Each year, Potrero Hill-based ArtSpan hosts a citywide month-long event, SF Open Studios. With nearly a thousand contributing artists, SF Open Studios is a celebration of San Francisco’s art culture.
Artpsan is committed to “cultivating a vibrant, accessible, and sustainable arts community in San Francisco”, including helping to safeguard access to physical spaces for creative expression. ArtSpan has made particular efforts to engage minority and younger artists, offering a Youth Open Studios program that allows youth to show their art alongside Open Studio artists, as well as an Art for City Youth program that provides art tours and artist-led events for City youth. Open Studios also connects artists with exhibition spaces and with collectors.
SF Open Studios pivots off of various art “hubs” located in Hunters Point, Excelsior, Haight, Tenderloin and other San Francisco neighborhoods. According to David Kittredge, owner of South-of-Market restaurant, Triptych, by displaying art from SF Open Studios he helps artists reach a diverse breadth of observers and patrons. “The art culture here is part of what helps San Francisco remain a world-class city,” he remarked.
Southside neighborhoods have recently emerged as an important art node. A recently opened creative complex in Dogpatch, The Midway SF, is a “one of a kind space, dedicated to bringing art, entertainment, and education under one synergistic & collaborative roof,” according to its website. This creative complex includes a main art gallery, sub-galleries, music sound stage, art classes, a café and twelve artist-in-residency studios, in collaboration with ArtSpan.
“The Midway is one example of an attempt to bring back local art in the community and bring a wider range of art into the Dogpatch,” said Evelynn Bird, who is a part-time staffer at The Midway Gallery, which is located at the intersection of Third and Marin streets.
“Open Studios connects you with collectors and gives you a sense of community. It’s incredible to be part of such a vibrant community of artists. I feel really fortunate to be part of such an amazing organization,” said Shilo Ratner, an artist showing in SF Open Studios. “Art Span has been instrumental in helping artists navigate the changes in the City and with finding alternative spaces for artists to show.”
ArtSpan will host a free preview weekend beginning at 11 a.m., October 10th and 11th at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street. The first weekend of SF Open Studios kicks-off October 17th and 18th at Hunters Point Shipyard and Islais Creek Studios.