Say you're a struggling artist, and can't afford a studio on top of the rent for the room in that house you share with six other struggling artists. For the past decade Root Division has offered a solution to those who'd rather not keep canvases, solvent, and dirty brushes in the room where they sleep: subsidized studio space in the heart of the Mission in exchange for teaching classes such as relief-printing, plaster-casting, and Holga 101. (For those of you who've not heard of Holga: It's a camera).
The arts organization also puts together free after-school art classes for youth, in addition to professional development courses where artists can adjust their portfolios or learn to market themselves.
The classes are available year-round, but you only have one shot at the organization's doozy of an annual Art Auction, which happens Thursday night. With work by more than 100 local artists up for grabs, it would be spectacularly difficult not to go home with something cool, whether it's heavy metal patchwork courtesy of Ben Venom (one of our 2011 Masterminds winners) or a piece by Mary Anne Kluth that merges the personal and the scientific to beautiful effect. Also watch for work by Masako Miki, Chris Fraser, and Elisheva Biernoff, to name just a few more of our favorites.