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20120103075539-5_artpadsf

Almost Exactly Five Things Seen in 2011
by Kara Q. Smith


A random and subjective mini time capsule from 2011 of things memorable, telling, or perhaps promising for the year to come…

5: ArtPadSF

Questionable, I know. In May 2011 three art fairs occurred in San Francisco on the same weekend. “A risky endeavor,” local critic Glen Helfand said in the New York Times about the idea of this art fair trifecta in our blessed city. Risky, yes, but of the three, ArtPadSF held fashionably true to what I thought an art fair should look like in SF (held at the Phoenix Hotel) with its installations, unique/awkward hotel room gallery spaces and young, emerging, vibrant energy.  We’ll see if it happens again.

4: 20th and Folsom

Wednesday evenings really took a turn for this corner in 2011. With the opening of three dynamic art spaces: The Thing Quarterly, People’s Gallery and Kadist Art Foundation, it was easy to find yourself with too many things to do on Wednesdays as all three spaces would keep their doors open late that night while Kadist hosted a not-to-miss lineup of artists talks and presentations. It certainly proved the place to be this fall.
 
Google maps screen capture of 20th and Folsom storefronts

3.5: Resistance
 
An unavoidable mention, resistance rose to the surface in 2011 as the battle cry of the year. From protests overseas and in our own nation, to the overthrowing of dictators and switching to credit unions, to the plight of Ai Weiwei, the responses by arts journalism, artists and exhibitions to the events of our world have been chronicled not only at ArtSlant but in arts columns and publications across the nation and, in my opinion, more than any news network, these responses are the most poignant and inspiring look at human nature. Let’s hope it continues.

Mississippi Mike, Occupy SF Art & Performance Series Poster

3: Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987

Well curated and timely, not just for me personally as I was in need of inspiration, but also as a lens through which to think about 3.1. This was by far my favorite exhibition of 2011.

Asco, Asshole Mural, 1974. Courtesy the artists. 


2: Thurston Moore & Kim Gordon Break Up

2011: The Year Love Died?

Kim & Thurston, Illustration by Martin Ansin for New York Magazine.

1: Tom DeCaigny

Good news 2012! After a five month search, 2011 saw the selecting of DeCaigny as the Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission. Young and full of smart experience, I am excited about the potential this appointment has for arts in San Francisco. When I am his age (I am looking at you, 2019), I hope someone elects him president of the United States… so I can have his job.

Yup, that's Tom.

--Kara Q. Smith

 


Posted by Kara Q. Smith on 1/3/12

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