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Back in Bernal: Eden Stein Secession Art & Design

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Secession Art & Design in San Francisco was a locally loved gallery, boutique, and go-to for art, clothing, and jewelry for 15 years in Mission Bernal.  During that time Secession featured over 70 independent artists and designers. This year, like so many other Bay Area creatives, their business has been moved away from the storefront, and placed online.  Come August, the Secession will pop up in Bernal Heights to celebrate local artists once again!  So meet Secession curator Eden Stein, a curator you should know.

Back in Bernal : Eden Stein & Secession Art & Design

Artwork by Nate Tan

Curator Name: Eden Stein 

Secession Art & Design Owner & Curator


What was your first job in San Francisco?
I worked at the vintage-inspired clothing store American Rag on Van Ness for 6 months when I moved to SF in 1999. Not a dream job but paid my portion of my rent ($350) on Mission Street across from El Rio.

Artwork by Rachel Znerold. @ Secession Pop-Up Aug-4-7

What’s the secret to curating the perfect art show?
The secret sauce is leaving room for spontaneity and cross-collaboration. A majority of my shows feature two or three artists. I like to pair up artists that can push each other artistically. I look for common threads, and themes, or just go the polar opposite with a juxtaposition. My goal with each show is to not only encourage my artists to experiment but to push myself to explore new ideas and combinations. People always asked me what art I create. My answer is always “curation is my art.”

Artwork by Heather Robinson. @ Secession Pop-Up Aug-4-7

I’m a sophisticated graduate with a BFA or FUCK art school!
I have a BA in creative writing from San Francisco State and an administrative early childhood permit from City College.

Artwork by Dianne Hoffman @ Secession Pop-Up Aug-4-7

What’s the status of Secession Art & Design?
In 2007, I founded Secession Art & Design in San Francisco as a gallery, boutique, and go-to for art, clothing, jewelry, and home curation services. For 15 years, Secession operated in a storefront in Mission Bernal, featuring over 70 independent artists and designers. In 2022, I moved my family to my beautiful hometown of Santa Rosa and settled them into a country home. At the same time, I transitioned Secession operations from the city storefront to a virtual space. Today, Secession is inspired by this new picturesque location and focused on helping bring the same level of comfort and inspiration into your own space with personalized art curation services.

Artwork by Hilary Williams @ Secession Pop-Up Aug-4-7

Any artists you think are particularly outstanding right now?
Our 15th Anniversary show is the biggest collection of artists I have ever curated. This is my long list of amazing artists to check out: Amos Goldbaum, Andreina Davila, Dianne Hoffman, Heather Robinson, Hilary Williams, Jenny Feinberg, Joshua Coffy, Nate Tan, Nathalie Fabri, Olena McMurtrey, Phillip Hua, Rachel Znerold, Silvi Alcivar, Shannon Amidon, and Stephanie Steiner.

How do you think SF has changed over the years?
I feel fortunate that I got to experience SF in my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. Each decade I was able to find housing, work, and community. Owning a store in Mission Bernal for 14.5 years I saw so many changes. People thought I was crazy when I opened my gallery and then years later said how did you get that location. So much has been unfolding since 2016- the five-alarm fire on the 3300 blocks of Mission Street that displaced 5 businesses and an SRO, MTA red lanes that disrupted the flow of how merchants got customers to the neighborhood, politics, Covid years, and the increased cost of living and commercial rents. I weathered all of these storms but left SF after 23 years so my family could hustle less and have more affordable rent, childcare, and room to explore our passions.

What’s coming up next for you?
Secession Art & Design is celebrating our 15th Anniversary! To honor this milestone, we’ve rented 307 Cortland Ave in Bernal Heights from August 4th to the 7th. Fifteen artists from Secession’s past will help us transform this San Francisco storefront into a curated gallery. These rockstar artists are creating original art that expresses our shared love for the SF community. For four days you can shop our art & clothing collection in person.

Secession Pop Up

Address: 307 Cortland Ave, SF 94110


Thursday, August 4: 12-8pm

Friday, August 5: 12-8pm – Anniversary Party 6-8pm

Saturday, August 6: 12-8pm

Sunday, August 7: 12-6pm


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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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