One of ArtSpan’s most unique and intimate events, Open Collections is a cornerstone of our Art Curious events, designed with our ArtLover Members in mind. This self guided tour of private collectors’ artwork is a great way to get inspired about building a personal collection. This year we featured four homes of local art luminaries, which allowed visitors to see how creative professionals curate their homes while supporting fellow artists.

Mixed media artist Leslie Morgan’s open and airy home is delicately lit from her sun-drenched patio, casting a natural warm glow over an extensive art collection and her four sleepy dogs. The tone of each piece in her collection conveys a distinctive playfulness that resembles Leslie’s own easy-going character. When asked about it Leslie says, “It’s an accidental addiction. I go to as many SF Open Studios as I can and purposefully seek out art from artists that I have been following. I look at skill, technique and overall professional presentation of the work. But often I am attracted to outsider art which is crude, rustic, humorous or has a message and is by no means perfect.” Artist Catherine Mackey was uplifted by the sense of humor she felt from Leslie’s art-filled home. “It is a welcome reminder that art can be fun and need not always be taken so seriously.”

Artists Ray Beldner and Shannon Kaye live in a marvelous multi-level house perched on Bernal Hill. Each room and every corner showcases Shannon’s impeccable design style that seamlessly harmonizes an eclectic collection of art. While admiring the details of each cleverly arranged, colorful bedroom, artist Monica Loncola noted that “the opportunity to meet these artists in their homes surrounded by their collections demonstrates a stronger, more unified art community.” Ray feels that meeting the artists is pretty central to acquiring a given work, and as co-founder of stARTup Art Fair, he meets a lot. “Most of the work in my collection are either from friends or artists who I know fairly well. Some were purchased, some were traded for, some were gifts. I don’t go to see art thinking I will necessarily buy something, but when I see something I want, I must have it.”

Encaustic artist dk haas and photographer Trish Tunney own a beautiful 114-year-old “shotgun” Victorian on a quiet street in the Mission filled with an impressive art collection of every medium, predominantly acquired from ArtSpan artists. “Knowing the artist is important to us. We have come up with a set of arbitrary rules around building our collection and one of them is that we cannot buy a piece if we dislike the artist.” The long hallway from the front parlor to the back living room hosts meticulously hung works that notably compliment each other as well as the artists that created them. Trish says when asked how they make room for it all, “Sometimes I’ll move things around just because I notice a piece needs more attention. It’s important to always have spackle and paint to patch or you’re missing out on half the fun of having this much art around.”

The elegant Potrero Hill home of Nocturne photographers, Greta and Manu Schnetzler played host to the tour’s visitor and collector after-party. The array of art did not disappoint for the grand finale. Greta, an ArtSpan Board Member, described their approach, “We decided a long time ago that we wanted to purposefully collect photography and we have bought several photos that we regard as major pieces. We continue to scout for those photographic images that are meaningful to us. We also love to get great art while supporting causes at charity auctions, and we enjoy hunting for new and surprising things at SF Open Studios!” Beekeeper Jason Berkman said the tour encouraged him to beautify his own house to share with others as a living museum. “The presentation of sharing your art and your home provides a link to our creative commonality.”

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