Monday, November 21, 2016

SF State 29th Annual Stillwell Student Juried Exhibition

 Leo Stillwell Self Portrait
Courtesy SFSU

The majority of the exhibition at the SFSU Fine Arts Gallery features art students’ latest work in a variety of medium.  The most moving piece in the exhibit is a Golden Gate Bridge replica sculpture, titled “Crisis Line: (415) 781-0500,”  referring to the San Francisco Suicide Prevention Crisis Line, composed of bright red miniature plastic people fused together.   

Nearby was a laugher, a bulging circle made from hundreds of emoji stickers, titled, “Please Just Call Me.”

One wall of the exhibit showcases letters and drawings by watercolorist and oil painter Leo D. Stillwell Jr, who died in 1948 at age 22.    The letters, which include drawings, were written by Stillwell to his friend Russell Hartley.   Beautiful small paintings and drawings also adorn the backs of the envelopes.  The letters were found about 25 years ago in a dumpster on Duboce Street by Alan Perry, who recently donated them to the University.    Stillwell’s mother donated 500 of his works to SF State in 1987, although her son never attended SFSU.  Bay Area journalist and former SF Chronicle writer Jesse Hamlin wrote about the exhibition recently in the Chronicle.

I arrived at the exhibit 15 minutes before closing, so I was in a hurry and didn’t take notes.   The Gallery does not allow photographs.    After I left, I saw signs directing me to another gallery several hallways and doorways away.   When I got there, it was closed.  I passed by some large pottery workshops finding my way on the way out of whatever building I ended up in.    Not to go all John King here, but hopefully when the new SFSU buildings go up on 19th Avenue after the Muni revamp, there will be easier access to public spaces, less need for outsiders to wander the campus, and more people seeing the art being created here.

San Francisco State University
Fine Arts Building, Fine Arts Gallery
Wednesday, November 09, 2016 to Thursday, December 01, 2016
Gallery hours: Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11am to 4pm. 
The gallery will be closed for Thanksgiving break, November 23 through November 26. 
Free. 
E-mail: gallery@sfsu.edu
Phone: 415-338-6535

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