Goodnight Projects Calls it a Day After 9 Years in San Francisco

Eric Ruby’s exhibit 'Kamper Sweet Kamper' at Goodnight Projects that opened in November of 2017 (Courtesy of Goodnight Projects)

Goodnight Projects, the unassuming apartment gallery in San Francisco's Noe Valley, is moving out. To celebrate its 9 years of hosting casual events and wonderful art, it holds one last party on Saturday, May 5, which also marks the end of its final exhibition, Spencer Hicks' The Last Hurrah.

Goodnight Projects’ owner Charlie Villyard says that a development group recently bought the apartment building that housed him and his gallery. It's an end of an era for the building, which was the home of the True Silver Union artist collective in the 1970s, according to Villyard. When he opened a gallery in the building in 2009, he initially called it True Silver as a tribute to its previous residents.

Villyard and his partner Jennifer O’Keeffe say they envisioned Goodnight Projects as an "alternative to the commercial gallery model."

"We like giving artists the opportunity to do something that would be difficult to pull off in a more traditional setting — floor to ceiling installations, performances and screenings, events that involve explosions," Villyard and O'Keeffe wrote in an email. "We also like to give opportunities to under-the-radar artists — people better known for their job at the museum or the print shop who have this secret practice no one knows about. We often give people their first exhibitions."

Goodnight Projects in Oct. 2017
Goodnight Projects in Oct. 2017. (via Google Maps)

With a vibe that can only be described as "laid back," the events at Goodnight were remarkable both for their informal nature and variety of attendees, who ranged from notable art scenesters to Villyard's neighbors. That unpredictable nature of the shows stuck with the gallery to the end, with the opening of The Last Hurrah featuring a "somewhat questionable stand up performance."

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"Goodnight Projects is everything you want out of an apartment gallery: comfortable, welcoming, down for anything," KQED Arts Visual Arts editor Sarah Hotchkiss wrote. "And making work that can withstand two very curious cats is a healthy creative challenge."

Villyard vows to carry on hosting exhibits and other art events at their new home in Point Reyes.

"There’s a closet space in our new house that’s sort of enticing," Villyard wrote.

But he and O’Keeffe clearly enjoyed running Goodnight Projects and hosting an estimated 50 events there.

"It's been a wonderful run," Villyard wrote on his website. "This space has always been an incredible excuse to have a good time, to show art that isn’t being shown, and in general to spend time with people we admire and appreciate."

Goodnight Projects’ farewell event is on Saturday, May 5, 6-10pm. More details here.

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