San Francisco dreamin’

[Here’s Shelley Spector‘s last dispatch from San Francisco. Bet you thought she’d never get out of the Yerba Buena Center, huh? Read parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.]

Whole lotta town to see
Jan. 14 report by Shelley Spector

San Francisco is great. On Friday, my last day, I went around the city for the first time. I got up thinking that I would go to the Mission district and tool around galleries and the area that inspired Margaret Kilgallen.


Somehow I switched gears on impulse and ended up on a cable car going in the other direction. It was an excellent choice.


It fed the mechanical tech-nerd in me. I love the idea that there is this huge cable under the ground that the cars just grip onto like pliers when they need to move. (first image is the operation in front of cable car that grips cable like plyers; second is the lever in back of cable car that brakes the wheels.)


My first great sighting was a man doing a handstand on a busy street corner. People are super crazy here. I’ve never seen anything like it. (image. follow the green arrows to see headstand)


Midday, I went to a free cake function that Space 1026er Courtney Dailey organized outside at Yerba. She baked all these beautiful cakes and fed the community. (image is another Space 1026 wall near another entrance to the Yerba Center.)


I got to chat with René de Guzman (pictured above speaking at the opening), Yerba’s Visual Arts Curator about the Philly art scene. He was curious if the larger art institutions embraced the local art community. He expressed the importance of it. I told him about a show of local talent that I am currently proposing to a venue in Philly.


I just have to say here he said they would be insane not to work with me. (He loved how the Space installation came off) (image is Berin and Shane from Yerba. Below is Jake Henry‘s skateboard installation.)


My plans to run down to the Musee Mecanique by myself changed as I gathered Space members with each step. (picture below is the Space flock posing at the museum)


This museum is a collection of antique amusement park mechanical things. You pay 10 – 50 cents to automate things like singing cowboys, fortunetellers, executions, and flipbook movies. I recommend it.


Right nearby there is an area of the docks that was taken over by seals. They showed up one day and never left. (seals on embarcadero pier)


Lastly, I went to the De Young, a brand new controversial (for its architecture) museum in Golden Gate Park.


A few things from there – a wall piece by African artist El Anatsui made from metal wine bottle wraps (two images above are the El Anatsui piece and a detail) and a sculptural installation by Josiah McElheny.


I like the idea that McElheny’s piece (shown here) incorporates everything around it through reflection and because of that it changes constantly.


Outside is Andy Goldworthy site-specific work. He made a crack that runs the length of the entrance courtyard and up to the front doors – nice. (Spector on the Goldsworthy cracked rock at the De Young Museum)