San Fran Galleries

Spent Saturday on an “insider’s tour” of Art Galleries in San Francisco’s Mission District (Tour sponsored by Sacramento’s CCAS). Starting out with some local cuisine at Taqueria Vallarta about a dozen of us were joined by an equal number of pigeons while dining inside the open restaurant. (“Sorry, only one pigeon to a customer”.)
On to the first stop at the TripleBase Gallery, and met up with Directors Dina and Joyce. The current group show was based on work done in the JB Blunk Residency. Blunk was a master of the Chain Saw school of wood sculpture, among other things. And one of the current pieces is a chair made out of Cypress was definitely done “Blunk Style” by Brit designer Max Lamb (who specialises in chair design).
Cypress Chair and Table by Max Lamb at the TripleBase Gallery

Leaving TripleBase, after seeing a video of Lamb create his Cypress Chair, we headed down the street to the Eleanor Harwood Gallery.
But first we strolled down Balmy Alley, which is covered in murals…beautiful, thoughtful and thought-provoking murals. There was one in particular that hit home with me – with the picture of a woman holding a letter that spoke of the hardship in physical separation of the family due to coming to California to work as farm labour. This walk down Balmy Alley was perhaps our exposure to some of the best art we would see that day.
At the Harwood, Eleanor was off on honeymoon, but current solo artist Kyle Knobel was on hand to talk about his exhibition of line drawings based on familiar objects around the house. After Balmy Alley, it was a bit difficult to accept the “meaningfulness” of Knobel’s “stories” about everyday objects. By embedding humerous one liners in his line drawings they were more like cartoons than meaningful “art”. But nicely done. (Next Blog will talk more about this.) On to Southern Exposure…
On the way to Southern Exposure (Gallery) we stopped for ice cream at America’s most popular ice creamery – Humphry Slocombe – where people tried flavours like “Peanut butter Curry”, “Foie Gras”, Guinness Gingerbread”, “Balsamic Caramel”, and “Bourbon Cornflakes”. Personally, I liked the “Vietnamese Coffee” flavour. The place was queued up for miles with people sitting and standing everywhere, inside, outside and along the sidewalk. If bored tho, one could view “Campbell Soup” paintings of some obviously “failed prototypes”, like “Fetal Kitten Soup”…..
Last Gallery Stop was Southern Exposure, a large nonprofit exhibition space. The current shows included video and installation art, as well as a look into Alison Pebworth’s “Beautiful Possibilities Road Show” exhibit. Alison is worth googling, and her 5 month Road Show begins shortly and will be touring the US, starting up the Coast and Heading North.

Final Stop of the day was at Art Aficionado Joe Rodota’s place. Joe has a beautiful and varied collection of paintings, about 20 on hand that day. My favourites were two serigraphs by Robert (Clark) Indiana (the guy who did the LOVE poster in the 60’s). The two five x five foot pieces dominated one wall in Joe’s front room. They were from the early ninetie’s Hartley Elegies series. And of course, it was fun to watch out a giant picture window and see below as Giants fans scrambled down 2nd street towards the AT&T Ball Park where the Giants had won the night before. Great conversations. Especially enjoyed hearing from Joe’s neighbor, Sang, about a bicycle road trip that he and his partner made to LA from SF. Cool stuff.

Dinner at Spengers in Berkeley and a long drive back to Red Bluff…..





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