In the neighborhood with the highest concentration of street art in San Francisco, the Mission’s cultural heritage may be best viewed through the work of its artists. The alleys here are gateways to discovery, where guerrilla "galleries" weave a colorful tapestry of influences and creative expression.
If you're like me, your stumbles through the city have unwittingly exposed you to a variety of fascinating street art. Or maybe you're one of those cool hipsters who hangs out in the Mission, purposefully searching out every spraypainted wall your houndstooth-wearing soul can find. Either way, you may be in luck, as the 1AM mobile app allows the street art lover or creator to snap pics, and share their favorite local urban Picassos.
For 941 Geary founder Justin Giarla and graffiti artist APEX, it's all about the present. The two have co-curated "The City We Love," a large-scale group show of Bay Area artists at Giarla's cutting-edge Tenderloin gallery. The exhibit of new work by local artists highlights graffiti and street art culture from the likes of Chad Hasegawa, David Ball, Chor Boogie, John Felix Arnold, and more. “I just felt that it was time to focus on doing a show with just San Francisco artists," says Giarla. "There’s a stronger community in San Francisco than people realize. The artists that we work with are here because they love it."
This building is now gone -- torn down by its property owners, Caltrans. It was demolished last year, but for many years it sat on the shore of Islais Creek in SF's Bay View Hunters Point neighborhood.
We posted a back-to-school guide to this fall's best lectures and classes the other week. Here's another one to add to the mix if you're feeling particularly wild and crazy: monthly toy modification classes at SOMA's 1AM Gallery. Their September classes have sold out, but their next class is coming up quickly on October 23rd, just in time to get in the spirit of Halloween! Sign up here now, because spaces go fast. Customize toys provided by KidRobot any which way your mood dictates. You can paint, hack and glue your way to a cute (or totally creepy, your preference) toy of your very own. Sign up for the 1-session beginners' class here, which is taught by Lily Black.
I came upon the Banksy piece that dwells on Commercial Street in Chinatown this past weekend, and boy was it hard to miss. There were bunches of elderly people taking a gander at the thing, taking photos in front of it and discussing it fervently. What I couldn't help noticing was the fact that local residents had drilled a panel of plastic over it along with a cautionary sign to prevent would-be intruders from tagging over it. Way to preserve this work of art for the rest of us, Chinatowners! Now it's shielded from the elements as well as sneaky kids looking for the glory of defacing a Banksy piece.