Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1968; 17 × 14 inches.  Photo by Lydia Chávez

Art Notes: Go See This Diebenkorn

Brian Gross Fine Arts at 248 Utah St. has a small show, Bay Area Figurative Drawing: 1958 to 1968, that will be up until Feb 25.   It is well worth dropping in just to see the 1968 drawing by Richard Diebenkorn who you probably know most for his Ocean Park series. The drawing comes from his earlier figurative period and, despite depicting a...
Image of art by Amy Wilson Faville

Homeless Shower Provider Returning to Art to Shift Perceptions

Lately, Doniece Sandoval has been been in the spotlight for bringing showers to the homeless by truck, a program known as Lava Mae. Now, she’s exploring the possibilities of changing perceptions about the homeless through art. On January 13, Sandoval and the Market Street gallery Fouladi Projects will open an exhibition of artwork reflecting on the experience of homelessness. Though...
Rehearsal for Gracias a la Vida. Photo by Robbie Sweeny

Dance Mission Theater Leaps Into New Year With 40th Anniversary Show

Through four decades, Dance Mission Theater has steadfastly continued producing shows. On January 13th and 14th, it will celebrate its 40th anniversary with politically themed performances that include drumming, ballet, modern dance, song, and even sign language at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It’s called “Gracias a la Vida: Love in a Bitter Time” and it is a...
Illustration by Lesley Vamos

Q&A: Children’s Book Author Writes Murals Into Mystery

In a twist on the children’s mystery format, first-time children’s book author (and lawyer) Jill Diamond has recently published a mystery in which the Mission’s murals play a central role. Lou Lou & Pea and the Mural Mystery, illustrated by Lesley Vamos, is set in a fantastical Mission-inspired world where two young friends use clues that start appearing in the...
Michael Roman. Photo courtesy of Linda Wilson

Generous, Prolific, “Loco” – Stencil Artist Michael Roman Dies at 60

In art and in life, Michael Roman was a man of many layers, colorful visions and haunting complexities. The stencil artist and silkscreen printmaker, best known for layered prints depicting cultural and political icons, died on Monday, succumbing to severe health complications. He was 60 years old. Three months ago, Roman was out to see a movie with his partner...
Debra Walker in her art studio at Developing Environments. She lives in the adjoining unit. Photo by Brian Rinker.

Artists Respond to Fire Safety Crackdown By Calling on the Fire Department

In the wake of the tragic fire in Oakland that claimed 36 lives and the city crackdowns that resulted, the founder of a Mission District arts space will bring together firefighters with managers of both underground and above-board arts spaces to help improve fire safety. Spike Kahn, a prominent housing activist who has also been active in a fire safety advocacy...
Violet Overn Fraternity House.  Photo Courtesy of Northern California Women's Caucus for the Arts

Feminist Art Gives Middle Finger to Misogyny, Opens Tonight

A golden Buddha sits cross-legged in front of a mold of the vagina of Japanese artist Rokudenashiko. In Japan, her genitalia themed works are considered obscene and in 2014 they landed her in jail for a week.    But feminist, artist and San Francisco State University associate professor Tanya Augsburg said the vagina mold captures the essence of a dialogue...

SF Mission MC Riffs on Gentrification in New Video

“Frak,” the hip hop moniker of Alex Fraknoi, grew up in the Mission and has seen it change – particularly when he returns on visits from Southern California, where he’s studying writing and media studies. That change inspired a rap song and music video set in the Mission, in which Frak walks the neighborhood hidden behind a fixed plastic emoji...
The Thriftown rooftop two weeks ago.

HISTORY: 17 Reasons Remembered

“When I came to San Francisco, I saw that fantastic sign…with no explanation but it was enough for me,” wrote Glen Mehn in a 2002 letter to the city protesting the removal of the icon. “I knew where I wanted to live…in the Mission, close to that sign.” Read the Full Story HERE.
Photo by Elizabeth Creely

Talk of the Mission: A New Mona Caron Mural on 21st Street

On Wednesday, November 16th, Mona Caron, the muralist whose work graces walls from Bolivia to Noe Valley, was up on some scaffolding painting a mural, her eighth in San Francisco, for Pedal Revolution, the bike shop at 3085 21st St. that doubles as a nonprofit job training program for youth. It was a cold day, with a sharp wind blowing...
David Tim, Which Way? 2016. Mixed media, 22 x 36 in. $1,500.

Art Notes: David Tim at Campfire Gallery

The incredibly talented David Tim, who we first wrote about in 2014, has a collection of six mixed media pieces at the Campfire Gallery at 3344 24th St. Most use woodcuts, charcoal, acrylic and fabric on handmade Sekishu paper. In the artist statement on his website, Tim writes “My work represents the pursuit of harmony between the individual and the...
Martha Rodriguez Salazar is the curator and music advisor of the Dia de los Muertos festivities at the SF Symphony. Photo by Laura Waxmann

SF Musician and Teacher Builds Bridges Between Local Culture and SF Symphony

Over the course of nearly a decade, Mission District music teacher Martha Rodriguez Salazar helped Latino song and tradition find a permanent home at the San Francisco Symphony. Now in its ninth year, the Symphony’s annual Día de los Muertos concert will again return to Davies Symphony Hall on Saturday October 5. As curator of the festival and music advisor...
Sugar skulls by Mexican artist Miguel Quintana. Photo by Lauren Hepler

Merchants, Artists Turn to Day of the Dead During Turbulent Times

After eight months of arranging incognito border crossings for highly in-demand Donald Trump piñatas, Nancy Charraga is enjoying a change of pace. The last few days have been a whirlwind of sugar skulls, technicolor paper flowers and other seasonal décor sought out by clientele of her Valencia Street shop, Casa Bonampak — all ahead of celebrations for the Día de...
Joe Fitz Rodriguez, a reporter with the San Francisco Examiner, touring Clarion Alley in the film "Company Town." Courtesy of Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman.

New Film “Company Town” Explores Tech’s Influence on San Francisco

The tech industry, its money, and its political influence are hitting the silver screen next week in a new film critical of the “sharing economy” and the influence of Silicon Valley on San Francisco. “Company Town,” which will have its San Francisco premiere at the Roxie Theater on Friday, October 28, at 7 p.m., takes places over a few tumultuous weeks in...