Widely respected philanthropist and arts champion Ann Hatch has recently founded a new project called the Workshop Residence in San Francisco's up and coming Dogpatch neighborhood. The Workshop Residence invites a wide array of cultural producers, visual artists and thinkers from varied disciplines, from fashion to industrial design to technology to create "meaningful, functional objects meant to be used." A retail space at the entrance of the studio, also online, presents the work for sale. The roster is impressive and the projects are accessibly priced considering the brain trust involved in their production.
Esteemed artist Ann Hamilton, a former MacArthur fellow who represented the United States at the 1999 Venice Biennale, was in residence in August working on a series of coats inspired by everyday unisex work clothes, Amish clothing patterns, a found vintage sewing journal and a well-worn Japanese carpenter's pouch, among other things. Previous residents include Belgian artist Dirk Van Saene, who created unglazed ceramic creature-like vessels, and graphic designer and recipient of the prestigious AIGA Medal Jennifer Morla, who created housewares from industrial felt wool and Irish linen. Local artists JD Beltran and Scott Minneman have been working on an interactive snow globe and Lauren DiCioccio, whom Hatch met as a resident at Recology SF, has created a series of tote bags utilizing industrial embroidery.
Housewares designed by Jennifer Morla.
The Workshop Residency functions like an R & D think tank for aesthetics, bringing resident artists together with other artists, academics and craft specialists to research and develop the production processes. Local garment expert Georgene Shelton worked closely with Hamilton, who hadn't sewn much before, to develop her project. Brother and sister Chris and Ben Ospital, proprietors of posh retailer MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing), have also been supportive and have been on hand to offer Hamilton technical insights about clothing construction. Longtime friends of the artist, a few small sculptures from one of her previous projects adorn their nearby shop.
Opening for Lauren DiCioccio.