Artist Sofia Carmi Explores Inner and Outer Worlds

by Chuck Thurston : potreroview – excerpt

Image and art by Sofia Carmi

The University of California, San Francisco-Mission Bay Memory and Aging Center is an apt setting to exhibit paintings by Potrero Hill artist Sofia Carmi, who produced the works while healing from the recent loss of her long-time husband, artist Brent Bushnell.

Abstract art often attempts to connect the inner world of feelings and memories with the outer world of expressive colors, shapes, and textures, a process that Carmi finds stimulating. She referred to the creative metamorphosis of raw pigments into a meaningful painting as an “alchemical” process of transformation. Her paintings are a way of sharing this experience with others, with the hope that viewers will engage in their own metaphysical “dialog” with the work… (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)

Leslie Lowinger at Graphic Arts Workshop

I’ve know Leslie Lowinger for years, and had a pretty good idea what goes on at the Graphic Arts Workshop, but I was unaware of the early GAW members’ involvement in radical politics and heavy influence on San Francisco’s socially conscious designs. To get an upclose picture of the graphic Arts Workshop today, I spoke to Leslie about how her involvement with GAW has shaped her career.

Mari: What has been your biggest inspiration as an artist?

Leslie: My art career has been strongly influenced by my travels and my love of adventure. My choice of medium, style and content changes with the environment. In New York I painted landscapes. In Hamburg I studied printmaking. My San Francisco prints have taken on an oriental flavor. As I travel, I establish relationships and work on collaborative projects, group shows and events. I like working at the (Graphic Arts) Workshop because I get to work with people, share successes and failures.

Mari: I know you are involved in several arts groups in San Francisco. Which of the groups have helped the most to further your career as a printmaker?

Leslie: The equipment and camaraderie at the Graphic Arts Center are essential for my work as a printmaker. Artspan, producers of Open Studios, has been very effective for selling my work in San Francisco.

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