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

Op-Ed: Artists have been ousted but Point Alameda awaits to fill a need

By Jonathan Farrell : digitaljournal – excerpt

San Francisco – As the cast and crew of “The Soiled Dove” make preparations for this weekend’s two-day extravaganza event, they are one among many who have displaced by the dramatic redevelopment of San Francisco’s Mission District…

“The Soiled Dove” now has a new home at Point Alameda just across the Bay from where they had been in San Francisco’s Mission District along Bryant Street.

Courtesy of “The Soiled Dove” and the Vau de Vire Society productions company…

Native San Francisco artist Cynthia Tom knows this all too well. She has lived in many areas of the City growing up. But for more than 22 years she made The Mission her home; especially the 1890 Bryant Street Studio and artists collective.

“It is a travesty,” she told this reporter. “That area (where ‘The Soiled Dove’ had been held) was one of those massive spaces where you could incubate just about anything and invite an audience.” Cynthia as a surrealist artist has grown both artistically and professionally, as well as personally over the years. Her talents and skills include event planning for her one-of-a-kind art installations, curating historical exhibits, counseling with a focus on healing and music. “My band, ‘Manicato’ even did some recording there at one time,” she said.

“1890 Bryant, the building I am in is highly affected by all this gentrification. We are 2 blocks away (from where ‘The Soiled Dove’ used to be). Our parking is slowly being taken away and I mean removed,” she said. For her to talk about it struck a nerve and then a list of spilled over.

“All bikes only, no parking all along 17th Street. 1 to 2 hour parking limits, so non-residential,” she said. 1890 Bryant, where I am is in, is an industrial versus residential area, eventhough parking is permittable for residential customers only. No one can park for long. Artists need vehicles to move our stuff around and there is no parking sometimes at all. They just built two large condos on Potrero Street and purposefully didn’t put in parking for every condo because they (the Planning Dept.) want to attract non-car residents.” For Cynthia and others like the artistic community she shares 1890 Bryant with, all this drastic ‘gentrification’ makes no sense.

“Basically the City is making it impossible to be a creative business,” Cynthia said, “Which is one of the reasons people come to the City. Taking the bus and biking is cool if you don’t have to transport large objects daily or if you rely on clients driving into town to buy your work and needing a way to get it home.”

“Space for creative businesses is disappearing with the snap of a finger,” she said. “Eventually San Francisco, it will be all restaurants and bars all too soon. But nowhere to visit after your meal.” This makes little sense to Cynthia and to the local artists that have thrived here for decades. “I guess you can stand in the street and admire all the condos,” she said…(more)

The Way You Make Me Feel: Curating Loss and Resilience as the City Goes “Boom!$$$$”

yourmusegallery – excerpt

Heidi McDowellMatt FrederickRandy BeckelheimerKatja LeibenathSarah NewtonAndrew McKinley
Artist reception Thursday, July 16th, 6-9 pm, 614 Alabama Street 
Exhibit runs July 8th– September 13th  


The Way You Make Me Feel addresses the impact of soaring rents, pending evictions, and growing homogeneity on San Francisco’s dwindling bohemian class. Echoing the uncertainty felt by many artists and outliers who have called SF their home for decades, the exhibit seeks to create an environment that elicits communal longing, shared memory, and a gnawing, visceral sense of instability…

“It’s like anyone who doesn’t make a lot of money has been ‘hung out to dry,’” says Shantzis, whose gallery is dedicated to both affordable art and helping to sustain local artists. She notes this definition of the idiom “hung out to dry” in theWiktionary: To abandon someone who is in need or in danger, especially a colleague or one dependent…. (more)

Opening photos:

Art Fairs of All Kinds: Art Market and Parking Lots – in a parking lot

The San Francisco art world is banding together to preserve what’s left of its community in a city that seems to increasingly seek to push the arts away: rents are sky high, evictions and displacement are common, but gallery owners and artists persevere.

Last week marked the fifth year of Art Market San Francisco, held at Fort Mason Center. With 25,000 people in attendance, Kelly Freeman of Art Market says it was a strong year, “Bay Area collectors have grown accustomed to art fairs and the galleries keep coming back.” The contemporary and modern art fair is the last still standing of the trio that once marked this season (ArtPadSF and the San Francisco Fine Art Fair are no more), but it was joined by two brand new fairs (stARTup Art Fair and the rogue Parking Lot Art Fair) in their place.

Though often over-stimulating and overwhelming for the viewer, art fairs continue to grow in popularity. Galleries pay tens of thousands of dollars to pack and ship works, fly their staff around the world and set up shop at fairs — in addition to paying rent at their brick and mortar locations. In a city like San Francisco where real estate is already costly, it’s not the best combination of expenses, but a necessary move…

The whimsical experience of the Parking Lot Art Fair was far from Art Market’s smart and polished environment, where price tags started in the low thousands and went upwards of six figures. The two represent very different arts economies — one based on trade and mutual support, the other on the commercial art market — yet both are necessary to a healthy art scene in the Bay Area, and, perhaps hopefully, both were well attended, often by the same crowds of art appreciators and supporters…  (more)