Arts and Culture

Some Art Openings, Shows, & Festivals In SF

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Play by Robert Xavier Burden

Heron Arts
Opening Saturday, February 29 – April 26, 2020

Best known for his giant paintings of Star Wars and Batman figures, SF-based artist Robert Burden introduces a new series of wildlife paintings. Burden’s work indulges a childhood fixation on animals with super-human characteristics found in films and TV, and serves as a reflection on the plastic culture that is killing them, taking into question our toxic relationship with nature. Learn more about the artist and his work here.

Beyond Borders Benefit For RAICES

906 World Cultural Center
Saturday, March 8

Celebrate International Women’s Day with a multi-genre showcase of Bay Area women DJs, musicians, and artists at a beautifully restored church turned exquisite event space, 906 World Cultural Center. There will be 2 rooms of live music: DJ and livetronica, open decks, visual and performance art, and an outdoor silent disco, with the likes of Brown Amy, femmelectric, Infinite Jess, and more! Come dance and party for good with ticket proceeds from this event donated to RAICES .


Incline Gallery Group Show

Friday, March 13
an.ä.log Gallery @ 24th

Celebrate 9 years of Incline Gallery! The Valencia Street-based gallery goes off site to celebrate the decade at an.ä.log Gallery. Featuring artists from the OG SF community and emerging artists in this Anniversary Group Show, this exhibition continues to support  Incline to thrive as one of the few alternative art spaces left in San Francisco. 


Light Field Film Festival

The Lab
Fri, Mar 13 –  Sun, Mar 15, 2020

Don’t miss this three-day film festival showcasing local and international artists experimenting with moving image on film. This festival showcases the best of experimental film, and is curated by local artist-led collective Samuel Breslin, Emily Chao, Zachary Epcar, Trisha Low, tooth, Syd Staiti, and Patricia Ledesma Villon.


Friday Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

De Young Museum
March 21 – July 26

At the time of Frida Kahlo’s death in 1954, a treasure trove of the artist’s highly personal items—including jewelry, clothing, and prosthetics—were locked away. 50 years later, these belongings were unsealed—now they’re on view for the first time on the West Coast. This exhibition reveals how Kahlo used her dress and other creative enterprises as outlets to cover but also to contend with the physical and emotional traumas that shaped her life. Many of these personal items came to light in 2004 after decades of being sealed off in her lifelong home, La Casa Azul (now Museo Frida Kahlo) in Mexico City. Discover what these objects reveal in this critically acclaimed exhibition that originated from the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City. 

Come to your Census: Who Counts in America?

March 27 – July 31

In the next four months,  the 2020 Census will be open and the results will determine the allocation of federal funding and political representation for the next decade of our community—from affordable housing and transportation to education and arts funding. This exhibition Come to Your Census: Who Counts in America? is a free art and civic experience that examines the issues around the 2020 Census and its direct impact on each individual living in America. With artworks and activations by over twenty-five Bay Area artists, the work investigates identity, public life, and belonging to educate and inspire the Bay Area’s diverse communities about what’s at stake in this critical population count. 

ArtSpan Benefit Art Auction

Saturday, March 21

Support SF’s creative community while building out your art collection! This event will help support ArtSpan’s city-wide programming and close in on the final $500,000 needed to open our new home: the ArtSpan Onondaga Art Center. Our creative hub will serve artists and residents for years to come with art studios, a meeting space, a resource center, classrooms, and a gallery. Grab a drink, bid on art, and build support for SF’s art community. 


Algorithmic Art Assembly

Gray Area
March 27 – 29

While algorithms run everything from our feeds to music recommendations, this festival highlights artists who are subverting them to create art and music. Algorithmic Art Assembly is a two day art and music festival showcasing a diverse range of artists using algorithmic tools and processes in their work. Don’t miss live electronic performances by Richard Devine, Myriam Bleau, LA-based band YACHT, and Holly Herndon (the week following), reminding us of the infinite possibilities when artists push technology to its limits to make unexpected, experimental art.


Bohemia! The Grand-Scale Immersive Experience

Hotel Whitcomb
Various Dates In March

For those looking for a dash of escapism, leave the reality of 2020s for a night and step into the 1890s clubs of Paris in this grand-scale immersive experience. Les Folies Bohème is a sanctuary for the weird and incredible in Paris — a home for misfits and creators, and for the freedom, love, and adventurous defiance that caused so many to fall in love with this city in the first place. Get swept up in immersive narratives centered around you and your journey.

Shifting Plates Record Fair

Fault Radio @ Classic Cars West
Sunday, April 5

Shifting Plates, the Bay Area’s biggest record fair is coming back for a third round at Classic Cars West in Uptown Oakland on April 5th. Hosted with Discogs, this event is fore everyone from deep crate diggers to the music lover fresh to the Bay Area music scene. Check out more events with Fault Radio, who hosts free pop up music events monthly highlighting the local Bay Area music scene. 


San Francisco Symphony
Friday, April 24

This April, SoundBox illuminates a musical family tree like no other. Curated by Artist-in-Residence and visionary classical vocalist Julia Bullock, explore a century-spanning program that bridges defiant contrasts and unearths surprising connections. Hear legendary voices of jazz, blues, and R&B intertwined with medieval chants, Baroque gems, and enchanting French classics. From Nina Simone and J.S. Bach to Josephine Baker and Poulenc, this is music fusion at its most rebellious and dazzling level.

Dawoud Bey: An American Project

On View Through May 25, 2020

Since the beginning of his career, Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953) has used his camera to depict communities and histories that have largely remained underrepresented or even unseen. This full-scale retrospective highlights the artist’s commitment over the course of his four-decade career to portraying the black subject and African-American history in a manner that is at once direct and poetic, and immediate and symbolic. The exhibition includes his tender and perceptive early portraits of Harlem residents, large-scale color Polaroids, and a series of collaborative word and image portraits of high school students, among others.

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