Potrero Flats

San Francisco is known to have numerous and diverse neighborhoods.  Union Square is one that contains the most concentrated number of galleries.  However, some have relocated to Potrero Flats due to rent increases.  An art lover must now make an additional festive trip to satisfy their creative craving.

According to Kenneth Baker of The San Francisco Chronicle: “A sketchily defined area just north and west of Potrero Hill, and just south and west of the Design District, Potrero Flats contains old warehouse and factory spaces that, once refurbished, are perfect for showcasing artworks that need a lot of ceiling height and breathing space on walls.”  Because of being directionally challenged, finding parking was quite inconvenient.  A few spaces were available but for only two hours.  As a result, had to play the “drive-around-the-block-stalking-spots” game for a longer visit.  Public transit is the best option next time!

Great art also makes one forget transportation woes and the galleries didn’t disappoint.  A highlight included Wanxin Zhang’s Totem exhibit at Catharine Clark Gallery.  His work explores East and Western culture in haunting and humorous clay creations.  Next door at Brian Gross Fine Art, Keira Kotler’s I Look For Light exhibit glows with luminous layers of liquid pigment.

Disturbingly good work of artist
The disturbingly good work of artist Wanxin Zhang.
Purple might become my favorite color now thanks to artist
Purple might become my favorite color thanks to artist Kiera Kotler.

A few blocks away, the Wattis Institute featured Joan Jonas who was a video and performance artist.  The gallery attendant shared his insight and a summary of the exhibit.  Right around the corner was the San Francisco Center for the Book.  The staff was friendly, welcoming, and encouraged exploration at the comprehensive facility.

The Joan Jonas exhibit requires an afternoon of research, reading text, and observation.
The Joan Jonas exhibit requires an afternoon of research, reading text, observation, and reflection.
The Center for the Books work space is amazing!
The San Francisco Center for the Book workspace is amazing!

Before visiting Southern Exposure, had to move the car to avoid a ticket.  After numerous attempts, finally found a 1-hour parking spot.  Walked to the gallery to find a sign on the door saying it wouldn’t be open for another hour.  Waited to see the juried More Than One Way show and it was engaging.  Luke Heimbingner’s and Lorna Steven’s artworks displayed amazing conceptual craftsmanship.

Luke Heimbigner's 5th Dimension made out of bronze and steel.
Luke Heimbigner’s 5th Dimension made out of bronze and steel.
Lorna Stevens' Herd made out of charred wood.
Lorna Stevens’ Herd made out of charred wood.

Potrero Flats is anything but flat.  No matter the location, art is worth the hassle and time.  One area isn’t better than the other. Each place is unique and adds an important perspective to our culture.  My wish is that every venue can continue to prosper in 2015 and beyond…

The Links: