When Suzanne Stein invited me to become a blogger for Open Space my first thought, outside of being complimented, was how I would add one more thing to my crazy life. If you don’t know me, here ya go. For 40+ hours a week I’m the Director/Curator of the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. We produce 9 exhibitions a year in three locations, special projects, educational programs and fundraising events. I teach a weekly three-hour seminar class to graduate students at SFAI. Because I enjoy it, I also sit on a lot of panels and juries. I live in Oakland and try very hard to be a good partner to my fiancé, Steve, and a good mom to our 5 year old son, Sam.
My old friend and mentor, Marcia Tucker, once asked me if I had a hobby. “Right,” I replied sarcastically. She said, “If you want to stay sane in this business you have to be committed to something outside of it that’s just for you.” I asked if an occasional yoga class was a hobby. “Nope, that’s exercise.” I tried again, “Does playing with my kid count?” Marcia reminded me that child rearing is not a hobby. Unless making dinner is a hobby, I clearly didn’t (and still don’t) have one. Marcia, who passed away in 2006, had a legitimate hobby. She sang in an a cappella group called The Art Mob, and nothing happened at the New Museum that involved her on the nights she set aside to sing. I admired her ability to nurture a loving family, commit to her passion for performing, and kick ass in the art world. This is the kind of balance so many of us in the arts struggle to find.
Maybe some day I’ll take up tango or learn to knit or join a book club. For now, this blog will be my hobby. A hobby, by definition of Marcia, should be really enjoyable and take you outside of your everyday routine.
My entries will come in two week cycles.
Week 1: I’ll have a beer with someone in the community I deeply respect. We’ll shoot the shit, maybe attend a cultural event, and come up with a project for the blog the following week. In this entry I’ll introduce my partner in crime and record my take on our conversation.
Week 2: This entry will be in the form of an agreed upon project that responds to our conversation the week previous. During the course of my tenure with Open Space, there will be at least seven mini-exhibitions.
What can two or more creative types come up with in a couple of hours over a couple of beers? Stick around and find out.