The Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association’s Arts Culture and Environment Committee is committed to promoting, encouraging, and acknowledging artistic expression and environmental awareness in Hayes Valley. At its best, art and environment merge to provide us a meaningful expression of the world around us.
As I write this, I am shaking off the playa dust from my recent return from one of the biggest annual art and environmental events accessible to Bay Area residents. Burning Man is more than just a rave in the desert. It is an art festival situated in a beautiful desert sea bed. The environmental conditions, heat, dust storms, winds, dryness, and salinity challenge festival goers and create a surreal and sublime location for viewing amazing art. Ecological principles are at the heart of the festival. The mantra at Burning man is Leave No Trace… the fourth largest city in Nevada annually appears and disappears with little mark upon the earth. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, are guiding principles. Hayes Valley has been lucky to receive works that are funded by the Burning Man organization’s Black Rock Arts Foundation, including David Best’s Temple which inaugurated public art at Patricia’s Green, and Koulios, Michael Christian’s sculpture recently installed there. Please read more about Burning Man’s art and environmental statement and the Black Rock Arts Foundation at www.burningman.com
Closer to home we have an amazing event happening in San Francisco that exemplifies the merging of art and environment. That is the opening of the California Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park. This amazing building with the largest living roof in the city is a work of art by internationally known architect Renzo Piano. The opening celebration is September 27 and 28. www.calacademy.org
Nora Brereton and Jessica Farkas help install the Victory Garden
in front of City Hall. Photo: Barbara Wenger
The third annual Park(ing) Day will take place around San Francisco on Friday September 19. This amazing event by REBAR encourages us to look at how we might more creatively use public space that is typically dedicated to cars. Several installations are planned in Hayes Valley by ACE committee members, the HV Art Coalition, and other neighbors. Please take some time out of your day Friday to visit the installations. www.parkingday.org
Another city-wide event that encourages more creative and healthy use of public streets is the second Sunday Streets event happening on September 14. Roads from the Bayview to Chinatown will be closed for the second time from 9 am to 1 pm to encourage recreation and human powered transportation along the waterfront. See www.sundaystreetssf.com.
The annual Open Studios happens this fall in San Francisco over five weekends from the first weekend in October to the first weekend in November. For thirty years this project has invited the public to visit artist workspaces and support artists. Hayes Valley artists will open their doors on the 2nd weekend, October 11 and 12 from 11 am to 6 pm, www.artspan.org
As school has started for the fall, there is an amazing lineup of events open to the public at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music located on Oak near Franklin. For their 2008 2009 season see www.sfcm.edu.
While still in the planning stage, I have word that City|Space, the non-profit art organization that examines the urban environment will be showing their annual Asphalt Shorts program of short urban films in Hayes Valley. Keep an eye out for future announcements and go to www.city-space.org for more information.
As noted in the last issue of the Voice, Slow Food Nation planted a victory garden in the Civic Center. Labor Day weekend saw 50,000 people come through and experience the garden and the opportunity to sample locallyproduced food. The garden will remain open until November, so if you haven’t seen it, you still can experience a little country in the heart of the City!
Finally, I‘ll close with this blind item…What major art organization is planning to move to Hayes Valley with headquarters, performance space and café open to the public? Plans are still too new to reveal but this should be a great addition to the neighborhood. The arts are alive and well in Hayes Valley. Please consider becoming involved in the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association and the Art, Culture and Environment (ACE) Committee. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate.