“SOMA Artist Studios are fighting to remain in San Francisco against the threat of imminent eviction. On October 30, the artists will unveil a protest campaign as part of Open Studios in conjunction with the Cultural Space Coalition.
SoMa Artist Studios’ ‘Whiteout’ To Shine Light On Artist Displacement, Lack Of Diversity
by Alisa Scerrato : hoodline – excerpt
In just over 30 days, 43 local artists will hand over their keys to 689 Bryant St., a sprawling two-story building that’s housed SoMa Artists Studios — one of the city’s largest communities of local artists — for the past 26 years.
To bring attention to their displacement and the rapid loss of artist studios and cultural spaces across the city, SoMa Artists Studios is teaming with local artists and the Cultural Action Network (CAN) to organize a “whiteout.” During the annual (and last) SF Open Studios event at the SoMa Artists Studios next Friday, Oct. 30th, more than 90 works of art on display will be draped in white material, hidden from view.
Flora Davis, a SoMa Artist Studios member and co-founder of the Cultural Space Coalition, conceived the idea along with local artists Sharon Steuer and Bianca Catalan as a way to bring attention to the “homogenizing of the city,” Davis said.
“I’ve been working on bringing awareness to these issues since January,” Davis said, “but in just the past few months it’s gotten gradually worse, so we realized we have to do something about it.”.
The whiteout will be held from 6-6:30pm at SoMa Artist Studios. At 6:30pm sharp, the artists will unveil all 90 pieces and the white material will be draped on the artists, visitors and studio spaces.
To show support, Davis urges visitors to wear white. “By wearing white, people can say, ‘I am in support of making change. What can I do?'” she said. “I want to bring visibility to the issues as much as we can, and the more support the better.”… (more)
An Open Letter,
Dear Concerned San Franciscans,The recent boom of development in the South of Market area has in many ways brought life to the City of San Francisco along with an exciting new neighborhood. SOMA Artists Studios has been a part of this community for 25 years, and we want to continue to be a part of the cultural life of the City. SOMA Artists Studios has watched the area change several times, but the latest influx of new businesses is threatening now to price us out.
SAS is losing its lease due to the burgeoning commercial real estate market, which is directly impacted by the rise of the tech industry in our neighborhood. In 2015, 46 artists will be forced to move out of the heart of the City, less than ideal for the artists and the cultural life of the City.
SAS is currently a collection of 46 artists. Over the past 25 years more than 300 artists have passed through these studios, making SAS their home. It is comprised of a diverse group of recognized professional artists, working in a wide range of media. Many have shown their work in Bay Area galleries, as well as nationally and internationally. Being in its current location since 1989, SAS artists have participated in the city-wide ArtSpan Open Studios each year.
SAS would prefer to stay at our current location. If forced to move, SAS needs a location which offers stability from the volatile real estate market, ideally in an central area where we can contribute to the thriving culture of San Francisco in a meaningful way. We need help finding and securing a location, in order to continue to be a creative force for the next 25 years and more!
SOMA Artists Studios