Art & Culture
New North Beach Gallery Opening
Grand Opening: August First Fridays
THE NORTH BEACH BAUHAUS
703 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
The North Beach Bauhaus is a collective begun by James Cha, Romalyn Schmaltz, Ernesto Evangelista, Earl Thibodeaux, Sean Dick and Jennifer Barber, all long-term North Beach artists (some consistently since the 1970s, some in the last few years). We had a previous gallery on Green Street in North Beach, called I HEART NORTH BEACH, that closed after a year due to a spike in rent and very little revenue (we were on a footpath with a bar and a mortuary, and the bar closed). We learned a lot from that venture.
Flora and Mary Beth, partners at the wonderful and truly individual restaurant Cafe Flora next door, have offered us a 6-year lease, so we can offer stability and growth without looking over our shoulders.
Why The Bauhaus? I’ve included an article from NYMoMA on what it was below, because we have gotten asked that a lot lately. It was a school of integrated design that produced graduates capable of Gesammtkunstwerks—essentially, total works of art. So students were all trained in drawing, painting, typography, woodworking, metal work, textiles, plastics and more, and the teachers included Walter Gropius (founder), Le Corbusier, Piet Mondrian, Mies van der Rohe, Lazslo Maholy-Nagy, and numerous early 20th century designers.
It only lasted 14 years because the Nazis considered its curriculum cavalier and dangerous (including modern art in general, as “degenerate”). Many of the teachers and students relocated in the United States and attempted to recreate it (such as with the Black Mountain College, where Jackson Pollock studied), but it was never the same (what survivor of Nazi expulsion was?), and it seems to have survived in the American imagination as the name of a new wave “goth” band of the 1970s-80s. The Bauhaus wasn’t political in the conventional sense of the word, but it was for people, study, practice and curriculum rigor, so in a sense it WAS the best kind of politics. Stateside, especially in this city we love, we are facing another kind of economic expulsion that is of national political attention now, and if we don’t make a stand against it, this new kind of voracity for city space will spread to other artist-friendly places (Austin and Portland are already complaining, for two examples). We are not anti-tech—one of our members is a computer engineer!—but we are against money driving out the people who wish to dedicate their lives to beauty. The Bauhaus literally means “The House of Building,” and we intend to build up our community against invasive forces who deplete resources and have no vested interest in leaving the room better than they found it. Our lease is a golden protection against that.
We will offer events, retail, classes, art shows, readings, parties, fundraisers, and rental space for individuals. Telegraph Hill Dwellers’ members are especially invited to participate in our space!
Article on the origins of the Bauhaus:
Legends of the Bay Area: Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Local artist Lawrence Ferlinghetti has an exhibit of his paintings at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. The show runs through April 5.
Season of the Witch Salon featuring author David Talbot
All images copyright Dennis Hearne.
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North Beach First Fridays
Check out First Fridays in North Beach.
North Beach art galleries invite neighbors and visitors to join them for an open house and extended hours on the “First Friday” of every month. Each gallery offers its own unique venue. Come enjoy refreshments, music, poetry and old fashioned North Beach hospitality!
All offer an eclectic mix of art in all disciplines, showcasing both established and emerging artists.