tv [untitled] October 21, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
today we are visiting southern exposure in san francisco alison prepares to launch a fantastic new project called beautiful possibilities. we will send them on a two-year adventure crisscrossing the united states to investigate american history and contemporary culture. it is using a traveling road show as inspiration.
she will sit down and talk with residents in search of stories and experiences that reveals exactly what makes us americans. >> beautiful possibility is a traveling research project that i will take on a five-month journey across the united states and lower canada. i document this tore on a map that i painted for the project and also from previous projects called the road map to lost america. on the map i have taken all of the contemporary borders off the map and replaced them with native territories, and then overlaid it with contemporary highways. i have scheduled venue stops at different areas along the tour, from california to south dakota, that will serve as headquarters for my local research. when i was researching the traveling medicine show, i came across this.
they had put out an elixir, and it referred to the elements that came out because of the high stress, high-pressure life, mostly because of the industrial revolution. anyway, i was fascinated by the term american-itis, and i thought it did a lot about the stress-related illnesses, and i was impressed that they picked up on that and the 1800's. i did a survey to see if it was irrelevant element today. i have a series of eight painted banners that are retellings of american history. i am particularly interested in transition history between native and european histories and retelling them as if they were a popular myth. there is a mix of eras and
characters and times drat these banners. -- and times throughout these banners. i use the olympics and the melting pot, or things reduced down, and come out of this reduction. and something else transforms out of it. they had this strict code of who we should be as americans, and then i had andrew jackson fanning the flames. this first contact, down to george bush in 2008. all of the characters that appear are real characters that are taken from my research. we are an interesting mix and i want to provoke wonder about who we are. every one of the characters are taken from actual photographs or documents that i found in my research on american history. in a lot of my banners, you conceal -- uc the melting pot,
the imagery and myth that we use in our culture. talking about these reductions of all these different mixes of people, how you distill the experience. that is something i want to think about, collecting the ideas and ingredients, and i wanted to do the san francisco de lexie. -- elixir. we found a spring water underneath a church in cow hollow. we put rosebuds in the water to attract peace, and it made a meade. it was sitting in the gallery. we distill that through local herbs. it was really surprising how delicious it was, because we were mixing a lot of seemingly in congruent ingredients, and it was delicious and different from
anything you have ever tasted. i would have been happy if it was medicinal. the idea was more important to me. but it was very good. it is something i think a lot about, especially transition history, native americans, how they have this combination of dress, from the clothing from trade companies, mixed with traditional dress. i love how reflective it is of who they are, and also the merging history's coming together. what would we look like if we carry our history with us? all of the merging of cultures, reflected in our address? i am thinking of my own history with early europeans coming in and intermixing with native cultures. the one thing i would like people to take away from after seeing my work is a sense of wonder and who we are as americans. that we are really these beautiful mixes of people and we should really be looking backwards at who we are. i think we are all kind of
historians in our own life, and there are great presidents behind us -- president behind us that could give us insight into who we are. >> oliver road trip on her website. check at often. new experiences will be added after every stop. >> the san francisco ethnic dance festival is one of the jewels on san francisco sculptural crowns. this is in its 32nd year of showcasing the celebrated dance troupes. this year will be one of the past with four new works representing kondo, afghanistan, china, mexico. -- congo, afghanistan, china, mexico.
more than a hundred 30 ensembles and soloists auditioned in january for a slot in the ethnic dance festival. in the end, 37 companies were selected to perform. 26 of those performances are world premieres. >> each year, we assembled a panel of dance experts that is made up of academics, scholars, researchers. people have been working for decades in the field. many of them came to this country in the seventies and have trained the next generation of dancers. they are proud to see many of these students at the these
masterful levels. this was one of the best panel'' we have ever had, extraordinary people. at the end of the process, they rank their top groups which are then merged into a master list. >> performers are judged on stage presence, costumes, and innovation. >> the four programs are created around an exciting and dynamic range so the soloists and groups selected each weekend will have enough dynamic range to be a society overall to are experience. >> hundreds of dancers from different countries need each other, compare stuff, and make new friends. this has resulted in new cross-
cultural collaborations'. >> one of the extraordinary things is that it really only happens here in the san francisco bay area. all of the dancers that we are presented -- presenting are from the area. they have full-time jobs and they spend their weekends nurturing their passion to sustain these extraordinary dance forms from around the world. the audience cannot help but be inspired. >> this year, the festival will feature a special collaboration that celebrates the mexican bicentennial and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the mexican revolution. >> one of the great area biographers has stepped out of that role and we asked them to create a special work working
with 6 x ordinary dance companies that we have assembled dancers from all of these companies to present a united work in celebration of the bicentennial. >> dancers from over 20 countries are staunch cultures are participating. >> one of the things that is inspiring is how many are being invited back to their home countries as cultural ambassadors from the u.s.. we are teaching them in committees so that the next generation here in america and back to india or bali or whatever will be able to get enriched by these very beautiful art forms. >> thank you for watching "culture wire."
and you can find more information >> welcome to culture wire. did you know the city of san francisco has an art collection consisting of 3500 objects? the collection ranges from painting and public buildings to murals, and from bronze busts in city halls, to cite specific structures. at this time, many of the large works are in desperate need of repair, and a long-term innovative solution is needed to make sure these public treasures will be cared for.
>> the story of the arts commission program begins with ruth fromstein. 2010 marks her 50th year as an art dealer. at the helm of the county, she had represented some of the most notable of bay area artists, and continues to look for new talent. >> the artists that i represent, what do i choose them, if asked to do with a background of what the gallery is about. i love the idea of finding new guys and watching them grow. it is the old fashioned way of having a nunnery, which is having a stable. what you have is loyalty to them, artists are loyal to you.
the philosophy behind that, my philosophy, has not changed since i started 49 years ago. i take care of you and you take care of me. it has been that way ever since. >> ruth represents the estate of the world renowned sculptor peter focused. in 1971, he created and the love the untitled public work cited at seventh and bryant. like many other public works of art, this is in need of repair. ruth began conversations with the director of cultural affairs, a andart care was born. >> we look at all of the local pieces and decided which one needed the most repair, to bring it back to where it was before. that is what i am after.
if you drive by right now, you cannot see it coming down seventh street. you can only see it as you come up to it. >> one's culture outside of the hall of justice was one of the first pieces commissioned after the 1969 ordinance. it is significant that we are planning to treat it as part of the art care program. the program intends to take care of the bronze sculpture located in very park, a monument to the korean community of san francisco. it has been in the park for over 20 years, has become a bit of a magnet for vandalism. we are also looking at several sculptures from henry more, one in front of the symphony building. we are also looking at yen and
yang, a much loved peace -- piece. but the team has been damaged over time, so we need to treat -- patina has been damaged over time, so we need to treat it. >> roof and was given a lifetime award for her contributions to and influence over the bay area artist community. >> the lifetime achievement award -- it is embarrassing to me but i have to learn to accept it. this is the way it is. also, everybody here is good things happening about them after they are dead. i have the opportunity to see this happen while i am still lives. i look at this award as an opportunity for me to find a
place for my craft and keep the art program going. >> the director of the program address the crowd and ask for each member to consider donating funds to help save some of san francisco's most important neighborhood landmarks. >> as one of san francisco's living treasures, we respect you and, frankly, we are in off -- awe of your 50 years of tireless effort as an early art on from for north. >> i would like to be perhaps the first donation to our care and present you with a check to get the ball rolling. >> because i know that the arts commission is very sincere about this, i'm going to make a personal commitment of $10,000. [applause] >> what is significant about the program is the way it is set out allows us to treat the artworks that have the most need, the ones that our conservative have pointed out as the most
vulnerable as opposed to ones that might be the most popular were the most miserable -- the most visible. >> it is an opportunity for the public to get involved with these art works located in their backyard and ultimately belong to them. >> i want to do something for the community, just giving back what the community has done for me. it is corny to say, but it is true. it really is what it is. that i would be able to see more pieces cleanup. >>" will check back in the future and see the fruits of conservation and revitalization efforts. if you would find out more or donate to the art carethe artsfartcommission.org. >> welcome to "culture wire." i'm your host meg. for years, free jazz concerts
have been providing entertainment in downtown san francisco. people pay local musicians to perform for lunchtime crowds. the goal is not just entertainth. people in plazas are trying to create neighborhoods. what began as a forum for performers who were paid by passing the hat has become a program that provides wide exposure and more than 500 paid gigs annually for local musicians. from july through september, people in plazas produces almost 300 free performances in the lunchtime hour. the mission of people in plazas generates social congregation. and by having these events, we
encourage people to make these plazas everybody's neighborhood. >> recently, the san francisco arts commission was awarded a $ 250,000 grant for the national endowment for the arts. to establish an arts district in the central market corridor between fifth and 10th street. throughout the yearing the arts commission will partner with people in plazas to activate the sidewalks along this stretch with art installation, opening events, live music, and new arts and antique markets at u.n. plaza. >> this area has been sleighted for many years, at least the past 25 years. i think that this redevelopment project and the n.e.a. grant are very positive signs that we have political will and a lot of momentum to really make the mid market area what it could be, which is a vibrant area where
everybody is welcome and it's a place to be in san francisco. >> to get a feel for the future of the central market arts and culture district, be sure to catch out an upcoming concert. for locations and times, visit peopleinplazas.org. to learn more about the central market revitalization initiative, visit sfartcommission.org. thank you for watching "culture wire." >> hello, i'm meg, welcome to "culture wire." for this episode, the director of cultural affairs, luis, will take you on a journey through presidio has been tet. -- presidio habitat. >> welcome to "culture wire." today i'm at the presidio trust,
a treasure within san francisco, because the presidio trust is really a national park in the center of an urban setting. it dates to the very founding of the city. national park. toting me today to talk about this amazing exhibition at presidio habitat is cheryl hanes. can you tell me a little bit about the idea of the presidio habitat? >> succinctly, i have been long involved in the presidio. i was here when it was still a
military base in the 1980's. i remember driving down walmart to the golden gate bridge and seeing the military guard at the gate and being utterly fascinated. >> so presidio habitat is an exhibition where you have invited, how many artists to think about the habitat? >> we put together a list of possible participants, local, national, or international, of people who are concerned with environmental concerns, made some sort of contribution to the landscape and conversation we're having here. we said that broke -- proposal requests and we received 25 back. from that 25, we went through and chose tend to realize in the landscape. >> including this building,
which is an amazing example of recycling. >> we are proud of this space. it was designed by a local architecture team. we said, we need something that is a temporary structure, something that can be brought onto the presidio in pieces, act as an exhibition space for one year. we came up with the notion of shipping containers. it was important for us that we made this project for the place, of the place. what i mean by that is participants would also used repurchased materials. >> we will be speaking to one of the artists that you selected. what excited you about his idea? >> have many things. first of all, i am a fan of his
architecture. because of that creativity, i knew that he could come up with something unique. i love the fact that he was specifically addressing the landscape around here, and it was also about the human interaction with this place. >> what are your expectations with the people coming to presidio habitat? >> we really hope people will come with their family, dogs, and come back a number of times the works will change over the year. the feedback we are getting is you cannot do all of them on one visit. it is really better to come back and have different experiences. >> thank you. i am with mark jensen of jensen
architect. he was one of the architects to be chosen to do the presidio habitat. when you heard about this project, what inspired you about that call? >> our inspiration is a great blue heron. it was the site itself that attracted us. this is an incredibly beautiful outdoor room. we did a bit of reverse engineering once we knew we wanted to work here. which animals live here? the great blue heron jumped out at us. we walked around, and quickly, you get into another pace. you slow down, leave the city behind you. you can feel the wind and the breeze. in our increasingly frenetic, fast-paced, connected life, the
chance to be of here and slow down a bit was part of the agenda. as part of the installation, it was suggested that this would be deliberately not mowed because it would allow the sustaining of insects, plants, that would graduate -- that would gravitate to the area. >> that is right. i think you quickly notice that. >> thank you for being here. presidio habitat is an exhibition at the presidio trust. it will be in san francisco through may 2011. we hope you will come out to experience this amazing exhibition and great natural treasure. >> to learn more about the other habitats installations in the presidio, visit
>> many people are not aware of this building was built in 1936. as a board to preserve the history and make the students aware of that history. the partnering between sfmoma and the arts commission means they will be more aware of the artwork that we have here, the artists that painted a, and the history behind this itself. >> students came from george washington, and it was wonderful to have them on a panel. people from the school board, those who have been painting for years, some conservative errors from the getty. to have them tell us about the
works of their school was important. it represents african-american artists to during the 20's and 30's used an incredible body of work. it is one of the most incredible works of art in the city, bar none. it is a huge mural of incredible works. >> the san francisco civic arts collection has been in existence since the turn of the century. it consists of everything from monument to golden gate park to market street, other works in the collection, from the wpa era, the quite tower, the works from the george washington high school. we have the contemporary education, where they depict some of the vocational arts that were taught at george washington high school. what is interesting is the artist's and corp. of some of
the -- incorporation of some of the architectural elements. they used the speaker from the p a system as part of the design. on the opposite side of the library, we have a large fresco which depicts the academic subjects that were taught at the time. it serves as a foil to the other fresco in the library, we have academic subjects on one side, vocational subjects on the other, and result is the concept of a well-rounded education. additionally, what we plan to do is the academy of hospitality and tourism will be part of, so the students can share with other students, faculty, the neighborhood, and others to come by and what to look to the artwork we have. >> by working with the students,