The 3-minute interview with Therese Martin

The 33-year-old is the executive director for the massive, five-weekend San Francisco Open Studios art event, which overtakes The City each year. The event wraps up this weekend by offering behind-the-scenes looks at artists’ studios at the Hunter’s Point Shipyard.

Are art lovers in San Francisco different from art lovers anywhere else? If so, how? They’re definitely less timid than the art lovers I’ve seen in the Midwest. They are a lot more interested in individual artists’ stories — they like that interaction. San Francisco just attracts people who are incredibly confident, and with all the diverse viewpoints of the people living here, it definitely feeds their support of the arts.

What are the challenges involved in making art accessible to the public? That’s hard, especially in this state, because art hasn’t been in the core curriculum for a generation. It’s hard getting people to understand that it’s OK to love a piece as much as it’s OK not to love a piece. Each person is entitled to that dialogue. [Just like] you can look at a commercial and think, “That’s the best commercial I ever saw,” you can look at a piece of art and say, “I don’t quite get it, but it speaks to me.”

Are you noticing any particular artistic themes among San Francisco artists this year? What ideas are they working with? I think there’s a rejuvenation in naturalism happening, and I’m seeing a lot more references to representational art. It’s not that abstraction or conceptualism is dying, but I can decipher a little more of the content out of it than I could before.

When you start talking that way, do people look at you like “What is she talking about?” Yeah, a lot of times. Talking to the general public, especially.

bwinegarner@examiner.com


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