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Eyeing This Week’s Art Openings

Consider the fall arts season fully underway -- courtesy of a trove of intriguing shows focusing on new works by Bay Area artists.

Teens and Non-Teens Pair Up for Clark Gallery Exhibition

Curated by Catherine Clark (Catherine Clark Gallery) and UC Berkeley professor, roboticist, and artist Ken Goldberg, each piece included in Teen Age: You Just Don't Understand was created by a pair or group of artists, including at least one teenager and one "so-called adult." Teenagers push the cultural boundaries, bringing a fresh perspective to traditional media and this exhibition seeks to harness that, combining it with the polish and perspective of older, more experienced artists. Some of the pairs are even related, like the brother-and-sister team who created the video installation shown with this post.

SFMOMA Selects Architects for Expansion

Drumroll, please … SFMOMA has selected the Norwegian architecture firm of Snøhetta to design the larger-than-life museum expansion set to house the massive Fisher Collection. Initial design concepts of the team's first West Coast building in the US will be unveiled in spring 2011. The renowned firm will collaborate with a local San Francisco team to create additional gallery space in the museum's Third Street building, as well as an extension designed for Howard Street, which will connect to the back of the existing museum.

Urban Legends, Fantasy Landscapes: First Thursday Openings To Catch

Brace yourself for summer in the city. Because urban life, as filtered through some very personal lens, appears to be theme emerging at this month's First Thursday shows.

“Dream Portal”
Welcome to their fantasy. Organic landscaping gives way to fabulist abstractions at this collaboration between Paul Kalcic and Jellystone. Opening June 3, 7-10 p.m. Kokoro Studio, 682 Geary St., SF. kokorostudio.tumblr.com

First Impressions: Birth of Impressionism at the de Young

Immortalized on dorm room walls of every undergrad from here to Beijing, it could be said that Monet's water lilies have entered the dreaded realm of cliché. But in the late 19th century, his work was revolutionary. Critics in 1874 found dappled sunlight and thick swabs of bright paint painfully offensive, and those who slathered such rot on their canvases were relegated to the fringes of the art world.

But there are no water lilies in Birth of Impressionism, the new exhibit that opened at the De Young this week. Instead, there are turkeys, a surprising number of dead fish (still lifes aren't all chrysanthemums and lemons, people), cherubs riding dolphins, and naked women rising from seashells (as naked women are wont to do).

Exhibits To Catch On First Thursday

May brings rising artists on the move and familiar names back on the scene. Here's a brief look at a few of the Bay's openings and art events, just in time for First Thursday.

Zhang Huan's 26-Foot, Three-Headed, Six-Armed Buddhist Statue Coming to the Civic Center

San Francisco's city center is going to get a temporary facelift on May 12 in the form of a gargantuan three-headed, six-armed Buddhist statue entitled, err, Three Heads Six Arms by the international art phenom Zhang Huan. For the massive work of art's world premiere as an outdoor adornment to the Joseph L. Alioto Performing Arts Piazza (across the street from City Hall), the city and good old Gavin Newsom are rolling out the welcome mat with a public ceremony at 10 a.m.

Spring Open Studio at Hunters Point

Hunters Point Shipyard artists host their annual Spring Open Studio this weekend (Sat & Sun, 11-6) and if you've never been out there it's definitely worth the trip. Seven buildings of the former Navy base house a huge artist colony, with over 250 artists on site year-round. Open Studio will showcase the work of 125 of the artists, allowing visitors to roam around the base, check out artist studios, and buy awesome things to hang in your house. The work includes fine art as well as craft like quilts and jewelry. Nearby Islais Creek Studios, the home of sculptors who used to show at Building 101, will also be open. It's a really awesome opportunity to check out local artists and get inside the old Navy base.

Woman Hood: Art by Tenderloin Women

For Randy Shaw's big dreams of the Tenderloin becoming a tourist destination to come true, it's going to take more than evoking memories from times long passed and eating delicious banh mi. But one thing the Tenderloin definitely has going for itself is art, and the CBD Gallery's "Woman Hood: Work by Tenderloin Women Artists" is no exception. Featuring crafts, painting, and photography by women of the Tenderloin community, the show's curators hope to provide public exposure to the neighborhood's many unknown female artists and foster a greater sense of community within the troubled 'loin. The show will be open noon - 3, Fridays and Saturdays, through May 29 at CBD Gallery (134 Golden Gate Avenue).

Beached Art

What do star-crossed lovers (thanks, Shakespeare), a black fly in your chardonnay (merci, Alanis) and Santa Cruz artist Jim Denevan's elaborate sand drawings have in common? They're all prime examples of beautiful irony. Denevan's doomed artistry—which can be found, on any fair-weather day, on SF's Ocean Beach or Santa Cruz's Cowell Beach—is front-and-center in this month's Sunset magazine.

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