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Inside the New Art Studios at Minnesota Street Project

Meet some of the 35 artists who scored the coveted Dogpatch studios, and check out their work.

SLIDESHOW

Welcome to 1240 Minnesota Street, a plywood-walled labryinth in Dogpatch filled with working artists.

(1 of 13)

Dana Hemenway

(2 of 13)

Jesse Schlesinger

(3 of 13)

Schlesinger's sketches

(4 of 13)

Erica Deeman

(5 of 13)

Sean McFarland

(6 of 13)

Tom Loughlin

(7 of 13)

Loughlin's Disrupt Market

(8 of 13)

Brion Nuda Rosch

(9 of 13)

Beth Abrahamson

(10 of 13)

Abrahamson's work

(11 of 13)

Masako Miyazaki

(12 of 13)

Packaging material used by Miyazaki

(13 of 13)

 

Last year, painter Brion Nuda Rosch went on a months-long crawl of Bay Area art studios, spending a total of 250 hours meeting with 100 local artists. As the studio director of 1240 Minnesota Street, Deborah and Andy Rappaport’s new art-patronage complex in Dogpatch, Rosch was tasked with choosing which of nearly 300 applicants would receive one of the building’s coveted, way-below-market-rate studios. This summer, 35 artists were granted leases in the space, which includes a shared digital studio, print studio, and woodshop. Here, tenants of the city’s newest creative hub reveal their digs.

Dana Hemenway
Light sculptures
Hemenway melds utilitarian objects—raw rope, unfinished wood, extension cords—with handmade materials. Her sculptures are functional art: All are working lights. New pieces weave cords through swaths of laser-cut drywall and hand-built clay, as shown here. Hemenway’s first solo show, All That Glows Sees, will open at Eleanor Harwood Gallery on September 10.

Jesse Schlesinger
Wood
“I grew up in the trade,” says Schlesinger, whose father is a carpenter. He received his BFA at California College of the Arts and has been teaching woodworking and making furniture, sculpture, and drawings ever since. He built all the furniture for 1240 Minnesota, where he also directs the communal woodshop.

Erica Deeman
Photography
Deeman focuses on portraiture, particularly of people of the African diaspora. “I’m intrigued with how we strive to understand a person’s identity through his or her face,” says the photographer, who is of Jamaican and English descent. “I try to keep the images as pure and natural as possible.” Her work is displayed at Pier 24 Photography in the gallery’s current show, Collected (through January 31, 2017).

Sean McFarland
Photography
McFarland works in a range of photographic mediums, including Polaroids, cyanotypes, silver gelatin prints, and archival pigment prints. Inspired by the photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard, he’s known for images of California landscapes that examine our personal and cultural relationships with nature.

Tom Loughlin
Sculpture, sound installation
“I’m interested in public works that reach people who don’t seek out art,” says Loughlin. He’s currently creating a Treasure Island sound sculpture made of old steel from the Bay Bridge. Recently, Loughlin has gained notice for his coded neon signs. “Each sign is a poem about the place it’s going into,” he says. Disrupt Market (see slideshow) previously hung in Root Division’s temporary gallery on Market Street.

Brion Nuda Rosch
Paint, sculpture
Rosch, a painter and installation artist, previously worked in his Glen Park basement. Last year, he was tapped by the Rappaports to oversee the artist studio program at 1240 Minnesota. His criteria for evaluating applicants were twofold: the merit of their work and their dedication to their practice. “I had to learn, in depth, about how each artist works,” he says. 

Beth Abrahamson
Graphic design, branding
“I just graduated from the design program at CCA, where there were 60 of us all together,” says Abrahamson. “I got used to the idea of design as a conversation.” Here, she’s sharing a studio with photographer Brittany Atkinson, a fellow CCA grad. In Abrahamson’s branding work, she has a particular affinity for the graphic effect of icon design. “I love finding the most simple way of communicating an idea as possible,” she says.

Masako Miyazaki
Printmaking, sculpture
Miyazaki moved to the United States from Kyoto, Japan, at the age of 18, and a sense of dual identity infuses much of her work. “At a very young age, I knew what was American and what was Japanese on a very visceral level,” she says. She earned her MFA at Stanford this year, and her thesis centered on these plaster sculptures cast from packaging material. “My interest is in finding beauty in the utilitarian and spirituality in mass-produced things,” she says. “It’s very Japanese.”

 

Originally published in the September issue of San Francisco

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