Nearly 20 Solano County artists will be among some 900 emerging and established Bay Area artists who will exhibit at this year’s The de Young Open, the triennial show at the San Francisco museum.
Representing Solano County are: Steen Kjorlie, Mary Oros, Mark Bremer, BRUTUS, Gabe Narciso, Omar Antonio, Albert Y. Wong, Stephen Von Mason, Celise, Mark Martin, Kim Smith, Jennifer Jang, Brian Rothstein, Dante Johnson, Mike Narciso, Katherine Du Tiel, John C. Atkinson, and Eric S. Goodfield.
The exhibition, Sept. 30 to Jan. 7, supports “our local art ecosystem,” Anisa Esmail, communications coordinator for Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, said in a press statement.
Across nine mediums, the 887 selected artworks “explore the issues shaping life in the Bay Area and beyond,” she added.
Free to enter, it is designed for local artists from diverse artistic backgrounds and is the only exhibition of its kind at a major U.S. museum, accepting works from Solano, Napa, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties.
This second once-every-three-years show builds on the success of the “hugely popular” inaugural 2020 exhibit, Esmail noted in the prepared statement.
This year the call for art yielded 7,766 submissions during the open application period from June 5 through 18. Those selected will be installed “salon-style,” or nearly floor-to-ceiling, in the de Young’s largest galleries, a show one past participant called “a giant love letter to the people of the Bay Area,” said Esmail.
“The de Young Open is a joyful celebration of the creativity that abounds throughout the Bay Area, and we are delighted to bring it back this fall as a triennial exhibition,” said Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which besides the de Young, includes The Legion of Honor. “It is rare to be able to offer a platform to hundreds of artists in one’s community simultaneously.”
New this year, the call for submissions capped entries to one per applicant, enabling 1,574 more artists to participate over 2020. The works on view in the museums’ Herbst Exhibition Galleries were all made over the past three years and “take the pulse of creative energy and culture across the region,” said Esmail.
Arranged in the galleries “to draw out dialogues that emerged organically among the 887 accepted works, the exhibition shines a light on the concerns and practices that propel artistic inquiry and production in the Bay Area today,” she added.
The exhibition is installed loosely by thematic topics, which include historical and contemporary politics, social issues, the urban environment, nature, abstraction, surreal imagery, and the human figure. The show’s broad range of media includes painting, photography, drawing and prints, fiber, sculpture, video, film, and digital art.
Participants are again able to sell their artworks and keep 100 percent of the proceeds throughout the run of the exhibition, organizers said. This year, they also will receive a complimentary one-year membership as part of the Fine Arts Museums’ new Artist Membership program launched this month.
With an open application process and anonymous jurying solely from digital images, the show represents “an inclusive and accessible community-oriented model for exhibitions,” Esmail said.
This year’s presentation was juried by Bay Area artists Clare Rojas, Stephanie Syjuco, Sunny A. Smith, and Xiaoze Xie, the first three of whom have works in the de Young’s recently acquired Svane gift of Bay Area art.
Timothy Anglin Burgard, Distinguished Senior Curator and Ednah Root Curator in Charge of American Art, headed the museum’s curatorial jury that included Emma Acker, curator of American Art; Natasha Becker, curator of African Art; Claudia Schmuckli, curator in charge of contemporary art and programming; Laura L. Camerlengo, curator in charge of costume and textile arts; Christina Hellmich, curator in charge, department of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas and the Jolika Collection of New Guinea Art; Isabella Lores-Chavez, associate curator of European paintings; and Hillary C. Olcott, curator of art of the Americas.
“This community-based exhibition serves as a snapshot in time of artists who are working locally, but thinking globally — both about the world of art and also the world we live in,” said Burgard, the originator and curator of the triennial.
More than anything, he added, The de Young Open represents a significant shift from historical perceptions of museums as “gatekeepers” of art — often imported nationally or internationally — to a more democratic model in which museums highlight “the voices and visions” of local artists.
IF YOU GO
What: The de Young Open
When: Sept. 30 to Jan. 7
Where: de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco.
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.
Tickets: www.famsf.org. Free to all on Saturdays.
Parking: Available in the Music Concourse Garage (hourly fees).