On Friday February 6th, a big rainstorm hit the Bay area. It’s needed due to a severe drought. However, I had two evening openings at the same time: one in Oakland and the other in South San Francisco. Traffic and weather don’t mix. As a result, came up with a strategy to visit both places. This was a good problem!
Made my way to PRO ARTS gallery in Oakland in the early afternoon. It’s a treat to view the gallery without the crowd of an opening. I was able to engage and enjoy the art. Friends with Karma has an interesting premise, from their website: “Juried via a peer review process, this exhibition explores the processes by which artists support, sustain and participate in the launch of each other’s work. The top ranking submissions will form a group exhibition at Pro Arts, presenting a survey of contemporary art arrived at through a community process. The program allows insight into review processes, while encouraging artists to think critically about their own work within the scope of Bay Area art.” To be picked by my peers, is a true honor.
Highlights included artists Jermiah Jenkins, Maggie Preston, and Carlo Fantin. Jenkins’ Gathering of sticks, wood, and twine played with idea of commercialism and its role in the natural world. Preston’s Jones at Sutter, an archival pigment print on rag, makes the viewer look when otherwise told not to do so. The hand cut paper artwork titled Instaddiction by Carlo Fantin is the ultimate “selfie” that uses your mind without a battery.
After a terrific tour at Pro Arts, onwards to South San Francisco for the 2014 Utility Box Mural Project Artists award ceremony. Walking into the Municipal Services Building courtyard, there were families, a buffet with delicious treats, a General Art & Sculpture Show, and a rotating video presentation. The energy was positive and welcoming!
The ceremony was heartfelt and meaningful. Met other utility box artists and conversed about the experience. When the evening concluded, my husband and I journeyed our way back to Richmond through a tough storm. It was a day well-spent. The acknowledgement from both sides of the Bay was appreciated. Rain or shine.