No Justice, No Service!

Join local artists, educators, unions, activists and workers to celebrate the recent excitement and organizing success of Adjuncts at SFAI, CCA, St. Mary’s College, Mills, Dominican University!

Performances! Installations! Speak-outs! Readings! Food! Art! Books! Socializing! Community-building! Help cultivate a cultural front for ongoing activism in arts, education, work and life.

We’ll be there begging people to fill out surveys for Compensation Foundation and trying to show some stats through live action visualizations. We’ll see how that goes. :)

Sunday, March 8 at 3:00pm
2948 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Participating artists, adjuncts, workers, groups, organizers, cooks, beer-makers and people include:
MC: Irina Contreras
Cara Emily Levine
Danielle Wright
Carrie Hott
Congratulations Pine Tree Podcast (Kate Rhoades, Maysoun Wazwaz)
Jessica Tully
Jessica Lawless
Christian Schoff-Nagler
Jennie Smith-Camejo
David Buuck
Stephanie Young
Ann Schnake
Compensation Foundation 
SEIU Local 1021
Give Me Cred!
Peak Agency
La Pocha Nostra
Kristi Holohan
Lauren C Elder
Amanda Jane Eicher
Chelsea Wills
Catherine Powell & The Labor Archive
Bay Area Strike Debt
Debt Collective
Fight For Fifteen
Chris Higgenbotham
Adjunct activist’s agit-prop from around the country
Keith Hennessy
Mess Editions
Words of Resistance
Critical Resistance
Modern Times Bookstore Collective
Joe Berry
Helena Harlow Worthen
Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo
Grace Chen
Zach Ozma
Adjunct Action Bay Area
Amy Rathbone
Francisco Grajales
Leslie Dreyer
SFAI Poster Syndicate
Shaping SF

TPG on Congratulations Pine Tree

Maysoun Wazwaz and Kate Rhoades are making a podcast- Congratulations Pine Tree – it’s the #1 Arts and Culture podcast in the Bay Area.

They are very fun to talk to and to listen to, and I’m excited that I can have them in my life more through my ears.

We’re on the podcast briefly this week talking about Compensation Foundation and the Present Prize.

Go here!

Open Call for Potluckers!

It’s not always true that if you build it, they will come. We get it. Surveys aren’t always so fun to fill out. But maybe if we come together in small groups, share food and drinks, and commiserate it will be a little more fun. That’s why we are asking you, individually or in groups, to host a potluck for your visual artist friends ideally in the first weekend of February and fill out Compensation Foundation’s “Bay Area Artists Report!” and anonymously contribute your experiences towards a better infrastructure for self-advocacy for artists.

The “Bay Area Artists Report!” is an effort to gather and make apparent how visual artists working in the Bay Area are compensated, what they value most, and what hurdles they face.  It’s the time of year for digging through old receipts and bank statements to appease the IRS, so what better time to put that effort to use for a common cause?

Artists and organizations across the globe (W.A.G.E., Visual Artists Ireland, CARFAC, Brooklyn Commune) are advocating for transparency and the establishment of standards when it comes to compensating artists for their labor. Our hope is that by contributing to a clearer picture of what’s happening here and now, we can help pave the way for a shift in cultural values and expectations.

We are working on securing beer and/or wine donations for fun. If you would prefer not to host something in your house, we can pair you up with one of several Bay Area organizations that have offered up their space. Please let us know if you plan something so we can track our progress and make sure to get you what you need!


Thank you!

Eleanor, Helena, Oliver

P.S. In an ideal world, these potlucks will occur in the first weekend in February, but anytime in the next couple of months would also be great.

Alternative Funding Strategies for Artists Class

On October 15th (a Tuesday) we’re gonna be breaking down what we’ve learned over the past seven years in regards to different funding models for artists and what the advantages and disadvantages are for each.  Come join us! 

Artists and cultural producers are increasingly turning to funding sources outside of the traditional methods.  This workshop and seminar will explore traditional and new models for funding creative practice and discuss their benefits and disadvantages.  We’ll also touch on the importance of developing social capital, along with practical strategies for building your brand and network. Participants should be ready to investigate their own support needs and be willing to contribute their own insight and experiences.

This workshop will take place over one 3-hour session with topics to include:

*Pros and cons of traditional funding sources

*Opt-Out Strategies: fee-for-service, barter, trade, co-ops, and secondary income

*Making Byproducts: production goods, economies of scale, and working with “middle-men”

*Selling your skills or surplus

*Community Supported Practice: Indirect funding, Subscriptions, MicroPayments, Crowdfunding

*Fiscal Sponsorship

*Leveraging social capital

Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm
Location:  ProArts, 150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612
Cost: $40.00 early registration (ends October 1); $50 regular registration (begins October 2).

Cancellation Policy: Full refund on registration fees up to 48 hours prior to workshop date. Fees nonrefundable after that date.

You can register for the class HERE.

We want to help you get your portfolio website up.

So we’ve decided to team up with Southern Exposure in order to teach a class on how to do just that.  Sign up – space is limited.

You can read all about it here. 

Headlands Center for the Arts 30th Birthday Caravanniversary Festival and Sale this Saturday

This Saturday, September 15th, join us in celebrating Headlands‘ major accomplishment: 30 years of supporting art and artists.  It’s going to be fun.  This one day, family-friendly, artist-driven festival in the Fort Barry Parade Ground of the Marin Headlands will feature an array of artist projects, games, musical entertainment, bike & surf activities, artist-led hikes, hands-on projects, and local artisan vendor booths for the delight of party-goers of all ages.

This week we’ll be finally sending out TPG21 and will be using this opportunity not only to sell our backissues in a TPG Pop-Up Shop, but also to have a little release party of sorts, with a activity led from afar by artist Christine Wong Yap.  We’ll be encouraging fair goers to take a moment to Celebrate Something in sparkles.

Over a dozen artists have been commissioned to present interactive contraptions, custom-designed pods, and games at the party. Curl up inside one of Suzanne Husky‘s “Sleeper Cells;” use plant-dye to design a custom handkerchief with TPG 11 artist Helena Keeffe; make a mini-succulent garden with Sausalito’s The Low Tide Club; and peruse original artist prints and multiples for sale by Park Life and The Present Group. Enjoy music, dancing, and tasty treats.


I went to two of the SF art fairs. This is what I liked.

There is something gross about art fairs.  The wealth, the striped down-ness of the presentation of the works, the way that art becomes less about ideas and more about what someone wants to put on their walls.  But there is also something really great.  This year it hasn’t been the easiest for me to get out and wander galleries, go to openings that happen at baby bedtimes, and see much art, period.  So really, getting to see hundreds of artists’ works all at once, during the day, was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.  I’m sure that I missed some things, but nevertheless here are my highlights:

Oh my goodness.  The scene at ArtPadSF was a hipster summer dream. Bands, neon colors, beers and coolness abounded.

Misako_Inaoka at Johannson Projects

Noelle Mason at Thomas Robertello Gallery 
HKG-ORD (mule), 2007
That’s an ivory budda that she smuggled in to the US from Hong Kong in her vagina.

Kerry Vander Meer at Mercury 20

best bathroom art that I saw.  It seemed like there was something interesting happening in the Creativity Explored bathroom, but it was too darn crowded that I couldn’t get in.

Peter Opheim at Steven Zevitas Gallery
Untitled (155)


The artMRKT was much more art fair-y.  My main gripe was it seemed like it was largely overhung.  It was somewhat commonplace to see galleries trying to get a lot of bang for their buck, showing 6-8 artists at a time. While I have to admit that I was a speed-fairing since there was a baby on my belly, I wanted less artists and more from each.  Also, there was a (Ever-Gold) gallery-sponsored and fair-approved “Occupy Art Fairs” thing going on that seemed, well, a little trite.

Elisheva Biernoff at Eli Ridgeway

castaneda/reiman at DCKT Contemporary
Their installation at the SF Fine Art Fair two years ago has really stuck with me. Every time I see their work I like it more.


Cara Barer at Andrea Schwartz Gallery
Sheer Madness


Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet at Catherine Clarke Gallery
Map of the Known World, 2011
There was no way to get a good picture of this.  Birk has an image on his website.  I’m a sucker for maps.  I like how their work makes evident what is hidden on most maps: that the person drawing it is giving you their view of the world.






Artists from this month’s AMP show + curator Dena Beard talk! March 22nd. @ProArts


Inverse Internet Operating Manual Live Artist Talk

7:30 p.m., March 22
150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza  Oakland, CA 94612

Join the artists of Inverse Internet Operating Manual and curator Dena Beard to reverse engineer the World Wide Web. Cycling between physical and virtual states, they will impart daring instructions for browsing, poaching, crowd-sourcing, misusing our favorite non-site. Finally, exasperated, they may ask: how do we look at art online?


This talk will be broadcast live at
Pose your questions in person, via the website, email (, or twitter (@AMPatronage).

Hosted by Art Micro Patronage, a project of The Present Group.




Another Art Subscription: Art Practical’s Mail Art Subscription

We love it!  In honor of their fiftieth issue, “Printed Matter,”  Art Practical is embarking on a new venture that rethinks how their editorial work could reach an audience and enter their homes and lives.   Each month for 6 months a different artist will choose an article that resonates with them from the AP archive, create an offset limited edition print in response, and send each subscriber a postcard, the print, and the original article.  It is limited to 150 subscribers and costs $150 for the six month subscription.

Learn more about AP’s Mail Art Subscription>>

From the site:

In conjunction with “Printed Matter,” and in honor of our fiftieth issue, we want to encourage you, our readers, to think about the value that exists in both the undifferentiated and ready access to information, ideas, and archives that online publishing grants and about the intimacy of a hand-addressed envelope intended for a single individual. In some sense, to consider how Art Practical might arrive in your mailbox.

Upcoming: Julia Goodman

We’re excited to announce the next artist for TPG’s Subscription:  Julia Goodman

images courtesy of Klea McKenna of In The Make

Julia earned her BA in International Relations and Peace & Justice Studies at Tufts University in 2001. She began making paper in her backyard in 2003 and completed her Master’s in Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts in May 2009. Since graduating she spent the summer in Inverness, California at the JB Blunk Residency and the fall in New York, completing a studio internship at Dieu Donne papermaking studio. In 2012, Julia looks forward to two artist residencies, one on a small farm near lava flow in Hawaii and the other at “the dump,” through Recology San Francisco. Her work has exhibited widely throughout California, and in New York, Washington DC, and Gothenberg, Sweden. Currently, Julia is living and working in San Francisco.

Artists Unite!


Click image for the downloadable pdf of the zine put out by the Artists of the 99%.  Along with contributions from Christian L. Frock, Julia Bryon Wilson, Elizabeth Sims, W.A.G.E, Art Workers Coalition, and the Beehive Collective (among others), Joseph del Pesco‘s State of the Arts posters are highlighted.




Headlands favorites

The Headlands Center for the Arts had its Summer Open House on Sunday.  Here are some of our favorites.

Christine Swintak

Jillian Conrad

Aideen Barry This stop motion video explored issues of domesticity.  It was pretty great.

Aideen Barry (again)  artist book with little animated projections

Nathan Lynch

Paolo Salvagione, Orbit

Creavtive Conference for Entrepreneurs
August 5-7th San Francisco, CA

This August, the Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs comes to San Francisco, bringing three days of specific, hands-on programming aimed at helping creative professionals become better business owners. The conference covers both universal issues like small business taxes and intellectual property, as well as grander topics like Creative Collaborations, The Art of Publicity, and Getting More Done.

Oliver and I are on a panel talking about Alternatives to the Gallery for the fine artist.  Gone are the days when art was only available in galleries, museums, and the homes of wealthy collectors.  These days anyone can be a patron, collector or exhibiting artist through the myriad alternative art venues springing up around the world.  In this panel, we’ll talk about inventive ways artists can show their work and get funding for it, from art subscriptions to microfinance organizations to online exhibitions.

With multiple panels every hour, the hardest part will be deciding which session to attend.  If you’re interested in joining us to hone some skills, we’re happy to offer a discount to all of you.  Enter the code TPG15 in the discount code box to receive 15% off any ticket.


Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs
August 5-7
The Women’s Building
3543 18th St #8
San Francisco, CA 94110
CCE on Facebook

Dreaming up ideal art worlds: New Art Economy Summit and Potluck
Saturday, July 23rd

We’re taking part in this conversation this weekend.  Hope you’ll join us. Should be fun!

As part of her residency at Royal Nonesuch Gallery, Elysa Lozano (who works under the identity Autonomous Organization) will facilitate a moderated conversation which asks participants across the spectrum of visual art production and dissemination to present their ideal art economies and engage in a dialogue around how resources and value is distributed in the art world.


Patricia Maloney, Editor-in-Chief of Art Practical
Christian L. Frock, Founder and Director of Invisible Venue
Courtney Fink, Executive Director of Southern Exposure
Dena Beard, MATRIX Curatorial Assistant at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Kevin P. Clarke, Artist and Founder of Million Fishes Art Collective and MacArthur b arthur
Jayna Swartzman, Program Manager at the Center for Cultural Innovation
Eleanor and Oliver Wise, Founders and Directors of The Present Group
Elizabeth Sims, Artist, Educator, and Activist
Vanessa Critchell, Director (West coast) at Luhring Augustine Gallery

New Art Economy Summit and Potluck Details:

Saturday, July 23, 4-8pm
MacArthur b Arthur Gallery (due to space restraints at Royal Nonesuch)
4030 Martin Luther King Jr. Way Oakland, CA 94609.
The Summit begins at 4:30 followed by a potluck dinner at 7pm. Please bring your favorite dish!

Facebook Event Page
Autonomous Organization Residency at Royal Nonesuch

The Present Prize Report

You may recall that back in March we awarded the very first Present Prize, the grant funded entirely by web hosting fees, to Allison Pebworth who used the money to make an exploratory trip to Maine’s Shaker community in order to set up her future residency with them.  Well, she just made her journey and sent us this report via postcard:

“Greetings after a successful trip to the Sabbath Day Lake Shaker Community!  Thank you Present Group for sending me to the east coast – we were not only able to narrow down a residency for 2012m but I also found an art space in nearby Portland, ME who want to forge a collaboration with the Shakers and my project with them.  Thank you!  Allison”

Thanks to all the hostees who made this first grant possible and so successful!  On to the next one!

Upcoming artist Aaron GM on Art Practical, Bad at Sports

The current issue of Art Practical has an excerpt of a conversation between AP contributors Zachary Royer Scholz, Elyse Mallouk, and Patricia Maloney and artists Aaron GM (TPG 18) and Ginger Wolfe-Suarez that took place at the Art Los Angeles Contemporary Fair.  It was one of several conversations held over the weekend of the fair as part of “In and Out of Context: Artists Define the Space between San Francisco and Los Angeles,” a program that invited artists to consider the two cities as a continuously evolving constellation of dialogues, shared interests, and overlapping approaches. You’ll be able to listen to the full interview on Bad at Sports starting Sunday, May 22, 2011.

AGM: “I want to reflect life or this affirmation of life. You know, this optimism of transcendence in the mundane and in the domestic. That’s the space I like to dwell in, reinvent and play with. There’s a lightness and playfulness in that space.”

Read more on Art Practical >>

And the winner is.. Alison Pebworth!

With the help of The Collective Foundation, the hostees, the general public, and all the artists who participated, we are proud to announce that the winner of The Present Prize is Alison Pebworth!  Alison will use The Present Prize $1000 Travel Grant to visit the Sabbath Day Lake Shaker Community in Gloucester, Maine to develop a residency with the last four living Shakers and to research Radical Sects and Utopian Societies of America for an upcoming tour with the Beautiful Possibility Project.

We received an extra $100 bonus check from a generous benefactor who wanted the winner to be able to have a hearty meal with a friend on her travels.  He also contributed to the grant early on, liking the idea of artists helping out other artists.  Moments like these make me feel so wonderful about the generosity and collaborative spirit of artists both around the world and in the bay area in particular.

So on Monday night, we gathered with some of the local hostees and participating artists to give Alison her giant check over some tacos and beer.  Congratulations Alison!

L-R: Courtney Fink (Art Publishing Now, Mission Arts Trail Guide), Nathanial Parsons, Alison Pebworth, Scott Oliver, Oliver Wise (TPG), Eleanor Hanson Wise (TPG), Lauren Venell, Helena Keeffe (Alula Editions), Joseph del Pesco (Collective Foundation)

The Finalists for The Present Prize: Christine Kesler, Alison Pebworth, Lindsey White

After some riotous voting by the public (thousands of votes were cast), the top three finalists for The Present Prize have been selected!   It was a very close race and up to the last minute people were pulling ahead and dropping behind by just a vote or two in either direction.  Now the hostees will choose who gets the final prize.  Thank you to all who participated in the process and congratulations to our finalists!


B, 2009

Christine Kesler’s recent work takes the form of full-studio installations of paintings and paper sculptures; this entails a great deal of re-purposing old work, and this in turn harnesses energies of destruction, rebirth, and re-imagining. Installations made of painted objects, found objects, paper constructions, and unaltered paintings, drawings, and panels, all exist to subvert the stability of painting and to create consciousness of using what is on hand.


Eagle and Bear (Haida, Quatchi, Sumi, Butterfly Maiden (Hopi), Betty Boop, Progress (Manifest Destiny Goddess), Bear Sterns Bull, Steamboat Willy, Tlazoteol (Aztec), Luchador

Alison Pebworth is a San Francisco-based artist who paintings and multi-media installations are a part of an on-going investigation into the lost and obscured histories of America. She is currently in the midst of a long-term traveling road show, entitled Beautiful Possibility Tour. This traveling exhibition is an interactive project combining art, history, and anthropology and will engage various communities and public art spaces from California to South Dakota, and across the Northern United States and lower Canada. Beautiful Possibility Tour kicked off from Southern Exposure in San Francisco in March 2010, and the artist will be traveling through October. Pebworth has received many public grants and awards for her art and research practice, including from Southern Exposure and the Center for Cultural Innovation.


Distraction, 2010

Lindsey White works in still photography, video and installation, offering subtle and often humorous insights into questions of truth vs illusion, found vs fabricated and synchronicity vs chaos. Her manipulations of materials and settings, by both analog and digital means, mixed with a keen eye for coincidence make for playful yet haunting images of the not so mundane everyday.

Lindsey White lives and works in San Francisco, where she teaches photography at the California College of Art. She received her BFA in Photography from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, OR) and her MFA in Photography from the California College of Art (San Francisco, CA). She has exhibited recently at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, OR), Southern Exposure (San Francisco, CA), the Kala Institute of Art (Berkeley, CA), the Headlands Center for the Arts (Marin, CA) and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (San Jose, CA).

Placemaking with Public Art: Who decides?

VSmoothe over at A Better Oakland has a recap of a recent Oakland Planning Commission Meeting in which the above Oaksterdam University signage was judged to violate Oakland business signage size ordinances.  As she notes, since “the Planning Commission was clearly sympathetic to Oaksterdam University” discussion turned to redoing the sign as a “mural” or “special sign” in order to skirt the legal issues.  As this discussion has been going on for a year, Oaksterdam had already put out an open call to attract artists to redesign the sign as a mural.  This is when the Planning Commission decided it was their place to choose which of these public art proposals should go forward.

There is a fundamental problem when the planning commission is choosing artwork.   That is not their job, and the fact that they refused the help of Oakland Public Art Advisory Commission is deplorable.  Steven Huss politely and rightly offered the PAAC‘s services, since it is their place to help decide on works of public art, but also because they have experience guiding organizations, businesses, and individuals in matters of budget, permits, and the hurdles that one has to cross when working with artwork in the public sphere.  But instead, the Planning Commission moved forward with their own opinions, deciding which work had the “broadest appeal” and which was too “on the edge.”

Here’s the one the planning commission preferred:

Proposal 1

And here’s what V Smoothe had to say:

I mean, the whole original discussion about the idea of sign or mural was about placemaking. And whether one thinks this mural is pretty or not, it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with the neighborhood. Oaksterdam is not on Lake Merritt, nor is it at Oakland City Hall. I live in the heart of Oaksterdam, and I cannot see either Lake Merritt or City Hall from my apartment. The only thing about the mural that identifies the neighborhood at all is the text with the name of the business.  read more>>

If we’re talking about a mural with a purpose for place-making, that mural should be judged not only for relevance to the area and the people there, but also specifically for it’s innovation and interpretation of those concepts. This proposal does not address the specific locality as a place, other than being located in Oakland.

A mural will not assist in place-making if 1. it does not address the specific place and 2. is aesthetically bland.  Artworks and architecture can have a drastic effect on the community and pride of an area, especially if it is something that stands out.  The TransAmerica Pyramid was deplored when it was built. But what would the San Francisco skyline be without it?  Bold moves are sometimes required.  Risk is rewarded with awareness, even if some people hate it.  Richard Serra’s Titled Arc was eventually removed, but now many people think of Federal Plaza as the place where it existed.

Here are two other top contenders for the Oaksterdam mural:

Proposal 2

Proposal 3

Since we’re all into voting these days, which do you like the best?  Perhaps an art audience has a slightly different opinion than the Planning Commission?

Which proposal for the Oaksterdam Mural do you like best?

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Lego Hello World
I wish all my printers were made of legos.

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google
Images from Life Magazine going back to 1860′s, hosted by Google

Coming Face To Face With The President
Well crafted story about an under-heard point of view.

In California, Pot Is Now an Art Patron
A new funding source for the arts – reaping big rewards and funding many projects.  It’s pot.

Notes on Portraiture in the Facebook Age

Celebrity Book Club: A List to End All Lists
Because, well, it’s sortof awesome.

Are "Artists' Statements" Really Necessary?
The pros and cons about that nemesis for most artists.

This to That
You tell it what you’ve got and it’ll tell you what to glue them together with.

Work of art: Online store for buyers, sellers
Not the TV show!  Kelly Lynn Jones from Little Paper Planes is interviewed on her project, gives us a cheat sheet to local affordable art resources.

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months