News & Events

2017 Annual Convention Scholarships Are Now Open

AFTA_ImageAmericans for the Arts is pleased to offer a number of full-ride and general scholarships to members interested in attending the 2017 Annual Convention in San Francisco June 15-18, 2017.

Thanks to the generous support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the California Arts Council, and the San Francisco Arts Commission, scholarships are also available to California-based artists and cultural workers, including those from the Bay Area.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, February 28 at 11:59 p.m. (EST).  Applicants to Americans for the Arts scholarships must be current members. Non-members can apply to the scholarships for California artists and cultural workers. Individuals may apply for multiple scholarships, but finalists will only be awarded one scholarship. For more information, please visit the scholarships page.

For questions regarding scholarships, please contact Abe Flores at aflores@artsusa.org. For questions regarding your membership status, please contact Bridget Woodbury at membership@artsusa.org or call (202) 371-2830.

Press Release: 2 Blocks of Art Showcases Art and Culture in Central Market

Media Contacts:

Janice Lee, Urban Solutions, office (415) 553-4433 x 106, mobile (415) 793-4432, Janice@urbansolutionsSF.org

Robynn Takayama, San Francisco Arts Commission, office (415) 252-2598, robynn.takayama@sfgov.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issue Date: September 5, 2012.   End Date: October 19, 2012.

For high resolution images visit: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjBATRkL

2 Blocks of Art Showcases Art and Culture in Central Market

SAN FRANCISCO – In a celebration of arts and culture, 100 local artists will exhibit in 25 locations on September 28 and October 19 during the third annual 2 Blocks of Art event in San Francisco. These art walks, which were developed to boost economic activity for small businesses and create visibility for local artists on 6th Street between Market and Howard, have expanded this year into the emerging Central Market area with performances and temporary public art in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission.

“Sixth Street is one of San Francisco’s main thoroughfares with a diversity of small businesses, and a long history of innovative arts and performance centers and galleries,” said Tracy Everwine, project director at Urban Solutions. “2 Blocks of Art is an open house for the community. We are proud to be able to extend into Central Market to showcase local talent. ”

“Over the past two years, the San Francisco Arts Commission has been deeply involved with a variety of neighborhood non-profit organizations, local businesses, and city agencies to support Central Market’s development into a lively and sustainable cultural district with arts at its core,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. “By working with Urban Solutions and featuring local artists, we’re capitalizing on the neighborhood’s strengths and bringing positive activity and interest to the area.”

This year’s event includes an outdoor photography installation by 6th Street resident Rey Cayetano, Jr. and illustrated, life-size portraits of Central Market residents by Joel Philips, cutting edge fashions by Hector Manuel, and performances to live music by Tenderloin-based dance company Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco. Fashion designers, jewelry makers, illustrators and musicians round out this truly unique arts experience.

Produced by the non-profit economic development group Urban Solutions, 2 Blocks of Art spotlights the vibrant and diverse creative community in Central Market as well as the small businesses in the neighborhood. The art walk is free and open to the public. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs and theaters along the walk will offer discounted food, drinks and admission prices. A walking map of artists, venues and food and drink specials can be downloaded at 2 Blocks of Art.

What:   2 Blocks of Art, Central Market art walks
Where: Market Street (5th to 7th) and 6th Street (Market to Howard) in San Francisco
When: Friday, September 28, 4-8 pm and Friday, October 19, 4-8 pm

2 Blocks of Art lead sponsor for 2012 is Grants for the Arts.

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Urban Solutions is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, federal no.94-3158182.For more info, see www.urbansolutionsSF.org.

THE ARTERY PROJECT ACTIVATES U.N. PLAZA WITH LUNCHTIME INTERACTIVE DANCE AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES

CALENDAR EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:
October 14, 2011

Media Contact:
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: 415-252-4638 Email: kate.patterson@sfgov.org

THE ARTERY PROJECT ACTIVATES U.N. PLAZA WITH LUNCHTIME INTERACTIVE DANCE AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES

For high resolution images visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfac/sets/72157627887418414/with/6241427185/

WHAT: The San Francisco Arts Commission’s ARTery Project presents a lively series of interactive dance and musical performances created in partnership with Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. For three consecutive Tuesdays this fall, the public is encouraged to head down to U.N. Plaza where everyone can enjoy delicious bites courtesy of Off the Grid and shake a tail feather to Latin and Caribbean beats. Tuesday, October 25 features high-energy Brazilian dance and live percussion by Fogo na Roupa; on Tuesday, November 1, former Carnaval SF Queen Elizabeth Soberanes will teach her popular Latin Dance Grooves class, featuring a variety of Latin rhythms; and on Tuesday, November 8, folks can enjoy live Haitian drumming and dance with the Afoutayi Dance Company. All performances will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. Audience participation is strongly encouraged!

For more information about the performers visit: sfartscomission.org/artery

WHEN: Tuesdays: October 25, November 1, and November 8 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: U.N. Plaza, Market Street between 7th and 8th streets

WHO: The ARTery Project is a series of art events taking place along Market Street between U.N. Plaza and 6th Street that is coordinated by the San Francisco Arts Commission with a larger vision to develop the neighborhood into a lively and sustainable destination with arts at its core. Last year with seed funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, projects included Art in Storefronts, temporary art installations in vacant storefronts; Lights on Market Street, three site-specific light installations; Market Street Blooms, two 20-foot tall steel flower sculptures; and a series of special events such as festivals, exhibitions, and performances hosted by neighborhood arts organizations.

INFORMATION: Visit www.sfartscommission.org/artery

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PUBLIC MEETING: Regarding Proposed Changes to C-3 Planning Code

Tuesday, October 18 at 5:30 p.m.
African American Arts & Culture Complex, 3rd Floor
762 Fulton Street, San Francisco
*Parking available/MUNI Fulton 5

"Crouching Spider" by Louise Bourgeois

"Crouching Spider" by Louise Bourgeois

The San Arts Commission has worked with the San Francisco Planning Department to revise legislation that will modify  Section 429 of the Planning Code , which requires that private developers within the C-3 downtown district expend 1% of their project construction costs to acquire and place permanent public art at their development site. The new legislation will offer expanded options for developers, including the option to deposit the “1% for Art” fee into a Public Art Trust that allows for the funds to be spent at places other than the development site.

The Trust will provide for a wide variety of arts programming in the downtown district, including temporary and permanent public art installations as well as performance, restoration of publically-owned artworks in the downtown district, and a funding reserve for local artists and arts organizations that will allow them to present their work to a broader audience in the downtown area. The Trust will also provide funding for capital improvements to cultural facilities in the downtown area. This is the first legislation of its kind in San Francisco.

Co-sponsored by Mayor Ed Lee and President of the Board of Supervisors David Chiu, the legislation was introduced to the Board of Supervisors on July 19 and has been referred to the Planning Department as well as to the Department of Building Inspection. Later this fall, the legislation will be returned with recommendations from both departments to the Board of Supervisors for final approval. In composing this legislation, Arts Commission staff has met with artists, city planners, developers, land-use attorneys, urban designers, architects, arts commissioners, government staff, elected officials and numerous non-profits with a vested interest in the beautification of the city and the development of policies pertaining to art, urban design and economic development. Add your voice to the process by joining us on October 18!

UPDATE: Search for New Director of Cultural Affairs

8-31-11_focus-group-web

On August 31st and September 7th, the San Francisco Arts Commission convened two focus groups to discuss their thoughts on the desired qualifications for the new Executive Director of Cultural Affairs.  Invitations were sent out to over 65 organizations, inviting their input. While the search is still ongoing, you can read the transcript from the focus group here. You can also read the workbook the group used to help facilitate their discussion, here. We hope to announce the appointment of our new director by early November. Stay tuned for more updates.

CALENDAR: Community Art Celebration on Market Street

CALENDAR EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:

Media Contacts:
Robynn Takayama
San Francisco Arts Commission
T: 415/252-2598 E: robynn.takayama@sfgov.org

SAN FRANCISCO ARTS COMMISSION WILL LIGHT UP CENTRAL MARKET CORRIDOR WITH THREE SITE-SPECIFIC ART INSTALLATIONS AND A COMMUNITY CELEBRATION

Lively community event will feature live music, art openings and a procession celebrating the season’s many festivals of light.
Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 5 p.m.

SONGLINES by artist Paul Notzold. Photo by Amy Ress.

SONGLINES by artist Paul Notzold. Photo by Amy Ress.

CLICK HERE FOR A HIGH RES IMAGE

WHAT: The San Francisco Arts Commission will hold a lively community celebration to officially launch The ARTery Project, a new National Endowment for the Arts-funded initiative dedicated to revitalizing the Central Market corridor through the arts. The ARTery Project kicks off its exciting series of events with the debut of three site-specific light installations by artists Jim Campbell, Theodore Watson and Paul Notzold and two art openings at The Luggage Store and Hospitality House. The evening’s festivities will also include live music and a community procession to each light installation led by members of the Bayanihan Community Center and Kularts carrying traditional Filipino parol lanterns. Members of the public are encouraged to join the fun and come adorned in their own lights or to bring traditional light objects representing the many festivals of light that take place throughout the holiday season. The party starts at 5 p.m. in front of the A.C.T building located at 1119 Market Street, across the street from United Nations Plaza.

WHO: San Francisco Arts Commission

WHEN: Thursday, December 9, 2010 5 p.m.

WHERE: 1119 Market Street, across the street from U.N. Plaza and The Luggage Store and Hospitality House, both located at 1007 Market Street.

COST: FREE

INFORMATION: www.sfartscommission.org or call 415/252-2598

Calendar Release: Free Wall Painting Activity for All Ages at Civic Center Sunday Streets

For high res image, right-click on the image. Photo by Michele Kraus at the Western Addition Sunday Streets event


CALENDAR EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
For Immediate Release – September 22, 2010

Media Contacts:
San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: 415-252-4638

Department of Public Works
Tel: 415-554-6931

CALENDAR EDITORS

FREE WALL PAINTING ACTIVITY FOR ALL AGES AT CIVIC CENTER SUNDAY STREETS

Sunday, October 24, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

WHAT: Building on the success of the StreetSmARTs program, which pairs urban artists with private property owners to create vibrant murals, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Department of Public Works have joined forces again with a Mobile Free Wall Activity pilot program. The program provides temporary free areas where urban artists can ply their skills. Notable urban artists will oversee Free Wall Activities to facilitate crowd participation. The activity is open to community members of all art backgrounds and levels. Artists and the public are encouraged to stop by the Free Wall and participate during Sunday Streets, from 10a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHO: San Francisco Arts Commission and Department of Public Works with Chor Boogie, the artist who created The Color Therapy of Perception, the large-scale mural located on Market Street between 6th and 7th streets.

WHEN: Sunday, October 24, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Civic Center Plaza between McAllister and Grove streets, Larkin Street and Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

COST: FREE

INFORMATION: Visit http://www.sfartscommission.org/CAE/street-smarts-arts-education/free-wall/

About the San Francisco Arts Commission
Established by charter in 1932, the San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. Led by the belief that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being, the Arts Commission programs permeate all aspects of City life. Programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Arts & Education, Cultural Equity Grants, Public Art, SFAC Gallery, Street Artist Licensing, and Summer and the Symphony Concert Series.

About the Department of Public Works (DPW)
DPW is responsible for the care and maintenance of San Francisco’s streets and much of its infrastructure. The department cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and maintains City street trees; designs, constructs and maintains city-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; constructs curb ramps; removes graffiti from public property; and partners with the diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco to provide stellar cleaning and greening services.

CALENDAR RELEASE: Behind the Scenes of Art in Storefronts

Photo by Genevieve Masse

CALENDAR EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

For Immediate Release – June 30, 2010
Media Contact:

Robynn Takayama, San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: 415-252-2598 Email: robynn.takayama@sfgov.org

ARTIST TALK: BEHIND THESE SCENES OF ART IN STOREFRONTS

Saturday, July 17, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

WHAT: Art in Storefronts continues to garner national attention with its colorful murals and provocative installations that enliven Chinatown streets. Join the artists and property owners to learn about the Lion’s Den and the heyday of Wentworth Alley captured in Robert Minervini’s mural. Hear about the hungry visitors who try to enter Niana Liu’s faux-restaurant installation and how local merchants have embraced her. And find out how Leland Wong photographed 100 children in less than one month. These stories and more will be shared at a community discussion for Art in Storefronts. Continue reading

StreetSmARTS Urban Murals Documented in Photo Exhibition at Flax

CALENDAR EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
For Immediate Release – June 9, 2010

Media Contact:
Robynn Takayama
415-252-2598
robynn.takayama@sfgov.org

STREETSMARTS URBAN MURALS DOCUMENTED IN PHOTO EXHIBITION AT FLAX ART & DESIGN
STILLmatic: Documenting the StreetSmARTS Urban Murals

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 8, 2010; 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Photo by Michele Kraus

WHAT: StreetSmARTS, a pilot program between the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Department of Public Works, celebrates the vibrancy of urban art and addresses graffiti vandalism in San Francisco. Established muralists were paired with private property owners to produce murals that enliven the neighborhood. During the program’s 2010 pilot year, seventeen murals were created throughout San Francisco and at six public school sites. The San Francisco Arts Commission’s 2010 photography interns captured every step. The outcome of their work is STILLmatic! Continue reading

CAE: Art in Storefronts Pilot Program Launches in Chinatown’s Wentworth Alley

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Media Contact and High Res Images
Robynn Takayama, San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: 415/252-2598 Email: robynn.takayama@sfgov.org

*** PRESS RELEASE ***

ART IN STOREFRONTS PILOT PROGRAM LAUNCHES IN CHINATOWN’S WENTWORTH ALLEY
FRIDAY, JUNE 11 FROM 5-7 PM

San Francisco Artists Reinvigorate Chinatown with Four Unique Site-specific Storefront Installations and Two Murals

SAN FRANCISCO, May 12, 2010—The fourth installment of the Art in Storefronts pilot program will launch in Wentworth Alley in Chinatown with a lively community event on Friday, June 11 from 5-7 p.m. Continue reading

PUBLIC ART: Arts Commission Announces World Premiere of Zhang Huan’s Colossal “Three Heads Six Arms”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact & High Res Images:
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: 415/252-4638 Email: kate.patterson@sfgov.org

Jennifer Benz Joy, The Pace Gallery
Tel: 212/421-3292 Email: jjoy@thepacegallery.com

CLICK HERE FOR HIGH RES IMAGES

CLICK HERE FOR THE PRESS RELEASE IN CHINESE

CLICK HERE FOR FACT SHEET

A dedication ceremony for Three Heads Six Arms, (2008) will be held on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 10 a.m. in Joseph L. Alioto Performing Arts Piazza, located across the street from San Francisco’s City Hall.

Zhang Huan Three Heads Six Arms, 2008 copper 26' 3" x 59' 3/4" x 32' 9-3/4" (800 cm x 1,800 cm x 1,000 cm) © Zhang Huan Studio, courtesy The Pace Gallery, New York

Zhang Huan, "Three Heads Six Arms", 2008. Copper 26' 3" x 59' 3/4" x 32' 9-3/4" (800 cm x 1,800 cm x 1,000 cm) © Zhang Huan Studio, courtesy The Pace Gallery, New York.

SAN FRANCISCO, April 14, 2010 – San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Arts Commission President P.J. Johnston and Director of Cultural Affairs Luis R. Cancel will dedicate a new temporary sculpture by celebrated Chinese artist Zhang Huan at a public ceremony on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 10 a.m. Presented in conjunction with the Shanghai-San Francisco Sister City 30th Anniversary Celebration, Zhang’s colossal Three Heads Six Arms (2008) will make its world premiere in the heart of San Francisco’s Civic Center, the Joseph L. Alioto Performing Arts Piazza, which is located across the street from City Hall. Three Heads Six Arms, courtesy of the artist and The Pace Gallery, New York, will be on loan through 2011. The Asian Art Museum and the Arts Commission will sponsor a FREE public program featuring Zhang Huan in conversation with Museum Director Jay Xu on Wednesday, May 12 from 7-8:00 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum (200 Larkin Street in San Francisco), see below for further details. (PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS REACHED CAPACITY. A LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKETS MAY BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS.)

“The installation of Zhang Huan’s spectacular sculpture in the Civic Center marks a high point in the Shanghai-San Francisco Sister City 30th Anniversary Celebration and a milestone for the San Francisco Arts Commission,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “By bringing this incredible work of art to the City, we underscore Shanghai and San Francisco’s bond as two of the world’s most important centers for arts and culture.”

“We are deeply honored that Zhang Huan chose San Francisco as the site for the sculpture’s world premiere,” said P.J. Johnston. “Bringing such an impressive work by an artist of his caliber and renown to San Francisco is a tremendous accomplishment for the San Francisco Arts Commission, and we are delighted that we can provide city residents and tourists with the opportunity to experience this colossal masterpiece in person.”

According to Luis R. Cancel, “Zhang Huan is one of the world’s foremost contemporary artists whose haunting and poignant artworks are layered with existential questions and social commentary. While many people are familiar with his performance art through photographs, not many have had the occasion to experience works that are more representative of his traditional art practice. Three Heads Six Arms is Zhang’s largest sculpture to date, and we are absolutely thrilled to bring it stateside and show it for the first time.”

Three Heads Six Arms is part of a series of monumental works depicting the fragmented extremities of Buddhist statues. The series was inspired by Zhang’s discovery of religious sculptures that had been destroyed during the Cultural Revolution for sale in a Tibetan market. He began the series in 2006 shortly after moving from New York City to Shanghai where he retired his performance art practice and embraced a more traditional approach to artistic creation. His recent work is characterized by a more overt relationship with traditional Chinese culture and Buddhist iconography. However, he continues to use the body as a primary vehicle for exploring existential questions and expressing emotions, and it is a common thematic thread through his various artworks.

The first sculptures in the Buddha series included nine large-scale copper fingers, which were based on remains he collected during his visit to Tibet. According to Zhang, “When I saw these fragments in Lhasa, a mysterious power impressed me. They’re embedded with historical and religious traces, just like the limbs of a human being.” The fingers of Buddhist deities are considered highly symbolic because they convey different spiritual meanings through various hand gestures, or mudras. Zhang continued the series with several even larger sculptures combining the legs, feet, hands and heads of Buddhist deities. The artist, having been deeply moved by the sight of the desecrated statues, believes that by recreating these fragments on a grand scale, he is able to alleviate the pain caused by their destruction.

Standing over 26 feet tall and weighing almost fifteen tons, Three Heads Six Arms is Zhang’s largest sculpture to date. He began the sculpture by sketching a few ink drafts of Three Heads Six Arms. His assistants then created a miniature, approximately 5′ x 5′ x 3′ clay sculpture that was based on the ink sketches. Once Zhang approved the clay maquette, his assistants constructed a glass-steel model. He then turned the design over to his copper workshop, which is one of nine specialized workshops that comprise his Shanghai studio complex, to build an enlarged copper construct. The hands and body were enlarged directly in accordance to the glass-steel model. However, the head section presented Zhang with several challenges.

Since the expressions on the faces were so elaborate, subtle changes in detail were especially difficult to realize. In order to overcome these issues, Zhang and his assistants created one large-scale isometric clay sculpture by welding together a steel structure and overlaying it with clay. The forging specialist hammered out the copper skin over the clay head model, and the final head was pieced together after all the individual faces were finished. According to Zhang, “When using pieces of copper to make Buddhist images, I like to keep the original character of the copper and the traces of the welding. For me, pieces of copper are like stitched skin after an operation.”

“The shape of Three Heads Six Arms came from my correlation of it with the Chinese mythological character Nezha, inspiration came from Tibetan Buddhist sculptures. I replaced two of the three Buddha heads with human heads,” said Zhang. Among the sculpture’s three heads is a self-portrait of the artist. In his earlier performances and photographs, Zhang always placed himself at the center of the action. Using his own body as his primary medium, he would subject himself to extreme physical trials and exploits often in front of large audiences. By introducing himself into the Buddha series, he reinstates this practice and draws a parallel between the body of Buddhist deities and his own. Zhang has been quoted in a past interview with curator and art historian RoseLee Goldberg as saying, “To me, the objects that I am making now are still very theatrical. I see them as motionless performance art.” Three Heads Six Arms exemplifies how the layers of ideas explored in his performance pieces have carried through to his more traditional studio practice. “Three Heads Six Arms reflects the changing realities of Chinese people today and also reflects the attitude that humankind has conquered nature and even reflects deeds of volition and hope,” said Zhang.

Zhang chose San Francisco as the ideal setting to debut his sculpture, in part because of the long-standing history being honored between Shanghai and San Francisco during this year’s Sister City Celebration.

“The Shanghai San Francisco Sister City celebration commemorates this important time in the history of our two countries when the exchange of art, culture and ideas between the East and West is marked by openness and mutual appreciation. While Three Heads Six Arms clearly embodies ideas that are rooted in Chinese culture and tradition, it is also about our common humanity. I hope that, while the sculpture is in San Francisco, it will serve as a bridge between these two great cities and that it will continue to foster this sprit of tolerance and appreciation,” said Zhang.

“The Pace Gallery is honored to have been able to facilitate the loan of this monumental sculpture by one of the world’s most important contemporary artists to the city of San Francisco. With his continuing interest in the continuity of Buddhist philosophy Zhang Huan deals with the fragmentation of Chinese society by enlarging a small ruined Buddha to heroic scale. By doing this he illustrates the promise of a new society in which the past as well as the present will co-exist with equal value,” says Arne Glimcher, Founder and Chairman of The Pace Gallery.

Zhang Huan was born in 1965 in a small town called Anyang in Henan Province just prior to the Cultural Revolution. At one year of age, Zhang went to live with his grandparents in a tiny village in the countryside known as Tangyin County. At fourteen, he started his artistic training in the so-called Su-style or Soviet style and traveled by bus each day for his lessons. Zhang enrolled in undergraduate studies at the Art Department, Henan University, Kaifeng to concentrate on Chinese ink painting, drawing, oil painting and art history in 1984. Upon completion in 1988, Zhang was an instructor of art and Western art history at Zhengzhou College of Education for three years. He studied oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing from 1991 to 1993, and it was during this period that he first started experimenting with performance art.

At the same time, a group of young Chinese artists, including Zhang Huan, established the “Beijing East Village.” It was in this community that Zhang developed his early performance practices and many of the works that would soon bring him international attention, such as 12 Square Meters, in which the artist sat for an hour, covered in honey and fish oil, in a fly infested public latrine and To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain, where nine people lay on top of one another to raise the summit by a meter. These performances and many others came to be known by their photographic documentation, which are now considered the artist’s first iconic works.

In 1998, Zhang was included in Inside Out: New Chinese Art organized by the Asia Society and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. It was during this exhibition that he relocated to New York City. Over the course of the next eight years, Zhang created 13 performances and exhibited in five solo exhibitions and more than 60 group shows throughout the United States. The artist moved back to China in 2005, settling in the southern Min Hang district of Shanghai, where he opened the Zhang Huan Studio and established the Gao An Foundation, which supports the construction of school buildings in underdeveloped regions of Western China and has established scholarships for students at the university level. Among his many notable exhibitions the Asia Society, New York, presented Zhang Huan: Altered States (2007-08), the largest museum exhibition of the artist’s work to date. Organized by Melissa Chiu, Director of the Asia Society Museum and Vice President of the Society’s Global Arts Programming, the exhibition featured 55 of Zhang Huan’s major works produced over the past 15 years in Beijing, New York, and Shanghai. Zhang Huan: Altered States later traveled to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

For high resolution images of Three Heads Six Arms contact Kate Patterson at 415/252-4638 or email, kate.patterson@sfgov.org.

The presentation of Three Heads Six Arms in Joseph L. Alioto Performing Arts Piazza was made possible by the Public Art Program of the San Francisco Arts Commission, courtesy of The Pace Gallery, primarily through private funding and use of art enrichment funds from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.  Major sponsorship was provided by Matson Navigation Company, the Waterfront Container Leasing Company, Inc. and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional project support was provided by: The Pace Gallery, Atthowe Fine Art Services, the Huntington Hotel, Degenkolb Engineers and Absinthe Brasserie & Bar. The Arts Commission also wishes to acknowledge the following individuals and agencies whose assistance made this project possible: Senator Dianne Feinstein, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Roselyne C. Swig, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, the Asian Art Museum and the Recreation and Parks Department.

About the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Public Art Program The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. We believe that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being. Established by charter in 1932, SFAC programs integrate the arts into all aspects of City life. Programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Arts & Education, Cultural Equity Grants, Public Art, SFAC Gallery, Street Artists Licensing, and the San Francisco Symphony Youth and Community Concert Series. The agency’s core values are committed to the principle that all residents have equal access to arts experiences in all disciplines, that programs are provided comprehensively and evenly throughout the City, and that they are innovative and of the highest quality.

The Arts Commission’s Public Art Program was established by the City Arts Enrichment Ordinance in 1969, as one of the first of its kind in the country. The Public Art Program seeks to promote a diverse and stimulating cultural environment to enrich the lives of the city’s residents, visitors and employees. The Program encourages the creative interaction of artists, designers, city staff, officials and community members during the design of City projects in order to develop public art that is specific to the site and meaningful to the community.

About The Pace Gallery The Pace Gallery was founded by Arne Glimcher in Boston in 1960. Three years later, the gallery relocated to New York, setting up its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. By the early 1980s, Pace was fully established as one of the city’s premier modern and contemporary art venues for painting, sculpture, video, and installation art. Over the years, Pace’s stable has grown to include major international artists and estates of the 20th and 21st centuries. The gallery has mounted nearly 700 exhibitions, including several scholarly shows that have traveled to museums, and has published more than 300 exhibition catalogs. The Pace Gallery will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary this year. The Pace Gallery website: www.thepacegallery.com

Zhang Huan Catalogues/Resources Dziewior, Yilmaz, RoseLee Goldberg, Robert Storr, Miaoji, and Zhang Huan. Zhang Huan. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 2009. Desai, Vishakha N., John J. Mack, Melissa Chiu, Kong Bu, Eleanor Heartney, and Zhang Huan. Zhang Huan: Altered States. New York: Asia Society; Milan: Edizioni Charta; Zhang Huan, 2007.

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Arts Commission and the San Francisco Unified School District Launch Art Impact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact:
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: 415/252-4638 Email: kate.patterson@sfgov.org


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS TIGHT END VERNON DAVIS TO REVEAL HOW ART HAS IMPACTED HIS LIFE AS PART OF A NEW JOINT INITIATIVE OF THE SAN FRANCISCO ARTS COMMISSION AND THE SAN FRANCISCO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Art Impact, a new speaker series featuring high profile personalities whose lives have been impacted by the arts, will launch on Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 6-8 p.m. at the de Young Museum followed by a special fundraiser for the Vernon Davis Visual Arts Scholarship sponsored by Morton’s Steakhouse.

Click here to RSVP for the free event at the de Young.

49ers Vernon Davis

49ers Vernon Davis

SAN FRANCISCO – April 5, 2010 Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission Luis R. Cancel in conjunction with the Young at Art Festival, a project of the San Francisco Unified School District and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco is pleased to announce the launch of Art Impact. A new speaker series, Art Impact will provide a platform to explore and discuss the impact of arts education through the lens of high profile individuals who have a background in the arts, but are not currently working within the art world. The series will kick off with 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who is an avid admirer of Michelangelo and the Renaissance period and an accomplished visual artist. Mr. Davis alongside Mr. Cancel and Carlos Garcia, SFUSD superintendent will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Dave Clark, co-anchor of  the KTVU Channel 2 Morning News on Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Koret Auditorium at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. In honor of Art Impact’s inaugural speaker, the San Francisco Unified School District has announced the establishment of the Vernon Davis Visual Arts Scholarship, which will provide tuition support to a San Francisco youth interested in pursuing a career in the visual arts. A fundraising event for the scholarship fund will take place following the panel discussion at Morton’s Steakhouse from 8-11 p.m.  Tickets are $125. For tickets or to make a donation, please visit www.sfartscommission.org/artimpact.

Click here to RSVP for the free event at the de Young.

“Art Impact will highlight the critical role that the arts play in creating a positive educational experience for our youth,” stated Luis R. Cancel. “Despite the fact that there are numerous studies indicating that the arts can help improve students’ achievement in all other subjects, in tough economic times, arts programming is typically sacrificed first. Our hope is that by inviting individuals who have been impacted by the arts, but may not work in the arts, to share their personal story that we can help the public understand how critical the arts are to a well-rounded education.”

Vernon Lernard Davis is the captain and Pro Bowl tight end of the San Francisco 49ers.  An Art Studio major at the University of Maryland, Davis aspires to make imprints in the world of art and philanthropy.  He has been involved with the NFL’s “Smocks and Jocks” program, contributing original pieces to their annual fundraiser and plans on increasing his portfolio of paintings and offering fans an artistic view of the world he sees and loves.   Whether in his native Washington, D.C., or his adopted hometown on the West coast, Davis is committed to giving back to the community that has supported him throughout his career.  He has hosted and awarded prizes at the Knowledge is Power Program Spelling Bee, co-taught an art class at the Triton Museum and donated UnderArmour gear to the 49ers Academy.  He has participated in several charitable programs, including the 49ers “Shop with a Player”, “Play 60” and “Take a Player to School.”

About the San Francisco Arts Commission and Community Arts and Education
The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. We believe that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being. Established by charter in 1932, SFAC programs integrate the arts into all aspects of City life. Programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Arts & Education, Cultural Equity Grants, Public Art, SFAC Gallery, Street Artists Licensing, and the San Francisco Symphony Youth and Community Concert Series. The agency’s core values are committed to the principle that all residents have equal access to arts experiences in all disciplines, that programs are provided comprehensively and evenly throughout the City, and that they are innovative and of the highest quality.

The Community Arts and Education program celebrates the importance of arts and culture in our daily lives by supporting cultural arts activities and arts education in San Francisco’s diverse communities. The program started in 1967 when a group of artists and arts activists brought a radical notion to the San Francisco Arts Commission: fund artists and arts organizations to work in neighborhood and community settings. The program was called the Neighborhood Arts Program and the total budget for the first fiscal year was $25,000, which was provided by the Arts Commission President at the time, Harold Zellerbach. Today, the Community Arts and Education program continues to nurture art for and by the people, where they live and work, in our neighborhoods and online.

SFAC Community Arts and Education website: http://www.sfartscommission.org/CAE

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PRESS KIT: Maya Lin Debuts Final Memorial at California Academy of Sciences

Media Contacts:
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: 415/252-4638 Email: kate.patterson@sfgov.org

Helen Taylor, California Academy of Sciences
Tel: 415/379-5128 Email: htaylor@calacademy.org

Click here for HIGH RES IMAGES, and for the full press kit, click on the links below:

  • Press Release
  • Fact Sheet
  • Maya Lin Biography
  • San Francisco Arts Commission Backgrounder
  • California Academy of Sciences Backgrounder
  • RENOWNED ARTIST MAYA LIN DEBUTS FINAL MEMORIAL AT
    CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 9 a.m.

    Maya Lin’s First Multimedia Artwork, What is Missing?, Raises Awareness about the
    Current Environmental Crisis

    SAN FRANCISCO, September 17, 2009 – Today, San Francisco Arts Commission (“SFAC”) President P.J. Johnston and Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences Dr. Gregory Farrington will dedicate a new permanent sculpture, entitled What is Missing?, by world-renowned artist Maya Lin. The sculpture is part of Lin’s last memorial and is the international debut of the first component of a multi-sited, multimedia artwork dedicated to raising awareness about the current crisis surrounding biodiversity and habitat loss. Rethinking the traditional stationary monument, What is Missing? is a memorial that will exist in several media and in multiple places simultaneously. The permanent site-specific What is Missing? sculpture, installed at the Academy’s East Terrace, is part of a larger commission awarded to the artist by the Arts Commission that includes Where the Land Meets the Sea, which was unveiled last September to correspond with the opening of the Academy’s new facility designed by architect Renzo Piano. The dedication of What is Missing? coincides with the Academy’s one-year anniversary in the new building.   The Academy is the only institution in the world to house two permanent sculptures—an artwork and a memorial—by Lin.

    Press Preview: Today, September 17, 9-10:30 a.m. at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA.

    What is Missing? is a poignant reminder of what we stand to lose if the crisis surrounding biodiversity and habitat loss continues,” said Mayor Newsom. “Maya Lin’s sculpture shows what is at stake and why reducing our environmental impact is one of our most urgent challenges. By making significant changes in our daily lives, such as driving less, recycling more or supporting sustainable food production, we can stem global warming and protect endangered species for generations to come.”

    The permanent What is Missing? sculpture consists of a 8’6″h x  10’8″w x 19’2″l bronze “Listening Cone” lined with reclaimed wood. A 2′ 4 ¼”h x 4’6″w  screen, located within the cone, features more than 20 minutes of compelling video footage that links extinct as well as threatened and endangered species to the habitats and ecosystems that are vital to their survival. The featured species, which include the tuna, dodo bird, monarch butterfly, golden toad, and others, were selected because they are either already extinct or will most likely disappear in our lifetime. The video footage is overlayed with text describing the decline of the featured species and the alarming degradation of their habitats. The text connects the viewer to the main causes of extinction—direct harvesting, non-sustainable hunting and fishing practices, the introduction of non-native species, habitat destruction and global climate change.

    A dedicated environmentalist, Lin has been committed to focusing attention on the natural world throughout her career, and has incorporated sustainable and recycled materials into many of her artworks. “What is Missing? is both a wake-up call and a call to action,” says Lin.  “Underscoring the Academy’s drive to protect the natural world through education and research, the work shows what is being done by research and conservation organizations to address the crisis, as well as what individuals can do in their everyday lives to make a difference. I believe that art, at times, can look at a subject differently, and in doing so can get people to pay closer attention.”

    “Maya Lin’s sculpture blends art and activism by providing a tangible, aesthetic experience that articulates her environmental mission and engages the public in a dialogue about critical ecological issues,” stated Luis R. Cancel, Director of Cultural Affairs for the SFAC. “The dedication of What is Missing? marks an incredible achievement for the Arts Commission’s 40-year-old Public Art Program. With the sculpture’s addition to the Civic Art Collection, San Francisco will be home not only to Lin’s last public memorial, but also her first multimedia artwork.”

    Lin spent years researching the subject matter for the project and developing the appropriate visual expression for the work. Throughout the project, she received support from numerous organizations around the country, including the California Academy of Sciences, as well as Conservation International, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Geographic Society, and ARKive, who donated the video and audio recordings.  Panthera, National Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society and World Wildlife Fund, among others, contributed research assistance. The media illustrates the alarming depletion of animals and places from our lives—from the sheer abundance of species to the loss of migratory corridors, from the diminished visibility of the stars at night to the vanishing sounds of songbirds.

    The setting for What is Missing? is in itself a part of the memorial’s story.  Scientists at the California Academy of Sciences have been exploring and documenting biodiversity for more than 155 years, and the museum’s exhibits highlight some of the planet’s most unusual and endangered  life forms. “What is Missing? reflects the Academy’s mission to explore, explain and protect the natural world,” says Greg Farrington, Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences.  “The memorial is a wonderful complement to the research and education underway at the Academy.  Along with Lin’s Where the Land Meets the Sea, it will help engage people with the question of how we will sustain life on Earth, a theme that runs throughout the institution.”

    In developing What is Missing?, Lin spent multiple visits over a 4-year period talking with Academy researchers about  the stories behind various extinctions and dwindling populations.  Several of the fragile locales that were selected have been destinations for Academy research expeditions for decades.  Data collected on such expeditions is used to better understand historical and existing levels of biodiversity, and to model future scenarios.  The Academy’s Center for Biodiversity Research is developing high-resolution maps to do just that, projecting the future ranges of key species under different climate scenarios on a ten by ten kilometer grid.  These maps, and other Academy research projects, are providing some of the first actionable data for conservation managers who must now plan for the impact of global climate change.

    The second component of the What is Missing? memorial is a traveling dark room with projected images and sounds from a variety of endangered species. Visitors are encouraged to navigate through the space with translucent screens that capture images and brief statements when held over the floor projections. This portion of the project will debut at the Beijing Center for the Arts on September 19 during their Shan Shui exhibition. The United States debut of the dark room component will take place at the Storm King Art Center during Climate Week NYC (September 21-25). Subsequent site-specific installations, including a video that will appear on MTV’s electronic billboard in Times Square sponsored by Creative Time, and the What is Missing? website will launch around Earth Day 2010.

    For this Arts Commission project, Maya Lin was selected from a candidate pool of 25 artists by a joint committee composed of representatives from the California Academy of Sciences, the Arts Commission, local museum curators and the Music Concourse Citizens’ Advisory Committee. The committee representatives were appointed to oversee the development of the public art program for the new Academy. Lin was chosen through a rigorous process concluding with an interview with the Advisory Committee. Although the California Academy of Sciences is a private nonprofit institution, its buildings occupy City property and a portion of the construction cost of the new building was funded with General Obligation Bonds. For this reason, the City’s Art Enrichment Ordinance was applicable and provided the funding for the project and the project was arranged by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

    What is Missing? was made possible by the Public Art Program of the San Francisco Arts Commission, the California Academy of Sciences and Webcor, with additional support from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, The Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation, Creative Time, ARKive, World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, IUCN, The National Geographic Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana, Panthera, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Van Alen Institute.

    About the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Public Art Program
    Established by charter in 1932, the San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. Led by the belief that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being, the Arts Commission programs permeate all aspects of city life from the murals and monuments under the care of the Civic Art Collection to the dance and theatre productions funded by Cultural Equity Grants, to the new generation of teen poets cultivated by the WritersCorps program. Other projects include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Arts & Education, Cultural Equity Grants, Public Art, SFAC Gallery, Street Artist Licensing, and Summer and the Symphony Concert Series. Visit our website at www.sfartscommission.org for more information.

    The Arts Commission’s Public Art Program was established by the City Arts Enrichment Ordinance in 1969, as one of the first of its kind in the country. The Public Art Program seeks to promote a diverse and stimulating cultural environment to enrich the lives of the city’s residents, visitors and employees. The Program encourages the creative interaction of artists, designers, City staff, officials and community members during the design of City projects in order to develop public art that is specific to the site and meaningful to the community.

    About the California Academy of Sciences
    Founded in 1853, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the world’s leading scientific and cultural institutions, home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and world-class research and education programs.  The Academy has a staff of over 50 professional educators and Ph.D.-level scientists, supported by more than 100 Research and Field Associates and over 300 Fellows. It conducts research in eleven scientific fields: anthropology, aquatic biology, botany, comparative genomics, entomology, geology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, mammalogy and ornithology.

    On September 27, 2008, the Academy opened the doors to its new building in Golden Gate Park. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the facility received a LEED Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for its environmentally-sensitive design.  Exhibit highlights include a four-story living rainforest, an awe-inspiring coral reef ecosystem, and interactive space shows that transport audiences beyond the boundaries of our planet. Visit www.calacademy.org for more information.

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    Arts Commission Installs New Sculpture at J.P. Murphy Clubhouse

    Woman with Birds by Michael Carey

    Woman with Birds by Michael Carey

    MEDIA CONTACT:
    Kate Patterson, Public Art Program Manager
    (415) 252-4638 or kate.patterson@sfgov.org

    San Francisco, March 10, 2009 – Luis R. Cancel, Director of Cultural Affairs of the San Francisco Arts Commission is pleased to announce the installation of a new sculpture by artist Michael Carey titled, Woman with Birds. Located on the front lawn of J.P. Murphy Clubhouse at 1960 9th Avenue near Pacheco Street, the 6-foot sculpture features a patina-finished cast bronze human figure with outstretched arms supporting three birds. The figure stands atop an 8-foot patina-finished mild-steel obelisk with twelve cut-out and reattached bird shapes.

    “Michael Carey’s use of universal imagery to evoke a harmonious relationship between humankind and nature makes Woman with Birds an elegant focal point and an enduring symbol for the J.P. Murphy Clubhouse and the surrounding community,” stated Luis R. Cancel, Director of Cultural Affairs.

    Based in the East Bay, Michael Carey exhibits his sculptures in galleries throughout California. He has participated in major large-scale sculpture installations throughout the state and has completed a number of public and private commissions in the Bay Area. Carey’s work often uses imagery that explores the deep spiritual link between humanity and nature. Drawing from basic themes and imagery—universal and timeless—the artist’s work explores the relationship of humans, nature and universal spiritual truth with the aim of creating art that all people can relate to in a profound and personal way.

    “My intent with the sculpture for the J. P. Murphy playground is to celebrate the Center’s community purpose and natural setting by evoking a beneficent and free spirit in the work,” stated Michael Carey.

    Woman with Birds was funded by the J.P. Murphy Clubhouse Renovation construction budget, in fulfillment of San Francisco’s Art Enrichment Ordinance, and produced by the Public Art Program of the San Francisco Arts Commission.

    About the Arts Commission
    Established by charter in 1932, the San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. Led by the belief that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being, the Arts Commission programs permeate all aspects of city life from the murals and monuments under the care of the Civic Art Collection to the dance and theatre productions funded by Cultural Equity Grants, to the new generation of teen poets cultivated by the Writer’s Corp program. Visit our website at http://www.sfartscommission.org.

    About the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Public Art Program
    Established by charter in 1932, the San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. Led by the belief that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being, the Arts Commission programs permeate all aspects of City life. Programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Arts & Education, Cultural Equity Grants, Public Art, SFAC Gallery, Street Artist Licensing, and summer in the City Concert Series.

    The Arts Commission’s Public Art Program was established by the City Arts Enrichment Ordinance in 1969, as one of the first of its kind in the country. The Public Art Program seeks to promote a diverse and stimulating cultural environment to enrich the lives of the city’s residents, visitors and employees. The Program encourages the creative interaction of artists, designers, city staff, officials and community members during the design of City projects in order to develop public art that is specific to the site and meaningful to the community.

    SFAC: Arts and the Economic Downturn

    On January 12th, over 300 individuals met at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for a timely and critical discussion on the economic recession and its impact on the arts community in San Francisco. The event was intended as the first step in a multiple-objective process linking local government, the philanthropic community, businesses, and the general public. The goal of these organizations’ collaborative actions is to ensure that the Bay Area’s cultural community survives the current serious economic crisis. See more…