You already know Downtown San Francisco is a mecca of cultural institutions, but there are a number of small art galleries you may be overlooking in your daily explorations. Next time you find yourself in the Mid-Market area, be sure to stop by one of these incredible galleries.
Arc Studios & Gallery
Located on Folsom Street, Arc Studios & Gallery is a space dedicated to ‘showcasing and promoting emerging and established artists from around the country whose work embodies both skill and risk-taking.’ This is a great place to explore and discover emerging artists for yourself since those on display are always up and coming. Plus, the gallery space is cleverly curated, guaranteeing you will stumble upon exhibits that are always intriguing.
With a name short for ‘First Amendment,’ 1AM aims to ‘progress the graffiti and street art culture by creating a cultural space and community of artists, fans, and like-minded organizations.’ This representation of the freedom of speech can be enjoyed at both the Downtown location and one in Oakland. Additionally, the organization aims to spread the street art movement by teaching, creating, archiving and generally inspiring local artists.
The Weinstein Gallery has been around since 1992, specializing in ‘on-objective and surrealist art from pre-war Europe through the birth of abstract expressionism and the New York School in post-war America.’ This space is upscale but still quite welcoming, led by a staff that is knowledgeable and engaging. The space itself is three stories high, and displays a large and varied collection of works to delight and inspire.
The San Francisco Art Exchange was founded in 1983, and was originally a tiny fine arts business exchanging the works of masters such as Picasso, Miró, Chagall, Warhol, Haring and Dalí. Since then, the gallery has evolved into an organization promoting contemporary visual artists, working with a group of over 70 prominent artists and photographers to ‘[explore] the importance and value of art and imagery that have become part of the popular consciousness.’
Martin Lawrence Galleries has been around since 1975, highlighting original paintings, sculpture and limited edition graphics of both prominent artists and those just beginning to emerge. The gallery promises works of the highest quality, providing them by the likes of Philippe Bertho, Erté, Marc Chagall, Robert Deyber, François Fressinier, Kerry Hallam, Frederick Hart, Keith Haring, Douglas Hofmann, Liudmila Kondakova, René Lalonde, Felix Mas, Takashi Murakami, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt and Andy Warhol.
If you’re looking for some of the most exceptional original artwork being created locally today, look no further than Hang Art. This gallery offers contemporary art in a wide range of mediums, including painting and sculpture, all of which you can purchase. Enjoy an adventure through the gallery space to see the collections surrounded by a friendly and knowledgeable staff that will even allow you a peek into the gallery’s inventory. Alternatively, browse the selection on the Hang Art website.