In the News

See (and Hear) These San Francisco Art Shows While You Still Can

Creativity Explored

Wonderful Blackiful People

Creativity Explored, which supports artists with developmental disabilities, has a new book, Wonderful Blackiful People: Bay Area Changemakers A to Z, featuring works by a cohort of Black artists. Its publication was celebrated in June with the launch of an accompanying exhibition, on view in the organization’s Potrero Hill studio through September 1 (Monday through Friday, by appointment). The dozen portraits of influential Black individuals — culled from the book’s 26 — include poet Q.R. Hand Jr., by Laron Bickerstaff; civil rights champion William Byron Rumford, by Adrianna Simeon; and artist Horace Washington, by Joseph “JD” Green. In a statement, CE artist Joseph Omolayole, referencing the changemakers spotlighted, noted, “I don’t know what life in the Bay Area would be like without them. They provide examples for us to follow.” (The book, which starts shipping this month, can be ordered on the CE website.)


The Great Animal Orchestra

Ever wondered what sound looks like? Through October 15, find out at Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists’ audiovisual experience. Over nearly 50 years, the Sonoma-based sound ecologist collected 5,000+ hours of recordings of natural habitats — from croaks and cries to howls and growls — and the exhibition visualizes his recordings as animated spectrograms. “We’ve been trying to get it here for so long … it’s important to convey this material to anybody who can get access to it,” says Krause, whose work reveals that “animal orchestras” have become increasingly silenced. In 1968, he had a chance encounter with Frank Oppenheimer, PhD, who launched the Exploratorium the following year and invited Krause to exhibit. Alas, the acoustics at the original Palace of Fine Arts location didn’t allow for such. Now, thanks to Fondation Cartier — which commissioned The Great Animal Orchestra in 2016 and presented it in other cities worldwide prior to its current West Coast premiere — Krause finally has a show at the Exploratorium. Also, a 2021 documentary featuring him and his wife and collaborator, Katherine Krause, is screened thrice weekly, usually on Sunday.

Legion of Honor

The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England

An exhibition of portraiture, jewelry, textiles, silver, sculpture and manuscripts — from the 118 years during which five Tudor monarchs ruled England — is making its solo West Coast stop, through September 24. The artifacts are displayed in chronological order by reign, from Henry VII (1485–1509) to his granddaughter, Elizabeth I (1558–1603). According to Martin Chapman, curator in charge of European decorative arts and sculpture at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, “the exhibition shows the transition between the late medieval style to the Renaissance influenced by Italian art. As England became more separated from mainland Catholic Europe by the issues of the Reformation, it developed its own particular style in art and architecture under Elizabeth I.” While most pieces are downstairs, Gallery 1 houses several spectacular tapestries, described as “the glory of the Tudor palaces.” (Henry VIII had close to 2,500 tapestries.)

Natalie Czech, A poet’s question by Allen Ginsberg 2, 2019. Archival pigment print. McEvoy Family Collection. Courtesy of the artist and Kadel Willborn, Dusseldorf.

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts

What are words worth?

Earlier this year, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts (aka McEvoy Arts) announced that this summer’s presentation would be its last hurrah. Established in 2017, it served to share contemporary artworks in the McEvoy Family Collection, as well as inviting artists and curators to create new programming at its Minnesota Street Project venue. What are words worth? “is a playful celebration of the written and spoken word, a major theme in the collection that we felt needed to be seen,” says executive director Susan Miller of the show that runs through September 2 and includes artists such as Natalie CzechGordon Parks and Ed Ruscha. “The quiet and private conversations provoked by these works is classic McEvoy Arts.” These Are the Rules — a program curated by Steve Seid, with 10 short video artworks made by Bay Area artists in the 1970s through ’90s — is also being screened until next month’s closure.