1 Chronicle S.Dorrance presents ‘Contemporary Group Art Show’ May/June 2014   2 comments

I am  chronicling my process for organizing and presenting my next group show. May to June 2014, San Francisco, California. I think the title is one of the most important parts of the show.  I am giving it deep thought and I have a bit of direction. I talk about it with any who will participate in the discussion. I look for others to name it; it usually comes together for me in that way.

I am in my mind often these days, picking the artists, 1st initials only f,c,s/j,j,L/,j,w,d,/r,j,e,/d,o,m?/,v, h?. There may be others, some of these may not participate. Some of the artists will read this blog looking for their letter. This is a lot of artists.  Too many?  I will have to ponder this number. I may have a size limit? Something to think about.

I am considering spaces. I have loyalties, things I want to support in my neighborhood and things that support me. I always like to include my neighbors in my projects. I will begin working from my street level House Sparrow Mosaic Studio (new name for my long time studio space) soon, on my mosaic for this show and begin collecting my neighbors ideas.  I may get my show title this way. The interactions I have with my neighbors when I am working on a project  keep me motivated and not only in my alone head.  House Sparrow Mosaic Studio is unique in that it let’s my neighbors see what I am doing and  share with me what they are doing. It’s a great part of working in the urban environment.

I have decided on my mosaic piece, and have even mocked it up, still some small details to be decided.

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Contemporary Art in The City   Leave a comment

Local San Francisco artist Fernando Marti’s pen and ink drawings and others from his sketch book (prints, some framed) opened at the bustling Cafe La Boheme, 23rd, May 2013, in San Francisco. I particularly like his rendition of the American Mexican wall, he has printed or etched more than one. This wall that separates humans from humans and bugs from bugs is always on my mind; I like seeing it on other artists minds.

At this intimate gathering, in the largish cafe where not all were there to see Fernando Marti’s work were some of his close human friends, their kids, his lovely wife and their four year old son. I was surprised and pleased to see that people I call ‘neighbors’, were the same people that Fernando calls ‘friends’. Labeling people has been on my mind lately.

Go see and buy the reasonably priced art of Fernando Marti’s, sit and have a glass of wine at Cafe La Boheme 3318 24th Street (just across from BART), and check out the hood in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Classism, the great separator from Earth   Leave a comment

I have recently been thinking about class ism. Class is a group or groups one might belong or might not belong. Sometimes class ism can be as simple as naming a class ‘cool’ and another class ‘lame’. This labeling is happening in all types of groups, often without thought.  A young student of mine once said, “religion is the great separator.”  Class ism seems similar to me  in that it separates you from folks poorer or richer, folks less, better or differently educated than oneself, it separates you from the Earth. We as humans can experience both the positive and negative sides of class ism. Class ism can strike at any age and often strikes negatively the weak in our groups.

If one wants to believe men are equal to women, that we as individuals are not any better than anyone else, that Earth and all of  Earth’s living inhabitants, dirt, trees, animals are equal or of the ‘same’ value, one must explore class ism in ones own life.

Is class ism simply the great separator, destroying the Earth’s air, the Earth’s water, soil, food and the human social web we need?

MAPS ONLY, Revisited   Leave a comment

I was outside of my studio, watering the San Francisco, Mission District, neighborhood front yard garden when Fernando Marti, an artist, map maker and architect walked up with his young son.

We spoke just a bit before Fernando asked his son if he remembered the Maps Only show.  He didn’t remember the Maps Only show he said, which was not surprising to me, ” as he is just a little boy.”  Fernando made a soft musing sound and then asked, “do you remember the Pirate Show”? “Oh yes”, he remembered the Pirate Show!

The Pirate, Oliver Lowe stole the 700 plus crowds heart with his performance, installation and map. Many thanks to Oliver for influencing one of the younger attendees of Maps Only:Radical Cartography in Contemporary Art, “influencing the crowd is always my goal.”

MAPS ONLY: RADICAL CARTOGRAPHY IN CONTEMPORARY ART, MAY 26, 2012   Leave a comment

The walls were painted, the floor adorned with a painted compass rose;  a collaboration of Oliver Lowe, Deborah Scailes and Char Green, with much feedback from the gallery. The walls got the artists names,  and  their art work was hung by Kevin Evenson of exclusiveartservice@mac.com, May 25th, 2012.

Tempers flew, in not a bad way, food was eaten, wine drunk and relationships forged at this show. It was really a great evening of Art and an artful moment. In presenting MAPS ONLY: RADICAL CARTOGRAPHY IN CONTEMPORARY ART I wanted the ‘artful moment‘. I wanted the gathering together and hanging of the art, to be Art.  I really like the artful part of Art. The artful part of Art shares food, wine and lemonade. The artful part patches walls for one night and paints on the floor for 2 nights. This hard work or Art in this collaboration between the artists in this show was over in a moment.

Maps Only: Radical Cartography in Contemporary Art   Leave a comment

Widely attended in the Mission District, Maps Only was a wild success!

As the curator there were many successes for me personally; Artists sold their work and met lovers of their personal maps, there is no  greater compliment. Char Green’s “San Francisco in My Hair”, Fernando Marti’s “Mis Missiones” and Richard Keltner’s “Top of the Bay” all found new wall hooks and “Mission Possible: A Neighborhood Atlas”, a broadside of maps, have few left in this print run. I was thrilled to be asked to collaborate by a SOMA Gallery!

ART in pirate garb, Oliver Lowe regaled the huge and often crushing crowd, while many drank grog and were saved of scurvy, at the same time folks were educated by Deborah Sciales’, “Transmigration of Radiation: We All Live in Japan”. Brian Jones’ “Pistol Pop and Dada” gave us insight into British and U.S. Punk and is being considered by a serious collector.

“Lordrifa” and “True North”, performed their audio map to a room so full they were unable to move from their latitudinal and longitudinal locations.

Randy Figures met a woman who is following the progress of his map, “Aestos” a fantasy world map, in hopes of investing in “Aestos” in the book form.

“Relocation”was Take-Able and many were, thanks to Mary Brown and art is touchable thanks to Sarah Dorrance’s, “Infinite Possibilities”, dedicated to Helen Martin 1957-2012, Nellie Stine and my Grandmother Lucille Carter Merritt 1922-May 31st, 2012.

Maps Only: Radical Cartography in Contemporary Art opened May 26th and hangs until June 25th, 2012 and can be seen at Back to the Picture, The Latin American Gallery, 934 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California. Please come and be educated!

Maps Only: Radical Cartography in Contemporary Art, May 26, 2012   Leave a comment

You are invited to see, hear and touch some of the maps, and meet the artists of “Maps Only: Radical Cartography in Contemporary Art,” May 26th, 7pm-10pm, Back to the Picture Latin American Gallery,  934 Valencia Street, between 20th & 21st Streets, in the Mission District of San Francisco, California. Parking will be limited so please walk, ride your bike or use public transportation if at all possible.

There has been an addition and one very sad loss to ‘Maps Only’. Heather Green’s, “Swedish Lesson” was damaged in shipping and will not be shown. This is a huge loss for the show, we can hardly imagine how it is for Heather Green. Look for her work, it is well worth seeing!

On another note, ‘Maps Only’ is very excited to collaborate with Lydia Chavez of Mission Local and Darin Jensen and Molly Roy of UCBerkeley in showing “Mission Possible: A Neighborhood Atlas.”  These local Mission maps are all different and have many cartographers. Too numerous to mention here, the cartographers will be cited for their maps, so please come see these very different maps of the very same place. The profits from these maps will go to ‘Mission Local’, non-profit news service.

Come support your local news and the artists participating in “Maps Only: Radical Cartography in Contemporary Art,” May 26th, 2012, 7pm until 10pm 934 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California. The show will run until June 25th 2012.