Once the birthplace of hulking World War II ships and endless miles of steel tubes used for BART infrastructure, modern-day Pier 70—with its ghostly tumbledown warehouses, buckling ship slips, and fields of wild fennel—is a forsaken landscape on the brink of a metamorphosis. Legislation to transform a 28-acre section of Pier 70 into a mixed-use waterfront for housing, artist studios, retail shops, and new parks is on the November ballot. If approved, the measure will increase the pier’s height limit from 40 feet to 90 feet, a tactic to preserve the tallest existing historic structure on-site, and to green-light an environmental review to satisfy California’s strict requirements. The blueprints for the new Pier 70 are impressively crowdsourced: The developer, Forest City Enterprises, has powwowed with more than 10,000 enthusiastic residents through on-site focus groups and such lively neighborhood events as open markets and movie nights. “This project is truly community driven,” says Alexa Arena, senior vice president at Forest City. “For the first time in a long time, a development project is actually noncontroversial.”
Dear Noonan Artists, As many of us joined forces recently in support of Forest City's Prop F, I thought you might enjoy my take on today's event at Building 12. A neighborhood BBQ to kick off the campaign was so much more than dry speeches and politicians kissing babies.
It was an informal gathering that drew people from all points of the city. People from different backgrounds and perspectives. A diverse group of people who were positive, supportive, and very enthusiastic.
What is happening in our Pier 70 has become an inspiration for other neighborhoods who face development. All of the San Francisco supervisors praise the outreach and progressive agendas that are the cornerstone of FC's redevelopment plan. Supervisor Scott Wiener said he is so impressed with this project that he plans to implement it as a model for his own district. Mark Leno applauded the beyond generous allotments for affordable housing and said a new bar has been set for development in SF. The president of the Sierra Club praised the forward thinking in resolving rising water issues and protecting of our sensitive waterfront.
Both former Mayor Art Agnos and current Mayor Ed Lee gave exuberant speeches on the many positive effects Proposition F and the Pier 70 project will have for our city. They spoke of low tech and blue collar jobs, affordable housing, affordable artist and small manufacturing space, improvements in transportation, preservation of our port piers and historic buildings, and the creation of public parks, open space, and access to the water.
As a Potrero Hill resident of 21 years and a Noonan Building Artist for 16 years. I can honestly say I am very excited about the city wide support we have for the preservation and revitalization for our beloved Pier 70. It feels right, and I think it is a good time for the Noonan Building Artists to connect with our community. The public wants to know who we are, what we do, and what our future is.
Open studio should be extra special this year. I am looking forward to it.
If you have not had a chance to update yourself on the prop F details, do check out the Pier 70 website.
Thanks for reading....
Suzy Barnard's solo show, "Uncharted Waters" at the Bryant Street Gallery in Palo Alto (June 1 - July 12, 2014) was recently reviewed in Regarding Arts, a Peninsula online magazine, by Dewitt Chen. Here is a link to the article. The image above is of a painting featured in the exhibition, "Celadon Shift", 2014, 44"x60", oil on wood panel.
Noonan Building artist Henry Jackson is exhibiting new work at a solo show called “Halted in Transition” at the Lew Allen Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The show will be up between June 27 and July 27, 2014. More information can be found on the Lew Allen Galleries web site. In addition to his solo show, Henry is showing some work in a group show called “Figures in Abstract” at Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, CA. This show will be open from July1 through July 30, 2014, with an artists reception at the gallery on Friday, July 11, from 6pm-8pm. More information about this show can be found on the Seager Gray Gallery web site.
The photo above is of a piece titled “Untitled #106-14”, photo by David Magnusson.
Noonan Building artist Connie Harris has a solo show at the Lobby Gallery, 455 Market St. at First Street in San Francisco, from June 23 through September 12, 2014. It is open weekdays and sponsored by the ownership. Click here for the galleries web site. The exhibition “Connie Harris Pattern” was organized by Bonnie Earls-Solari, Independent curator who writes: ”The paintings are studies in color and pattern. The marks are hand made, not mechanized, so while repeating they are not identical. The differences in brush strokes and pigment tones create a surface that nearly quivers with verve and vitality "
For more information, contact Bonnie Earls-Solari at 415-717-5718, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The photo above is of a piece entitled "Cad Yellow 2013", photo by David Magnusson.
NBA artist Kim Frohsin is showing a series of mixed media paintings over pinhole photography at a show entitled "Reliquaries: Exposed" at Gallerie Citi, in Burlingame, CA. The arcane series is created from a variety of media—acrylic paint, glazes, ink, collage, pencils, and dry pigment—built upon pinhole photographs taken by the artist between 2011 and 2013.
Relic considers things lost and found—memories, sacred objects, timeless treasures, and haunts—while Exposure references the underlying photograph. There is an aura that pervades these works of everyday objects that require the viewer to look closely, to take in the surface qualities and ambiguous abstractions, while simultaneously recognizing the underlying “real-life” image captured by the artist’s lens. Mysterious, clandestine, poetic, and nostalgic: There are endless surprises to be found in these small works.
Gallerie Citi is located in Burlingame at 1115 Howard Avenue. The show will be up from July 5 through August 30, with an artist's reception on Saturday, July 12, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Here's a link to the Gallerie Citi web site.
The photo above is of a piece entitled "Playing-Klimt Muse D".
The NBA web site has been dormant for a month while our volunteer webmaster has been on a long vacation and extended family reunion. For this reason the posting of a report on the meeting we had on April 30 with representatives of Forest City, the developer for the re-boot of the Pier 70 area, was delayed. The purpose of that meeting was for Forest City to give us a clear picture of their vision for the transition of the Pier 70 area and of our place in the mix. The meeting also gave us at the Noonan Building an opportunity to ask questions and air our views.
So here, for the record, is Kim Austin’s report on that meeting. The photo was taken during the meeting by Adele Shaw.
Dear Noonan Building Artists,
Thanks to everyone who came out last night for our meeting with Forest City. It was a positive and productive event. Forest City has offered many tours of the Pier 70 project over the past 2 years, but this was the first time they focused directly on the Noonan Building and its artists. They gave a concise and clear view of what they would like to see as a potential future Noonan community. They listened to our concerns and suggestions for an affordable, functional, and aesthetic artist space.
For several years now a handful of Noonan Artists have been going to meetings with the SF Port, the SF Port Commission, and Forest City. Our goal from the beginning has been to save the Noonan Building, preserve the artist community it houses, and to ensure future affordable artist space in honor of the Noonan Building history. In the beginning there was no mention of the Noonan Building nor its artists in the Port's Master Plan. But over time each group has listened to our story and has worked to include us in the future development of Pier 70. Last summer we had a major success when Forest City included us in the term sheet and the Commission signed off on it. This gave the first green light for the Pier 70 project to go forward. Last night we had another great coming together as we filled in some of the important details that were not defined in the term sheet.
First FC gave a side by side comparison of restoring and bringing to code the original Noonan Building, and constructing a new state-of-the-art building that would replace what we have. All agree it is a touchy and emotional discussion. There is much love for our building, but there is also a lot that can be embraced in a new building that flows with the full Pier 70 project. The artists would be involved in the design process and a new space would allow for more community interaction. The cost of updating the original Noonan would likely be twice as much as building a new structure.
Secondly, FC assured us that no artist would be left with out a space if there is a gap between old building and new building. The artists would either move directly into the new space, or we would get temporary space in one of the Pier 70 historic buildings. Possibly building 12 or 2.
Finally FC discussed the issue that is on everyone’s mind who cares about the waterfront in SF. Prop B, height limitation, and voter approval. In June Prop B will most likely pass and this will have a significant effect on all Port waterfront projects. FC plans to have a measure on the November ballot that will focus on the community based projects in Pier 70 that will be affected if height limitations are not flexible. The Noonan Building and its artists will likely be the poster child and we and FC will get much more attention on preserving affordable artist space than previously imagined.
So this is it in a nutshell. We would like to encourage all Noonan Building Artists to get involved and be part of the process. This is a long project that will take many turns and revisions. We plan to be there at each phase of evolution, and we look forward to preserving a unique and affordable artist community in Pier 70.
Ways to get involved?
The SF Port Master Plan http://www.sfport.com/index.aspx?page=1498
Forest City's Pier 70 Project website http://pier70sf.com
The amazing Pier 70 historic website by Ralph Wilson. A must visit for anyone who loves Pier 70. http://pier70sf.org
Waterfront issues: There are many links online. Very easy to find. But you can also pick up the April edition of San Francisco Magazine – dedicated entirely to waterfront issues. Or read the latest by report by John King. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/place/article/How-Warriors-Pier-30-32-exit-is-the-best-thing-5436666.php
Join the Pier 70 mailing list : http://pier70sf.com
Like Pier 70 on fb: https://www.facebook.com/Pier70Sf
Like the Noonan Building Artists on fb: https://www.facebook.com/NoonanBuildingArtists
Get involved or support special events in building 12. Currently the Bayview Pop-up Market every Thursday 5:30- 8 pm through the end of June.
Sign up for Fall Open Studios, October 25 and 26 http://www.artspan.org/sfopenstudios
Any other ideas are most welcome! Thanks. Kim
In participation with the Bayview Underground Pop-Up Market in Building 12, Austin Press will be exhibiting each Thursday night 5:30 - 8 pm, from now until June 26. Come join the fun and experience food, wine, music, art, and craft. To get to the market, enter Pier 70 from 22nd Street. For more information, you can check the web site of the Bayview Underground Food Scene.
Forest City, developers of the Waterfront Site at Pier 70, are conducting an event on March 27, where they will be showing preliminary designs for the Pier 70 waterfront. The program will include a walking tour of the Pier 70 site,a brief presentation and Q&A, and an informal, open house-style discussion with the Forest City staff. All NBA members and friends are encouraged to attend, and if the open house events aren't enough of a draw, know that light snacks and beverages will be provided.
To register for this event, follow this link to the Eventbrite website.
Note that the event location has been changed to Building 12, at 420 22nd Street – the previous location was to be at the Orton office in the Noonan Building.
The agenda will be:
5 - 6 pm: Tour of the Waterfront Site 6 - 6:45 pm: Presentation 6:45 - 7:30 pm: Informal Discussions
NBA artist Daniel Phill is exhibiting his work in a 3-person show at the Art Essex Gallery in Essex, Connecticut. The show is open from March 19 though April 12, with an opening reception on Saturday, March 22, from 4pm to 7pm. The other artists in the show are Lynn Blodgett and Jed Paterson. The Art Essex Gallery was voted 2013's "Best Art Gallery" in Connecticut by CT magazine. For more information visit the gallery's web site.
An upcoming group show at the Campfire Gallery in the Mission, called “Fractal”, will feature new works on paper by Noonan Building Artist Francis Berry. The show will run between March 12 and April 13, 2014, with an artist reception on Saturday, March 22, from 6pm to 9pm. You can get the address and directions from the gallery’s web site. From the gallery: “Fractal brings together three artists whose work is influenced by the underlying patterns found in our natural and urbanenvironments. Organic and man-made elements are reconfigured into visual landscapes that seek to convey both order and chaos.”
Here is Francis’s statement that accompanies his work in this show: “Rather than contextualizing man in landscape, I contextualize landscape in man. Recycled Landscape reduces human elements to verticals and natural elements to horizontals. By converting the rectangular elongation of the traditional landscape format to a more restrictive square, human design and nature are framed on equal terms. With multiple landscapes crowded in a square format and several horizons stacked on each other, each Recycled Landscape reflects a meditation on the kaleidoscopic interaction between nature and human design.”
Better late than never ... We just got word that Noonan Building Artist Kim Frohsin was included in a group show at the J. Cacciola Gallery in New York City. That show was up between Feb. 18 and March 1, 2014. Kim is also planning to release a book soon, to be entitled "Portraits of Numbers: 2010-2014". The image for this post is one of the paintings to be included.
In what we are sure will be a new tradition going forward, many of us from the Noonan Building got together for a little holiday cheer on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at Hogan's Goat Tavern. And while it was a bittersweet night for owner Christopher (he's closing at the end of the month), clearly a good time was had by everyone. And to our fellow Noonan comrades who were unable to attend, you sadly were missed. But, we toasted to you in spirit — lots of spirit to be exact. Many thanks to Julia and Gil from the New Spot, for their great tortilla chips, guacamole and salsas. Photos in the gallery below (click on "continue reading" to view) by Kim Frohsin and main photo above by David Magnusson.
The artists of the Noonan Building would like to pay our respects to Bay Area painter Frank Lobdell, who died last Saturday. Frank had a studio in the Noonan Building for years, and many of us knew him and admired his work. Here is a link to an article about Frank on the San Francisco Chronicle web site, and another link to an article on the Palo Alto Online web site. The note below is from one of our NBA members, Mark Abramson:
Frank's studio was on the west side of the third floor, and we would often see him ambling down the hall to wash his brushes or clean his dishes. He would invite me in to his studio from time to time to show me his work. He encouraged me to comment on it and we would sometimes spend the better part of a half hour discussing things. Perhaps he liked to talk to me about his art because I was not a painter and had an audience member's perspective. At the time I didn't know how well known or how well respected he was. He would listen to my opinions and would offer insight into his process and the thinking behind the visual problem solving that occupied him so thoroughly and resulted in such expressive and engaging work. The image above is an example of a painting Frank created while working at the Noonan Building (image from the Artists Forum website).
He would work on a number of paintings at once, a family of paintings, different but related in color and form. There would be three or four large paintings on the wall, in various states of completion. He would often start by drawing on small postcard-sized pieces of paper. He'd draw dozens of similar sketches, trying to work out the best way to resolve some visual problem he had posed for himself. Once he had moved his sketches to a satisfactory place, he would start the process over again using larger paper, starting from the best two or three postcard-sized drawings. Another few weeks of work on the colors and forms, another phase of self-editing, and he'd choose the best two or three drawings as the starting point for some small paintings. After working one of these small paintings into shape he would take the plunge and paint the final work, at the time it was usually a painting of around 4 by 6 feet. The man worked really hard at what he did, and the final results were rewarding, for both Frank and his audience. It was a privilege to have known him and to have seen him at work.
Factrix, the Bay Area-based industrial rock band which includes the Noonan Building's Mark Abramson on guitar, will be back in action next week, opening for Lumerians, Friday, November 22, at the Chapel in San Francisco. The Chapel is located at 777 Valencia Street, between 18th and 19th Streets, in the Mission. Admission is $12 per person in advance, and $15 per person at the door. Here's the link.
Lumerians are new to us, but they've done some good music and nice videos too, which you can see on their web site. Playing first is a band called Li Xi.
The future of the Noonan Building and its artists were the subject of a feature in October's Potrero View, a newspaper serving the Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Mission Bay and SOMA neighborhoods of San Francisco. The article gives some background on Pier 70, the Noonan Building and the artists in it. An outline of developer Forest City's plan for the area is included, along with quotes from NBA members Marti McKee and Suzi Barnard about the participation of the NBA in the planning process. The article, by reporter Catherine Herrera, is on page 10 of the printed version of the paper, and featured photos of Suzi and Marti, and of Daniel Phill working in his studio. To read the article online, click on this link.
The Noonan Building Artists are happy to announce our participation in San Francisco's annual Open Studios event. Our building always seems to be one of the standout locations during Open Studios. The waterfront location and the number and quality of our artists makes it a great visit for art lovers, art buyers, gallery owners on the prowl for good work and curious members of the public looking for a unique San Francisco art experience. Our building will be open during Weekend 3 of this year's event, Saturday, November 2, and Sunday, November 3, from 11am to 6pm. Many of the artists participating in this year's event are listed in the poster above. The organizers of the event, Artspan, have a web site where you can get more information (click here). To get directions to the Noonan Building, visit our contact page and click on the red marker in the center of the map.
We invite everyone who has an interest in keeping San Francisco's art scene vibrant and engaging to visit the Noonan Building this year during our Open Studios weekend!
For all the fans of Pedal Power in the Noonan Building, and there are many, we have some good news. A couple of bicycle parking racks have been installed on the ground floor, adjacent to the main stairway. The racks appeared mysteriously this week, and were presumably installed by the Port. Just in time, as we will be having our Open Studios weekend coming up very soon. It was at last year's Open Studios that one of our NBA members had a bike stolen from the same stairwell location. We congratulate the Port on their successful and timely improvement to the Noonan Building.
Noonan Building artist Kim Austin was the subject of October 10th's "Thursday's Tribute" feature on the "Following Breadcrumbs" blog. The blog is published by Yvonne Cornell. For a nice introduction to Kim and her work follow this link.
Noonan Building Artist Connie Harris will be a part of an upcoming group show called "Aftermath – Post-Minimal Abstraction" at the Chandra Cerrito Contemporary gallery in Oakland. The show will be up from October 4 through November 22, with an opening reception at the gallery on Friday, October 4, from 6pm to 8pm. The other artists in the show are Brian Caraway, Lisa Espenmiller, Connie Goldman, David Allan Peters and Dianne Romaine. There will also be an artist talk at the gallery, moderated by DeWitt Cheng, on Saturday, October 5, from 2pm to 3pm. For more information on the show, the opening or for the gallery’s location, click on this link to their web site. The information will also be on our calendar page.