Bernal Filmmakers Successfully Complete Fundraising Drive, But Still Need Our Help

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They did it! Bernal neighbors Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails pulled it off!

During the last few weeks, they blew out their goal and raised more than $59,000 on Kickstarter to produce their oh-so-promising feature-length film, The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Woo hoo!

But now that they’ve gotten the money, the next step is to build the base:

You guys are rockstars. The incredible support we’ve received from you has not only helped us hit out 50k goal — it’s demonstrated there’s an audience for this film. And that’s gotten the attention of folks in the industry.

So for the final week of our campaign, instead of aiming to hit x amount of dollars, we’re setting a goal of 1200 backers. That means even if you only have $1 dollar to give, your contribution sends a loud message to those watching that you want to see this movie get made. And that is priceless.

This stuff really matters; brilliant a media project that comes with a proven fan-base is vastly more bankable than a brilliant media project without a demonstrated audience. So if you’re at all inclined, please donate a few shekels to Neighbor Joe and Neighbor Jimmie before the June 3 deadline, so that they might go forth to bring cinematic glory to all of Bernal.

Still need convincing? They made this death-defying video, just for you:

Bernal Artist Leah Rosenberg Uses Our City as Her Palette

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It’s hard to comprehend how Bernal Heights squeezes so many remarkable artists into one not-so-big neighborhood. But apparently, we do it.

7×7 tells us about a new show by Leah Rosenberg, the same Bernal artist who created the fabtastic color wall inside Pinhole Coffee on Cortland. Pinhole’s wall represents various colors found around Bernal Heights, and Neighbor Leah’s current project explores similar ideas about riffing on colors found in the city around us. But in a rather different way. 7×7 says:

For the last two months, Bernal Heights-based artist and California College of the Arts graduate Leah Rosenberg has been painting a small storefront—three walls, a floor, a desk, a chair, and a vase—a different color every day. The whole thing, covered in a single solid hue. It’s out on Irving Street, a block from Outerlands and Trouble Coffee in the Outer Sunset, and Rosenberg decides which colors to use based on what she finds in the neighborhood: an acid yellow fence, the pistachio exterior of the Francis Scott Key Elementary School Auditorium, a light purple crab on Ocean Beach.

“I keep thinking of this one line I like, ‘And you call yourself a painter,’” Rosenberg says with a laugh, “because painting as a verb, the actual act of applying color to a surface, that is fundamentally what it is.” And yet the installation, part of Kelly Falzone Inouye’s residency space Irving Street Projects, has become something more. Locals who might otherwise walk down Judah, stroll Irving instead to see what the color of the day is (Rosenberg keeps a handy sandwich board out front). Kids come by after school to help. ol to help. Recently, Rosenberg took everyone on an “inspiration walk” to all the spots that sparked her creativity. In a way, she’s been painting the landscape of the Outer Sunset.

Check out the amazing photos of Neighbor Leah’s “Everyday, A Color”, and watch her in action at Irving Street Projects (4331 Irving St.) before the show closes on May 29. She’s also installed a new site-specific piece inside The Mill (736 Divisadero) that will be up until early July.

Bonus Linky Linky: Here is a good interview with Neighbor Leah that has terrific photos taken inside her Bernal home.

PHOTOS: “Everyday, A Color” by Leah Rosenberg. HAT TIP: Neighbor Leila

New Work by Bernal Artist Charles Bierwirth Now Showing at Pinhole Coffee

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News Flash: JoEllen Depakakibo, the proprietor and caffeinated creator of Pinhole Coffee at 231 Cortland, is officially tired of commuting to work from across town. So later this month, she’s moving to Bernal Heights. Pinhole has done much to create a stronger sense of community in western Cortlandia, so the addition of soon-to-be Neighbor JoEllen to our full-time Bernalese ranks will likely be a victory for the forces of better-togetherness.

Consistent with that, soon-to-be Neighbor JoEllen tells us about a new art installation now showing at Pinhole:

We have new artwork up by Bernal resident Charles Bierwirth. He’s been living in Bernal Heights since the late 1980’s, doing commissions in Fine Art paintings and mural work. He’s been painting on canvas tarpaulins since graduate school in the late 1970’s, when he received his Masters Degree in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. He recently just finished a piece on the San Francisco icons, The Brown Twins.

Charles Bierwirth’s piece “Blau Haus” will be on display until July at Pinhole Coffee.

PHOTO: Charles Bierwirth installing his work at Pinhole Coffee, via Pinhole Coffee

Bernal Filmmakers Raising Funds to Produce “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”

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Think back to last September, and you may recall that filmmaker and Bernal neighbor Joe Talbot took home the coveted Best of Bernal award at the 2014 Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival for the impressive concept-teaser video he produced for his film, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

Well, after that, Neighbor Joe and his co-producer and star actor Jimmie Fails got lots and lots of media attention, and last weekend they launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce a feature-length version of their film:

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a feature-length narrative film currently in pre-production that is inspired by the real life of Jimmie Fails, a third-generation San Franciscan, who dreams of buying back his old family home in the Fillmore.

But this film isn’t just about tough economic times and changing political landscapes in San Francisco. It’s a story about two inseparable misfits who are searching for home in a city they can no longer call their own.

Joe Talbot (writer/director) grew up running around the Mission District with a camera around his neck and a gang of misfits in tow. His cobbled-together crews of friends, family and other various undesirables wreaked constant havoc on the neighborhood, pushing wheelchairs down busy streets for tracking shots and alarming random passerby with fake blood make-up.

When Jimmie moved to the nearby Army St. housing projects as a pre-teen, he was promptly dragged into Joe’s film-making fold. The two boys soon began collaborating on just about everything, including Joe’s SFIFF winning short, Last Stop Livermore. […]

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During many late-night walks through the roller-coaster hills of Bernal Heights, Jimmie spun tales of his often stranger-than-fiction childhood — like the time he and his father made a beat-up BMW their home (until his dad’s crack buddy stole it).

These conversations around Jimmie’s struggle to regain his roots in his native city became the basis for LBM. But it’s about more than buying back a piece of property — inspired by the bond Joe and Jimmie formed as teens over feeling like misfits in their respective worlds, this film seeks to tell an ageless story about two friends trying to find their place in the world.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who saw this team’s original concept-teaser, but the video created to support the Last Black Man in San Francisco Kickstarter campaign is an enticing piece of work unto itself:

Let’s help make this happen — and support a rising Bernal talent along the way. You can donate to the Last Black Man in San Francisco Kickstarter campaign right here.

IMAGES:  Last Black Man in San Francisco

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
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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.

Bernal Floral Designer Created the Huge Piece Now Showing at the deYoung Museum

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Natasha Lisitsa is the celebrity founder of Waterlily Pond, a floral studio at 1501 Cortland here in Bernal. She’s got a HUGE piece on display this weekend at the extremely glamorous deYoung Museum (!!!!). Wow.

Waterlily Pond also has some cool events happening closer to home in the weeks ahead. Natasha tells Bernalwood:

Waterlily Pond has been commissioned to design a large scale floral art installation – a centerpiece for Bouquets to Art exhibition at the de Young Museum, open April 14 through April 19, 2015. Last year over 70,000 people visited this exhibit. Last year for this event, we created 15′ tall tornado-shaped floral work named Flornado (shown above).

This year’s installation is Concentrik, another aerial sculpture just as big, at 15′ diameter and 900 lb in weight. Here’s how it looked when we were working on it in our Cortland studio:

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The other news is that I am teaching a Modern Romantic floral design workshop at the studio 1501 Cortland on April 28, 2015. A couple of Bernal neighbors I met at the Valentines Day popup shop at Pinhole Coffee already signed up for this workshop. Morning, afternoon or full-day sessions are available.

Oh, and by the way, we are doing another pop-up shop again for Mothers Day at Pinhole.

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PHOTO: Top, Flornado by Waterlily Pong on display at the deYoung in 2014.

Look Up From Your Meatballs to Notice Neighbor Alex’s Art on the Walls at Emmy’s

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If you find yourself craving a meatball fix from the new Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack on Mission Street in the next few weeks, take a moment to notice the retro-cool artwork hanging on the wall in the rear dining room. The pieces are enlarged prints created from scans of vintage San Francisco restaurant matchbooks, and they are ridiculously charming.

They were made by Bernal neighbor Alex von Wolff of Baja Cortlandia, and he tells Bernalwood:

Over a drink one night, Heather from Emmy’s told my friend [Neighbor] Ben that they where looking for some artists to start staging shows at the new location. Ben thought of me, and pushed me to contact them, which I did. Emmy got back to me, and my pieces will be hanging there until the middle of May.

Public reaction has been superb. One excited patron bought the Jimmie’s piece right off the wall, explaining that she used to work at that location as a fry cook in the 80’s when it was called Bouncers.

Want one for your own spaghetti shack? Neighbor Alex can set you up.

PHOTO: Interior of Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack by Neighbor Ben Buja