Artful Dodger: Oodles of Art to Observe this October

Barry McGee (Courtesy of Sites Unseen)

You’ve already paid heed to the fall arts guide and marked your calendar for the two major exhibitions not to be missed this month, right?

Just in case: All Power to the People: The Black Panthers at 50 opens Oct. 8 at the Oakland Museum of California; and Bruce Conner: It’s All True opens Oct. 29 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

With those behemoths out of the way, we can focus on some of the smaller, more far-flung art happenings this month. Grab your layers and get out there!

Kathleen Quillian, 'The Speed of Disembodiment.'
Kathleen Quillian, 'The Speed of Disembodiment.' (Courtesy of Royal NoneSuch Gallery)

Kathleen Quillian, The Speed of Disembodiment

Thursday, Oct. 6, 7-9pm
Royal NoneSuch Gallery, Oakland

As co-founder and co-director of Shapeshifters Cinema, a monthly expanded cinema series for things that don’t quite fit on the silver screen of the movie theater or the white walls of the gallery, Kathleen Quillian’s own work is similarly hard to pin down. The Speed of Disembodiment combines 16mm film, 35mm slides and video to examine how technology has shaped our understanding of time and space, as well as our surroundings throughout history. As we blindly embrace progress, Quillin asks, how have we distanced ourselves from a natural sense of wonder?

BONUS: Hang around RNG 'til the weekend for a last chance to catch the results of the gallery’s summer-long residency series, with videos by Bonanza, Amber Cady, Carolyn Janssen and Kate Rhoades. The Royal Production Company Video Exhibition is on view Saturdays and Sundays, from 1-4pm, through Oct. 9.

Barry McGee, 'Moscone Contemporary Art Centre & Garage' in progress.
Barry McGee, 'Moscone Contemporary Art Centre & Garage' in progress. (Courtesy of Sites Unseen)

Sites Unseen Public Art Presentation

Sunday, Oct. 9, 3-6pm
Adjacent to Moscone Center Garage at 255 Third Street, San Francisco

Sites Unseen, a new project to bring public art into the alleys of San Francisco's Yerba Buena neighborhood, celebrates its first large-scale installation, a mural by Mission School star Barry McGee, with a launch party next to a parking garage. This isn’t as odd a location as it might seem. McGee’s brightly colored geometric patterns, enigmatic characters and block lettering now adorn the exterior of the Moscone Center Garage, refashioned as the Moscone Contemporary Art Centre & Garage. Local artists Ramekon O'Arwisters and Leah Rosenberg add temporary color to the event, along with participation by the Los Angeles-based collective Fallen Fruit.

Mik Gaspay, 'Sunrise' in progress, 2016.
Mik Gaspay, 'Sunrise' in progress, 2016. (Courtesy of the artist)

Mik Gaspay, Sunrise

Public celebration: Sunday, Oct. 23, 11am; On view beginning Oct. 15
Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco

Remember back in June 2015, when the Chinese Culture Center opened a call for artwork proposals to create an “innovative open space” on the Portsmouth Square pedestrian bridge? Installation is now nearing completion on Sunrise, a massive tile mosaic created by local artist and commission recipient Mik Gaspay. By my shaky calculations, the 850-square-foot piece, an image of a rising sun appropriately placed on the bridge’s eastern side, involves 122,400 individual one-inch tiles. And don't worry, the public celebration of the installation occurs more than a few hours after actual sunrise.

Image by Melanie Treuhaft.
Image by Melanie Treuhaft. (Courtesy of CTRL+SHFT Collective)

Melanie Treuhaft, Tammy LePham and Shanna Sordahl, Staging

Oct. 21–23, 2016
CTRL+SHFT Collective, Oakland

Don’t miss the small window in which to see this culminating exhibition by three collaborators -- a visual artist with a background in theater, an architect, and a sound artist -- as they combine architecture, sound and installation into “a conceptual framework that allows for multiple unintended consequences” (according to the press release). This sounds like art surprises, and I love art surprises. The work will be made during a three-week residency at CTRL+SHFT, a West Oakland studio and exhibition space fittingly dedicated to “hybridization and experimentation.”

Martin Wilner, 'January 2015: Jill Tarter (Making History: The Case Histories)' (recto), 2015.
Martin Wilner, 'January 2015: Jill Tarter (Making History: The Case Histories)' (recto), 2015. (Courtesy of NUMU Los Gatos)

Making Contact: SETI Artists in Residence

Oct. 28, 2016–March 5, 2017
New Museum Los Gatos
Tickets: $6-10 (free for visitors 18 and younger)

The SETI Institute, founded in 1984, currently employs over 130 scientists, educators and support staff in its mission to “explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.” Beginning in 2010, the institute also welcomes artists in residence into its fold. Now, work by seven of those artists is on view, including drawings by New York-based artist and psychiatrist Martin Wilner, who documented his monthly conversations with SETI scientists in exquisite corpse-like illustrated diaries.


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