Guns, Sand and Seals: Art at Ocean Beach

Dean Rader is an associate professor at the University of San Francisco where he holds the National Endowment for the Humanities Chair. At present he’s writing a book on recent American Indian art, literature, and film. He also curates an arts and culture blog entitled The Weekly Rader. Read his recent contribution to the SF Chron on Native American poetry here.

If the unseasonably warm weather hasn’t lured you to the beach, would the juicy carrot of the oddest public art exhibit to hit the Bay Area in years do the trick? Part-19th century re-enactment, part still life painting, and part outdoor art installation, Thom Ross’s “Buffalo Bill and The Indians on the Beach” is a bizarre blend of history and high camp set against the dramatic backdrop of Seal Rock, Ocean Beach, and the Pacific Ocean.

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Gallery 16 Celebrates Fifteen Year Anniversary Thanks to Jesse Helms

Gallery 16 Fifteenth Anniversary Group Show: These Are The People In Your Neighborhood through November 7, 2008; Opening reception on Friday September 12 from 6 - 9pm with live band "Or, The Whale"; 501 3rd St (at Bryant); San Francisco; Mon-Fri 9-5 Sat 11-5; (415) 626-7495;

Numerologists have yet to opine but there must have been something auspicious about 1616 16th Street when Gallery 16 and Urban Digital Color opened there in 1993. Back then, the neighborhood was so isolated (before California College of the Arts established its Potrero campus and the blocks around the Design Center were built up) that principal Griff Williams thought for sure they'd be shuttered within a year.

Griff Williams founded Gallery 16 at a time when the outlook for publicly funded art in America was dim. Williams was intimately familiar with the political drama playing out in D.C., not only because he was a newly minted San Francisco Art Institute MFA grad but because his father, Senator Pat Williams (D Montana), was leading the fight against Senator Jesse Helms’s crusade to eviscerate the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Schoultz, Andrew: Murals With Morals

Andrew Schoultz, "In Gods We Trust" opening reception Thursday, September 4, 5:30-7:30 PM, on view through October 25, 2008; Marx & Zavattero; 77 Geary St, 2nd fl, San Francisco, 415.627.9111,

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Wondering why artists seem to be silent on the topic of the United States' hegemonic hubris? Or why there is no contemporary version of Picasso's Guernica, especially from artists in San Francisco, a city with a long history of policial activisim?

Andrew Schoultz is doing his part. That last "s" in the title of Schoultz's new show at Marx & Zavattero, "One Nation Under Gods," is not a typo, it's a statement. Schoultz's images of Armaggedon are inspired by our government's track record of arrogance, especially when dealing with countries shaped by religions other than Christianity. His outrage over the state of our environment is palpable as well. Schoultz's expression developed in the antiestablishment arena of graffiti murals, in itself an act of defiance.

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