Arts and CultureNewsSan Francisco

Root Division Has a New Mid-Market Home For Art!

Updated: Aug 09, 2015 15:52
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San Francisco’s Root Division provides studio space, arts education, art exhibitions and helps to foster and build the creative community in our city.  Through the kind donations from Bay Area residents and organizations they are opening amazing new digs in Mid-Market, and throwing cool art filled events to celebrate.  Check out their press release from Arts Program Director Amy Cancelmo:

San Francisco, CA, July 2015Root Division is pleased to announce that the public grand opening of their new mid-Market home will occur on Saturday, September 12, 2015. In celebration of Root Division’s new mid-Market home, the public is invited to participate in hands-on activities, engage with artists featured in the inaugural exhibition RESONATE, and explore the organization’s new multi-story, more spacious and dynamic brick-and-mortar facility.

Founded by three MFA graduate students in 2002 and today guided by Executive Director and artist Michelle Mansour, Root Division’s dedication to arts sustainability in the San Francisco Bay Area is proving the seemingly impossible to be possible in San Francisco, even on a budget. With a tenacious attitude and unwavering confidence in the community that has supported and benefitted from Root Division’s dynamic art programs for over a decade, Root Division found opportunities to strengthen and grow the organization’s public offerings during their unexpected displacement in 2014.

Community connections are at the core of Root Division’s mission. Through the creation of a dynamic ecosystem of arts education, exhibitions, and below market rate artist studios, Root Division has consistently, over the past decade, served as a constructive remedy to address the challenges facing emerging artists and the lack of arts education in schools. After losing their long-term Mission District home in 2014, Root Division was fortunate to locate a bigger, better, and brighter home and future in the mid-Market District of San Francisco.

NEW ART SPACE! (pre-construction) 1131 Mission Street (@ 7th Street)

Root Division’s new home, its current renovations, artist studios, and art-making tools (both analog and digital) and much more, have been made possible by the organization’s current capital campaign. With a total campaign goal of $850,000, Root Division has raised approximately 90% of their goal. The primary source of these donations are from Bay Area residents, businesses, private foundations, and the City of San Francisco, including a $50,000 in-kind donation for architectural design services from San Francisco based firm Studio O+A.

Reflecting the strength of their local constituent base, Bay Area artists and arts and culture sector workers comprise approximately 40% of campaign donors and are responsible for one third of the total funds raised.

In addition to the organization’s local capital campaign support, Root Division’s success has been nationally recognized with several prestigious and highly competitive grants, including grants from two prominent private foundations.

Beltran Minneman Fireworks Snowglobe

$80,000 from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (for visual arts programming through June 2017)
$40K from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Innovation and Management (AIM), an invitation-only program that will support Root Division’s audience development and institutional capacity building at the new site.

With the opening of Root Division’s new 13,400-square-foot home at 1131 Mission Street (@ 7th Street) in September 2015, the organization will be able to offer subsidized studio space for twice as many artists (25), and the number of classes offered to youth and adults will expand from 40 to 60 classes annually. In addition to artist studios and art classes, Root Division will continue their exhibition programming, expanding the artistic opportunities for practicing artists across the San Francisco Bay Area.

Inaugural Exhibition: RESONATE

Root Division’s inaugural exhibition RESONATE, features fifteen Bay Area artists and collectives. Curators Amy Cancelmo and Dana Hemenway intentionally selected artists with prior and/or current affiliations with Root Division to spotlight the interconnectivity the organization has fostered over many years and to encourage visitors to become a part of its future. The exhibition focuses on engagement and interaction, shifts in the cultural landscape, and the value of artistic survival, highlighting what Root Division does best: provide opportunities for artists to create and exhibit exciting new works; provide a space for the public to interact and engage with art exhibitions; and afford audiences of all ages the opportunities to create and learn. From sculpture and paintings to interactive artmaking, RESONATE provides a looking-glass into Root Division’s past and a lens through which to envision its future.
The inaugural exhibition artists and collectives include: Jeremiah Barber, JD Beltran & Scott Minneman, Kevin B. Chen, Congratulations Pine Tree (Kate Rhoades & Maysoun Wazwaz), Seth Curcio, Christian Davies, Amy Ellingson, Hannah Ireland, Kari Marboe, Ramekon O’Arwisters, Shipping + Receiving (Torreya Cummings, Audrey Nieh, H.R. Smith), Stairwells (Carey Lin & Sarah Hotchkiss), Kate Stirr, Stephanie Syjuco, and Amber Jean Young.

*Exhibiting artists will be onsite for interviews during the press preview and the public opening.

On Saturday, September 12, 2015 Root Division will open the doors of their new home to the public with an engaging inaugural exhibition, special activities for all ages, and a celebration of the organization’s ongoing commitment of supporting the cultivation of community-based arts in San Francisco.


Saturday, September 12 (7-11 pm) PUBLIC / FREE
The Bigger, Better, Brighter Bash: Public Opening Celebration (7-11 pm)
Free and open to the public featuring the Inaugural Exhibition RESONATE, interactive art works, Creative Station artmaking activity for all ages, and a first look at Root Division’s new building!

Public Workshops & Family Programs:

Saturday, September 26, (2-5 pm) PUBLIC / FREE
Community Crafternoon
Join RESONATE artists Ramekon O’Arwisters and Amber Jean Young in an afternoon of community building through artmaking. Ramekon O’Arwisters will lead an all ages “Crochet Jam,” using recycled fabric to create a collaborative sculptural installation, or small individual projects. Amber Jean Young will guide workshop participants in creating their own “square” of a collaborative community quilt.

Saturday, September 26, (3-6 pm) PUBLIC / FREE
Tide Pool Field Trip
Go off-site with RESONATE artist Kate Stirr to Sausalito in a field trip to the tide pools. Meet at Pier 37 for a journey to the tide pools to learn about the intertidal zone, survival strategies of its inhabitants, and parallel strategies of artists’ survival.

Wednesday, September 23, 6-8 pm REGISTER ONLINE
Possibility and Place Workshop
Sponsored by PicsArt with artist Hannah Ireland
Join RESONATE artist Hannah Ireland, and representatives from PicsArt in an interactive photographic workshop. Learn more about digital manipulation in Ireland’s work, and get creative by reimagining the possibilities of Root Division’s new gallery space with tools on handheld devices. (Don’t have a device? We have one you can use!)

Root Division is a visual art non-profit in San Francisco that connects creativity and community through a dynamic ecosystem of arts education, exhibitions, and studios. Root Division’s mission is to empower artists, foster community service, inspire youth, and enrich the Bay Area through engagement in the visual arts. The organization is a launching pad for artists, a stepping-stone for educators and students, and a bridge for the general public to become art supporters.

Root Division is supported in part by a plethora of individual donors and by grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, National Endowment for the Arts/ ArtWorks, San Francisco Arts Commission: Community Investments, Grants for the Arts: San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Crescent Porter Hale Foundation, Bothin Foundation, Drusie Davis Family Fund, Adobe Foundation, Wallis Family Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Bialkin Family Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation, Salomon Family Foundation, Morton Foundation, Garver Family Foundation, A Better Place Foundation, and Art4Moore.

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