ArtSpan Programs

ArtSpan produces educational programs for youth and families, artists, and collectors, thereby enriching the arts ecosystem in San Francisco from the ground up.

Art for City Youth
Since 2001, ArtSpan’s Art for City Youth program has connected local artists with underserved youth in San Francisco through studio and gallery tours, community partnerships, and interactive art activities at public events. In 2014, ArtSpan launched the Youth Open Studios program to activate youth artists to plan, promote, and host public art exhibitions as part of the citywide SF Open Studios event. Through attending workshops and field trips with Artist Mentors, youth are inspired to work toward their SF Open Studios Exhibition and community arts celebration.

Artist Professional Development Workshops
ArtSpan’s Professional Development Workshop series helps artists increase their business literacy, build community, and prepare for exhibiting work inside and outside of the studio. Attendees garner insightful tips from knowledgeable arts professionals and experienced SF Open Studios Artists—example topics include marketing and promoting your open studios event, pricing your artwork, applying for artist residencies, and best practices for art installation.

Artist Networking Mixers
Throughout the year, ArtSpan produces free networking events to give San Francisco artists a chance to meet, mingle, and make art together in a casual setting. Past events include a crochet jam at a bustling café, a literary reading and sketch−fest at a popular gallery, an art and improv event at a local performance venue, a bicycle−figure drawing session in Golden Gate Park, and much more! Sign up for ArtSpan’s mailing list at to learn about future events.

ArtSpan activates neighborhood spaces with vibrant, locally−made artwork and gives artists opportunities to reach new audiences through the Art−in−Neighborhoods program. In partnership with local businesses, Art−in−Neighborhoods brings art to dormant storefronts and venues with blank walls that, in turn, become creative arenas for celebrating local art. ArtSpan artist members are given the opportunity to display, promote, and sell their artwork in these diverse venues. This program is an in−depth, year−round extension of the SF Open Studios Hub Exhibition program.

Art Curious

For collectors and art−interested supporters, our Art Curious event series aims to demystify the process of building an art collection while cultivating a space for learning and living with art. Whether you are a novice or seasoned art buyer, stay tuned for upcoming collector education events through ArtSpan.

ArtSpan 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.



Thursday, October 6, 6:30pm−9pm at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street
Join ArtSpan at ArtLaunch, the opening reception for the month−long SF Open Studios Exhibition. Be the first to preview over 400 original artworks available for sale. Meet SF Open Studios artists, plan your studio tours for the weekends to come, and enjoy libations and light fare. Tickets available at

SF Art Tasting Juror & Artist Talk

Saturday, October 8, 5pm−7pm at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street
Please your palette with art, wine, and stimulating discussion at the SF Open Studios Exhibition. Explore the gallery with a huntt and hear from a panel of jurors and Juror’s Choice Award artists. RSVP online at

SF Open Studios Exhibition

October 7−November 6 at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street
Visit the SF Open Studios Exhibition to peruse over 400 SF Open Studios artworks, organized by SF Open Studios date and neighborhood. Displayed salon−style, the artwork is a preview of what you will discover when visiting studios during the following weekends. Grab a Guide, mark your favorite artists, and start on your own self−guided art adventure. Admission is free.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday−Friday, 12pm−7pm; Saturday, 11am−5pm; and Sunday, 11am−3pm.

Benefit Art Auction
An annual spring fundraiser that subsidizes ArtSpan’s programs, the Benefit Art Auction features over 100 juried artworks donated by SF Open Studios artists. Attendees vie for the chance to take home artwork from silent and live auctions, while sipping artfully−crafted cocktails (see page 20). Save the date: Saturday, March 25, 2017

Benefactor Series
ArtSpan Benefactors believe in the power of art to improve our community. The Benefactor Series includes exceptional private art, wine, and dining experiences, plus exclusive access to ArtSpan events such as ArtLaunch, the Benefit Art Auction, and tours of nearby art residencies. Support from ArtSpan Benefactors directly impacts essential programs for artists, collectors, youth, and the general public. Visit to become a Benefactor and attend exclusive upcoming events, including the annual Benefactor Gala at Heron Arts in January 2017.

Selections Juried Exhibition

Selections exposes SF Open Studios Artists working at a high caliber to the art−interested public. In January 2016, 15 local artists were featured at The Midway Creative Complex (see page 34).



Teaching Artists & Artist Mentors
As part of the Youth Open Studios program, ArtSpan hires experienced SF Open Studios Artists as Artist Mentors to provide workshops and field trips to youth artists as they prepare for their open studios exhibitions. One of these field trips brings students to the SF Open Studios Exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center, where the Artist Mentors lead gallery tours using the visual thinking strategies to analyze and experience the artwork. ArtSpan also employs a cohort of Teaching Artists to facilitate interactive family art activities at public events throughout San Francisco. This summer, our Teaching Artists led community art projects at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, the Sunday Streets Festival, and the 20th Street Block Party.

Public Engagement & Live Painting

ArtSpan partners with San Francisco businesses and organizations to engage the public in interactive art activities at public events throughout the year. This summer, ArtSpan artists and volunteers facilitated art experiences at popular events such as a community mural project at the Urban Air Market, a showcase of large−scale artwork at the Cal Academy of Sciences’ NightLife event, and live painting performances at the 2 Blocks of Art festival and at the de Young Museum’s Friday Night event.