The ARTery Project Partners Activate Central Market with New Exhibitions

SAN FRANCISCO, February 23, 2011 – Following on the heels of the successful launch of three site-specific lighting installations in the Central Market corridor, Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission Luis R. Cancel is pleased to announce a new round of arts events taking place in March as part of The ARTery Project. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, The ARTery Project is a series of art events, fairs, installations and performances taking place along Market Street between U.N. Plaza and 6th Street. ARTery partners the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, Central City Hospitality House and the luggage store will each open new exhibitions throughout the month, offering the public many weeks of fun activities in which to participate.

“The ARTery Project is aimed at revitalizing the Central Market corridor into a nationally-celebrated cultural destination,” said Mr. Cancel. “This exciting series of art openings is just one of the many ways in which this initiative is activating the neighborhood and shining a spotlight on the incredible work of neighborhood arts organizations.”

“In general The ARTery Project has ignited civic engagement among arts groups in the Tenderloin and Central Market neighborhoods and I think that’s an incredible step forward,” said Josette Melchor, executive director of the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts.

The fun begins on Saturday, March 12, 6:00 p.m.-midnight with the opening of Bullet Train at the luggage store (1007 Market Street). This exhibition brings together artists from two distinctly different locales—locales traditionally thought to be polar opposites: San Francisco and Los Angeles. The exhibition will feature new work that explores the individuality as well as the inconsistency of each artist and their representative city. Bullet Train will be on view through April 16, 2011.

On Friday, March 25 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Central City Hospitality House (1009 Market Street, Ground Floor) will open Identity Project, a group exhibition featuring new work by artists in the Community Arts Program. In a new era of digital media where people often choose to represent themselves through the use of avatars, social networking and blogs, this exhibition presents a modern take on the classical “self-portrait” through multimedia artworks that explore the darker and more complex aspects of our persona and how we choose to portray ourselves to the world. According Ivan Vera, community arts program manager, “We persuaded the artists to venture into their psyche, and to encourage their ego to tango with their id; reverential self-reference is the whole idea of this project.”Identity Project will be on view through April 29, 2011.

The Gray Area Foundation for the Arts will host an opening reception for their new exhibition TRANSMUTATIONS on Saturday, March 26 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.. This exhibition features collaborative projects by graduate students from the University of California Santa Cruz’s Digital Arts and New Media and Arts & Physics Research Lab programs. TRANSMUTATIONS builds upon an electronic information ecology framework consisting of a complex series of robotic sound sculptures, machines, video projections and sensors that employ viewers’ reactions as one of the interface systems. This interactivity produces a range of soundscapes, data projections and mechanical noises that collect and distribute media into the exhibition space. The work will emphasize the concept of learning by doing, and allow viewers to touch, explore and play with information. TRANSMUTATIONSwill be on view through May 13, 2011.

“We are very excited and optimistic to be a part of The ARTery Project and accompanying revitalization of the Central Market Arts District,” said Ivan Vera, program manager at Central City Hospitality House. “The goal of these efforts is to make the heart of San Francisco a better place for us all.”

About The ARTery Project

Funding for The ARTery Project comes from a $250,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Mayors’ Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative (MICD25). Announced last summer, the MICD25 grant will help support the larger vision for the Central Market area by supporting four creative placemaking projects aimed at transforming the blighted neighborhood into a lively and sustainable destination with the arts at its core. ARTery projects include: Art in Storefronts; the Lights on Market Street installations; coordinated art openings by galleries in the area; and a series of coordinated special events such as festivals, exhibitions and performances hosted by neighborhood arts organizations.

About the San Francisco Arts Commission

The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. We believe that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being. Established by charter in 1932, SFAC programs integrate the arts into all aspects of City life. Programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Arts & Education, Cultural Equity Grants, Public Art, SFAC Gallery, Street Artists Licensing, and the Summer in the City Concert Series. The agency’s core values are committed to the principle that all residents have equal access to arts experiences in all disciplines, that programs are provided comprehensively and evenly throughout the City, and that they are innovative and of the highest quality.