New Book Celebrates the Visual Career of Neighbor Michael Gillette




When we last heard from Bernal neighbor Michael Gillette, he had just completed a trippy new video for My Morning Jacket that showcased his formidable skills as an artist and animator. At the time, however Bernalwood hadn’t realized that Neighbor Michael’s output is so extensive, so amazingly creative, and so closely tied to the music industry.

Now Neighbor Michael the focus of a gorgeous new book called Drawn in Stereo that’s a visual greatest-hits collection of his work:

Filled with selections from his entire career, Drawn in Stereo shares an eclectic display of artistic approaches, including gallery shows, sketchbooks, music video animation stills, and magazine contributions for the likes of; Spin, MOJO, Q, & the New Yorker.

Projects showcased include work for the Beastie Boys, Paul McCartney, MGMT, & Beck—among many others— Drawn in Stereo highlights Gillette’s ability to channel music into compelling visual art.

Featuring a foreword by Fred Deakin and an interview by Elastica’s Justine Frischmann, Drawn in Stereo reveals an inspired life, ranging from Britpop London and rooming with the Aphex Twin, to fifteen years of creativity in San Francisco.

In a message to Bernalwood, Neighbor Michael also shared these local notes:

About half of my career has been spent on Lundys, and I’d guess about 90% of the work in the book was made here.


The book is a big deal for me as it gathers together work I’ve created over the the last 25 years. The focus is on music, as this has been a constant inspiration, and I’ve made a lot of imagery in service of that industry for folks such as Beck & The Beastie Boys to Paul McCartney and My Morning Jacket.

Also, a historical footnote: As a kid I loved Rick Griffin, and his work really helped set the course of my life. I found out not long ago, his purple patch designing Fillmore posters and the like took place on Elsie Street!

So much gorgeousness. Want a copy of Neighbor Michael’s sexxxy new book — for you, or for that special locavore on Santa’s list?  Get it right here.

Mona Caron Completes Lovely New Mural on Ripley



Artist Mona Caron just finished a beautiful new mural on Ripley just east of Folsom. But who’s Mona Caron? And how did the mural end up there?

The mural was commissioned by Neighbors Wayne and Janet, who tell Bernalwood the backstory:

After a stroll with a friend down Balmy Alley, we were returning home to Ripley Street and she suggested it would be nice to have a mural on my grey garden wall. I contacted Precita Eyes and discussed some of my ideas with one of the artists there, but I didn’t connect with the various artists’ styles. Another friend suggested I look at the murals at the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market on 24th Street. I loved the images and started a quest to find the artist, Mona Caron.

I contacted her through her web ite to see if she would be interested in a small, private project. She said she had a few projects in the works, but would be glad to talk with me a few months later when she returned. We got together over coffee a couple of times to discuss my vision for creating a garden on the street. Mona said she is currently in her “Weeds” phase (as you can see on her website) and would need to think about how she could try for what I wanted, yet be true to her current genre. We eventually agreed on the mural as it is now adorned on our garden wall. It is such a wonderful combination of color and movement. We love it and hope our neighbors do as well.

Mona is an amazing artist, as well as an amazing person. It feels like such an honor to have had such an accomplished artist invest in our garden and our neighborhood.

Indeed, Mona seems to have quite a fan club here in Bernal. In fact, Bernal artist Todd Berman first tipped us off about the new mural, and he provided some background about her work:

Mona Caron is an artist celebrated for her bikeways mural along the Duboce bike lane behind Safeway, and the Market Street Railways mural which illustrates the history and future San Francisco on a wall at 15th and Church.

Caron has made oversized weeds a theme in her work, partly as an example of what beautiful life can emerge through the cracks in the concrete of the city. In one panel of her Tenderloin mural at Golden Gate and Jones, she included floating seed pods that were each created by youth from the Boys and Girls Club across the street. Maybe this Bernal plant came from one of those seeds.

The rest of the Tenderloin mural is populated by portraits of people she got to know during the months she spent on the sidewalk painting.

Lately, Caron has been painting massive murals in far off countries, so Bernal is fortunate that residents have lured her back to the city to decorate our neighborhood with her work.

PHOTOS: via Mona Caron on Facebook

Bernal Writer Ponders the Fate of the California Dream


In case you missed it over the weekend, Bernal neighbor Dan Duane had a very prominent, very thoughtful piece about the fate of the California Dream on the front page of the Sunday Review section in Sunday’s New York Times.

Neigbor Dan writes:

All over Northern California, there is a profound mood of loss: Oakland, long a bastion of African-American cultural life, has seen housing rental rates jump 20 percent this past year; San Francisco’s lesbian bars are closing, and the Castro gets less gay by the year.

Then there’s the shock of raising kids with public schools ranked among the worst in the nation, and public universities that have more than doubled in cost since 2007. Most of my outdoor pleasures are still available, but it’s getting scary with the desertification of subalpine ecosystems, Sierra snowpack at a historic low, as much as 20 percent of California’s once-majestic forests at risk of dying, and freeway traffic so ubiquitous that it can be soul-destroying just getting out of town to see all this stuff.

The real estate market, in the meantime, has become so bizarre that my funky little neighborhood is already beyond the reach of young doctors and lawyers — techies only need apply.

This may sound like the stuff of yet another nostalgic lament about the unsettling pace of change in California, but Neighbor Dan is too self-aware to fall into that dead-end trap; He knows people have been writing “California is over” essays for as long as there’s been a California.

Instead, he comes to a more nuanced realization: that the same dyanamism that makes California so unique is also what makes it so heartbreaking. As Dan puts it, “California has been changing so fast for so long that every new generation gets to experience both a fresh version of the California dream and, typically by late middle-age, its painful death.”

Whoa. Here’s Neighbor Dan’s essay. Don’t miss it.

Oh, also, Star Sighting!!! As destiny would have it, Bernalwood ran into Neighbor Dan on Sunday afternoon on the other side of town. We’d read his essay in the morning, so it was a locavore privilege to be able give him a big Bernal high five-later that same day:


If you see Neighbor Dan out and about, we encourage you do the same.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Saturday Eve: Reception for Bernal Artists in New Show at Inclusions Gallery

select4artThere is a new show opening  at the Inclusions Gallery (627 Cortland) on Saturday evening, with work from four Bernal artists: Rachel Leibman, Richard Nyhagen, Carrie Ann Plank and Jenny M. Phillips..

Per usual, Inclusions proprietor Lisa Moro has put together a thoughtful show, and the opening reception is Saturday, October 24 from 5 to 7pm:

Inclusions Gallery
October 24 – November 29
Artist reception: October 24 / 5-7 pm

We are pleased to present new works by four San Francisco artists Rachel Leibman, Richard Nyhagen, Carrie Ann Plank and Jenny M. Phillips. Each artist is accomplished in their own right, having successfully shown previous work at Inclusions Gallery, throughout the Bay Area, and far beyond.

Rachel Leibman creates meticulously constructed, labor-intensive collage from small bits of paper composed of images of ancient illuminated manuscripts, urban graffiti and hand-designed papers. Her elaborate compositions range from abstract to pictoric, reflecting her fascination with the world’s cultural and natural diversity.

Richard Nyhagen employs the use of original photographic imagery in multi layered screen-prints on hard aluminum surfaces. His work revolves around the vast transitory urban landscape, perception, and the construction of stories we tell ourselves and others; in order to define and know our experience.

Carrie Ann Plank works primarily in the medium of printmaking. In her newest body of work, she combines traditional and new printmaking techniques with painting and collage. The “Strata Series” investigates the use of a one by one inch grid as an underlying information system and is printed, distorted, scaled, and disrupted. Many of the fields are torn, recombined, and collaged with special attention paid to the spaces in-between and the distressed edge.These new forms produce their own unique information system portrayed in a shiny new form.

Jenny Phillips uses paper, wax, watercolor, oil, graphite and other media to explore the interplay between linework, surface, and texture. Influenced by shapes and patterns found in nature, she creates subtle and meditative artworks, focusing on the evocation of mood rather than the depiction of form. She strives for an austere beauty, achieved through the use of a restrained vocabulary.


Artist Amos Goldbaum Unveils Sexy New Bernal Hill T-Shirt



Artist Amos Goldbaum was born and raised in Bernal Heights, and he still lives here today. He’s rather well known around town for his intricate illustrations of iconic San Francisco landmarks, and his work looks great on your body or on your building. He’s also a local history geek, so his images are often inspired by historical views of our magical city.

Neighbor Amos tells Bernalwood he will unveil a new illustration on Sunday at the fabulous Fiesta on the Hill, and appropriately, it’s a sexy new image of Bernal Hill!

I have a new Bernal shirt I’ll be releasing at the Fiesta on the Hill this weekend. It’s drawn from Max Kirkeberg’s 1973 photo from Holly Park that Bernalwood posted a bit ago.


View from Holly Park, 1973

Tangentially, while I was perusing Max’s collection I saw this 1980 shot of Army and South Van Ness, and I thought it was a nice in-between to your 1950’s to 2008 comparison a while back.

So cool. Say hello to Neighbor Amos and get one of his sexy shirts at Fiesta this weekend, or you can pick one up on the Interwebs via the remote-control magic of ecommerce.

PHOTOS: illustrations, shirt via Amos Goldbaum

Bernal Artist “Redesigns” Starbucks Ads in Powell BART Station




Neighbor “Ominous” is an artist who lives in Bernal Heights. Moments ago, Bernalwood received this email from him/her/it:

On any given evening, Powell Street BART Station will be lined end-to-end with homeless. The station is also completely wrapped in 360 degrees of advertisements. Brands attempting to capture the tech cash that is flying left and right.

The workers that stream through this same hall (of which I am one) innovate to solve problems for the wealthy. We pride ourselves on our white-hot innovation economy. But we are not solving the right problems. $15 Salad Delivery. Apps where someone else will park your car for you, pick up and do your laundry for you.

This hall embodies the denial of San Francisco. It’s always striking and unnerving to see the down and out sleeping inside the marketing campaign of the day.

Lately, Powell Street Station has been home to a the Starbucks ‘Skip the Queue” campaign — an app that lets you order ahead so you can skip the queue. A ‘problem’ deemed worth solving.

This morning, that campaign got a surprise make-over.


PHOTOS: via Ominous

Bernal Artist Offers Handy, Handmade Moon Calendars For 2016


After our spooky moon sightings and a super rare bloodmoon, it’s already been a great lunar year. Luckily, Neighbor Annie on Precita near York has been making moon calendars for the past five years, and she recently cooked up a new batch.

Wolf moon! Snow moon! Sturgeon moon! Beaver moon! Who knew there were so many moons?

Neighbor Annie says:

I originally began making these calendars as holiday gifts for loved ones when I moved here from Canada five years ago. They were so popular that I kept doing it, changing the design each time since I knew I wouldn’t want to look at the same calendar every year. Plus, it keeps it fun! This year, I was looking to give it a bit of an art nouveau/architectural feel. I hope it reads that way!

If you’re in the neighbourhood and you want to do a local pick up, just send me a message and we can arrange one.

Alternatively, you can also pick them up on her online store. They’re two-color screenprints that measure 16×20 inches — plenty big enough to ensure you’ll never to miss another full moon again. Plus, they’ll look great on the wall of your personal observatory.

PHOTO: via Annie Axtell