More than three months after a fire forced FFDG Gallery owner John Trippe out of the Haight, he’s opening a new space at 2277 Mission St., near 19th.
“We found this place on Craigslist and on December 8 it was ours,” Trippe said of the 700-square-foot gallery where works from several Brazilian artists will hang on the walls for tonight’s opening.
“I’ve wanted to have a gallery on Mission for a long time [because of] its energy, respect for art — and I love the burritos from Cancun, which is right across the street. You can’t beat that.”
For Trippe, having a new location is more than just a fresh start. It’s stability.
“It’s nice to have a permanent place to call home,” said Trippe.
That seemed a long way off in late September. On the 27th, Trippe and his wife Jessica were at the gallery at 248 Fillmore St. when a neighbor ran in to tell them about a fire that had started in an apartment above the gallery. The four-alarm fire caused $2.15 million in damages and displaced 31 residents as well as businesses.
The gallery had been there for three years and was known for showcasing the latest local and international paintings in the art scene.
They were lucky, Trippe said, because they were able to save all the art by taking it across the street to a friend’s house.
Nevertheless, the fire was devastating. “It’s kind of frustrating when everything you’ve worked for is falling apart right in front of your face.”
Slowly, he picked up the pieces of his business life and found a temporary space on Clement Street and Fourth Avenue for his November showcase. He continued to search for a permanent location and in December found the Mission location.
“After the fire, it was a lot of running around in chaos trying to still put on our last show, so to finally have a new place … it feels good,” said Jessica Trippe.
The Trippes hope their Mission gallery will be an “open space for art.” It’s one of several galleries now on Mission Street, including Art Apparel and Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. There are more than two dozen galleries in the Mission District.
“I think what Mission residents can expect from us is a place where they can come have a beer and check out the latest in the art scene, from Scotland to New York or from LA to the Bay,” John Trippe said.
FFDG’s opening reception will begin at 6 p.m. The gallery’s first exhibit is entitled “Fake Sunset.”