If you happened to pass Southern Exposure gallery last weekend on your way to a Mission brunch, you might have wondered about the long line snaking down the block. If you looked closely you probably noticed that each person in the queue clutched a single work of art and wore a hopeful expression. Those were the entrants for “Proof,” the annual exhibition of work by Northern California artists. The show owes its immense popularity to the facts that submission is free, and absolutely any Californian residing no farther south than King City (halfway between Salinas and San Luis Obispo) may enter one piece, no credentials required. A mere week later the works are on display, each with their own interpretation of the idea of “proof” and having been chosen in a lickety-split judging process in which all the artists’ names are kept hidden in the interest of fairness. This year’s esteemed judge is Denise Markonish, known for her forward-thinking curation at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. She and Southern Exposure really are kindred spirits, committed to art that pushes boundaries and resists easy categorization. Be there for the unveiling of this year’s selected art, and pick out the Next Big Art Thing.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 6 p.m. Starts: Sept. 16. Continues through Oct. 8, 2011

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