Art in Neighborhoods | Exhibition Program

"I no longer have to wait for the public to come and find my artwork—I am coming right to them!" exclaims Irene Schlesinger, one of over 170 ArtSpan artists who has participated in the Art-in-Neighborhoods program since it launched in 2015. Through Art-in-Neighborhoods (AIN), ArtSpan coordinates with community partners to transform the walls of public venues into gallery space for rotating exhibitions. The goal is to raise awareness for the San Francisco arts community, to make quality art exhibitions accessible to all, and to provide opportunities for artists to sell their work.

Artist Robert Howard, who has been featured in three AIN exhibitions, explains "I believe that art does not happen until people see it, so it was tremendously satisfying to show (and sell) my work through Art-in-Neighborhoods. Displaying art in the non-gallery/museum realm is so important because it reaches people who may not otherwise see it. There is a special interaction that happens when art is experienced unexpectedly."

One of the program's most successful venues for art sales is Mission Bowling Club, a hip night-scene with expansive walls that accommodate large scale artworks. "Every quarter, we get to hang exciting work by local artists and our customers (and staff) are thrilled to see how the space transforms." says co-owner Sommer Peterson. "ArtSpan's Art-in-Neighborhoods program is such a gift to local businesses that want to support local artists, but don't have access to reach such a diverse group of talent."

ArtSpan is now working with 10 venues to produce Art-in-Neighborhoods exhibition programing. "The process brings the community together," explains Gabriel Ascanio, ArtSpan's Program Assistant. "ArtSpan builds relationships with local businesses by engaging them with the selection of the artwork. Artists gain exposure and engage with new audiences. And volunteers assist with the installation while learning about local artists. The impact is ongoing and unmeasurable."

Each AIN exhibition features an artist reception event with refreshments, where ArtSpan activates the space and encourages the public to engage with the artwork and the artists. Artist Sophie Lee enjoys connecting with the San Francisco community. "The artist receptions are a fun way of attracting visitors who wouldn't normally know of such events."

On July 20, 2017, ArtSpan coordinated five Art-in-Neighborhoods venues located in central San Francisco to host the "Flower Power Happy Hour Art Walk" in celebration of the Summer of Love anniversary. It was the twentieth AIN reception of 2017.

ArtSpan is expanding Art-in-Neighborhoods with even more diverse venues, multi-disciplinary cross pollinations, and activations of empty storefronts. Erica Dixon, Communications Director at CounterPulse attests, "Through ArtSpan's Art-in-Neighborhoods program we've connected with a new network of inspiring and dedicated visual artists, who are now part of the CounterPulse community. We are looking forward to continuing this collaboration!"

Art-in-Neighborhoods Venues 2017:
CounterPulse • 80 Turk Street
Ferment Drink Repeat Brewery • 2636 San Bruno Avenue
Hotel Adagio • 550 Geary Street
Mission Bowling Club • 3176 17th Street
Park Central Hotel • 50 3rd Street
PianoFight • 144 Taylor Street
Ritual Coffee Roasters • 1026 Valencia Street
The Marker Hotel • 501 Geary Street
The Mosser Hotel • 54 4th Street
For information about current Art-in-Neighborhoods Exhibitions and Artist Receptions visit
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