Thursday, June 29, 2006

Serious Shit? More Expensive houses, less cool Art Spaces.

Hi, so I just got back from this gallery where I was picking up this awesome painting, painted by my friend Scott. Whilst there, I was talking to the proprietor of this gallery, a cool guy named John. Turns out he's getting kicked out of this sweet low key space after 10 years so someone can build even more high-end lofts or condos or some shit on top of it. I saw many great shows here and drank allot of his wine and it really bummed me out that it will no longer be there.
My friend Jules had, I think, his first solo show there a while back, he's huge time now. When I was in John’s office I saw he had one of these and also an etching by this guy. So needless to say John seems to really care about art and obviously has a great eye for it. Now I usually don’t get too political or exited about this kind of stuff cause I’m a pretty lazy guy who is mostly worried about myself, but this place is so great I really wanted to try to help any little way I could.
John gave me info for people to write too in the city and voice my concerns. He’s got some people to write in, but I guess the city has only got like 6 letters or so. which they informed him isn’t enough to even think about anything. He was telling me one of the city’s higher ups who’s involved in this stuff told him that artists are just generally too lazy and don’t have their shit together enough to get organized or even send in an email. That really bummed me out, though I generally agree. But I feel I know allot of semi responsible artists out there that I think would be pissed about this situation as well, and would maybe even pick up a pen or send an email.
This wouldn’t piss me off half as much if there weren’t already a million new lofts/condos in this area, but there’s fucking lofts and condos everywhere around here and its starting to look like Universal City walk or some shit. Anyway, here’s some info on the thing and some address of people to write letters too (below). The demise of the spot might be inevitable at this point, but I just want the city to get more than 6 letters about this bullshit. This city is supposedly filled with artists who give a crap about this artistic community and don’t want to see it turned into Disney World for rich people or something. I love this city and I want it to stay cool and have a bitchin’ summer.
Thanks for reading..Ok now here’s the info:

A call to action: Art and Community Spaces threatened
if you are an artist or have an interest in the arts and of maintaining diversity in San Francisco, it is important that you read this.

The planning department is currently studying new zoning measures for lots in what is called the "Eastern Neighborhoods". This is the area of " the Mission (generally bounded by Guerrero, Division, Potrero, and Cesar Chavez Streets), SoMa (generally bounded by Mission, 7th, 4th, Harrison, and the Embarcadero, Folsom, and Townsend Streets), Showplace Square (generally bounded by 7th, Bryant, Potrero and 25th Streets), and Central Waterfront (generally bounded by 280, Mariposa, and Islais Creek "

Essentially the Planning Commission is seeking to build high-density housing and mixed use residential in areas that are "underused". This includes warehouses, small storefronts and odd little spaces where many artists live, work and exhibit work. These spaces are dangerously close to becoming extinct. This will mean more artists being pushed out of the city.
This is a real threat.

The Clay Studio/Space 743 at 743 Harrison Street is slated to close by October
There are ways to fight this, slow down the process and get our voices heard. Attending the planning commission meetings, 1:30 PM, room 400, City Hall when the Eastern Neighborhoods is on the agenda is an opportunity to get heard. Public discussion items follow agenda items ( you can read the agenda for the week at

Writing your concerns to your supervisor, the mayor, and the planning commission is another way to get your voice heard. One letter faxed, e-mailed or posted to anyone you can think of in city government or the media gets your concerns noted. Have your friends do the same, with an avalanche of letters we become impossible to ignore.

Some key players and addresses are:
Planning Commission
1660 Mission Street
Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94103-2414
Attn: Dean Macris
(ask to copy to all commission members or send 10 copies)

Mayor Gavin Newsom
City Hall
Room 200
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

Board of Supervisors
Room 244
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102-4689

District 6:

Land use committee:

Neighborhood Arts supporter:

Board of Suoervisors
Roster of Members
(alphabetical order)

Michela Alioto-Pier
District 2
(415) 554-7752
Tom Ammiano
District 9
(415) 554-5144

Chris Daly
District 6
(415) 554-7970

Bevan Dufty
District 8
(415) 554-6968

Sean Elsbernd
District 7
(415) 554-6516

Fiona Ma
District 4
(415) 554-7460
Sophie MaxwellDistrict 10
(415) 554-7670

Jake McGoldrick
District 1
(415) 554-7410

Ross Mirkarimi
District 5
(415) 554-7630

Aaron Peskin - Board President
District 3
(415) 554-7450

Gerardo Sandoval
District 11
(415) 554-6975


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