Watch out, SoMa and Union Square. You may soon be competing with a north of Market neighborhood as the epicenter of cutting-edge city art. That’s right—SF's colorful Tenderloin district is about to get a much-needed facelift. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts [GAFFTA], a new nonprofit digital art and technology center, will officially open its doors on October 1. The state-of-the-art gallery space, studio facility and multimedia community center marks a milestone in the revitalization of this grungy area into a vibrant art district, while also providing a production and exhibition center for the Bay Area digital and progressive arts communities.
As a leader in technology and innovation, it was only a matter of time before the Bay Area filled a cultural void and opened a home for designers, engineers and creators to take on new projects via positive creative outlets. Gray Area has adopted the idea of “open to interpretation” as its mantra, embracing the notion that creativity lies in the space of what’s currently indefinable, resulting in a curious and thoughtful exploration that can lead to important innovation.
The inaugural exhibition “OPEN” (running 10/1 - 11/18) features the works of C.E.B. Reas, Camille Utterback and Stamen Design. From prints and sculptures to interactive video, generative processes and cartography, each work uniquely reflects GAFFTA's core values of utilizing innovative technologies to promote collaboration, public interaction, resource-sharing and openness. The show also introduces a series of public workshops that will offer intensive training in such mixed media technology as creative coding in the Processing environment and many more to come. Amateur or serious working artist, these sessions are designed to give participants hands-on exposure to a wide array of projects and skills that foster creative exploration and practical development.
GAFFTA shines as the light of promise and possibility in both a neighborhood and economy that needs a burst of hope. So, whether you drop some cash to raise funds for GAFFTA at the Galvanize Gala on October 1 (6:30 - 9 p.m.), sign up for a workshop or simply choose to peruse the gallery, make sure Gray Area is on your radar.
Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, 55 Taylor St., 415-843-1GAF.
Show your support by becoming a fan of the organization on Facebook and check out this video of the foundation’s back story.