The tables have turned: instead of telling you what we think about art shows, we're hitting the streets to find out what the beautiful people think. Emmanuel and I headed to Southern Exposure to help celebrate their new space, their thirty-five-year anniversary, and their inaugural exhibition, Bellwether. SoEx, as it's affectionately known, is a non-profit arts organization that has finally found a permanent home in the Mission after years of space-hopping. During the opening weekend block party, supporters were at no loss for words when asked why SoEx is important to the community.
Christine Wong Yap, artist (reflected in her artwork titled mirrorsblack)
"Tonight shows that it's a major coup for Southern Exposure to be able to get a new building, make an amazing space, and throw a great neighborhood party in this economy. The thing that really moves me is that it's a women-led organization. They're all amazing women, they're really great to work with, and they're in it for the right reasons -- to support artists and have a really strong community base."
Liz Glynn, Banner Year
Courtney Sexton, SoEx volunteer
"I'm really excited that Southern Exposure is back in this neighborhood again. There are a lot of cool new places around here like Pirate Cat Radio and Flour & Water, and I think this is going to be a really great place to hang out in the Mission."
Lordy Rodriguez, First Colony
Misako Inaoka, artist
"Southern Exposure is really supportive and gives opportunities to artists. Not only the opportunity to show, but to teach or collaborate with younger artists and the community, which is great. It's one of the best art organizations in the city."
Ken Lo, artist [center]
"My favorite thing about Southern Exposure is its involvement with the community and its support of emerging artists that other galleries and museums aren't quite aware of yet or don't have the facilities to support. There's a lot of conceptual and contemporary work that passes through here, and you can see some interesting projects."
David Huff, curator [right]
"I think places like Southern Exposure allow artists the chance to fail. If you're a commercial gallery or museum, things have to work exactly right. But Southern Exposure takes chances on artists; they're signing on with artists without actually knowing what they're going to make, and I think we need more of that."
Renée Gertler, Deluge Collapse
Sue Lopez [right], SoEx volunteer
"Southern Exposure curates artists, not artwork. They provide opportunities for artists to do new work in a safe space, and if it doesn't work, that's fine. That just means Southern Exposure is doing its job."
Add your own photos of the show and see more beautiful people in our KQED Arts' In Your Face Flickr group!