There Are Many Bernal Artists to See at the Shipyard Open Studios This Weekend

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This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 25 & 26, the artist colony at the former Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard is having their Spring 2015 Open Studios event. Over 140 artists will be showing their work at the shipyard this year, and an impressive number of those artists are your Bernal Heights neighbors.

With special thanks to the folks from the Shipyard Artists for pulling all this together for us, here’s the 411 on the badass Bernal Heights artists to look out for this weekend:

Kathleen Finney
Mixed Media
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Kathleen Finney lives in Bernal Heights. She is a third generation San Franciscan, who lives and works in the City. She studied at California College of the Arts, San Francisco Art Institute and UC Berkeley Extension. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally.

Her process is a building up and tearing down of form and line that is secured by deep muted blues, intense black & translucent white; punctuated with rich jewel tones. While her work conjures a type of mysterious landscape, they can also be considered aerial observations; incorporating geometric complexities with spontaneous mark-making.

With the use of diverse media, Kathleen Finney conveys a sense of complex history and illusive memory, without giving way to any specific narrative. This intuitive approach to the surface, while unsettled & mysterious, enables a continuation of an unending visual journey and intellectual examination.

 

Bob Armstrong
Acrylic painting, Carving, Mixed Media
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Bob Armstrong lives in Bernal Heights. Bob paints the beauty in the textural richness which he sees: in beehives and honeycombs, in aged lacquer boxes, in the charred bark of tree trunks, and in aboriginal marks. The patterns and geometry of nature provide the structure for these paintings, and color is their lure.

He has fallen in love with wood, and the carving that it invites. It is the inspiration for his carved paintings that explore the textural variety of nature. Some of his works are influenced by Japanese art and by the California Arts and Crafts movement, with their shared insistence on grace and compositional beauty.

 

Linda Larson
Oil painting, murals
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Linda Larson lives in Bernal Heights. She is a painter and muralist, working on the Clarendon Elementary School Mural Project. In recent work, Linda has been inspired by her surroundings, new and familiar. The desolation of the abandoned shipyard at Hunters Point, where she has her studio, marks a striking contrast with the spontaneous bursts of natural beauty. Wild flowers and vegetation battle through the concrete. Linda is inspired by the tenacity of nature itself. She paint with oil on panel, applying paint in thin transparent glazes using many traditional oil painting techniques. LInda use brushes but also cotton buds, tissue, sandpaper and fingers to remove as well as apply paint. Each painting emerges through many layers, every transition representing a new perspective. These detailed pieces speak of her unique impression of the world she sees around her.

 

Alan Mazzetti
Acrylic painting
Mazzetti.SomewhereSpecial2015

Alan Mazzetti lives in Bernal Heights. He takes an iconic approach to his paintings – abstracted, minimal shapes evoke rather than describe the subject. Color and texture suggest narrative and emotion. Common to both the abstracts and the landscapes is a theme of Transition: He likes to imply a sense of journey – of movement through time and space that utimately arrives at an unexpected destination. This journey is implied in the selection and treatment of the subject as well as the process of creating the painting. Transitions occur between natural and constructed elements, between curved and linear shapes, between structured and intuitive mark-making. His personal experience of the subject becomes universal, culminating in a new way of seeing the subject for both himself and the viewer.

 

Carrie Ann Plank
Encaustic, Mixed Media, Printmaking
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Carrie Ann Plank lives in Bernal Heights. Her work revolves around researching web based information systems and pulling from these sources to find images that can be divorce from the original context and reassemble based on her own criteria- based on shape, form, complexity or other determiners. The compositional elements are selected based not on the intended usage but purely on shape and design. The prints usually began with an organic shape derived from her own sketches from life or photography.

Plank is an artist working in the mediums of printmaking and painting. She exhibits nationally and internationally. Plank’s work is included in many private and public collections including the Fine Art Archives of the Library of Congress, the Guanlan Print Art Museum in China, and the Iraq National Library in Baghdad. Recent and upcoming noteworthy shows include American representation at the International Print Art Triennial in Sophia, Bulgaria, the Liu Haisu Museum of Fine Art in Shanghai, China, and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Guangzhou, China. Recent residencies include Druckwerk in Basel, Switzerland, Mullowney Printing in San Francisco, and the Venice Printmaking Studio in Venice, Italy. Additionally, Plank is the Director of the Printmaking MFA & BFA Programs at the Academy of Art University.

 

Jon Wessel
Collage, Mixed Media, Painting
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Jon Wessel lives in Bernal Heights. Jon’s work is influenced and inspired by the contemporary urban landscape (street art, billboards, graffiti abatement) as well as more traditional painting styles rooted in Abstract Expressionism. His medium incorporates found flyers and posters with acrylics and graphite. Although nonrepresentational, his work addresses issues of notoriety, time and revisionism.

 

Jane Woolverton
Ceramics, Mixed Media, Painting, Sculpture
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Jane Wolverton lives in Bernal Heights. Her fiber sculptures are made from recycled plastic six-pack holders. After finding a bag of them in her studio, she decided to either make something with them or get rid of them. She began experimenting and It was an exciting time. After painting each holder, Jane tied them together and hung them up on a rod. This piece was in black and white and the shadows created against the white wall were wonderful and fascinating. Next, Jane used colors, tying the holders together and making two or three different and separate panels. When hung on rods against a white wall this created a different feeling as the colors fused together.

In all her art pieces using recycled plastic holders, she has endeavored to create a transformation, allowing the material properties to evolve into a different understanding.

Lost Bernal Dog Navigates to Familiar Mission District Bar

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If you were tuned in to Bernalwood’s social media channels yesterday, you may have seen the appeal to help find Luna, a Bernal Heights dog who escaped from a caregiver’s yard in the Panhandle while her owner was out of town traveling. A frantic search effort was undertaken, and there were reports that Luna had been seen along the Embarcadero and in the Mission.

Happily, Luna was found late yesterday afternoon after wandering in to a familiar watering hole. Cassie tells Bernalwood:

Thanks so much for posting about the dog. Luna was found yesterday evening at a bar in the Mission called The Sycamore that her owners frequent. Smart pup. She was reunited with her owner last night. We can’t believe it and are so relieved.

Clever drinky doggy indeed. Whew!

PHOTO: Luna, once lost, now found

Tonight: Earth Day Party and Benefit at Succulence

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Let’s take a moment to marvel at the shrewd foresight of Succulence, the plant and lifestyle-decor store at 402 Cortland opened by Ken and Amy Shelf after they rather gracefully transitioned from running Four Star Video.

Today, Succulence specializes in selling lovely, low-water succulents and mysterious air plants that seem to survive on little more than sunlight and unicorn vapor. Which is to say, Succulence made drought-tolerant gardening look sexy long before it was cool (and state-mandated).

Now, to celebrate Earth Day, Ken says Succulence will host a special celebration at the store tonight… and you’re a guest of honor. Ken says:

We are having an Earth Day party at Succulence on April 23 from 6-9 pm. The entire day will also be a benefit for the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center – 10% of all proceeds will be donated to them.

We are having a special night at the shop. We will be serving free drinks and food (mojitos, pork sliders from Cathead’s BBQ , pastries from Little Bee Bakery, cheese & crackers) and providing live entertainment with three bands playing (including mine at 8:30pm).

It is a free event to thank everyone for the patronage of our business.

Here is a link to our invite and email. Please come if you are free! I’d love to get a chance to drink a toast to our marvelous planet together.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Succulence

Ellis Eviction Halted on Ellsworth, But Cesar Chavez Residents Remain on Notice

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According to the the San Francisco Rent Board, the number of Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco declined by almost 50% last year. However, the number of for-cause evictions rose by 7%.

Here’s the data from the Rent Board’s 2015 Annual Eviction Report (PDF):

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The report also provides this citywide summary:

During the period from March 1,2014 through February 28, 2015, a total of 2,120 eviction notices were filed with the Department. This figure includes 145 notices given due to failure to pay rent, which are not required to be filed with the Department. The number of notices filed with the Department this year represents a 7% increase from last year’s total filings of 1,977. The largest percentage increase was in eviction notices for illegal use of a rental unit, which increased from 42 to 91 notices. Owner/relative move-in eviction notices increased from 273 to 343 notices. Breach of rental agreement notices increased from 607 to 738 notices. Unapproved subtenant eviction notices increased from 17 to 20 notices, and nuisance eviction notices increased from 349 to 401 notices.

Closer to home, Beyond Chron tells the story of some Bernal Heights neighbors on Ellsworth (near Cortland) who were able to successfully resist an attempted Ellis Act eviction :

New owners of 261-261A Ellsworth Street purchased the property in February 6, 2015. Ten days later they served the long-term tenants, including 82 year old Alberto Lopez, with Ellis Act notices of termination.

On March 31, 2015, the Tenants’ attorney, Raquel Fox of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic,  provided formal notice of entitlement to an extension of the notice period based on Alberto Lopez and his wife’s senior ages. On April 19, 2015, the  Landlords’ lawyer told Fox that the new landlords were rescinding the Ellis Act. The communication included a copy of the Request for Rescission of Ellis Act Notices. On April 20, 2015, the Tenants executed the Declaration of Tenants Continued Occupancy.

The quickness of the Lopez victory means it will not join the ranks of other high-profile Ellis Act evictions. But it sends another message that Mayor Lee’s tripling of Ellis eviction defense funding has had a huge impact. These tenant legal victories show that Ellis cases are not a slam dunk, and help slow the current rising tide of such actions.

On Bernal’s north side, Mission Local reports on a large-scale Ellis eviction effort targeting residents of the 12-unit building at 3301 Cesar Chavez (at South Van Ness).

At 3301 Cesar Chavez, tenants in the 12-unit building near South Van Ness received Ellis Act eviction notices in February. “I’ve lived through six different owners of this building,” said Doña Margarita, a senior who has rented in the building for 52 years. “Because of my age, I can’t just live anywhere.”

Beyond Chron reports that the building at 3301 Cesar Chavez is owned by Robert Imhoff, a property-owner with a rather long history of eviction attempts.

Hovering over all of this is the fact that San Francisco added more than 11,000 new residents in 2014 alone, as the City’s population has soared to new all-time highs. San Francisco’s unemployment rate stands at a 15 year low, but we’ve been running a chronic housing deficit since the 1990s. Oh, and San Francisco rents are currently the highest in the nation.

How can we reduce evictions and improve affordability in the long term? More housing please!

PHOTO: 261 Ellsworth via Google Maps.

Repairs Begin on Highland Bridge Across Bernal Cut

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A heads up to all ye with friends and relations on the western side of the Bernal Cut: The Highland Avenue Bridge across San Jose Avenue will be closed for the next six months while workers repair its crumbling concrete guardrails. Our (now even more) lost neighbors from College Hill News have all the details:

At long last, work is about to begin on the Highland Bridge to replace its crumbling guard rails. This weekend, we received the below update from a public information officer at Public Works:

Construction Notice:
MH Construction Management Co. is under contract with San Francisco Public Works for the TRAFFIC RAILING REPLACEMENT PROJECT AT THE HIGHLAND AVENUE BRIDGE. San Francisco Public Works will manage the construction.

CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE
• Construction is scheduled to begin approximately April 20 2015 and be completed by October 2015.
• Highland Ave Bridge will be closed April 27 2015 for maximum duration of 6 months.

WORK HOURS
• Monday through Friday: 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
• Exception: While the scaffolding is being erected over the bridge, construction can occur from 1:00 A.M. to 4:00 A.M. for a few days only.

PROJECT LOCATION
The Highland Avenue Bridge at Arlington Street (off Mission Street).

SCOPE OF WORK
• Install fencing along Arlington Street.
• Place 72-Hour No Parking Notices along Arlington Street between Charles St. and Highland Ave.
• Demolish existing guard rail at Arlington Street.
• Prepare Highland Avenue Bridge Closure.
• Erect Scaffolding (some night work).
• Demolish existing guard rail (both sides).
• Form & place new concrete guard railing.

TRAFFIC IMPACT
• 
The Highland Avenue Bridge will be closed to all traffic for the entire 6 months of construction. Traffic will be temporarily detoured via Richland Avenue Bridge as result of bridge closure that is necessary to perform the work.
• Streets will be posted 72 hours advance with NO PARKING / TOW AWAY SIGNS, with the project work-listed, to alert the public of the construction and parking restrictions.
• Please observe parking and traffic signage and allow extra travel time in case of traffic delays during construction work.

Laptop Stolen While Owner Was Using It at Cortland Coffee Shop

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Ugh. There was some unpleasantness yesterday at Progressive Grounds coffee shop on Cortland. Neighbor Davis reports:

My roommate’s laptop was stolen out of her hands on Sunday while she was working out of Progressive Grounds. It happened at 1:30PM; the two people (young African-American men) came into the coffee shop and one man grabbed it from her table and ran out of the coffee shop while the other man followed him. My rooomate pursued the two people heading south on Bennington Street, where the two men eventually headed east around Ellert or Newman Street and jumped into a grey SUV that was waiting for them and sped away.

Various people in the cafe proceeded to help her figure out how to catch them. The police were called and she filed a report with them. The cops later contacted her with possible leads on cars around the area.

We are currently trying to figure out if there is some kind of surveillance footage on cortland street or adjacent streets that might have captured any video footage of the criminals.

Have footage? Bernalwood will be glad to pass it on. In the meantime, please be careful out there.

New Video: Bernal Heights Spring 2015

David C. Hill just published a lovely and atmospheric video that’s all about Bernal’s favorite subject: Us!

It’s called Bernal Heights Spring 2015, and it will pair nicely with a large screen and headphones.

Special celebrity guest stars include: That spooky tree-shrub thingy!  The South Van Artery! Sutrito Tower! And of course… Karl the Fog!

Plus: Dogs! Sun! Colorful light! And plenty of Bernal neighbors shown in atmospheric silhouette.

Enjoy your journey.