The Elbo Room calls it quits, and musicians lament

By Abraham Rodriguez : missionlocal – excerpt

As of Jan. 1, 2019, the Mission’s Elbo Room will be no more. It will slip into the realm of memory and legend, another venue undone by the high-value real estate game decimating San Francisco’s cultural nerve centers.

The musicians that played there will remember it fondly… (more)

One of the more eclectic clubs on Valencia. The upstairs was full of surprises and the downstairs was a welcoming respite for the weird and trendy. From Rock and Roll to poetry readings and theatrical adventure that came close to burlesque, The Elbo Room managed to make it all work for decades, until the price of living in SF got too much for the small, neighborhood club.


After four decades in the Mission, Ocean Sash and Door factory on 17th and Shotwell to give way to ‘creative’ offices or restaurants

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

The longtime home of Open Sash and Door, Inc. has given way to “creative” office space or even restaurants. But this door business hasn’t closed yet. Photo by Lydia Chavez.

In a sign of the times, one of the dwindling actual “production, distribution and repair” (PDR) spots in the Mission has decamped, and will give way to something far more upscale that doesn’t involve vast amounts of sawdust and the constant din of saws… (more)

This is sad news. Last year it took a year to get a new window installed. Next time I guess I will have to deal with one of the big chains for windows. Or maybe Theisen Glass on Potrero. They are all leaving the city. Too much work to work here.

Nicole Sawaya memorial Tuesday, December 4, at 6:30 p.m. at Z Space

The public is invited to a memorial for Nicole Sawaya on Tuesday, December 4, at 6:30 p.m.  Friends and family will gather at Z Space, (the theatre at Project Artaud) 499 Alabama Street in San Francisco.

The KALW community lost one of its own on Thursday, October 11th. Nicole Sawaya, champion of public service media, innovative programmer, and beloved leader died from complications due to cancer. Nicole served as KALW’s General Manager from 2001 to 2006.

During that time, she was instrumental in shaping the station’s sound, helping transition KALW to its current focus on locally produced programming with a national impact. Nicole’s respect for listeners was foundational in her work first as a reporter and later as a manager, where her natural ability to inspire and greenlight original and impactful programs became evident. She described KALW’s audience as a “questioning, curious people who don’t take mass media at its word.”

We strive to honor Nicole’s spirit every day on our airwaves and extend our deepest condolences to her family. For more on her legacy in life and in radio, see here(more)


San Jose Man Uses Old Pictures to Create New Views of Early San Francisco

For a guy surrounded by technology, Nick Wright lives in the past.

His address is in Silicon Valley — but he spends much of his time in 1850s San Francisco — diving into the city’s past through the pictures of photographers like Eadweard Muybridge and William Henry Jackson. Yet Wright has figured out how to bridge his technological vantage point with the history he loves so much.

Using Photoshop, the amateur historian discovered he could virtually assemble together vintage pictures of streets or views taken at different times but from the same vantage point during San Francisco’s infancy. Stitched together, the results create stunning panoramas showing city vistas that haven’t been seen with the human eye for 150 years.

“That’s why I tell people I’ve got pictures you’ve never seen before,” Wright said. “Because they never existed before.”… (more)


Press Democrat Editorial: Public input as performance art in Petaluma

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Day and night views of Brian Goggin’s artistic vision for the waterfront that is creating all the controversy.

By the editorial board : – pressdemocrat – excerpt

In Petaluma, artistic expression seemingly trumps public dialogue.

If there’s going to be public input about a controversial public art project, public officials ought to wait until after they hear it to make a decision. The whole point of letting people weigh in is to allow for the possibility that additional perspective might influence the outcome.

Apparently that’s not how it works with the Petaluma Public Arts Committee, which has decided to move forward with a controversial art installation, at least according to committee member Katherine Plank. All of the upcoming public process, then, is just so much performance art…

But some Petaluma residents vehemently disagree. They say it doesn’t fit the character of the community nor the waterfront site. There’s even fundraising underway for a legal challenge.

Other Petaluma residents love the project and think it will be a whimsical draw. It’s telling that in written comments on the proposal in the spring, the vast majority of people scored it either 1, 2, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale…. (more)

Controversy hits the Petaluma waterfront. If all publicity is good publicity, this project has turned the artist into a big success in Sonoma County.

Redwood Valley Fire Victims Turn Debris Into Art

Last October, once the flames that torched her Redwood Valley neighborhood and killed eight of her fellow townspeople finally died out, Dee Pallesen poked through the ashes of her home, plucking treasures from the debris — blue marbles, melted jewelry, a pair of scorched scissors. They were now symbols of a previous life, the one that burned to the ground as flames raced over the ridge and wreaked tragedy on her rural neighborhood…

But over the last few weeks, Pallesen found purpose for her burned artifacts — as she gathered with other fire victims in a nearby Ukiah art studio to transform them into mosaic art pieces…

More than a dozen women have turned out for the weekly gatherings, the common thread the colossal experience of loss; all lost homes — some lost family members to the raging inferno…

But the workshops have created the alchemy for transforming various pieces of debris into colorful artworks that will serve as additional reminders of the journey back from devastation. The mosaics have become a fitting metaphor for the experience.

“The mosaic is you’re picking up the pieces,” said Elizabeth Raybee, the artist running the classes, “you’re in a lot of cases breaking things ourselves and then putting them back together in a new form, and that’s exactly what this is about.”… (more)

Abstract Memories and Visions

Opening Reception and Artists’ Talk
Join Sofia Carmi and Robert La Rocca for their Opening Reception & Artists’ Talk at the Italian Cultural Institute.
In the exhibit Abstract Memories and Visions, artist Sofia Carmi shares with us her investigations of memories of Florence, Rome and Venice through painting. In Matthew Steen words, “for Carmi, abstract art is a mix of ‘memory, mystery, color, form and texture’ that captures the viewer, forcing an interpretation not immediately apparent. An Israeli native, she was closer to the center of the European art movement living in Jerusalem, influenced both by surrealist painters and the desert landscape surrounding her as she grew up. Her aunt, Lea Vogel, was a Holocaust survivor and renowned Israeli sculptor who was also a profound influence on her art. Carmi describes herself as a ‘modernist painting in the contemporary time.'” Carmi is strongly influenced by her Italian heritage.

Robert La Rocca was born and raised in North Beach, San Francisco, and received a degree on Landscape Architecture from UC  Berkeley and Harvard. In addition to a successful career as a Landscape Architect, La Rocca was President of San Francisco Art Commission and was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. His paintings of the last years have been an outgrowth of his profession in Landscape Architecture. In his words, “… I’m intrigued with overlapping images which make the composition more interesting–like writing a novel with several subplots. I like to trick the eye. In some cases, the lines go out to the space and it’s up to you to connect them… I’m interested in activation the entire wall space and in the impact on the viewer.”

Friday, March 16, 2018 | 6:30pm
Free admission | RSVP Required