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

Tonight: A Reception for Local Artists at Secession

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Eden Stein from the freshly reincarnated Secession Art & Design studio is having an artist reception tonight, and you are so invited:

Please join us on Friday, April 10, 6:30 – 9:30 pm to celebrate our brand new show featuring Jon Fischer and Rob Sakovich. Both artists draw from their own experience to identify moments that made them who they are and the parallel between personal path and urban change.

Secession, now with roots at 3235 Mission, is finding its balance and growing. Thank you for being our biggest supporters. Thank you spring for the longer days, beautiful light that fills the new gallery, and hopefulness. It’s all a perfect combination for an amazing night to experience local art, shop, and be part of our community.

IMAGES: Top, a view of 29th Street looking east toward Mission by Rob Sakovich. Below, From the Hill by Jon Fischer.

Which of These Murals Should Help Visitors Discover Bernal’s Lost Tribe of College Hill?

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The  Bernalese peoples from the Lost Tribe of College Hill hope to be less lost. Or, more found. Or, at the very least, clearly branded.

This desire is now being expressed in the form of a mural the College Hill Neighborhood Association has commissioned with artist Josh Talbott. The mural will be installed on a cinderblock shed at 3600 Mission Street (at Appleton), and it will act as a visual point-of-entry for southbound traffic. The College Hill News says:

All three of Josh’s designs are meant to make you take notice of our corner of South Bernal—the Lost Tribe of College Hill is ready to be found. And our new College Hill logo—with wayfinding to the Bernal Cut Path—will be incorporated into the winning design.

Want to see Josh’s designs up close? Please join the College Hill Neighborhood Association at the Glen Park Library on Sunday, April 26th, at 4 p.m. to see his artistic inspiration and to log your vote in person.

“Discovery” is the name of the proposed design shown above.

Below, we see two other alternatives, “For Love” and “The Arrow of Time,” respectively:

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Which is the most fabulous? Which will do the most to put our College Hill neighbors on the map? All Bernalese are invited to learn more about the proposed designs and vote for your favorite online by April 30.

PHOTOS: by  Josh Talbott 

Tonight: Celebrate the Amazing New Bikes-to-Books Map Created by Rebel Separatist Burrito Justice

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All these years of fomenting insurrection and geopolitical intrigue among the La Lenguan peoples have enabled rebel propagandist Burrito Justice to develop some very formidable cartographic skills. Yet sometimes, he uses those skills to support worthy causes.

In the latest case, Burrito Justice has created a rather gorgeous bike-touring map of San Francisco’s literary history, and there’s a party tonight, March 18, at the fashionable Bender’s Bar in The Mission to celebrate its publication:

Bikes to Books Beer Social and POSTER RELEASE party!

Wednesday, March 18, 7-9 pm
Benders Bar and Grill
806 S. Van Ness, SF

Join Nicole Gluckstern and Burrito Justice, the creators of literary bicycle tour “Bikes to Books,” for our annual beer social where we’ll be unveiling our latest iteration—an expanded poster version of the Bikes to Books map now with more authors, more historical context, and more nifty visuals. We’ll be talking up our collaborative mapping project and tour and fielding questions while enjoying some tasty adult beverages at our fave neighborhood watering hole, in the first of a series of “Bikes to Books” events planned for 2015. 
 
Combining San Francisco history, art, literature, cycling, and urban exploration,  “Bikes to Books” began as an bike ride homage to the 1988 street-naming project spearheaded by City Lights founder and former San Francisco Poet Laureate, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in which twelve San Francisco streets were renamed for famous artists and authors who had once made San Francisco their home. First published in The San Francisco Bay Guardian and then in October 2013, with the generous assistance of City Lights Books, the physical map has been available ever since in many of San Francisco’s finest book emporiums, and is appropriate for use as a navigational tool, a history lesson, and a unique work of art in its own right.

ALSO: 7×7 just published a celebrity interview with Burrito Justice, which you can read right here. An excerpt:

Quick-fire round:

(7×7): Precita Park or Bernal Hill?

(Burrito Justice): Bernal

Bike or MUNI?

Muni. (OMG do I have Stockholm syndrome?)

Capp or Bartlett?

Capp. Tough love but Capp

Three words that describe SF to you:

Plus ça change.

IMAGE: Burrito Justice