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Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, aeroplane view © trialsanderrors/Flickr
Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, aeroplane view © trialsanderrors/Flickr

San Francisco's Cultural Boom: Tech & Locals Fueling An Art World Resurgence

Picture of Jake Hoffmann
Updated: 28 October 2016
How did  San Francisco recover its cultural luster after the destruction of the 1906 earthquake. In 1915, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, built in celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal attracted people from all over the world.

In 2015, San Francisco’s new identity, as the tech capital has taken over. Rent in the city is at an all time high making it harder than ever for an artist to make it in the city. The result? San Francisco has dropped below Detroit in art rankings, illustrating the true struggle for an artist in America’s home for culture. Many galleries, like the Stephen Witz Gallery, for example, have lost their space due to the rising rents in the city. This has caused some to think San Francisco has completely transformed from the cultural center it used to be.

San Francisco and Silicon Valley make up the second largest group of billionaires in the world. The city has also seen the return of  the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art after being closed for three years. Joining the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is the Gagosian Gallery and John Berggruen Gallery. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, and the Asian Art Museum are just a few of the museums in the Bay Area focusing on bringing in an insurgence of tourist to the city to revive the cultural scene of San Francisco.

Another Bay initiative has moved art out of the city and is trying to provide affordable space for new artist. The space is in a more affordable arts center South of Market: DoReMi; a cultural affiliation uniting the Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, and the Mission neighborhoods. The area is home to the Minnesota Street Project. The street project consists of the San Francisco Arts Education Project, temporary exhibition spaces, food from Daniel Patterson group, and ten commercial galleries. The area offers housing at a third of the cost compared to downtown. The street project is backed by Andy and Deborah Rappaport. They even sponsored the project with indefinite leases, removing the threat of eviction for an artist trying to get noticed. The space they are creating is taking the start-up mentality from all over the Bay Area and shaping it around the art industry. According to Rappaport, the goal is to not have this help only one person or a group but for civic health as a whole. The project is bringing in SoEx, a company whose mission is to bring art exposure to people. They want to be able to provide people with different forms of art in hopes of opening up their eyes to all the different types out there.

With the resurgence of art being brought into the city paired with these great galleries, the Bay Area has a chance to place their foot at the top of the cultural mountain once again.

For more art in San Francisco check out the art lover’s guide to SF and the city’s permanent art installations.