Hayes Valley & Market Street, San Francisco
September 13th, 2015
ArtSpan opened their studios up to the public for snacks, refreshments, and live music from La Gente to celebrate the “Bird Song” mural and the ArtSpan Studio Residency Program at the Journal Building. Muralist Joshua Coffy’s original design, covering 6,000 square feet by 30 ArtSpan artists on the east-facing exterior wall of 1540 Market St., is an accomplishment that could not go without a celebratory party. This day also celebrated the kicking off of ArtSpan’s Studio Residency Program, which provides temporary studio space for 22 artists.
ArtSpan conceived of the Artists Residencies at the Journal Building as an innovative pilot program to combat the mass exodus of visual artists from San Francisco. Parallel to one of ArtSpan’s core values of providing a conduit for community building through connection with art, the artist residencies start with the selected artist’s shared interest in creating art as the initial connection to each other in order to grow community. The residencies, which run up to the demolition of 1540 Market St. (estimated to be late 2016), provides 22 artists from diverse backgrounds, working in a broad variety of media with below-market-rate temporary studio workspace along with programming and guidance intended to focus and nurture their artistic practices.
As San Francisco’s leading pan-city, apolitical visual arts non-profit, ArtSpan’s initial foray into space planning and management through the Artists Residencies at the Journal Building is the first of what is hoped to be other opportunities to secure and create temporary and permanent creative work environments for current and future generations of San Francisco artists.