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Bay Area Art Events to Give You Hope

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The Bay Area, and San Francisco in particular, is getting to be a rough place to live for people in the arts. With increasing evictions, studio closures, and galleries unable to afford rising rents, it might seem easy, to become pretty depressed as a local artist.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to celebrate the arts programs that exist and the incredible, indomitable artists, writers, performers, teachers, and administrators making them happen. This has always been a haven for the creative-minded and will continue to be so, despite any challenges and pushbacks. I mean, that’s kind of the point of creativity.

Here are just a few of the events you do not want to miss (they’re all free so I don’t want to hear excuses and I even added Facebook event links to the images in case you’re lazy like me and rely on that dumb website to keep track of where you’re supposed to be):

Recology AIR Exhibition


The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Jenny Odell, Chris Sollars, and student artist Roger Ourthiague on Friday, September 18 from 5-9pm and Saturday, Sept 19, from 1-3pm. What I’m trying to say is: go see cool art at the dump. I’ve been following along Jenny Odell’s teasers of her Bureau of Suspended Objects and I can’t begin to tell you how much you are going to enjoy the double sucker punch of nostalgia and confusion. Having been to the last residency’s opening, it’s going to be much more fun, cooler, and less smelly than you think. Alternative spaces and local residencies are important to keep alive as we all start to lose more and more room in the city so you might want to bring some friends with you too.

Root Division’s Big Bash Grand Opening


After an aforementioned rent hike in the Mission and a temporary space on Market St, Root Division is finally settled into their new home at 1131 Mission St. so they’re having a damn party. Coincidentally, the inaugural exhibition in their new space RESONATE, curated by Dana Hemenway and Amy Cancelmo, will be on hand to delight you. You’ll meet some artists, see the beautiful work they’ve done getting this light, airy space ready for show, and might even been able to check out some artist studios. When an organization has been shaping its community and sustaining artists for as long as Root Division, they deserve a big damn party and it’s worth knowing that donations are always happily accepted.

Time Inferno at Et Al.


I write about Et Al. a lot. I can’t help it, when I always have such a good time at their openings and events. Time Inferno, organized by Q & A is bound to be the same. I know this because, as usual, I have no idea what this goddamned show is about. I know that I enjoy the artists who will be participating and I know it’s probably going to be weird, so that’s good enough for me. Mystery makes the heart grow fonder. The show is only up for 3 days but it’s happening around the same time as most of the other events I’ve listed so you might as well make a night of it. You’ll be able to see the show from September 18-20 from 1-5 PM with a reception on the 18th at 7 PM by walking down an ominous hallway and then down some terrifying stairs under 620 Kearny St.

Art Night SF


Jenny Sharaf, a local artist and curator who brought us such timely and wonderful events as the Parking Lot Art Fair and an exhibition curated by her dog, has created something even bigger, bolder, and more hope-inducing than ever. Art Night SF is an outdoor event series that starts at UN Plaza and widens to include the Mid-Market area. Not only has she included a roster of local artists, but local museums, galleries, non-profits, and schools are invested in creating an environment where art can be allowed to thrive in an area that can be gently termed “changing” for better or worse. You’ll be able to enjoy food, drinks, music, and the impossible magic of downtown SF at night and feel a better about the state of SF art production as long as people like Jenny stick around to make cool shit. We’ll all drunkenly sing in the streets until the cops (probably) get mad from 5-9 PM on September 17th, October 1st, and October 22nd.

TV Club at the Royal Nonesuch Gallery

In the continuing interest of my quest for vainglory and self-promotion, you should also check out my upcoming presentation at the Royal Nonesuch Gallery in Oakland at 4231 Telegraph. We’ll be discussing the importance of feminist heroism as explored by popular culture and the spectacle of media through storytelling, Lacanian mirror theory, and anachronistic sexuality. Just kidding, I’m gonna talk about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it’s going to be sick. Sandwiches will be served and laughs will be had on September 24th at 7 PM. There will also be art by Tom Comitta so you have something to look away at when I stare you in the eyes.

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Candace Cui - Actual Unicorn

Candace Cui - Actual Unicorn

At age 2, I was getting run over by a bike in an alley in China. At age 8, I was avoiding man-o-wars on Tybee Island. At age 14, I was overdrinking sweet tea while running through the woods barefoot. At age 20, I was learning Art History and how to drop it low. At age 25, I was making fun of drum circles at Dolores. At every age, I am charming the fuck out of you. Just wait, it'll happen.