Our two favorite things! Art and walking! And also our two most ambivalent things: Divisadero and Street. In our mind, Divisadero is a place built for cars, not humans; it’s just barely a step up from the Geary Freeway. So we were a little skeptical about this whole Divisadero Art Walk idea. For real? A bunch of stores and galleries expect us to stroll around? On foot?
So, we gave it a shot. And it was, you know, nice.
We started out at Big Umbrella, a gallery that featured slew of nice work by the Appeal’s Eric Butler, Gavin Lord, Aaron Francisco Castro, Mirim Diaz, Adam Cahoon, Kacie Smith, Kristine Lee, and Bretton Bowne. Then on to B’s BBQ, which had … burgers and fries? The place was listed as a stop on the walk, but we couldn’t quite identify what was art and what was normal restaurant kitsch. AND ISN’T THAT TRULY WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ART?
Minibar was just down the street, a hipster bar/lounge that was clearly in its element with the whole art thing. Some really sculptural pieces by Winslow Warren blew us away, and the cozy atmosphere was quite pleasant. But down the street, Bar 821 had us as baffled as the BBQ place. Blank walls? Is that art? WELL IS IT?
Down a bit on Fulton, restaurant/lounge/gallery Candybar was pretty packed, with great graffiti-ish art from Dyno and Robin David. Photos from Rameen Gasery were accompanied by an incomprehensible artist’s statement. Incomprehensible = art.
Across the street we discovered The Perish Trust, oh my God have you been to this place, it is amazing. It’s like walking into the best attic in the world. They find and sell lovely antiques, all grandparenty and hand-wrought and just barely dusty enough to say “your grandparents” but not so dusty that they add “have been dead for several years.” And we loved the delightful owl-themed art by Kirsten Finkas.
Madrone was nearly empty — a huge space suited to performances, it felt like a disused soundstage. Still, the art from Alphonzo Solozano and Dennis McNulty was grand.
And what about this Country Cheese Co! Another business listed on the walk, but with no art to boast inside. Unless you count all the cheese. Which we do not, because we are not Dangermouse.
Next we checked out On The Corner, which is on a corner and smelled like it needed a bath. Or maybe that was the band? Anyway, someone needed bathing. Maybe it was the guy with no shoes. Next door, Backspace‘s art suited the merchandise: a boutique of womens’ clothes, the art by Crystal Silver was of women making boutiquey faces. Okay.
Next door to that, The Other Shop had some art out on the sidewalk, which was just about the only sidewalk activity that we saw — very little of the walk actually spilled out into pedestrian areas, which confirms our impression that Divisadero is still not quite ready for humans.
The comic book store was closed, WTF? And then a little further down the street was Swankety Swank, a lovely collection of artwork and wearables from tons of local artists. We chatted with Yabette, the owner who also hand-paints some of the furniture for sale; and in general everyone was having a swell time. Hooray for Swankety Swank.
So there you have it! The highlights of the art walk (see more pictures from it here). Some places had art that we liked, and some places did not, and some places did not appear to have any art at all but instead had quality cheese at reasonable prices. Just like life!