges the exquisite taonga (treasures) created by our tipuna (ancestors),” explains Hape. Read more at:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Central Market Arts Festival Kick-Off Weekend at Mint Plaza

San Francisco sure knows how to party..Central Market Arts Festival Kick-Off Weekend at Mint Plaza

Celebrate the start of the annual 24 Days of Central Market Arts Festival at Mint Plaza with a weekend of performances by acclaimed local companies on Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25. A complete list of events here:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Smithsonian Museum Day, Sat 9/24/2011

Ji-Young Lee. Be Tinged, 2010 . Naturally dyed silk and silk yarn, traditional surrender technique, handstitching. Museum of Craft and Folk Art, SF

In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free.

Check out the link for a list of Bay Area Museums offering free admission. The beauty of this offer is that it's nation wide so where ever you live, there's probably a museum participating in the program.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dog murdering artist gets $750,000 grant from SFAC

When the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) sent out the press release for the artists chosen to decorate the Central Subway project, I filed it in my "ticker" file with a note to keep checking back.

I didn't give it much further thought except to note, with irritation, that some of the larger grants had not gone to local artists.

Like many San Franciscans, I was dubious about the value of the subway project. The price tag of $8 million and rising was high to begin with and a few extra million to various artists didn't seem more than a drop in the bucket of political patronage.

The name "Tom Otterness" didn't ring a bell.

Read more:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the de Young

Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886–1957). Two Women and a Child, 1926. Oil on canvas. Gift of Albert M. Bender to the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. 1926.122. © 2010 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F./ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Diego Rivera's art was rooted in European modernism and the Mexican Renaissance, which sought to reaffirm indigenous culture as a means of unifying national consciousness. Rivera's depictions of rural Mexicans transformed cultural stereotypes with negative associations of poverty and ignorance into powerful nationalist symbols of human dignity and perseverance.

more at:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9.11

9/11/2011. The Day. Bern Rauch. acrylic on canvas, 9x8'. At Driftwood salon.

I was sound asleep when one of my friends called me with the news. She was an early riser and told me to turn on the TV. I could not believe what I was seeing and it took quite a long time for what was happening to really sink in.

I was touched by the world wide outpouring of support and grief. For once in my life, I felt patriotic and even listened to the ceremony where Kathleen Battle sang so powerfully.

Then came the rest - restrictions on our civil liberties, a bombastic jingoism, a hijacked election, a right wing Supreme Court, endless war, endless death. How many have died since 9.11?  I can't even begin to count.

I hate the meaningless rhetoric wrapped around the American flag. I refuse to accept that it's been the "worse catastrophe" since ever and I know too much to believe the fraudulent claim that nobody has suffered like we have. We didn't even attack the right country when we invaded Iraq for the majority of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia!

But if Bin Laiden and his followers wanted to destroy America, I think they have succeeded in ways that they may have never predicted. We have a debt that will probably destroy the country, unless we can reverse the tax breaks given to the most wealthy. The right wing and the mega-rich have a death grip on our economy, seeming not to care if the majority of people fall into an abyss little better than medieval serfdom . We have lost thousands of our young and killed more than thousands of people in countries that we knew little about before 9.11 and probably still know little about. Our political discourse has become toxic. The middle class that supported our democracy is under attack - not from outside terrorists but from an equally ruthless right wing plutocracy.

There are a few artists and a few events that approach this anniversary with sensitivity and political acumen - Driftwood Gallery is featuring the work of Bern Rauch (my friend Bernie from Project Artaud) whose paintings are a powerful look at 9.11. Ben Wood will be showing a new video at an interfaith service, the Cartoon Museum is sponsoring an on line exhibit and SFMOMA is offering free admission to active duty police, firefighters and first responders (and their families) this Sunday, September 11.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Getty acquires the Abby Bible, a 13th century Italian masterpiece

The Getty Museum has just added to their already superb collection of manuscripts by the acquisition of the Abbey Bible, an Italian illuminated manuscript that exemplifies the highest achievements of the Gothic era.

more at....(plus more images:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bay Area Fall Arts Preview

Titian. Danae, part of Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power From the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna: Key works by Tintoretto, Titian, Giorgione, Mantegna and others from one of Europe's great city collections. Oct. 29-Feb. 12. De Young Museum

Mark your calendars for we are in for a glorious fall. You will be able to travel the world culturally without leaving the Bay Area - Dada in Berkeley, Houdini at the CJM, Maharajahs at the Asian and masterworks collected by the Hapsburg Dynasty - including Titian, Mantegna and Giorgione at the De Young. Read on because there's more, much more...