Though the current batch of stories traveling the airwaves might lead us to believe there's few art venues left in the Bay Area, hopefully we all know that's just not the case. While rising rents and evictions force some art spaces to shutter their doors and relocate, others carve out what room they can.
Creative solutions to space problems are by no means new, but these spots tend to be quieter than their large-scale commercial counterparts. Pay a visit to any one of the Bay Area apartments, back rooms, garages, or basements that double as alternative art spaces, and you'll witness the collective energy of an experimental and still-vital art scene.
One such space is City Limits, an artist-run gallery in Oakland's Jack London Square. Occupying the corner of a warehouse turned art studios, the modestly-sized gallery is off the beaten track, nestled between BART and Port of Oakland railroad tracks on the edge of the neighborhood's nightlife.
Originally an apartment gallery in San Francisco's Outer Mission, City Limits still lives up to its name. Run by Evan Reiser and Alyssa Block, the current incarnation of the gallery opened in December 2013 with a solo show by Jonah Susskind. Since then, City Limits' calendar boasts a healthy mix of tightly curated group shows, one and two-person exhibitions, and even some non object-based programming.
The gallery showcases both local talent and emerging artists from farther afield, as seen in the current exhibition Grimy Rhymes, featuring New York-based artists Sheryl Oppenheim and Andrea Bergart. Full of large gestures and scintillating patterns, the artists borrow from “craft” methodologies, creating abstractions of swirly, explosive color on canvasses, stretched fabric, and diaphanous silk.