Arts and CultureSan Francisco

The Great Art Parties, Experiences & Festivals in SF this Month

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

By Tiffany Yau

THE END OF YOU: Immersive Art Experience
Gray Area

February 7 – March 1

Discover a new perspective on life through mesmerizing installations in this never-before-seen immersive exhibition. Lose yourself in large-scale visual projections and step into spectacular living landscapes. Experience seven dynamic art installations that will inspire you to connect with the living world through exploration, delight and wonder. Reimagine your relationship with the living world — and make the planetary personal. 

Do not miss Gray Area’s first-ever large-scale immersive pop-up exhibition, THE END OF YOU, open for three weeks only from February 7th through March 1st.

Limited number of time slots are available, so reserve your tickets now at

Rashaad Newsome shows his exhibition “To Be Real” at Fort Mason on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in San Francisco, Calif.

To Be RealRashaad Newsome

Fort Mason & MoAD
Open now through February 23

To Be Real, which takes its name from Cheryl Lynn’s 1977 queer anthem, draws from ballroom divas, haute couture, and African art. Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture and the San Francisco Art Institute team up to present the ambitious show, billed as “an exhibition environment of collage, sculpture and the interactive A. I. Being.” Concurrently, the Museum of the African Diaspora will feature two video works by Newsome that look at the dance tradition of vogue. The exhibition focuses on video works inspired by the origins and continued dynamism of Vogue, a dance phenomenon that emerged from Harlem’s queer ballroom scene.

Night Of Ideas

SF Public Library

February 1 – 2

We live in a world balanced on the edge between immense challenges and even grander possibilities. How do we reckon with these tensions and use them to create new visions for how we live together?The French Consulate in San Francisco, KQED, San Francisco Public Library, and SFMOMA invite you to the second edition of Night of Ideas. This seven-hour marathon of philosophical debate, keynotes, panels, performances, and interactive experiences is designed to spur dialogue and creative participation on the theme “Living on the Edge.” Share your own creative voice and exchange ideas in a range of participatory workshops, activities, or open mics. Enjoy spectacular performances and music by local artists shaping the culture of the Bay Area.

January 31–February 9, the

Noise Pop Music Festival

February 24 – March 1

Noise Pop, the annual San Francisco festival championing independent music and culture, returns this February. With headliners from Raphael Saadiq, Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie), Maya Jane Cole, and Best Coast, see artists across every genre playing intimate shows at your favorite venues across the Bay Area. See some of your favorite artists and find new ones to play on repeat.


February 25

Sensorium 2020 at San Francisco Ballet transforms the War Memorial Opera House into a total sensory experience. Enter the front doors to see the space reimagined through visual art. Purchase a drink and a snack at one of the many bars located throughout the building. Be inspired by San Francisco Ballet’s world-class dancers. And then dance the night away with those very dancers and some of San Francisco’s favorite DJs.

SF Indie Fest

Roxie and Victoria Theater
January 29 – February 13

SF Indie Fest returns for two weeks of powerful, bizarre, true, false, scary, enlightening, thought-provoking, and conversation-starting cinema. This year’s program includes a live on-stage shadow cast presentation of The Big Lebowski, a 20th anniversary tribute to American Psycho, the return of the Bad Art Gallery, a live screenplay reading, and the annual live comedy improv send up of the Super Bowl. This year IndieFest will also co-present the Roxie’s annual Up The Oscars! fundraiser show and celebrate Julien Temple, prolific and influential rock ‘n’ roll filmmaker. Check out more awesome shorts and features here.

SF Urban Film Fest

February 2 – 9

It’s the 6th annual SF Urban Film Festival, a series of documentary films celebrating cities, urban planning, and how to participate in our communities. This year’s theme Place and the Populist Revolt investigates how cities are ground zero for the struggle to hold on to or finding a place, for incumbents and newly arrived. As living gets harder, homes more expensive, and living wages evaporate, many people feel abandoned by their governments, communities and families. associated with, but expressions of belonging and resistance to exclusion also abound. Each film screening with a discussion that is framed to develop community-centered solutions to ground us in the spirit of place.

Uncanny Valley

De Young Museum

Opens February 22

In today’s AI-driven world, increasingly organized and shaped by algorithms that track, collect, and evaluate our data, the question of what it means to be human has shifted. Uncanny Valley is the first major exhibition to unpack this question through contemporary art and propose new ways of thinking about intelligence, nature, and artifice. With nearby Silicon Valley driving the development of AI, Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI arrives as the first major West Coast museum exhibition to thicken the discourse around these new technologies through a lens of artistic practice. It argues that it might be time to let go of the speculative fantasies of AI and redefine the coordinates of the uncanny valley.

Bob Ross Painting Party

Laughing Monk Brewery
February 10

Join Laughing Monk Brewery for the Limited Can Release of Brother Bob, named in honor of the one and only Bob Ross! Bob was more than an art teacher, he taught us about life and happy little trees. To celebrate their new can release, the brewery will be hosting a Bob Ross Painting Party. Come sip on some Brother Bob and paint some happy little trees of your own!


“Hearts in San Francisco” Public Art Series 

February 13, 2020, at Oracle Park
Aevening of celebration in support of vital mental health programming at Zuckerberg San Francisco General

And from January 31–February 9, the eight tabletop Hearts from the 2020 series will be on display in the storefront windows of Wilkes Bashford and the 15 mini Hearts at Macy’s Union Square. Then, the auction opens on February 4 for select Heart sculptures, with all proceeds benefitting ZSFG. “Hearts in San Francisco” artworks, combined with Hearts events proceeds (2004–2019), has raised more than $27 million as well as worldwide awareness.

Tickets and Info Here
To receive an email when the auction begins for the Heart sculptures on eBay in February 2020, register at:

Don’t Miss/Closing This Month

Future of Sun

Heron Arts

Until February 15


Where Do You Want Ghosts To Reside?

Southern Exposure

All February


Reflections On Exile

Root Division


Soft Power


Until February 17


The Body Electric

Until February 23

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