May 22, 2015

The Parking Lot Art Fair

I texted a dear friend about hanging out on Friday night. He said, "Can't, I'm preparing for the Parking Lot Art Fair. "What's that?" I asked, and he sent me a link to the fair's site which intriguingly stated the location would not be be announced until midnight. I love events that carry an air of mystery and start out like this!  

Michal Wisniowski

In a state of suspense I waited for the witching hour to pass and discovered the happening would be happening in the Fort Mason parking lot. I got up early-ish on Saturday, May 2nd and made my way down to the San Francisco marina to check out the scene

The Parking Lot Art Fair was organized by artist / provacteur Jenny Sharaf et al. It was equal parts absurdity, critique, and response to the moneyed, polished and gentrified Art Market being hosted at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. I ended up spending most of my day hanging out in that parking lot socializing with a bunch of proud and irreverent artists. Art Market spectators who were making their way back to their cars consistently commented that this was where the action, fun and truly interesting art was happening - that is, in the parking lot - they seemed to really love it! The Parking Lot Art Fair was a huge success and continued on past it's end time of 1pm. 

Eventually, me and my dear friend migrated over to the Art Market.  It was overwhelmingly large and dare I say grotesquely saturated with visual art. There simply was too much too absorb. In an attempt to cope with the aesthetic onslaught we played a little game called can you see the trends. For example, we spotted lots of clean line mandalas, messy psychedelic landscapes, and multi-dimensional crocheted pieces. Then when we arrived to the far end of the pavillion where we serendipitously crossed paths with KQED's arts journalist Adizeh Eghan for an interview, and, happily used the opportunity to plug the insurgent Parking Lot Art Fair (and of course, ourselves). 

The free standing painted rectangle is Jackie Farkas

Wonderment Consortium toured the parking lot regularly commenting on the scene.

Art Bison Design Co-Op screen printing outdoors

Simon Pyle handed out receipts to attendees to prove they were there.

Fish were swimming inside the hole of the "Fish Market" boat.

Fish Market: Scott Vermiere of the Wonder Consortium sang the Love Boat theme song.

Jenny Sharaf: she hosted a panel discussion about the nature of art fairs. Panelists included writer Mark Van Proyen and curator/professor John Zarobell.

The Luggage Store: Darryl Smith played with the tiny house trend by creating teeny-tiny, refurbished wood, hippy dippy, doll houses on a heap of rubble otherwise known as the Tenderloin National Forest


Kunst Haul gallery installation inside a uHaul truck by Colpa Press

Alter Space: The interior of this van served as a group gallery art space

Sense of Place LAB : Radial Drawings

Kelly Lynn Jones and Collin McKelvey: video and sound installation