Friday, November 28, 2008

Meet our Grantees - Language of the Birds Unveiling

The Language of the Birds dedication, a site specific sculpture by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn was an art unveiling worth remembering. Local luminaries spoke and the artists spoke and then the Extra Action Marching Band showed up to accompany the actual defrocking of each book in the sky, and that is when it got exciting. We had skimpily clad women and heroic artist scaling the heights to remove the covers, at times to our collective breathes held to the beat of the drum, and then the Language of the Birds lit up and brightened the sky.

To see more photos by Steve Rhodes:


Previous posts:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Meet our Grantees - Our "Wayback" Machine

So recently I have been introducing you to our current recipients from our Grants-to-Artists Program, so we all know about the art that the Black Rock Arts Foundation is supporting. But now we are going to go enter The Wayback Machine and meet some of our first grant recipients and what they are doing now.

So let's celebrate BRAF's support of interactive installations and performances from our early years.

photo: Sherman and Mr. Peabody, from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, entering the WABAC Machine, to check out a moment in history. The WABAC Machine was the inspiration for The Wayback Machine or Internet Archive.

ARTumnal Gathering 2008

More fabulous photos of our ARTumnal Gathering, these are from Mr. Nightshade:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ARTumnal Gathering 2008

Wow, what an evening...the revelers were decked out to party at the Fabulous Bently Reserve. The silent auction raised funds for the Black Rock Arts Foundation to stay the course in funding and installing interactive art and a great time was had by all!!!!

Here are some additional photos:

More photos will be coming in the near future so keep checking back!
photos affinity

Saturday, November 15, 2008

ARTumnal 2008

Come Join Us Please!

The Black Rock Arts Foundation presents…

ARTumnal Gathering: TRIBES and TREASURES

Saturday, November 22, 2008 9pm to 2am
(Get there for the start and stay late!)

at The Historic Bently Reserve

400 Sansome St.
San Francisco, CA 94111

Just $20 Presale for Main Event; $30 at the door (get your tix now!)

Pre-event Dinner tix start at $150 for sumptuous BANK-quet
Purchase tickets and get info: overJoin us in support of the Black Rock Arts Foundation's mission to inspire art, community and civic participation worldwide. Revel in the richness of human expression, generosity of spirit and camaraderie of artists and visionaries. An opulent gathering of tribes in celebration of our artistic treasures and vital community spirit awaits! Partake in an evening of abundant visual delights, auditory pleasures, beguiling libations, and a cornucopia of spectacular people, art and performances.
Performers and DJs include:

Black Rock City Ballet
Brass Menažeri - (Voted Best Internation Band in The 2008 SF Weekly Music Awards)
Calliope Circus
Chance's End - violin-electronica
Clark Hamon (Deep End)
Copper Lantern Theater
Dex Stakker (Opulent Temple)
Erica Mulkey
Fou Fou HA!
Jeff Hobbs - sax, violin and stiltwalking
Laird (Get Freaky!)
Lila Sklar
Loyd Family Players - Samba Marching Band - Winners of Burning Man 2008
Marching Band MARCH-OFF!
Majitope (Symbiosis/Lowpro)
Miranda Caroligne - Autumnal wearable art & designs
Samantha and Angela Mae - Bellydance
Sweet Can Productions
Tamo (Angels of bAss)
Vau De Vire Society (2008 Best of The Bay Circus Troupe Winners)
SECRET special guest DJ (and his monkeysnake...shh!) and MANY MANY other amazing performers and artists!!!

Tribal Chill room with décor provided by Hookahdome/RuckusLab

Photo portraits by Nightshade

Photography Gallery - curated by Will Chase

Art Sculpture by Laura Kimpton & Celtic Forest

Peter Hudson

Mardi Storm and Others!

Raffle Prizes and More!Tickets:

To purchase tickets:

Black Rock Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit; a portion of your ticket price is tax-deductible.

The MAIN EVENT, in the Grand Banker's Hall, Tribal Chill Room and Gallery:The Tribes & Treasures Celebration:9:00pm-2:00am, $20 presale online, $30 at the door Includes an evening of featured and roaming performances, DJs, dancing, raffle, photography sale and many happy surprises

The Special Pre-event Reception, Upstairs:The Bank-quet Dinner7:00pm-10:00pm, $150

Includes a sumptuous buffet dinner, silent auction, ambient performances, absinthe tasting, wine and dessert, presentations by celebrated BRAF artists and organizers; The Finch Mob-creators of the Panhandle Bandshell, Peter Hudson-creator of Homouroboros, and Crimson Rose, presenting the art of The Mangrove, and entry to the main event.

Alchemists' Hour and Bank-quet Dinner 6:00pm-10:00pm, $250 Includes private reception with the BRAF Board of Directors and special guests, with a hosted bar from 6:00pm-7:00pm + the Bank-quet Dinner + main event.

Host Committee:
Christopher & Amber Bently;
David Best;
Jess Bobier;
Loren & Rachel Carpenter;
Will Chase;
Harley K. Dubois;
Alexeis Fillipello;
Marian Goodell;
Syd Gris;
Freddy Hahne;
Dana Harrison;
Larry Harvey;
Aaryn Herridge;
Mark Higbie;
Phil Linhares;
Nick Morgan;
John Mueller;
Jessica Mullens;
Joseph Olivier;
Will Roger Peterson;
Christina Pettigrew;
Rae Richman;
Crimson Rose;
Alix Rosenthal;
David Silverman;
Jeremy Sugerman

The Black Rock Arts Foundation supports interactive art projects worldwide, year-round. In our seven years of collaborating with innovative artists, visionaries and community groups, we've seen first hand how interactive art can inspire civic engagement and social participation. Our 2008 Grantee and Civic Art projects are inspiring examples of both groundbreaking works of art and new levels of community ownership and participation. Projects like The Temple of the American Dream in Detroit, MI, Peter Hudson's Homourboros in San Jose, CA, and The Mangrove in Reno, NV brought innovative works of art into the every day lives of the public, many of whom have little access to such large scale interactive works. All of these projects relied on the support of their communities, and hundreds of volunteers. Come celebrate our achievements as a community, and support the proliferation of interactive art!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meet our Grantees - Language of the Birds Dedication

I told you that Language of the Birds by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn was coming to the NW corner of Broadway where Grant and Columbus Streets intersect in San Francisco.

I am writing to let you know that the Dedication will be:

November 23 at Dusk
Is that the same as sunset (4:54)? The SF Weekly lists the dedication time as 4pm. (Watch the sky, not the time.)

Hope to see you there.

digital illustration Brian Goggin

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Music at the Mangrove - Sunday November 2

It was a brisk day but we had a good crowd in the Mangrove, sipping coffee and eating soup, while enjoying three really fun bands. The afternoon started out with Freaks of Nurture featuring Doyle Stewart and Jill Snyder... these two met when their teenage cello playing kids, Emily and Gabe, were dating each other. Doyle and Jill realized that they shared an affinity for American folk music... started playing and came up with a list of over 25 songs they could play immediately... harmonies included.... WAY too much time spent with the record player in the 60s and 70s!

The Celtic band, 317 features Jill Snyder, a mom of three and a classically trained vocalist with lots of experience performing producing and recording, she has some Irish blood and an Irish soul. Gabriel Plank works in the Geology Dept at UNR and plays a wide variety of instruments including the accordion and the washtub bass. He has played in classical music organizations (viola and violin) but specializes in sea chanties!!!! AND Kevin Lyons, a real Irish tenor originally from Ireland, he owns a computer company by day and by night (and on the weekends!) and spreads his Irish charm and heritage through music. He has travelled all over the world sharing Irish music. Alan Lyons, Kevin's son, on violin, currently attends UNR,plays all kind of music but with two parents from across the pond, his Celtic roots are strong.

Alan and Daniel Lyon who along with Kent Irwin performed with their folk/punk band ³bo deens². This group featured three talented young men ages 15 - 18, playing guitar, violin and mandolin plus the traditional bodhran, a unique Irish hand held drum.

Great Sunday afternoon music!

Maria Partridge

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Meet our Grantees - 'Language of the Birds' Brian Goggin with Dorka Keehn

Installation Site photo Anna FitchBrian and Dorka photo Anna Fitch

Digital Illustration of completed installation by Brian Goggin

I was in a car a couple of days ago, and guess what I saw, Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn in a boom lift installing 'Language of the Birds'.

Language of the Birds is one of BRAF's 2007 Grants-to-Artists recipients. It is a permanent site-specific public art installation on the threshold of North Beach and Chinatown in San Francisco, at a new public plaza where the NW corner of Broadway, Grant and Columbus Streets intersect.

'Language of the Birds’ is a sculpted, illuminated flock of twenty-three translucent, suspended open books positioned to give the impression of birds in flight. Phrases, taken from books written by neighborhood authors or written about the local communities, are scattered and embedded in the pavement as if the words had fallen from the books as they took flight. These suspended bird-books blink light patterns are modulated to interpret music gathered from the community. The lights are also intended to evoke flight, giving the flock the appearance of being in constant motion.

The Black Rock Arts Foundation is pleased to join the City of San Francisco, artists and local patrons in supporting this permanent art installation designed to unite area neighborhoods and impart some magic in ‘a language of birds’ (sometimes considered in antiquity to be the secret key to perfect knowledge) to all who encounter it.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Why Public Art?

The Black Rock Arts Foundation believes public art helps engage a community and define themselves in unique and creative ways, help strengthen pride in the community, connects individuals and communities across boundaries of geography and points of view and enhances the opportunity for the community to interact with artists and art as a means to connect with each other.

This is what Janet Kagen, the vice-chair of the Public Art Network (PAN) of Americans for the Arts and a founding principal of the Percent for Art Collaborative has to say about public Art. “An average of 55 million viewers experience public art firsthand everyday, approximately 1,000 times the audience experiencing art galleries, museums, and theaters combined; artworks at airports and subways are seen everyday by over 5 million travelers. An average public art project provides 50 times the economic impact of arts events in traditional venues, yet the cost to the public for public art is less than 50-cents per taxpayer per year (based on the amount of public funding [in 2002] used to fund public art.) More money is spent cleaning up unwanted graffiti than is spent on all the public art in most major American cities. Public art receives ten times the media attention other art forms receive.”

So I have seen this in action. I remember when David Best and his crew built the Temple on Hayes' Green, as part of BRAF's Civic Arts Program. The community began to own the Temple, and write on the Temple about their losses and hopes and joys. I remember when a friend of mine talked about having a whole new point of view after the Temple came to her neighborhood.

So do you have a story about public art, and it's impact on us? We would love to hear from you!!

photo: Steve Williams

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Meet our Grantees - Mavis Muller's Burning Baskets Project

The Black Rock Arts Foundation was pleased to fund the Burning Basket Project as part of our 2007 Grants-to-Artists Program, to travel to Hawaii, connecting the geographically disparate communities across the Pacific through a common, temporal event.

The ‘Burning Basket Project’, developed in Homer, Alaska by Mavis Muller, is designed to unite geographically disparate communities through recognition and celebration of the connecting elements that span the Pacific Ocean between Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands. The project involves a series of free workshops in communities in Alaska, and Oahu and the Big Island of Hawaii. The workshops invite participants from diverse areas of the community to participate in the construction of a large (8 to 10 foot) intricately woven basket sculpture using natural indigenous materials such as grasses and a variety of plant and tree fibers. Volunteers participate in all elements of fabrication, including gathering, design and weaving.
During a short exhibition community members are encouraged to add mementos to the baskets through the addition of written thoughts, sentiments, or objects; in this way the sculpture becomes civic property, woven with personal relevance. Each project culminates when the community is invited to gather for a potluck dinner, artist talk, and performances; then at sundown, the torch is lit and the basket ignited. In an effort to serve her community Mavis has worked to draw together a wide cross section of participating groups and individuals. In Homer, Alaska, the Native Alaskan community includes the burning ritual as part of their Healing Alcoholism seminar, and local mental health services offer a workshop on ‘letting go’.
Mavis has completed 12 basket burns in Alaska and California over the past four years and our grant the Black Rock Arts Foundation is proud to help extend her work to new communities.