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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category


Fine craftsmanship in the printing of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” at Arion Press

Local filmmaker and Richmond District resident James Kennard sent us this film he shot at Arion Press, the small printing company just inside the 14th Avenue Presidio gate that employs about ten people as printers, bookbinders, editors, and in other publishing roles.

For its 100th publication, Arion chose to create a handset deluxe limited edition of the text in the famed 1855 first edition of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

Kennard’s film documents the making of the book which is nothing short of fascinating. The amount of craftsmanship, labor, detail and patience that went into the process is astounding. Publisher Andrew Hoyem narrates the film, showing you the most intimate moments of the book manufacturing process, which even includes Hoyem reading every page aloud to a proofreader that sits across from him.

Hoyem chose Leaves of Grass as Arion’s 100th publication as a tribute to his Arion Press predecessors Edwin and Robert Grabhorn, whose masterpiece was their 1930 edition of the Whitman poem.

“A holy book of the nation, along with the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence,” is how poet laureate Robert Hass describes Leaves of Grass. The appearance of this book of poems in the middle of the nineteenth century was revolutionary. No one had ever read poetry like this before. Ralph Waldo Emerson was so astonished and impressed that he wrote the thirty-five-year-old Whitman what must be the mash note of all time: “I greet you at the beginning of a great career, which yet must have had a long foreground somewhere, for such a start. I rubbed my eyes a little, to see if this sunbeam were no illusion; but the solid sense of the book is a sober certainty.” [Arion Press]

Kennard does a wonderful job of showing the minutia of the making of the book but also keeping you engrossed as the book comes to life, piece by piece, beginning with custom type being made in the press’ foundry.

The Arion Press edition of Leaves of Grass is limited to 275 copies with Arabic numerals for sale. The price is $1,250; contact Arion for more information (see the “Please Enquire” button at the bottom of this page).

Sarah B.

4:30 am | Posted under Art, History, Video | 3 comments

Local links: GGP secrets, new classes, Tidy Shoppe turns 1, local mural & more

Congregation Beth Sholom on 14th Avenue. Photo by CTG/SF

Here are some local links to start off your Tuesday…

  • This one was backlogged in our local links file but it’s a good one! CurbedSF mapped out the 25 best secrets of Golden Gate Park. Our park-loving readers may already know all of them but you might find a surprise or two in there you want to check out…
  • The Mysterious Rack used clothing store at 12 Clement Street is kicking off weekly sewing and knitting classes, starting this week. Sewing classes are on Wednesdays from 7pm to 9pm, and knitting classes are on Sunday from 1pm to 3pm. Class size is limited to 4 people, and costs $45 per person (buy 2 or more and you get $5 off per class). You can start up anytime as there are beginning projects every class. Classes start this Wednesday and continue through December. For more info and to sign up, email everyoneshops@themysteriousrack.com.
  • The Tidy Shoppe (4050 Geary), a salon offering waxing, bronzing and more, is celebrating its first anniversary with a party this Saturday from 6pm until 11pm. Stop by for their signature popcorn bar and live music in the backyard featuring Tidy Shoppe’s fiddle maven, and acoustic guitar heroes. “We could not have done this without our loyal; clients family and friends,” said owner Tricia Gillespie.
  • The Shan Yee Poon dance school at 403 Arguello is hosting their first open house this Saturday from 12noon until 8pm. Stop by the watch dance performances by students in their ballet, jazz, hip-hop and ballroom classes. Or put on your own dancing shoes and try one of the free sample classes offered throughout the day. Full schedule is posted here plus face-painting, drinks and food.
  • One blogger took a closer look at the new mural that was painted on the side of the Grocery Outlet on 28th Avenue at Geary. The mural, painted by artist Bryana Fleming, contains scenes and landmarks of the Richmond District including The Cliff House, the Alexandria Theater and more.
10:09 am | Posted under Art, Classes, Events, Golden Gate Park, Kids | 3 comments

Photo: McGruff the Crime Dog hanging with local artist Frank Kozik

Photo by @skozik13

Last night, the SFPD Richmond District station hosted a National Night Out event. One of the highlights each year is the appearance of McGruff the crime dog, in his full trenchcoat attire.

Sharon Kozik, wife of local artist Frank Kozik, tweeted the above photo to us from the event. She was excited about meeting the dog detective:

Frank Kozik is in the process of opening a design studio/store on Clement Street near 3rd Avenue, in the old Kumquat’s location. Gotta wonder if his encounter with the crime dog will inspire some new works…

Sarah B.

4:06 pm | Posted under Art, Photos | Comments Off

BigPicture, Academy of Science’s first photo exhibition opens August 1

The Luckiest Penguin by Paul Souders

This week, the California Academy of Sciences will open its first official photography exhibition since it’s re-opening in 2008.

The show will display spectacular images from the Academy’s inaugural BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition. The competition received over 6,300 entries from award-winning nature, wildlife and conversation photographers around the world. Just 45 were selected as finalists and included in the final exhibition.

The grand-prize winning image, pictured above, is entitled “The Luckiest Penguin” and was shot by Paul Souders of Seattle, Washington. It depicts a Gentoo penguin narrowly escaping a leopard seal near Cuverville Island in the Antarctica. Leopard seals are known for being brutally efficient hunters in the Antarctic waters, frequently ambushing penguins as they enter or leave the water.

“I love photographing in the Antarctic. The wildlife there are quite comfortable with (human) presence. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see the world in a near pristine state,” Souders said. He has also won a National Geographic Photo of the Year award.

Another first place winner is a stunning, stark image of a mountain lion on the steps of a home in Boulder, Colorado where about 70 mountain lion sightings are recorded every year. Photographer Morgan Heim captured the great image with a camera-trap technique, which reminds us of the close proximity of human and animal habitats.

BigPicture is the Academy of Science’s first photo exhibition since it opened in Golden Gate Park nearly 100 years ago. Spokeswoman Elena Fuhrmann says the exhibit came about because of its synergy with the Academy’s mission.

“The Academy has the unique advantage of being home to both a public science museum and institution of active research. This exhibit is designed with both of those qualities in mind—presenting both the art and beauty of compelling nature photography and the critical sustainability challenges we’re working to address, so that moments like the ones captured in these photographs can continue to be appreciated for generations to come.”

The winners of the BigPicture competition will be honored at a special Nightlife on Thursday, July 31 where attendees can see the exhibition before it opens to the public on August 1. The exhibition runs until November 2, and is included with the price of admission to the Academy.

Sarah B.

Beast in the Garden by Morgan Heim

Attack by Pål Hermansen

5:05 am | Posted under Art, Golden Gate Park | 5 comments

Local links: 38L-ove, new “Spicy Legend”, ladies join the Urination & more

The 38L. By Lucia Garcia. Click to enlarge.

Here’s hoping that you’re not having a Manic Monday. But in case you are, here are some local links to get you through…

  • Local designer Lucia Garcia sent us the above poster, for which she says “Just wanted to share a project I created, a poster showing the road section and landmarks for Muni 38L route.” Thanks Lucia – we love it (along with this graphic of the Outer Richmond)!

    In other MUNI-related news, there is a new iPhone app called MuniStops that not only shows you the data on upcoming MUNI buses, but also estimates your walking time from your current location to bus stop of choice. ‘Tis free.

  • And in the “we can never get enough neighborhood love” department, now you can get your very own Neighborhood Love Patch. Iron on the heart on the Richmond District (or other fave ‘hood) and then attach the patch to whatever you want – $7. The same online store also has a Neighborhoods by the Zodiac Poster but for some reason, the Richmond District was not worthy of being on it. Boo. So we’ll ask you – which Zodiac sign are we?
  • Listen up, upcoming lady attendees of Outside Lands! If the porta-potties at outdoor festivals get you down, look no further than the Stand Up, described as “your first disposable, biodegradable, clutch-purse-fittable, pocket-slippable peeing accessory.” Different packs range from $6 to $16. Now you can pee like the boys! Hooray…?
  • The former Pho Garden restaurant (2109 Clement), known for its nausea-inducing Pho Challenge has been replaced by a new spot called Spicy Legend. We haven’t been by yet so we’re not sure if it’s open; nothing on Yelp yet. UPDATE: Reader Jon C. reports that they’re now open daily, 11-3:30 and 4:30 to 10pm, and that “it looks like they’re specializing in Szechuan dishes”.
  • The skee-ball league known as Brewskee-Ball got a feature in the Chronicle recently. “Three nights a week, a total of 32 teams with names like the Lionel Richskees and the Skeemosexuals compete against each other at the Buckshot.” Hopefully this positive publicity for the game will help in their lawsuit with the makers of Skee-Ball.
  • We’re guessing this Subaru driver was more than surprised to find their front nose under a 38 Geary bus last Thursday at 45th Avenue and Point Lobos. The photo was tweeted by @bonanos who said “no injuries apparent”.

5:15 am | Posted under Art, Food, Muni, Recreation | 13 comments

Ocean Beach sand artist Andres Amador featured on CBS News

Artist Andres Amador got national airtime last night on CBS News. Reporter John Blackstone came to Ocean Beach to interview Amador and watch him at work.

On his website, Amador said “I am not so thrilled with the artwork I made. It was the first time trying the design and many things came to me as I was doing it and then as I was able to look from above… Its hard to receive attention of praise for something I don’t feel as complete with. And this I would consider one of those moments. However, I appreciated how they approached and edited the piece and the interview.”

Well Andres, we think it looks great. :)

Sarah B.

9:44 am | Posted under Art, Ocean Beach | 1 comment

Artist Frank Kozik opening store on Clement Street? Labbit says yes.

While cruising down Clement Street last night, we noticed the above sign in the window of the old Kumquat space at 147 Clement Street near 3rd Avenue.

We didn’t recognize it, but our Facebook followers did. It’s a drawing of “Labbit” by artist Frank Kozik. Labbit is known for his “Addiction to candy cigarettes and beef jerky” and for his allergy “to work in any form”.

Facebook followers were abuzz that Kozik has plans to open a store on Clement Street. From what we can tell, this will be Kozik’s first brick and mortar store; he does sell his work on his website.

Kozik has a colorful career as an artist that spans across many mediums including silkscreening, album cover design, art toy works, video and music. He currently lives and works in San Francisco with his wife, Sharon, and their four cats.

We emailed Kozik and he had this to say about his new venture:

Yes, we will be moving our design offices there and opening a small store as well! All sorts of fun ‘urban vinyl’ figures, prints, t-shirts and art things. We should be open some time in July. We will be redoing the facade for a cleaner brighter look!

As a long time residents of the Richmond (21 years) we have always wanted a spot on Clement and now its reality!

We have a feeling Kozik’s store will be a very colorful addition to Clement Street :)

Sarah B.

9:10 am | Posted under Art, Business | 5 comments

New documentary about Bay Bridge lights project at the Balboa, May 16-22

Usually it’s the Golden Gate Bridge that gets all the attention in these parts .But that all changed in March 2013 when an art installation, featuring 25,000 LED lights, lit up the north side of the Bay Bridge’s western span.

It was two years and $8 million in the making, and filmmaker Jeremy Amber was there to capture it all in his first feature length documentary called Impossible Light. After making its premieres at SXSW and being selected for the San Francisco and Newport Beach film festivals, the documentary will play for a week at the Balboa Theater starting this Thursday.

Impossible Light provides an inside glimpse at how a small team of visionaries battled numerous obstacles—from the drawing board to the boardroom to 500 feet above San Francisco Bay—to turn an impossible dream into a glimmering reality. It details all of the drama and the joy involved in creating a work of art on the grandest of scales, and demonstrates that the Bay Lights truly is a project whose “impossibility made it possible.”

On Friday, Amber will be at the Balboa for the 7pm screening, as well as on Sunday for the 5pm screening for a post-film Q&A session.

Catch Impossible Light at the following times:

Friday 5/16 + Saturday 5/17: 1 PM, 3 PM, 5PM, 7 PM and 9:30 PM
Sunday 5/18 – Thursday 5/22: 1 PM, 3 PM, 5PM, 7 PM

Tickets are available online or at the Balboa Theater box office.

Sarah B.

5:05 am | Posted under Art, Movies | 2 comments