Neighbor Creates Amazing, Intricate String-Art Map of Bernal Heights

To the ever-expanding genre of artwork inspired by maps of Bernal Heights, Neighbor Naomi shares news about a very cool string-art piece she recently created.

Derived from the 5′ topographic map of Bernal Heights that local carto-wizard Eric Fischer produced in 2012, Neighbor Naomi tells Bernalwood how her piece came together:

I saw the post of Eric Fisher’s map on Bernalwood years ago and it got my wheels turning. I love textile arts (where my knittahs at?!), and my first idea was to do a quilt where the stitching followed the contours of the elevation lines.

That project stuck in my head for a while without becoming a reality (as these things do). Then I began noticing artists doing interesting things with nails and thread – Kumi Yamashita and Dominique Falla are two examples. The thought of the contour map came back to me as a cool subject for that technique.

I made an abridged version of the map with fewer elevation contours (every 20′ instead of 5′) and simpler, more segmented lines. That became my template for where to place the nails on a large piece of prepped plywood. Then, with regular sewing thread in several colors, I just started winding!

To make it a little easier to navigate between the nails, I threaded the strand through the casing of a ball-point pen, which actually made it feel a lot like drawing with string.

Special bonus! Neighbor Naomi also shared this fantastic time-lapse GIF showing how her piece came together:

This Weekend: Artist Open Studios in Bernal Heights

Found Soldier Two, 2017 by Miles Epstein. (Photo courtesy of Miles Epstein)

Bernal Neighbor Miles Epstein is spreading the word about the Artspan Open Studios event for local artists that’s happening this weekend in Bernal Heights. Art-loving Bernalese are encouraged to drop-in to see the work our local artists are making.

Neighbor Miles says:

I’m making a pitch for open studios this weekend. Artspan Fall Open Studios are underway, there are a bunch of Bernal atists showing on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28 & 29, from noon until 6pm.

My garage studio and backyard will be open, like many other Bernal Heights artists! I’m at 26 Bennington Street, just uphill from Cortland. Half hour stroll from 24th St BART.

Come see a fair bit of furniture, sculpture, collage, and mixtures of all three. Most for sale. Come make art as well – there will be chances to get your hands working.

Click here for a more exhaustive look at my recent work.

Artspan has pulled together a listing of all the 2017 Fall Open Studio Bernal Artists. You can also download an Open Studios guide app for your iPhone — no kidding:

I hope this finds you well, and perhaps we’ll see you in the neighborhood! 🙂

Bernal Artist Amos Goldbaum Creates New T-Shirt Based on His Pinhole Coffee Mural

If you’re headed to Fiesta on the Hill this Sunday — and you ARE headed to Fiesta on the Hill this Sunday, aren’t you??? — then you should also be on the lookout for celebrity Bernal Heights artist Amos Goldbaum.

Born-and-raised here in Bernal, Neighbor Amos creates intricate line-drawings of San Francisco streetscapes, such as the brand-new mural he just created on the west wall of Pinhole Coffee:

The Pinhole mural is rather fantastic, and at Fiesta on the Hill this Sunday, Neighbor Amos will be on hand to offer a brand-new edition of t-shirts featuring the same image. He tells Bernalwood:

Pinhole approached me about doing a mural earlier this year. They crowdfunded for it (thanks neighbors!), and we wanted to give the donors shirts with the same design.

Pinhole has a picture of their building that’s from 1893, so I used that image as a reference for the mural.

231 Cortland, in 1893

I wanted to insert the scene from the photo into its current context, so I tried to get a photo from a similar angle — but with the whole hill in the background.

I ended up on a roof across the street (thanks Dan!) with my phone on the end of a 20ft pole and got a good shot of the whole neighborhood. I combined the two images like this:

The I used that image to paint the mural and make the drawing for the shirts.

Glorious!!

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Amos Goldbaum

Saturday: Learn to Paint Your Own Bernal Hill Landscape with BHNC

Are you ready to discover your inner Bob Ross? This Saturday, Sept. 30, the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (BHNC) will become a painting studio as part of a fundraiser that will help pay for next month’s Fiesta on the Hill.

Ailed Quijano Paningbatan-Swan, BHNC’s director of community engagement, says:

So excited to announce Paint on the Hill at BHNC! All proceeds for this family fun fundraising event goes to this years Fiesta on the Hill!

You are invited to our first ever Paint Day at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (515 Cortland). To focus on community-building as well as provide a space for neighbors to get to know each other, we’re holding this great event in partnership with local merchants.

This will be one of many series that we will be partnering with various groups and merchants in Bernal.

A few months ago we did a family spaghetti feed in partnership with Emmys Spaghetti Shack and the library – that event sold out in a few days.This time we’re partnering with Barebottle Brewery to present a day of painting, wine, good eats, and great-tasting beer.

There will also be a painting activity for kids (12 and under). All materials canvas, brushes, paint etc are included in purchased tickets for adults and kids.

Tickets are limited, so buy yours soon!

Also, save the date: Ailed tells Bernalwood that the 2017 edition of Fiesta on the Hill is set to happen on Sunday, October 22.

See the Film Adaptation of Neighbor Clane Hayward’s Childhood Memoir

Still from Lane 1974, a film adaptation of Neighbor Clane’s memoir.

Neighbor Clane Hayward is a Bernal resident on Gates Street who wrote a memoir called “The Hypocrisy of Disco.” The book chronicles her chaotic childhood spent growing up with hippie parents while shuffling between communes in Northern California.

Neighbor Clane’s book was recently adapted into a film called Lane 1974, and the film will premiere on October 9 at the Alamo Drafthouse on Mission  Street as part of the 2017 Litquake Festival.

Neighbor Clane told Bernalwood what it was like to have her book transformed into a film:

Seeing The Hypocrisy of Disco adapted for film and then becoming a whole new story as Lane 1974 has been SUCH a trip.

When SJ Chiro, the director, first got in touch with me, I told her that I always saw the book as a film. In my mind, the first page, in which a group of feral hippie kids jump off a porch, was set in slow motion like in Goodfellas.

To see it now in film after SJ put years of work into it, as an entirely new story, is — I can’t even find the right words — stellar. The stories are different. They’re both dark and visceral. The movie has its own pacing and the book has its own unique vernacular.

But where the book is a tale of a disintegrating center, the movie is the story of a girl who is forced to become her own center. The young actress, Sophia Mitri Schloss, is brilliant, speaking volumes with her face alone.

The best part about the movie is how truly good it is, despite being made with baling wire, luck, chewing gum, donations, and fervent prayers. The best part about my book is that it’s available at our Bernal branch library!

Alas, the debut screening for Lane 1974, at 7 pm on Oct. 9 is already sold out.. But you can still buy tickets for the 10 pm screening, right here. That’s also expected to sell out, so you’re advised to hurry. Hurry!

Bonus! Here’s the trailer for the film:

Mystery Solved: Glittery “Dream” Sign Is a New Art Installation


Last week, a few befuddled Bernalwood readers shared news that a new sign was installed in Alemanistan, on an exposed slope in southeast Bernal Heights, right next to the big billboard that overlooks the 101/280 “Spaghetti Bowl” interchange and the Alemany Farmer’s Market.

The sign sits just below the intersection of Bradford and Jarboe, and it spells out “DREAM” in glamorous, glittery silver letters.

Neighbor Lupe wrote, “I’m curious because the installation of this new sign, art, billboard… whatever it is, was clearly a very expensive endeavor, and it was professionally installed. A team of men dug holes for cement piers, assembled the sign itself, and used a huge boom to lift the sign from Peralta onto the hill!”

Neighbor Samir shared this photo of the installation, with the boom lift in operation:

DREAM sign installation, as photographed by Neighbor Samir

Neigbor Donna also noticed the installation, which she said reminded her of “letters à la the Hollywood sign.”

(Which is to say, it’s also – cough! cough! – à la the Bernalwood sign.)

Thus intrigued, we mobilized the Bernalwood Investigates™ News Team over the weekend.  Here’s what we learned:

The basic facts check out just as described; There really is a glamorous, glittery new “DREAM” sign overlooking the Spaghetti Bowl, and it was clearly built to last, with a sturdy steel frame embedded in concrete foundations.

Fortuitously, while were on the scene Bernalwood interviewed a neighbor who had spoken with the installation crew. The neighbor said he’d been told the new sign was authorized by the San Francisco Department of Public Works, while the sign itself was built under the auspices of a local arts organization.

With that tip in hand, Bernalwood Investigates™ rushed back to the newsroom. A few minutes of searching on the BernalWeb revealed that the sign was designed by artist Ana Teresa Fernández, with support from the fabulous Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA).

Even better, we also learned that an unveiling ceremony for the piece will happen this Friday, Sept. 22, from 11 am – 1 pm at the Alemany Farmer’s Market.

Here’s the project overview, as detailed in YBCA’s media release:

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) announced today the upcoming unveiling of DREAM, a public art installation by visual artist Ana Teresa Fernández, commissioned by YBCA and co-sponsored by San Francisco Public Works. Facing San Francisco’s Excelsior District, the sculpture will serve as a public expression of YBCA’s ongoing partnership with the area. Composed of ten-foot-high block letters spelling out the word DREAM, the shimmering sculpture will be situated on the hill above the Alemany Food Market and will be seen by commuters going to and from San Francisco at the Highway 101-Highway 280 merge.
A public unveiling of the sculpture will be held on Friday, September 22, 2017, 11 am–1 pm at the Alemany Farmer’s Market, located at 100 Alemany Blvd. The event will feature performances by students from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Bessie Carmichael Elementary, where YBCA has provided civically engaged arts education programs since 2015. […]
Two years in the making, the DREAM sculpture is located less than a mile from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and will be installed near the intersection of the unimproved streets of Jarboe and Peralta. The sculpture, spelling out the word DREAM, is attached to a support system on the south side of Bernal Heights facing Bayshore Blvd. its facade consists of metallic disks that create a visual effect of three-dimensional shimmering water.
Explains artist Ana Teresa Fernández, “At Bayshore hill, and beneath two heavily transited freeway overpasses, sits an industrial building whose bottom half is entirely upholstered by graffiti tags that spell out the word DREAM. This graffiti is a creative epitaph to one of the best-known and most beloved graffiti writers and peace fighters from the Bay Area, Mike “Dream” Francisco of Oakland, who was killed in the year 2000. I was inspired to take the text and create a three-dimensional version higher up on the hill, like the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Instead of casting your hopes on fame or notoriety, this would be a sign to compel individuals—not just the widely mixed-race population that inhabits and transits through this area, but all individuals who come across it—to start identifying their goals and aspirations, from a place of consciousness and awareness, and to begin the process of pursuing them.”

 

Finally! Watch Bernal Filmmaker Joe Talbot’s “American Paradise”

Bernal Heights filmmaker Joe Talbot in 2014

When we last heard from Bernalese filmmaker Joe Talbot, he was schmoozing with the stars at the Sundance Film Festival.  Neighbor Joe, a native of Montcalm Street  and winner of the coveted “Best of Bernal” prize at the 2014 Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema Festival, was at Sundance last Februrary to premier American Paradise, a short film he recently wrote and directed.

Yet if you just couldn’t make it to Sundance — ugh, the maddening crowds, darling — you’re now in luck: Yesterday Neighbor Joe shared American Paradise on the interwebs so the rest of us can watch it too.

IndieWire called American Paradise one of the “must-see shorts” at Sundance this year, and Vimeo just selected it as a Staff Pick Premiere. Emily Bruder at No Film School writes:

Some filmmakers come right out of the gate with a distinctive style and vision for their directorial debut. Joe Talbot is one such director. Although Talbot’s short, American Paradise, was his first time working with a budget and legitimate production team, it went on to screen at Sundance 2017 and SXSW 2017, garnering wide acclaim for its grasp of absurdist comedy and incisive social commentary.

Now, American Paradise has been selected as Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere and is finally available to stream online (Watch it below). It’s the story of a forgotten man in Trump’s America who tries to shift his fate with the perfect crime—until, of course, all goes horribly wrong. Its tagline, “based on an unfortunately true story,” perfectly encapsulates the film’s sense of humor and underlying somber message. Rendered with a pastel color palette and compositions that would make Wes Anderson weep, American Paradise announces an exciting new talent in Talbot.

Some filmmakers come right out of the gate with a distinctive style and vision for their directorial debut. Joe Talbot is one such director. Although Talbot’s short, American Paradise, was his first time working with a budget and legitimate production team, it went on to screen at Sundance 2017 and SXSW 2017, garnering wide acclaim for its grasp of absurdist comedy and incisive social commentary.

Find a comfortable place to sit, get yourself a cup of popcorn, and enjoy Neighbor Joe Talbot’s short film: