On the Front Lines

In the 1980s, people raised holy heck about what they called the “Manhattanization” of San Francisco (we should be so lucky) because of a couple of new high-rises. What we fear more these days might be called the “Pleasantonization” of the city. Symptoms of this disorder include an overarching lack of style, boatloads of SUVs, condo complexes designed by Lego, and 20-somethings in flip-flops and sweats simultaneously texting, balancing $12 coffees, and walking rare breeds of dog. (See SoMa and Mission Bay for examples.) Pleasantonization almost always conquers similar territories — one of them is artist colonies. But because this juggernaut moves slowly, we can visit these places before they acquire a 925 area code. This weekend such areas are Hunters Point Shipyard Artists and Islais Creek Studios, both on the city’s southeastern waterfront and part of ArtSpan’s SF Open Studios, now in its fifth and final weekend. Hunters Point has more than 150 artists whose studios are open, while Islais Creek has about 15, many of whom deal in metalwork such as welding and blacksmithing. There are also jewelry and sculpture, in addition to photography and painting. Most of the artists sell their work at considerably lower prices than what they’d ask at gallery exhibits. If you’re an artist, you might work a trade — or start a relationship that will lead to collaborative efforts. And for some of you, it’s a chance to buy décor for your condo that will displace these very artists in a year or two.
Oct. 29-30, 11 a.m., 2011

 
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