Frankenart Mart

 

GALLERY : ARTWORK

(A) Museum : Canonical Art
(B) Biennale : Artists
(C) Art school : Art Students
(D) Hot Dog Stand : Ideas
(E) Who gives : a sh*t?

 Art is to…ah, nevermind. Analogies probably should stay in the deep recesses of the mind never to be dug up again but I couldn’t resist. Did you know that the revised GRE General Test will no longer have antonyms or analogies? Art and hot dogs? Yes. There’s a point.

Some things go, albeit strangely, together. For example, Art and hot dogs probably don’t spark the synapses in your brain at this moment. For the true art snob, the synapses are probably misfiring. Then again, anything is possible and some things aren’t as strange as you think. Rather, a diversified perspective. Okay, so, maybe bitter melon and hot chocolate wouldn’t exactly make a great pair but there’s something for everyone. Being a huge proponent of bridging people and cultures, it’s always a treat to highlight organizations that foster community and participatory art. One of the places in San Francisco that has been around for a good number of years is Frankenart Mart.

From their Itinerant Poetry Librarian to their Free Hot Dog Days (yes, Vegetarians and Vegans, there is something for us as well), Frankenart Mart plays on the idea that, like a hot dog cart, art can be served up in tasty doses enticing the public to make frequent stops (even for a few minutes) and notice what they may have never noticed before (about themselves or their environment and all through an art lens). It’s all in the noticing. The space is small BUT the concept is huge (and successful). Nestled in the Richmond District of San Francisco, it’s a neighborhood gem. Yet, the location is a part of its charm. Everything in the Mart, requires the visitor/participant to redefine art simultaneously participating in the creative process. Conceptually, it’s a testament to San Francisco’s fertile art ground, which reminds me, I need to pay the Mart a visit. Maybe, even make something because Me : Art : Ideas : Me : You : Art : Ideas : You (ad infinitum).

ArtHaus at 411 Brannan Street in San Franciso, CA

Is it possible to have an art crush on two gallerists? My answer: Yes

James Bacchi and Annette Schutz opened ArtHaus in 1996 and have since created a fostering gallery environment for their stable of artists and connected with the San Francisco community in so many ways (i.e., philanthropic work with many charity organizations is just one example). After meeting the pair, their passion is remarkable. Along with their love for the Arts, the artists they have represented over the past 15 years serve as a testament to their commitment to artists’ progression and evolution. A proper write up of ArtHaus is forthcoming but I wanted to share prior to something much more formal.  

If you’re thinking about visiting ArtHaus, think no longer. Please visit James and Annette. It will be more than nice.

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An incredible weekend to do an urban hike through the San Francisco streets! Today was one of the best days and our hiking group worked up a sweat walking up and down the hills surrounding Koit Tower. Fortunately, we didn’t ascend the stairs that would bring us to the landmark but we were able to catch glimpses of the urban landscape walking along the downtown San Francisco streets.

Now, since it is Valentine’s day weekend, I wanted to focus on yet another aspect of what makes art such an integral part of a community – the muralist. Some time ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Johanna Poethig during one of her group exhibitions curated by artist, Jenifer Wofford. One of my dear friends suggested I look up from our hike to see the i-Hotel mural. I was astonished by its vibrancy and depiction of Filipino history in San Francisco.

Naturally, being Filipino American, it’s near and dear to my heart. It was Poethig’s tribute to the long fight for low-income housing to the Asian community (predominantly Filipino) via the i-Hotel. Yet, again, another reason and method of how art can capture an individual’s attention (no matter what color, culture, sexual orientation, whatever) and help disseminate a message to the masses. Cheers to, another art crush and hero, Johanna Poethig!!

Portrait of George I by Elyse Hochstadt, Courtesy of the Artist

With the valiant effort of keeping with my “art diary” format and writing as much as possible in the new year (every day to be exact), I figured it would be nice to write about a Bay Area artist. I’m hoping to learn more about her work as well as her processes as the year progresses. There will be more, I can promise you that, dear reader. For now though, I’m just spinning my wheels and getting the juices flowing. So, let me begin today’s entry…

As an adult, I’m much more fascinated with fairy tales and their allegorical meanings than ever before. Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with artist, Elyse Hochstadt, to discuss her art work. During our conversation, I was drawn to Portrait of George I instantly. Hochstadt mentioned her affinity to Grimm’s Fairy Tales as we talked about some sources from which she draws inspiration. Intrigued by her fascination, I couldn’t help but read through some of the various stories (i.e., The Wild Swans, The Juniper Tree, etc.) when I got home. Recalling my experience of seeing Portrait of George I, it was both a visual and physical representation of a fairy tale. Although a chair has a function and purpose in daily life, there is a repurposing of the ordinary into something extraordinary with this piece. It is enigmatic and magical. At first glance, there is a sense of wonder and fear as if the chair were to suddenly come alive to the touch. The illusion that what you are seeing in space must become something other than what it actually is, which is a well crafted piece of art work with carefully placed feathers using the chair as a base for the overall structure. However, the organic form offers no hard lines other than the wooden legs visible at the very bottom of the piece. It’s a mirage of sorts that welcomes your own interpretation and re-working of your mythologies.

This is just a mere introduction. More thoughts to come…

Although I’m a San Francisco Native, I LOVE Oakland immensely and believe the Support Oakland Artists organization has set up a great web site to survey the community and create services and increase resources to the art community.