Art

Treading water

In the midst of a severe drought, the Soundwave art and music biennial encourages reflection on our most precious natural resource

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esilvers@sfbg.com

LEFT OF THE DIAL In a parable that opens one of the best-known speeches by the late great David Foster Wallace, two young fish are swimming along when an older fish passes them. "Morning boys," says the (sentient, verbal) fish. "How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a while, until one of them looks over at the other and says "What the hell is water?"Read more »

SF arts funding prioritizes symphony, other stuff white people like

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Disadvantaged artists might be getting the short end of the paintbrush in favor of the city’s more affluent art community in Mayor Ed Lee’s proposed 2014-16 city budget.

That’s what a seemingly endless line of advocates expressed in a hearing in front of the San Francisco Budget and Finance Committee Friday [6/20] when given the opportunity to suggest ways to better apportion funding in the budget. According to a recent report from the Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office, the dissenters might be onto something.Read more »

At the crossroads

A community is left reeling by sudden changes at Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco's oldest alternative non-profit arts space.

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By Jolene Torr

On May 23, the city's oldest alternative nonprofit art space announced that it would suspend programming due to a fragile financial situation. Indefinitely.Read more »

Intersection for the Arts lays off staff, halts programming

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Intersection for the Arts, one of the city's most established alternative arts venues, is the latest casualty in a city slowly strangling its arts and music scene. 

The decades-old studio and artists space will lay off most of its staff and program directors by the end of the month, and will no longer produce its own arts programming.Read more »

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.

Read more »

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 »