The de Young Open features 884 Bay Area artists

The de Young Open is returning this fall, the exhibit designed for local artists from diverse artistic backgrounds is free to enter, making The de Young Open the only exhibition of its kind at a major US museum.

The de Young Open hosts visual artists from across the nine Bay Area counties — San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Francisco. The exhibition is installed loosely by thematic topics, which include historical and contemporary politics and social issues, the urban environment, nature, abstraction, surreal imagery, and the human figure. The broad range of media represented in The de Young Open 2023 includes painting, photography, drawing, prints, fiber, sculpture, video, film, and digital art. 

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco received a resounding 7,766 submissions during the open application period from June 5 through 18. From the thousands of submissions, 884 have been installed across de Young’s largest galleries. From September 30 until Jan. 7, 2024, visitors can participate in the celebratory exhibition one past participant called “a giant love letter to the people of the Bay Area.”

“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 (FAMSF) in a press release. “It is rare to be able to offer a platform to hundreds of artists in one’s community simultaneously, and as the city’s museum, FAMSF is both honored and proud to host an exhibition that connects our diverse audiences with the work of nearly 900 local artists.”

“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 Timothy Anglin Burgard, the originator and curator of the triennial. “The de Young Open represents a significant paradigm shift from historical perceptions of museums as gatekeepers of art — often imported nationally or internationally — to a more democratic model in which museums foreground the voices and visions of local artists.”

The de Young Open 2023 opens to the public on Sept. 30, 2023, and runs through Jan.7, 2024, and is accessible to all who visit on Saturdays. Tickets for the exhibition are available to the public now. Information about this year’s participating artists can be found here.

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