“Ways and Means”: SFAI Group Show

How do emerging artists emerge? By any means necessary, including renting a building downtown and holding a great big party — which is what 24 master's candidates at San Francisco Art Institute have done. From April 18 until May 2, 938 Howard Street will be the Ways and Means (WAM) gallery, offering a glimpse at the work of these enterprising art students. “'WAM' is a strategy of artistic passage,” they declare in their press release, “the means by which the artists grease the wheels of their own emergence.” The show covers an impressive amount of territory. Will Barclift IV documents his adventures on a treadmill set up on Market among work-bound pedestrians. Kate Torgersen uses office supplies to create fantastical sculptures: a feathery bouquet of paper airplanes or a prickly wallhanging of paper cones. Barry Beach shows felt-covered plywood trusses, a curious mixture of home and clothing, while Cameron Hockenson's Andy Goldsworthy–like constructions transform branches into temple gates and stacked wood into lanterns. Jan Blythe's textile offering looks like the torn, crumpled shroud of a prophet. In Hoyeon Olivia Im's paintings, characters made of food tremble between cute and grotesque, while photographer Donna J. Wan explores the surface of monster mansions, seductively lit and yet strangely unwelcoming.

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