Best Art Gallery - 2006
GalerÃa de la Raza
2857 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Readers' Choice: Creativity Explored/111 Minna (Tie)
Nestled amid several blocks of taquerias, international phone bodegas, and hipster coffee joints, Galer?a
de la Raza is perhaps the best gauge of the Mission Districts's vibrant cultural legacy. This interdisciplinary space, in which the art is more about inciting action than drawing attention to its value as cheeky commodity, features works by political and artistic lightning rods in the Chicano/Latino community. For more 30 years, the gallery conceived by Chicano civil rights movement activists has filled the public imagination with pieces that embody both biting social polemic and artistic innovation. Expect a healthy smattering of folk art, magic realism, video, and urban art on subjects like immigration policy, war, spirituality, gentrification, and the colonization of private spaces. The Digital Mural program presents a rotating billboard on the Bryant Street side of the building, and the adjacent Studio 24 shop offers cultural crafts; every November, the store comes to life with dioramas and colorful skeleton figurines to add to the area's Dia de los Muertos processions. A seemingly endless calendar of performances, spoken word events, and multimedia presentations also make Galer?a de la Raza a suitable place to take in some culture and challenge the status quo.