Thursday, December 17, 2009

Weekend Guide 12.17.09


Just a couple more candles left to light on the menorah! Take a break from the latkes and check out some local art:

Openings and Events

Philippe Jestin Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 19 12-6pm

Ongoing Shows









As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Georgianne Fastaia


I met Georgianne Fastaia in her studio at Art Explosion, where she was fighting a cold that she had picked up from her young daughter. Over the next couple months, we exchanged numerous emails as I worked out how to tell her powerful story.

Born into a Sicilian family in Brooklyn, Georgianne Fastaia had a middle class upbringing in Connecticut. As an art teacher, her mother's influence kept the family very arts oriented and weekend treasure hunting in flea markets left a lasting appreciation for the dilapidated. Her family's experience as immigrants, from her grandmother's work as a seamstress to her father's work as an engineer, also impressed upon Fastaia:

"I kind of like the immigrant experience [...] I have that work ethic that I think comes from, 'Hey, I've got opportunity, let me do something with it' "

A self-described "loner" in school, Fastaia developed a passion for reading and literature. However, a tragic misunderstanding with her parents caused Fastaia to leave home at 16.

"Right then and there, I wasn't having a normal childhood, like going to the prom. I was already thinking, 'How am I going to survive?'"

After high school, Fastaia hitchhiked to California and worked multiple jobs to put herself through San Francisco State University, ultimately graduating with high honors. Though she had been an avid drawing growing up, Fastaia took only one painting class with Robert Bechtel. Her love of reading, which had driven her to San Francisco in the first place, prompted her study of creative writing instead:

"My refuge had been books, so I loved Jack Kerouac, I loved The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. [California] seemed like such a free place, it seemed in line with my personality [....] That's where I was going, as soon as I could"

Amidst the challenges of supporting herself through school, however, Fastaia had a life-altering encounter that left her battling addiction for years. Ten years ago, she successfully extracted herself from dependency, which required deep introspection and deconstruction of her existence:

"The process of recovery required rigorous honesty: a willingness to try to confront the unappealing parts of myself. And it required the willingness to do anything to rebuild my life"

Painting proved to be a critical new heading as she navigated farther away from her past. Despite minimal formal art training, she took up a small studio at Art Explosion and began experimenting with supplies that had been discarded by other artists, scrubbing the canvases with soap and creating a unique texture:

"The process is completely unpredictable and requires a fearless leap of faith […] By giving up control, this process forces [me] to stay lighthearted and adaptable to the paintings' evolution, while staying sensitive to the moments of beauty as they are revealed"

Over time, she continued to develop her technique of layering paint and then scrubbing away parts of the surface with Murphy's oil soap. The process has become her own form of story telling:

"From an early age I was aware of things having many layers. I seek to reveal these layers which give depth, history, and complexity to my forms. My route is a process which goes against all standard painting instructions: never mix oil and water. I am actively seeking to create "catastrophes" on the canvas and to work them slowly until their beauty is recognizable."

Indeed, catastrophe was a notion both familiar and inspiring. After Hurricane Katrina, Fastaia did a moving series on the flooding of New Orleans, recalling her own encounter with Mother Nature in New England:

"During the ice storm of 1972 we had to evacuate the house. My family spent Christmas in the Salvation Army. What I remember clearly about this were two very contrary ideas coexisting; this awful disaster somehow also held within it a natural beauty that I had never before witnessed, it was as if the world had disappeared into shades of gray"

The devastation and destruction left by both storms parallels some of Fastaia's own turbulent story. Many of her subjects appear desolate and as weathered as the canvas beneath them, reflecting the toll taken on life by such catastrophes:

"Periods of my past had been so self destructive that all the artifice which preserves our sense of self -- education, love, family, everything had been stripped away"

Guided by her own journey from tragedy to joy, Fastaia explores notions of transformations that emerge from these catastrophes. Ultimately seeking an uplifting message, she embraces the distressed aesthetic to create raw and emotive images:

"I think an artist who is really serious has to have something to say, has to have something to share that is authentically their own experience"

Having started a new chapter in life ten years ago, Fastaia finds peace in producing her enigmatic and beautifully distressed paintings:

"I produce a lot of work quickly because I feel like I wasted ten years [... Creating art] is a pure, creative exchange, and I feel blessed to be able to do it. I really appreciate my life now"

Works by Georgianne Fastaia are on display at three openings this weekend, including Local Patron from 6:30-9:30pm and Artist Xchange from 7-10pm on Friday, December 4; and The Barber Lounge from 6-8pm on Saturday, December 5. She will also have work available at the Art Explosion Holiday Show on December 11 and at Philz Coffee through January 1. Future events can be found on her site and the Arteaser Calendar.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Weekend Guide 12.3.09

It's December and the holiday season is officially here. There are some great opportunities this weekend to pick up creative gifts for friends, family, or yourself!

Openings and Events

Fernando Reyes in the Jingletown Holiday Art Walk on Friday, December 4 6-9pm
Leslie Morgan, Mike Kimball and Katie Gilmartin at City Art Gallery on Friday, December 4 7-10pm

Steve Javiel painting live at the Mezzanine on Saturday, December 5 from 8pm until late

Barbara Kleinhans and Steve Javiel at Studio Gallery anniversary party on December 6 2-6pm

Ongoing Shows

Mike Kimball at Sanchez Art Center through December 5

John Wentz and Brett Amory at Gallery Heist through mid-December

Brett Amory at Double-Punch through December 10 

Mike Kimball at Market Street Gallery through January 2 

Phillip Hua in SFAC's Art in Storefronts through January

As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Weekend Guide 11.19.09

Last weekend before Turkey-induced food coma and frantic holiday shopping!

Openings and Events

Brett Amory at Double-Punch on Saturday, November 21 7pm until late

Ongoing Shows
Sarah Newton at the Fairfield Center Gallery through November 20

Katie Gilmartin at City Art Gallery through November

Brett Amory at Fabric8 through November

Mike Kimball at Sanchez Art Center through December 5

John Wentz and Brett Amory at Gallery Heist through mid-December

Barbara Kleinhans and Steve Javiel at Studio Gallery through December 23

Phillip Hua in SFAC's Art in Storefronts through January

As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Weekend Guide 11.12.09

It's a good week to catch up on shows around the Bay before the holiday madness begins:

Ongoing Shows


Joshua Hagler at Frey Norris Gallery through November 15

Erika Meriaux at Aspect Gallery through mid-November

Brian McDonald at Blackbird Bar through mid-November

Sarah Newton at the Fairfield Center Gallery through November 20
Katie Gilmartin at City Art Gallery through November

Brett Amory at Fabric8 through November

Mike Kimball at Sanchez Art Center through December 5

Barbara Kleinhans and Steve Javiel at Studio Gallery through December 23

Phillip Hua in SFAC's Art in Storefronts through January


As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Weekend Guide 11.5.09


Going once! Going twice! Sold! It's auctions and more this weekend. Check it out!:


Openings and Events

Sarah Newton at the Fairfield Center Gallery on Friday, November 6 6-9pm

Brett Amory at Fabric8 on Friday, November 6 6-9pm

Katie Gilmartin at City Art Gallery on Friday, November 6 7-10pm

Megan Wolfe at the Academy of Art Faculty & Alumni Auction on Saturday, November 7 2-5pm
  • Preview party at 79 Gallery on Thursday, November 5-7:30pm
Fernando Reyes at ProArts Annual BoxArt Benefit Auction on Saturday, November 7 6-9pm

Barbara Kleinhans and Steve Javiel at Studio Gallery on Sunday, November 8 2-6pm

Steve Javiel painting live at Air Lounge on Sunday, November 8 5-10pm

Ongoing Shows

Rebecca Goldfarb at The Stanford Clayman Institute through November 6

Rebecca Goldfarb at SlaughterhouseSpace through November 7

Joshua Hagler at Frey Norris Gallery through November 15

Erika Meriaux at Aspect Gallery through mid-November

Brian McDonald at Blackbird Bar through mid-November

Mike Kimball at Sanchez Art Center through December 5

Phillip Hua in SFAC's Art in Storefronts through January

As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Weekend Guide 10.29.09


There's nothing scarier than a world without art. Have a fun and safe weekend!!:


Openings and Events

Mike Kimball at Sanchez Art Center on Friday, October 30 7-9pm

Leslie Morgan and Mirang Wonne open studios (Hunters Point, Building 101
): Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm
Ongoing Shows

Fernando Reyes at Underglass through October 30

Katie Gilmartin and Mike Kimball at City Art Gallery through October 31

Mike Kimball and Katie Gilmartin at SOMArts through October

Rebecca Goldfarb at The Stanford Clayman Institute through November 6

Rebecca Goldfarb at SlaughterhouseSpace through November 7

Joshua Hagler at Frey Norris Gallery through November 15

Erika Meriaux at Aspect Gallery through mid-November

Brian McDonald at Blackbird Bar through mid-November

Phillip Hua in SFAC's Art in Storefronts through January

As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Weekend Guide 10.22.09


Put down your pumpkin carving tools and check out some local art!:


Openings and Events

Phillip Hua in SFAC's Art in Storefronts reception at 989 Market Street on Friday, October 23 5-7pm

Phillip Dvorak in the North Beach Art Walk (Jack Kerouac Alley) on Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm

Mike Kimball and Erika Meriaux open studios (689 Bryant Street): Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm
Phillip Hua, John Haines and Kent Roberts open studios (Noonan Building, Pier 70): Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm
Ongoing Shows

Mike Kimball at Auto Body Fine Art Gallery through October 25

Fernando Reyes at Underglass through October 30

Katie Gilmartin and Mike Kimball at City Art Gallery through October 31

Mike Kimball and Katie Gilmartin at SOMArts through October

Rebecca Goldfarb at SlaughterhouseSpace through November 7

Joshua Hagler at Frey Norris Gallery through November 15

Erika Meriaux at Aspect Gallery through mid-November

Brian McDonald at Blackbird Bar through mid-November

As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weekend Guide 10.15.09


It's another busy weekend of SF Open Studios, so head to Hayes Valley and Fort Mason to meet local artists:


Openings and Events

Mike Kimball at Market Street Gallery on Friday, October 16, 6-9pm

Erika Meriaux at Aspect Gallery on Friday, October 16, 6-9:30pm

Phillip Dvorak open studios (
632 Steiner Street): Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm

Philippe Jestin open studios (646 Laguna Street): Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm

Barbara Kleinhans open studios (1240 Hayes Street, #6): Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm

Javier Chalini, Noah Dasho, and Fernando Reyes open studios (Fort Mason, building D): Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm

Ongoing Shows

Mike Kimball at Sun Gallery through October 17

Katie Gilmartin at the Triton Hotel Mezzanine Gallery through October 21

Fernando Reyes at Underglass through October 24

Mike Kimball at Auto Body Fine Art Gallery through October 25

Katie Gilmartin and Mike Kimball at City Art Gallery through October 31

Mike Kimball at SOMArts through October

Rebecca Goldfarb at SlaughterhouseSpace through November 7

Joshua Hagler at Frey Norris Gallery through November 15

Brian McDonald at Blackbird Bar through mid-November

Phillip Hua in SFAC's Art in Storefronts through January

As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Weekend Guide 10.8.09


Hello there, sailor! Dock your rig and head for land! It's Fleet Week and there's plenty of local art to see while you're ashore:


Openings and Events

Joshua Hagler
at Frey Norris Gallery on Thursday, October 8, 6-9pm

Brian McDonald
and Marie Bourget open studios (2111 Mission Street): Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm
Nining Muir open studios (3150 18th Street): Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm
Katie Gilmartin open studios (1504 Church Street): Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm

Mike Kimball at Auto Body Fine Art Gallery on Saturday, October 9, 6-10pm

Ongoing Shows

Mike Kimball at Sun Gallery through October 17

Katie Gilmartin at the Triton Hotel Mezzanine Gallery through October 21

Fernando Reyes at Underglass through October 24

Katie Gilmartin and Mike Kimball at City Art Gallery through October 31

Mike Kimball at Market Street Gallery through October

Mike Kimball at SOMArts through October

Rebecca Goldfarb at SlaughterhouseSpace through November 7

Brian McDonald at Blackbird Bar through mid-November

Phillip Hua in SFAC's Art in Storefronts through January

As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Weekend Guide 10.1.09


We're hunting for something red...
Oh, duh, October is right here!
Seriously, though, there's a LOT going on this month and the first weekend is no exception:


Openings and Events

Megan Wolfe and Brett Amory at Terminal 22 on Friday, October 2 6-10pm

Katie Gilmartin and Mike Kimball at City Art Gallery on Friday, October 2 7-10pm

Rebecca Goldfarb at SlaughterhouseSpace on Saturday, October 3 5-8pm

ArtSpan's SF Open Studios Preview Gala on Saturday, October 3 6-10pm

Mike Kimball at SOMArts on Sunday, October 4 4-7pm

Ongoing Shows

Mike Kimball at Sun Gallery through October 17

Katie Gilmartin at the Triton Hotel Mezzanine Gallery through October 21

Fernando Reyes at Underglass through October 24

Mike Kimball at Market Street Gallery through October

Phillip Hua in SFAC's Art in Storefronts through January

As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!

Monday, September 28, 2009

SF Open Studios 2009


October is right around the corner and in San Francisco that means two things: Halloween gives us an excuse to wear "normal" clothes and SF Open Studios. ArtSpan, the organization behind SF Open Studios, has put out a guide to take around with you (available at numerous book and art supply stores around the city), as well as an
online guide. Last year, I took photos at a couple venues (here and here) and interviewed several artists that are participating again this year. Spanning five weekends, the tour is organized geographically, so there's almost guaranteed to be something in your neighborhood.

The Preview Gala

When: Saturday, October 3, beginning at 6pm

Where: 934 Brannan Street

Details: Enjoy cocktails and hor d'oeuvres while viewing over 400 works by participating artists. Tickets start at $50 and can be ordered
online. Suggested attire is dressing and artistically inspired - why not wear a piece by Joui Turandot, as I did to ArtSpan's benefit auction in March?

Weekend One
: October 10 & 11
Neighborhoods: Bernal Heights, Castro, Duboce, Eureka Valley, Glen Park, Mission, Noe Valley, Portola

Marie Bourget and Brian McDonald at The Blue Studio
Nining Muir at ActivSpace
Katie Gilmartin in her studio

Weekend Two
: October 17 & 18
Neighborhoods: Buena Vista, Diamond Heights, Fort Mason, Haight, Hayes Valley, Marina, Mount Davidson, Pacific Heights, Richmond, Sunset, Ocean Beach, Twin Peaks, West Portal

Fernando Reyes, Javier Chalini, and Noah Dasho at Fort Mason

Barbara Kleinhans in her studio

Phillip Dvorak in his studio

Philippe Jestin in his studio


Weekend Three
: October 24 & 25
Neighborhoods: Financial District, North Beach, Potrero Hill, Russian Hill, SOMA, Tenderloin, Bayview, Excelsior

Mike Kimball and Erika Meriaux at SOMA Artists Studios
Phillip Hua and John Haines at the Noonan Building

Weekend Four
: October 31 & November 1
Neighborhoods: Hunters Point Shipyard

Mirang Wonne and Leslie Morgan at Hunters Point Shipyards

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Weekend Guide 9.24.09


It's another busy weekend in the Bay Area! Whether or not you've got your leather outfit picked out for the Folsom Street Fair, be sure to stop by these shows:


Openings and Events

Katie Gilmartin at the Triton Hotel Mezzanine Gallery on Thursday September 24, 5-7pm

Mike Kimball at Sun Gallery on Friday, September 25 5-8pm

Steve Javiel painting live in Mint Plaza on Saturday, September 26, 11am-5pm

Fernando Reyes at Underglass on Saturday, September 26, 6-9pm

Ongoing Shows

Brett Amory at 111 Minna Gallery through September 26

Leslie Morgan and Katie Gilmartin at City Art Gallery through September 26

Megan Wolfe at Cafe Royale through September 27

Brett Amory at Sandra Lee Gallery through September 30

Leslie Morgan at Frankee Uno through September 30

As usual, for more shows featuring artists interviewed on Arteaser, check out the Arteaser Calendar. Also, get updates when new shows are added to the calendar by following the Arteaser Twitter feed!

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