ArtSpan, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is committed to cultivating a vibrant, accessible, and world-class art community in San Francisco and to promoting the city's unique creative energy locally and globally. We champion an inclusive art experience by providing hundreds of local artists with the equal opportunity to showcase their work and make direct connections to diverse audiences and patrons. We are guided by the belief that artists play a vital role in society and that broad public engagement with their work is essential to defining a new cultural environment for our changing city.
Celebrating its 42nd anniversary in 2017, SF Open Studios is the oldest and largest open studios program in the country, featuring an annual, month-long art event from mid-October to mid-November that showcases over 800 emerging and established San Francisco artists in their studios.
Each weekend, participating artists in their designated section of San Francisco welcome the public into their homes and workspaces to share their artwork and engage in dialogue. The popular SF Open Studios Guide is the travel companion for each weekend of the event, featuring artwork examples from each artist, maps, and articles.
During the five-week-long event, ArtSpan hosts the SF Open Studios Exhibition, displaying works from over 400 artists and kicks off with ArtLaunch, a public grand opening welcoming 500 attendees into the SOMArts exhibition space. Over 80,000 attendees visit studios during this free event throughout San Francisco.
Nested with the citywide SF Open Studios event, young artists under age 18 are mentored by ArtSpan Member Artists year-round to prepare to show their work to the public on Saturday of each neighborhood weekend. Sites include Boys & Girls Clubs, African American Art & Culture Complex, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, Public Glass. In 2017 we will host 9 Youth Open Studios sites throughout the city providing approximately 200 youth artists opportunity to show their work.
ArtSpan hosts twelve workshops throughout the year to create community and to help inform artists and art-appreciators about art, art business, art collecting and supporting a successful art career. ArtSpan also provides online resources as well as in-person mentoring to help artists reach their professional goals.
Events that encompass a hands-on creative component hosted with partners to cross-pollinate our creative communities. We have hosted Mixers with Quiet Lightning, Z Space, Tenderloin Museum, Huckleberry Bicycles, Phoenix Hotel, Modern Eden Gallery, SF Center for the Book, Yerba Buena Gardens, Artillery Gallery
Events for ArtLover members where we educate emerging collectors on how to collect and support local artists. Events include panel discussions about print multiples, studio tours, Open Collections tours of art collections in private homes, and the Art Tasting event where the SFOS Exhibition ribbon winners are paired with the jurors to talk about their work and selection.
This burgeoning program serves the city of San Francisco by connecting communities with local artists while activating vacant spaces with vibrant, locally made artwork. ArtSpan partners with local businesses and building owners to bring pop-up art exhibitions and art events to businesses seeking artwork for their walls, with the intention of extending the program to dormant storefronts and empty spaces for lease. Local artists are given the opportunity to display, promote and sell their artwork in these diverse venues. ArtSpan currently manages the art programs of seven sites, have hosted 15 exhibitions representing 51 artists.
As part of the Art-in-Neighborhoods program, ArtSpan works with local artists to engage the public with art-making activities at community events and/or within public spaces such as Sunday Streets, the SF Marathon, Treasure Island Music Festival.
In 2015, ArtSpan was granted a $0 one-year lease for approximately 6,000 square feet of office space in the former Wall Street Journal publishing building at 1540 Market @ Van Ness. We have provided space to approximately 25 ArtSpan-member artists at ~$200/month to use as a short-term art studio residency: 25% of the spaces for artists that have never had a studio before, 25% to recently displaced artists, and the remaining to currently working professional artists in SF. This opportunity was offered by the local developer, Build Inc, who will demolish the building to create a residential condo project once city permits have been approved.
In 2016 we expanded our residency program to the Art Hive in the Portola District, providing more artists with space to work, and a supportive professional community.
ArtSpan’s annual Gala to honor our highest-level benefactor members includes a sit-down dinner within a gallery setting, displaying a selection of ArtSpan’s most innovative artists. The 2017 Gala was at Heron Arts and featured a festive Art Deco theme.
Our annual spring fundraiser continues to break records year after year.
ArtSpan's Executive Director has been working with local artists to create community action groups, Save Our Studios and Cultural Space Coalition. She has also been working with Artists for a Better Bay Area, the SF Art Commission and other local organizations about artists’ studio and residential displacement and an $8-million enhancement to the Mayor’s budget for additional funding for the arts sector.