New galleries bring buzz to San Francisco, but no gold rush—yet

February 20, 2017

by Jori Finkel : theartnewspaper – excerpt

Art scene is expanding into other parts of the city after high rents forced an exodus from downtown

After new spaces opened on the coattails of the dramatically expanded San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) last year—most notably Gagosian opening a branch within a few blocks—the city’s gallery scene continues to grow…

In January, the blue-chip Berggruen Gallery unveiled a three-floor, 10,000-sq. ft space South of Market, next door to Gagosian. The same week, former Matthew Marks director Adrian Rosenfeld opened a new space in the Minnesota Street Project in the scruffy Dogpatch neighborhood, joining Rena Bransten, Anglim Gilbert, and Altman Siegel, which ­relocated there in November.

The downtown exodus has been fueled by sky-high real estate prices. Claudia Altman Siegel, Catharine Clark and Stephen Wirtz all mentioned rent rises as a factor in leaving the 49 Geary building in recent years. Gretchen Berggruen said the gallery’s move, after 46 years on Grant Avenue, was prompted by a desire for more space and “amenities” that collectors expect, like parking. In effect, the city’s gallery scene is once again expanding after a contraction. But is the collector base that underlies it also keeping pace…(more)

The lack of interest in the arts can probably be traced back to the removal of art, music, and humanities from the public school curriculum. People with no education or appreciation of the arts are not likely to invest or become serious collectors. What passes for quality visuals these days is astonishingly bad. Take a look at the ugly buildings going up all over the place if you want to see a good argument for returning art to the classrooms.


At Dogpatch’s New Art Hub, There’s No Such Thing As Priced Out

February 25, 2016
By Lauren Murrow :modernluxury – excerpt
minnesota_main
Minnesota Street Project (which doubles as the setting of this month’s fashion portfolio) is transforming an industrial stretch of Dogpatch into an ambitious art laboratory.

Minnesota Street. That’s…where now? Even native-born San Franciscans might have a hard time pinpointing the narrow, eight-block-long drag on a city map (look down there on the southeastern corner of Dogpatch, just east of Potrero Hill and north of the Bayview). But they’re going to know it a lot better soon: Opening this month, Minnesota Street Project—a gallery hub, a complex of 30 rent-controlled artist studios, and a concierge art-storage facility—has transformed that short, sleepy corridor into the city’s newest and most unusual art district.

The project was conceived by art collectors Deborah and Andy Rappaport two years ago, when the Union Square galleries they had long frequented were beginning to falter. Decades-old Geary Street standbys like Rena Bransten Gallery, Modernbook Gallery (now Themes + Projects), Nancy Toomey Fine Art, and Anglim Gilbert Gallery were becoming victims of rising rents and the gradual gallery-scene migration to the city’s south and east, as well as to the East Bay. “For us,” says Deborah, “the idea of living in a city devoid of art was impossible to contemplate.” Andy, a retired venture capitalist, had some experience investing in real estate, so the couple began to hunt for large-scale buildings to fill what they saw as a depressing void.

They searched in the Bayview, SoMa, and Potrero Hill before settling on the industrial Dogpatch, where buildings are zoned PDR (reserved solely for businesses engaged in production, distribution, and repair), keeping rents comparatively affordable. Their first discovery was 1275 Minnesota Street, a 1937 industrial warehouse that was then home to a local woodworker looking to downsize…

The second site that the Rappaports scooped up, a 22,000-square-foot T-shirt-printing factory just across the street, at 1240 Minnesota, will soon be home to artist studios—all rented at between a quarter and a third of the market rate—as well as a wood shop, a digital studio, and a print studio. The project received 250 applications for 27 permanent spots, which its newly hired studio director, local artist Brion Nuda Rosch, winnowed down. Rosch evaluated applications for a diversity of experience and media, hoping to house artists with roots in painting, sculpture, 3-D and multimedia work, ceramics, and woodwork. The rent-controlled leases will be renewable at the discretion of the tenants—a sweet deal for the winning artists. “It’s a double-edged sword,” says Deborah. “It’s wonderful to have such a diversity of work, but it’s also really depressing that we can only accommodate 10 percent of the people we would have liked to.”

While the cavernous studio space and the galleries across the street will enliven this formerly silent corridor with the sounds of artists working and gallerinas hopping, they won’t necessarily turn a profit. The real revenue generator of the enterprise is a third building, on a corner of Minnesota at 1150 25th Street, that will become a 15,000-square-foot, climate-controlled storage space to serve the city’s growing ranks of fine art collectors. The Rappaports expect the proceeds from this venture to offset the low rents they’re charging in the gallery complex and artist studios. “We basically designed the art-storage building that we would want to patronize,” says Deborah. The key selling point: Whereas existing storage companies charge collectors a fee every time they retrieve a work of art from storage, the client-focused Minnesota Street Project Art Services will offer a range of flexible plans…(more)