Recap: Art Beats Brings Affordable Art Fair to San Francisco

by Jessica RossPosted on

Installation by Stan Clark, photo courtesy of Derek Macario.

A new kind of fair opened the weekend of September 26 at the historic Pier 70 in San Francisco. Art Beats, a three-day cultural event, ventured to join art and music with a fresh, DIY spin. Co-founders Kelsey Marie of Fountain Art Fair and Jeff Whitmore of San Francisco nightclub Public Works organized the weekend-long event with Lauren Napolitano, the former director of White Walls and Shooting Gallery. The fair’s goal was to create an affordable cultural event, one that was both multifaceted in its selection of galleries as well as accessible to the not-so-average fair-goer.

Set against the decaying, rusty confines of Pier 70, galleries from all over the Bay Area came out to participate. With diverse exhibitors like Adobe Books of the Mission District and Rock Paper Scissors of Oakland, Art Beats sought to make the involvement as easy and attainable to the galleries as well as its participants. Alongside the row of exhibitors, which included noteworthy spaces like Loakal (Oakland), Gauntlet Gallery (SF), Le Qui Vive (Oakland) and Luna Rienne (SF) the fair also had its fair share of interactive events and musical performances. With the help of Peter Arko (music curator for NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences), lo-fi beat maker BATHS performed Saturday night beside a glowing, inflatable installation by artist Stan Clark. Live painting was in progress all weekend and featured stand-out local artists like Cannon Dill and Ricky Watts.

Drawing from the affordable art fair model and catering to a youthful audience, Art Beats sought to make art appreciation — and collecting — more accessible to those who might feel alienated by posher fairs in New York and Miami. The general mood starkly contrasted with the recent influx of luxury fairs popping up in Silicon Valley. Instead of sleek modernity, Art Beats had a more grassroots vision. A low-budget antidote to its flashier counterparts, the laid-back attitude of Art Beats is what drew people in.

The fair took place in industrial, spacious Pier 70.

Painting by Reuben Rude at Luna Rienne Gallery’s booth.

Bunnie Reiss with her textile installation.

Painting by Sam Grant at Loakal’s booth.

Painting by John Wentz at Loakal’s booth.

Paintings by Terry Furry and John Wentz at Loakal’s booth.

Installation view of Le Qui Vive Gallery’s booth.

Works by Max Kauffman at Le Qui Vive Gallery’s booth.

Cannon Dill at Le Qui Vive Gallery’s booth.

Artists paint live in the courtyard of Pier 70.

Finished mural by Cannon Dill.

Celeste Byers paints next to graffiti artist Nina.

Work in progress by Ricky Watts.

Clint Imboden’s installations, which were made up of found hacksaw blades, for Loakal’s booth.

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