« 🏠 home — there's more where that came from.

Getting cultured, on a dime

posted February 13, 2018 in explorations

So I went on a little adventure last month. I’m posting this a month after the fact because I wanted to finish this thing I made to accompany this blog post. Been putting in a couple hours a day a few days a week. What is it? A box that shows photos (which I took with my phone) and places them on a map using the data embedded in the digital file format (EXIF). Now that I’ve got this I want to start using it in more posts that weave together photos, reflections and specific locations in San Francisco and perhaps beyond. And perhaps make other cool map things.

Anyway, about my field trip. There’s this organization called ArtSpan which does a lot to nourish and promote the (visual) arts community here in San Francisco. One of those things is a program called Art in Neighborhoods, which showcases pieces by local artists in hotel lobbies, cafes and such. I happened to notice it while browsing ArtSpan’s website and decided to go see how many of the pieces I could see myself. I felt a little self-conscious walking in to lobbies of hotels that I wasn’t checked in to, but I strode in like I belonged there. I regarded it as an exercise in acting cool and seemly. The hotel staff probably didn’t care anyway. And hypothetically I could have been there to purchase some art, I thought as I sipped iced lemon water and stared at the stormy composition by Anna-Lena Sauer.

My adventure took me around a central neighborhood known as the Tenderloin, (in)famous for great food and cultural attractions juxtaposed to extremely visible homelessness and drug abuse. There was one location, an actual art gallery, CounterPulse, where it seemed to be closed contrary to information online and I didn’t bother investigating much because the scene outside was a bit too raw and I was too uncomfortable. I guess I was just afraid of being singled out by one of those people who suffer from delusions and verbal outbursts. Otherwise I had a pleasant time walking from spot to spot, enjoying the ubiquitous murals so I was practically swimming in art.