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Artful Dodger: Jump into June with Visual Art Happenings

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Tammy Rae Carland, 'I'm Dying Up Here (Double Spot),' 2012. (Courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery)

Apparently this is the first month of summer, but in much of the Bay Area (at least, pre-global warming) we know that doesn’t equal summery activities. Summer equals fog, carting around more layers than usual, and never, ever trusting a sunny morning as an accurate sign of a warm day.

If I’m not going to be able to ride my bike home late at night in shorts and a tank top (this happened once, I swear), at least there’s a plethora of art to see this month. Really, so so much more than I can list here. Or here.

Disney Studio Artist, 'Pinocchio' visual development.
Disney Studio Artist, ‘Pinocchio’ visual development. (Collection of The Walt Disney Family Foundation, gift of Ron and Diane Miller, © Disney )

Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio

Through Jan. 9, 2017
Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco

Take a deep deep dive into the concept art, character development, animation processes and fascinating backstories in every crevice of Monstro the whale’s cavernous mouth. Curated by John Canemaker, award-winning animator, historian, teacher and author, The Art of Pinocchio demonstrates just how amazingly labor-intensive animation was in 1940. Visit for nostalgia’s sake and for a healthy dose of historical context. Pictures from the real-life Gepetto’s workshop (Walt Disney Studios) show glaring workplace inequalities: young (male) animators grin rakishly at the camera while inkers and opaquers (exclusively women, uncredited in the film) hunch over their worktables, too busy to smile. $10 for stand-alone special exhibition ticket.

Tammy Rae Carland, 'Ghostlight,' 2013.
Tammy Rae Carland, ‘Ghostlight,’ 2013. (Courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery)

Tammy Rae Carland

Through June 18
Jessica Silverman Gallery South, San Francisco

As if their spacious location at the corner of Leavenworth and Ellis Streets wasn’t enough, Jessica Silverman Gallery went for an additional project space across the street. JSG South opens with a mini retrospective of Bay Area artist Tammy Rae Carland, beginning with an arresting self-portrait as a blood-soaked “Carrie” and ending with cast-bronze banana peels. The tall and narrow new space very much resembles the old Silverman Gallery location on Sutter Street, an intimate venue a little less intimidating than the buzz-to-enter vibes you experience nowadays. Carland’s photo, video and sculptural work benefits from this close setting, a full-to-the-brim reminder of her dry humor and talent for visual puns. FREE!

Jamil Hellu, 'Hides,' 2016.
Jamil Hellu, ‘Hides,’ 2016. (Courtesy of Aggregate Space Gallery)

Jamil Hellu, All Ways Lead to the Mill

June 3 – 18
Aggregate Space Gallery, Oakland

Hot on the heels of his show at the Berkeley Art Center, Bay Area artist Jamil Hellu installs All Ways Lead to the Mill at West Oakland’s Aggregate Space Gallery. In moving and still images, Hellu addresses his Syrian heritage in the context of his own queer identity. Presented in conjunction with the National Queer Arts Festival, this solo promises more lenticular prints, colorful yet harrowing self-portraits and moving ruminations on a culture where queerness equals criminality, punishable by death. FREE, with an artist talk at 1pm on Saturday, June 11.

Andrew Gilbert, 'From the Cape to Cairo-Civilization,' 2015.
Andrew Gilbert, ‘From the Cape to Cairo-Civilization,’ 2015. (© the artist; Courtesy of SPERLING, Munich)

The Postcolonial Contemporary

June 10 – July 10
Incline Gallery, San Francisco

Have you been to Incline Gallery yet? Housed in part of a former mortuary — specifically, the zig-zagging ramp for gurneys bearing the deceased — the gallery hosts creatively curated and installed exhibitions, quietly tucked between businesses on a bustling strip of Valencia Street. The artists in The Postcolonial Contemporary challenge assumptions, stereotypes and cultural and territorial claims. “We are all postcolonial now,” the exhibition text states. “The only question is whether we are willing to see, and to acknowledge it.” Look to artists Enrique Chagoya, Lewis deSoto, Katie Dorame, L. Frank, Christopher Giamo, Andrew Gilbert, Geri Montano and Frohawk Two Feathers for help with that very necessary task. FREE!

Surabhi Saraf, Still from 'Tablets,' 2014.
Surabhi Saraf, Still from ‘Tablets,’ 2014. (Courtesy of the Mills College Art Museum)


June 22 – Aug. 28
Mills College Art Museum, Oakland

The second round of A+P+I residencies at Mills College comes to an end with a culminating exhibition of work by Carrie Hott, K.r.m. Mooney and Surabhi Saraf, artists chosen for their commitment to research. Interacting with students, faculty and staff at Mills over the course of their residency, the artists also participated in public lectures, studio visits and workshops. It’s hard to get a precise vision of what the show will actually look like at this point, but teasers abound: Hott investigates the museum’s lace collection, Mooney makes interventions into the museum’s architecture and Saraf create video work that will definitely include “slow movement of the human body.” Mystery is exciting, as are the rare structures of support for local artists like the A+P+I residency program. FREE!


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