SOMArts’ First Ever “All Access” Weekend was a Hit!

Last weekend (April 8-10,2011), over 2,000 people enjoyed the programming and offerings of SOMArts Cultural Center at “All Access” events.

Things kicked off Friday night with the SoMa Social and opening reception of Spread: California Conceptualism Then and Now.  Our SoMa neighbors, along with other Bay Area art lovers, packed the Main Gallery for an evening of mingling, contemplation of conceptual art and pétanque playing (on artist Paul Kos’ interactive court). [Photos of the Spread Opening Reception]

On Saturday, hundreds of educators and intellectuals spent the day in the Bay Gallery listening to the speakers of “mashED-up: re-imagine education,” presented by TEDxSFEDThe Mobile Arts Platform took up their own residency at The Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan Town with their pop-up exhibit, which included hanging scroll etchings by Seiko Tachibana, origami lessons with Jeremy Shafer of Bay Area Rapid Folders, an interactive “scent piano” designed by Yosh Han, tea-bowl making workshops by ceramicist Kate Stirr and a haiku flashmob led by Silvi Alcivar of The Poetry Store. [Photos of MAP at Cherry Blossom Festival]

The action-packed weekend culminated with the All Access Open House and Pop-Up Shop on Sunday.  We rolled up the big green door and welcomed visitors–new and old–who bought affordable art at the  Pop-Up Shop, curated by Dia de los Muertos curator Rene Yañez and Main Gallery Curator & Gallery Director Justin Hoover; met with  Katie Gilmartin of Chrysalis Studio, Tom Ferentz and Renee Jones of Sixth Street Photography, and Ajay Deshmukh, coordinator of San Francisco’s longest-running figure drawing class; helped the Feast of Words crew record original compositions for their new podcast; relaxed with yoga meditations led by Crystal Nelson in the SOMArts Dance Studio; experienced the Mobile Arts Platform Cherry Blossom Festival exhibit for a second time; and indulged in delicious edibles at the Brass*Knuckle food cart. [Photos of the SOMArts All Access Open House and Pop-Up Shop]

All-in-all, we had a great time bringing free, accessible art to the people of San Francisco and created than fifty new works of art over the weekend–including ceramic tea bowls and haiku at the Mobile Arts Platform, and personal essays with the Feast of Words crew. Thanks to everyone who came out to support and learn more about the artistic resources SOMArts offers!

Last, but not least, an extra special thank you to Bed Bath & Beyond, Rainbow Grocery, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Trader Joe’s for their generous donations to All Access Weekend, as well as the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, YMCA of San Francisco, Catholic Charities CYO, La Casa de las Madres, Imagine Bus Project, 826 Valencia, and Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco for promotional support, and Dan McKinley for in-kind design services.

See our Press Page for more information about coverage of the All Access Weekend.