Category Archives: cool artists

A Hidden Jem

A walk around SF this weekend garnered a new appreciation. This city seems to continually surprise me, and to that I am grateful. Our first stop was the Art Institute at 800 Chester. I had been around North Beach many times, never knowing I was minutes  from a Diego Rivera mural. As we climbed the hill to just about its crest, I noticed a Spanish Colonial Revival-style building inhabiting the corner lot, siting gracefully among the Victorian homes. We entered the building at center on axis with the open air courtyard. The entrance itself lends a european feel as you arrive beneath a colonnade where artwork hangs playfully on the perimeter walls. To the left is the Diego Rivera gallery where in 1931 he painted “The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City”, featuring himself and his wife Frida Kahlo, as well as other key city officials and architects of the time. Within the gallery were fantastically oversized whimsical characters, one that you might see in a children’s book.

I had overheard that the views on the terrace were amazing, one of the many reasons I wanted to take my husband, as he is quite keen on panoramic birds-eye views. Although the views were stunning, my surprise came with the 1969 béton brut style expansion done by English-born architect Paffard Keatinge Clay. The subtle Spanish style stucco finish, with regular bays and symmetry juxtaposed to the rawness of the cast-in-place timber framing, the theater of construction, further strengthened by the linear jutting of the lecture hall, are dichotomies in style and fashion; however, sit in complete harmony and composition.

So the next time you are in the area, and are in need of a relaxing day, take a book to the terrace and soak up all that is San Francisco…. and don’t forget to check out the Diego Rivera, it won’t disappoint.

Diego RiveraArt Institute of SF (Main Campus)Art Institute of San Francisco - (Main Campus)Art Institute of San Francisco - (Main Campus)Art Institute - Diego Rivera Gallery


SPUR meets cyclist

Fascinating what you’ll gain  from a local SPUR event…and what better plug than a room full of urban designers, pushing sustainable planning and cycle friendly cities.  Wonder what all the hype is about?  Designer Blake Mills has invented a clever device  :: The Helmet Lock :: [patent pending], that safely secures your helmet to your U-Lock.  A hands free solution for die hard cyclists.  Interested?  Visit the website…. most importantly, don’t forget to shoot Blake a note to let him know how your getting along with your new gadget.

These nifty contraptions are $12.95 for one and $19.95 for two!

pecha kucha

A Denver friend of mine just introduced me to pecha kucha [japanese for chit chat].  These gatherings are worldwide, so see if there is a group near you.  A fantastic opportunity to network and see what local artists/designers are doing and hone your presentation skillz.  So if you are up to it…be a presentor.  I think I’ll give it a shot.   The next gathering in SF is July 30th, are you going?


It’s always a pleasure to find something by accident.  After visiting the UrbanOmnibus website, I checekd out a link to an event they were having at the Old American Can Factory.  [Looks like a great place in Brooklyn, by the way]  The link then led me to ‘the people working at the Old American Can Factory’ and found this fantastic artist called Damien Correll.  I especially like Raymondo: The Depressed Rainbow….quirky.