Sarah Hotchkiss reports on 15 new(ish) projects and spaces in the Bay Area on KQED Arts. I’m excited about the Congratulations Pine Tree podcast, and love the installation photo of José León Cerrillo’s work from Kiria Koula, an interesting new gallery.

Patricia Maloney/Art Practical suggests 15(ish) art galleries on SFist. Many of these are more established galleries, and some have recently expanded.

Good signs all around for the vitality of art in the Bay Area.


11 days left: Art Practical’s Mail Art

Four years ago, the state of art criticism in the San Francisco Bay Area was dire.

Artweek folded. Shotgun Review and Stretcher were inconsistent volunteer efforts. Alan Bamberger diligently documented openings with minimum critique. A few local critics contributed to national monthlies, but they could anoint only one artist from a rapidly expanding fray.

Artists’ and curators’ best hopes for critical reviews were the local dailies and weeklies. But ambitious exhibitions far outnumbered the paltry column inches.

Enter Art Practical.

Art Practical is a different kind of volunteer effort—one with a professional editorial process and a strict publishing schedule. Posted semi-monthly, each free issue includes in-depth features, contributors’ reviews of local and national exhibitions, as well as shorter Shotgun reviews.

Contributors include current MFAs as well as established curators and critics. Grassroots Bay Area art initiatives can be art-school-partisans, but AP’s contributor base is wide enough to constantly expose me to new artists, spaces, and thinkers. I’m a contributor, so I may be biased, but I think it’s not an overstatement to say that Art Practical has significantly increased quality critical reviews, as well as the diversity of critical voices, in the Bay Area.

Further, Art Practical builds bridges. It started by partnering with Shotgun, Happenstand and Talking Cure Quarterly, and later with Bad at Sports, Daily Serving, KQED Arts and The Bay Citizen, which has a relationship with the New York Times. By multiplying critical outlets, the audience for Bay Area art expands.

For me, Art Practical has become a trusted, central source for staying informed about Bay Area art, in addition to a valuable training camp for advancing my critical thinking and writing. If you can, please consider supporting them. Now, with their new Mail Art Subscription, you’ll receive limited edition art in addition to the satisfaction of supporting this valuable resource.

In conjunction with our 50th issue, “Printed Matter,” Art Practical is producing a Mail Art Subscription [featuring] a piece of correspondence from each of six artists, starting in March 2012. Participating artists include … Martha Rosler, as well as local favorites Anthony Discenza and 2010 SECA awardee Colter Jacobsen.

Subscribers will receive a limited-edition print, a copy of the original Art Practical article, and a return postcard once a month for six months (March to August 2012) for a total of six installments of Mail Art. Subscriptions can be purchased for $150; proceeds from this project will support Art Practical as the publication embarks on its next fifty issues.

To subscribe and for more information, please visit:

The subscription offer closes March 15, 2012.

Meta-Practice, Projects, Research

Should I Stay or Should I Go? on Art Practical

Art Practical, Should I Stay or Should I Go? Christine Wong Yap

My feature on artists staying or leaving the Bay Area is finally out in the current issue of Art Practical. Thanks to the interviewed artists—Michael Arcega, Pablo Guardiola, Stephanie Syjuco, Emma Spertus, and Jenifer Wofford—for their time and insight. And a deep bow to Editor-in-Chief Patricia Maloney, Copy Editor Victoria Gannon and the rest of the Art Practical team for their support and guidance!

“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
Feature story published on
Art Practical, Issue 2.10

Art & Development

Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) Closing

Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) closed today with a closing reception and an open dialogue featuring guests curator and critic Glen Helfand and artist, writer and theorist Ginger Wolfe-Suarez. Writer and curator Patricia Maloney moderated a lively discussion on topics such as optimism and pessimism, pleasure in art, the search for happiness, beauty, Kant, viewers’ experiences, discount stores, metaphorical/literal readings vs phenomenological readings, readings vs experiences, and critical versus psychological readings of the work in the show. Work by artists such as Haim Steinbach, Allan McCollum, Cary Leibowitz, Amanda Ross-Ho and Stephanie Syjuco also came up. Numerous artists, critics and curators were in attendance.

I was honored to help convene such thoughtful guests and attendees. Hearing their responses, reservations and speculations about my work was especially humbling.

As Is: Pop & Complicity

Dialog at the closing reception to Irrational Exuberance, Asst. Colors at Sight School, Oakland, CA

Featured guests (L-R): artist, writer and theorist Ginger Wolfe-Suarez, curator and critic Glen Helfand, and writer and curator Patricia Maloney.

Vicki Gannon poses a question, as Amanda Curreri, Frank Ebert, Matthew Rana and others look on.

Art & Development

Sat., June 12: As Is: Pop and Stuffhood, Dialogue and Closing

as is

Sight School presents
Closing reception for Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) art exhibition and dialog featuring Glen Helfand and Ginger Wolfe-Suarez
Moderated by Patricia Maloney
Saturday, June 12
2-4 pm

An open dialogue agitating notions about artists’ shops, pop art, complicity and metaphors

Glen Helfand is a freelance writer, critic, curator and teacher. His writing on art, culture, design and technology, often concentrating on works by Bay Area artists, has appeared in Artforum, Art on Paper, Salon, SFGate, Wired, San Francisco Bay Guardian, and many other publications.

Patricia Maloney is a curator and writer living and working in Berkeley, CA. In addition to her role as Editor-in-Chief for Art Practical, she works with the alternative exhibition space Ampersand International Arts, is a contributing writer to and a frequent commentator on the weekly contemporary art podcast Bad at Sports.

Ginger Wolfe-Suarez is an emerging sculptor, writer, and theorist whose work has used a combination of sculpture, ephemeral events, text, and performance to negotiate shifting concepts of memory–both historical, personal, imagined, and desired.

In conjunction with the closing reception for Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors), on view May 14 – June 12, 2010, Wed-Sat, noon-5pm and by appointment.

Sight School
5651 San Pablo Ave (at Stanford Ave)
Oakland, CA

In preparation for the dialog, I’ve compiled a list of artists’ shops. One of my favorites:

Allan Ruppersburg, Als Cafe, 1969 Installation, 1913 West Sixth Street, Los Angeles, CA. Source: Air de Paris website, Artists, Allan Ruppersberg, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf page

Al’s Cafe, a diner re-imagined by Allan Ruppersberg in the 1960s in LA.

To give thanks where they’re due: I first approached Michelle to do a show because I was so inspired after visiting a series of “feral events” programmed by Kim Anno and friends in empty storefronts in Berkeley. The sense of potential that incredible, urgent art experiences could happen here was an irresistible, welcome alternative to the deference given to San Francisco/commercial galleries.

Thanks to Kim for the leadership and inspiration, Josh Churchill for the invitation, and Justin Limoges, Brian Barreto, Dana Hemenway, Suzanne Husky, Amanda Curreri and Michael Yap for the support, without whom Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) would not have been possible.


What Defines the Bay Area Visual Arts Community? | Art Practical

The art world blogosphere is abuzz in self-examination of late. Curator Renny Pritikin set off a surprisingly large discussion when he suggested quantifying which artists leave the Bay Area on SFMOMA’s Open Space Blog last month.

Equally interesting is Art Practical Editor Patricia Maloney’s characterization of the Bay Area art scene. This was posed by artist and curator Joseph del Pesco on the Open Space Blog, and summed up by Hope Dabov in What Defines the Bay Area Visual Arts Community? on Art Practical.

Maloney’s last three observations seem especially astute:

– Artists embrace progressive stances around social and political issues, but many still use traditional media to articulate those stances.

– Ephemeral and social practices are encouraged, as are documenting and capturing traces of these practices.

– Material-based practices tend to dominate conceptual ones.”