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Art Goes Live on Market Street

Starting today, you may notice some unusual activity occurring on Market Street. Don't mistake it for the usual cast of crazies known for loitering and creating ruckus of all sorts on the sidewalk. These people aren't homeless and begging for money, but rather make up a troupe of characters telling the story of eight prominent African Americans who lived and worked near Market Street during the mid-19th century.

The Mission Celebrates Art + Culture in a Big Way This Fall

A staple art and cultural institution for four decades, the Mission's Galería de la Raza celebrates 40 years of bringing community together through activism and the sharing of the neighborhood's strong Latino culture. The season-long programming is comprised of four main events taking place now through November, and you'll also have the chance to snag Galería de la Raza's 40th Anniversary Catalogue, which features essays, interviews, and color reproductions illustrating the space's 40-year history, and a limited-edition fine arts portfolio. Local art icon Guillermo Gómez-Peña will team up with novelist Sandra Cisneros (known  for her contributions to The Village Voice and The New York Times and her novel The House on Mango Street) in a special collaboration that will serve as the finale ceremony.

Impressionism Makes a Comeback at the de Young

Oh, Starry Night. I’d say my taste is more of the boundary-breaking contemporary art kind, but the Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Beyond exhibit currently on view at the de Young gave me a new appreciation for French art of the 19th century. And as much as I’d like to say I fell in love with a more obscure work of genius, I admit that I fell victim to the magnificent allure of Van Gogh's oft overplayed masterpiece.

Public Works: New Art Comes to the Mission

Just what the Mission needs—another art offbeat gallery. But with the opening of Public Works, the neighborhood's hipsters are going to get a taste of something different (we'll call it Mission meets SoMa). The new multipurpose space is a gallery, bar, artist's workshop, and community room, with the goal of bringing underground scenes and styles together under one roof and promoting some of the Bay Area's most creatively-oriented nonprofits.

Fecal Face Celebrates 10 Years

It's been ten years since John Trippe founded art and culture website Fecal Face Dot Com, and to celebrate, they've put together an anniversary show featuring 25 artists who have been instrumental to Fecal Face's success—and vice versa. The opening takes place this Friday, September 10 at The Luggage Store Gallery, from 6-8pm. Artists in the show include San Francisco's Ferris Plock, Jeremey Fish, and Mars-1, as well as LA-based Jeff Soto, David Choe, and Sylvia Ji.

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).

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