Art

Curating the city

CAREERS + ED ISSUE: Gallery evictions signal a major shift in the art world, with the technology boom serving as the problem and its potential solution

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art@sfbg.com

Geary Boulevard runs almost the entire length of San Francisco, beginning in the middle of the Financial District, at the historic Lotta's Fountain. Along the first few blocks of one of the city's longest streets — amid a bustling community of corporate offices, luxury boutiques, and specialty coffee houses — the city oldest established art galleries have thrived. But that's changing.Read more »

SFUSD sticker shock: new art school to cost $240 million

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Art advocates have tried to move the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts high school to its new home on Van Ness street since 1987. Last night the dream moved one step closer, the only barrier is cost. 

At a packed San Francisco Board of Education meeting, planners revealed the move’s sticker price, and it’s a big one: $240 million. Board of Education President Rachel Norton’s face sunk into one hand as she heard the news.Read more »

No poetry or magic in being a robot

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I felt yesterday like I had been scooped after reading Jennifer Maerz’s post in the Bold Italic, which asked: Is Talking About High Rents So Often Crippling Our City?

She linked to the blog of “robotics genius” Kal Spelletich, who is a friend of mine. We’ve been getting into heated discussions on this very topic for months. Kal makes fantastical interactive machines that do things like spit fire, harness random mechanical motion to produce musical notes on a piano or a violin, or engulf you in an aromatic bundle of fennel, just for an instant. His creations are robots.

I spent a bit of time in his studio, a giant waterfront warehouse in the southeastern part of the city where strange, sharp-edged contraptions hang from the ceilings. I shared stories about the articles I was writing, increasingly on evictions and the dearth of affordable housing in San Francisco. But as we dissected the problem, Kal rejected what he saw as a narrative of desperation that has been formulated in response to the city's affordable housing crisis.

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New pilot program helps arts nonprofits find new homes

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Just a few months ago arts nonprofits CounterPULSE and The Luggage Store were facing an uncertain future. New tech neighbors drove their rents sky high, and the groups that for years were venues for struggling artists were struggling themselves.

“Twitter moved in literally behind our building,” said Jessica Robinson Love, executive director of CounterPULSE. Lacking the deep pockets of a tech company, they readied for a move to Oakland. Read more »

Girls-only hackerspace teaches critical thinking through crafts

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Get out your glue sticks girls, it’s time to get crafty. Turns out, all that glitters really is gold for summer campers who will wind up at the girls-only craft camps that Curious Jane is hosting in Marin County this summer. Young women aged six to 12 will glean a wealth of knowledge from DIY-centered classes aimed towards not just inspiring creativity, but cultivating critical thinking skills through projects -- costume design, storyboarding graphic novels, toy design, and more.Read more »

An art benefit -- for the artists

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All sorts of political campaigns and causes raise money by asking artists to donate work that can be auctioned off. It's not often that the artists themselves get the benefits.

So Matt Gonzalez -- former supervisor, longtime criminal defense lawyer, and big fan of local arts -- is putting together a different type of fund-raiser. It's an art auction -- to benefit the artists.Read more »

From the Rocketship to Bay Lights, "temporary" is the key that unlocked public art in SF

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In the wake of The Bay Lights coming on to rave reviews and mesmerized gazes last week, next weekend the Raygun Gothic Rocketship will be taken down from the Pier 14 launch pad it's occupied since 2010, the latest transitions in San Francisco's trend of using temporary public art placements to bypass the protracted, emotional, and expensive battles that once defined the siting of sculptures on public lands in San Francisco.Read more »

On utopian frequencies

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arts@sfbg.com

CULTURE It's the tangible buzz I notice first, a tingling awareness of something important about to occur, followed swiftly by the realization that there are free quesadillas courtesy of the Great Tortilla Conspiracy, silk-screened with chocolate sauce and rabble-rousing sentiment: "Eat the Rich."Read more »

Hej, creativity! 4 bonkers Stockholm art projects

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What creative forms would you expect at the near-ends of the earth? My recent trip to Stockholm, Sweden was weird in the way that travel usually is, more just-like-home moments than alien fears realized of winding up cold and frozen because I forget to transcribe the 17th letter in the name of the street I was staying on.

Honestly, I went for the close-to-the-North-Pole party (did you know you can swim just about anywhere in Stockholm? Sunrise after-afterparty dips abound), but surprise! I ran into artistic inspiration. That's really having your herring burger and eating it too. Here's four people and projects that really did it for me, Swedishly speaking.

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In their words: Oakland locals from this week's Guardian cover

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This week, the Guardian examines the issue of whether San Francisco is experiencing a cultural and economic exodus to the East Bay, especially Oakland. Our cover features creative folks from all over Oakland proper. They were asked the question "Is Oakland cooler than San Francisco?" and in return we got some pretty surprising answers (though, spoiler alert: the general consensus was "Hell Yes!"). Have a listen to their responses...

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