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70 Artists Face Displacement In The Mission

Updated: Apr 17, 2015 08:37
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Studio 17, Mission District San Francisco, one of our city’s largest art collectives


Studio 17, one of our city’s largest art collectives may disappear this year.  Redlick Building owner failed to renew the lease which expires June 2015.

“We are stuck in limbo and our situation as working artists in this city is dire,” said Robert Donald, visual artist and the master leaseholder for Studio 17 who has made numerous attempts to work with Holman and his realtors to renew the studio’s lease.

“As a longstanding and cornerstone presence in the heart and soul of San Francisco’s Mission District, we are looking to find solutions that preserve our presence as artists and as a community.”

Since purchasing the building in 2013, Rick Holman has evicted In the Works, a community and events collective, and Homeless Children’s Network, a non-profit dedicated to solving homelessness and poverty among youth, has silently left the building. Despite being zoned for a neighborhood-serving business, the space once home to the Homeless Children’s Network is currently being rented to PlanGrid, a software company.

Studio 17 is one of at least three artist studios currently facing eviction in San Francisco. The other artist collectives are Workspace Limited and SOMA Artists Studios, which are home to about 30, and more than 40 artists respectively.  These open studios could be the last opportunity for the San Francisco community to engage with Studio 17 as a collective artist community.


The Artists of Studio 17

“San Francisco has a unique,creative culture that draws people from all over the world and the city’s artists are essential in crafting a robust and vibrant society,” said Joen Madonna, Executive Director, Art Span. “In this boom economy, we are losing artists studios at an unprecedented rate and now more than ever we need conscientious protection of these valuable communities.”
The artists of Studio 17 have exhibited their work in galleries, museums and collections around the world including the San Francisco MoMA, Whitney Museum of American Art,University of California, Mills College Art Museum, Jewish Museum, Smithsonian, YBCA,SOMarts, Southern Exposure, The Headlands Center for the Arts, Fine Arts Museums of SF, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Artnow International, CA Richard L. Nelson Gallery & Fine Arts Collection, University of California, Davis, California Historical Society, The Leonardo, Salt Lake City, Utah Stavanger Kunstmuseum, Stavanger, Norway to name a few. Notable artists that have been or are members of the Studio 17 collective include: Rosana Castrillo, Elisheva Biernoff, Jim Goldberg, Truong Tran, Kristina Lewis, Lava Thomas, Andy Vogt, Sarah Smith, Kate Nichols, Mark Garrett, and many more. Studio 17 is a member of Mission Artists United, a forum for Mission-based artists to connect and promote each other’s work. Through Mission Artists United, the artists of studio 17 often host open studios providing the community with the opportunity to engage with them and view their work.The artists of Studio 17 will host an opening reception for their spring open studios on April 17, 6:00-9:00pm. 

Open Studios 2015 will commence on April 18th and 19th, 12:00-6:00pm.
For more info on these artists and their work,  Alex Nichols has been documenting both on his blog:
open studio
 All photos courtesy of Studio 17
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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

If you're a writer, artist, or performer who would like to get your work out there, or if you've got great things to promote, we've got 120k social followers and really fun ways to reach them. We make noise for our partners, and for our community.
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  1. generic name
    April 17, 2015 at 12:43 am

    There is something about that picture of the artists that I just can’t put my finger on. They are suppose to represent the Mission…hmmm. The blinding whiteness must be making it had for me to what it is.

    • frenchtoastgirl
      April 17, 2015 at 7:18 am

      Why assume they are all “white”? Did you ask them what their ethnicity is?

      • generic name
        April 17, 2015 at 5:47 pm

        You ask pictures and get answers? where did you get these super powers? But yup I shouldn’t trust my eyes cause everyone know that having white privilege regardless of ethnicity doesn’t exist and being an artist is just like being an actual marginalized group born in the Mission. They have only their degrees from CAA and AI to keep them warm at night and the comfort of other transplants happy to not look in the mirror for solutions.

      • Dan Stromberg
        April 18, 2015 at 2:47 am

        Good point , Generic Name. I understand your frustration. I assume since you looked as far as you have, you are more concerned with the shifting culture of SF and less with the skin color and more concerned with the message they are addressing. I get the impression that you consider these white artists to think of themselves as victims of “the Man” and yet they ARE the man (bieng white) Living in America, I’m sorry, but stuff like this is the petty bullshit you should look past and deal with. You raised the issue, and you get a response. What is the skin color of the woman who leads Pecita Eyes? Who’s got her back? These people are looking in the mirror, plenty. They are also looking at the world around them.

      • Dan Stromberg
        April 18, 2015 at 2:52 am

        Aside from that, I saw the damn picture. Doesn’t look like a white Christmas to me.

      • frenchtoastgirl
        April 18, 2015 at 6:39 am

        No, you shouldn’t trust your eyes. No-one should. That’s the problem right there. We place judgement on what our eyes see, regardless to what is really there. Stop judging so fast, people are people.

    • earinsound
      April 17, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Who says they are representatives of the Mission? “The blinding whiteness must be making it had for me to what it is.” WTF does that even mean?

  2. frenchtoastgirl
    April 17, 2015 at 7:16 am

    The artists need to buy their own building and not rent.

    • earinsound
      April 17, 2015 at 8:34 am

      sounds great. where?

      • frenchtoastgirl
        April 17, 2015 at 9:07 am

        Where they can afford but my thinking is if they can afford rent they could pool their money together they could afford to buy the building. They might look at becoming a non-profit too. Artists in Boston missed a chance to buy the building they lived and it was sold to a developer.

      • Gloria Dean
        April 18, 2015 at 4:48 pm

        Realistically .. you can’t compete with the tech folks.. They will give this guy an offer he can’t refuse..

      • frenchtoastgirl
        April 19, 2015 at 8:31 pm

        Why does it have to be places like San Fransisco or New York Ciyt? We can leave these big cities behind and look at the smaller places that can be and often are more suitable for us. It would give us more of a voice. It can happen.

      • slacker wacker
        April 23, 2015 at 5:37 pm

        Mommy and Daddy are paying for everything else, why shouldn’t they buy them a building too. Its not like any of them ever sold any “art” to buy one on their own.