Art in Storefronts is a pilot program initiated by the office of Mayor Gavin Newsom and implemented by the San Francisco Arts Commission and Triple Base Gallery to reclaim abandoned storefront spaces in the San Francisco neighborhoods of Mission, Bayview, Market and Tenderloin. Rounding up participating artists by sending out a call for proposals, those selected were then assigned an address where they were allowed to create large-scale installations implementing a variety of mediums. Not to miss in the Market Street section are Christopher Simmons & Tim Belonax’s Everything is OK (998 Market), a neon installation that comes at the viewer as both a reassuring mantra and a questioning of the status quo. Additionally, Paul Hayes’ breathtaking ethereal installation, Giant Ghosts (989 Market), astounds the viewer by presenting life-size floating sculptural figures out of crumpled, white paper and illuminated by bright blue light. The aspiration of the project is to try and help reinvigorate neighborhoods traditionally abandoned due to economic downturns, while simultaneously giving local artists a unique opportunity to showcase their artwork. What would be most interesting would be to see a local artist use the space to explore the artist’s role in gentrification.
The project runs from September 2009 – February 1, 2010 and includes the locations of Central Market and Tenderloin (opens October 23rd), Third Street (opens October 30th) and Lower 24th Street (opens November 20th). A pdf map of all installations can be downloaded at the San Francisco Arts Commission’s website.