Northside SF
San Francisco's Fine Art Fair at Fort Mason expects big turnout

Portrait of an Industrialist,
by Ben Shahn Gouache on heavy paperboard

Courting Danger,
by Jeffrey Browning Oil on canvas
The San Francisco Fine Art Fair kicks off this year with the San Francisco Art Commission honoring the Museum of Modern Art’s Richard L. Greene with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Fort Mason on May 19. “Richard Greene has been a remarkable force that has advanced the visual arts milieu of the City,” said Luis R. Cancel, San Francisco’s director of Cultural Affairs. 

The ceremony kicks off a three-day gathering at Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion, which will showcase 5,000 works of art from 400 artists worldwide. Last year’s fair was a great success, drawing thousands.

On May 22, the closing day, Steven Winn of the San Francisco Chronicle will moderate a panel with the heads of the City’s three leading art schools. They are Elisa Stephens, president of the Academy of Art University; Stephen Beal, president of California College of the Arts; and Jeannene Przyblyski, dean of academic affairs at the San Francisco Art Institute. The topic of the discussion will be “The State of Arts Education in San Francisco.” In this turbulent economy, and with schools under threat, the talk promises to be spirited.

“San Francisco is the cultural capital of the West Coast,” exclaimed Rick Friedman, who directs the Fine Art Fair.

In the movie, All About Eve, George Sanders as columnist Addison DeWitt endorsed the notion: Ah, San Francisco. An oasis of civilization in the California desert.” We assume he meant a cultural desert.

A preview party on May 19 from 5:30 p.m.–7 p.m. will benefit ArtCare, a program that seeks to restore public art in the City and is sponsored by the S.F. Art Institute, which is celebrating its 140th year.

San Francisco Fine Art Fair: Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, Marina Boulevard (at Buchanan), May 20–22, admission $20, $15 in advance, 800-211-0640,

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