March 07/ WM issue #1: Rail Project Spaces in SF

March 07/ WM issue #1: Rail Project Spaces in SF
Jessica Silverman in front of her Basement Space in San Francisco
by Jessica Silverman
whitehot magazine, San Francisco

The article that we call a map is a group of indefinite lines that function simultaneously as a beacon, a premonition, a linguistic code and at times an arbitrary collection of intersections. Some lines represent something and some are abstract. Some form contours and some, even more beautiful, do not. Lines are the uniting elements of events, those experienced with others, those experienced alone. And while some coordinates lead us to a place where we can lose ourselves, others help accelerate our progress. Like Rail, MUNI tracks have been in place since our respective inceptions but did not have a name until now. Reminiscent of the confluence of the Rio Negro, Solimones and the Amazon in Manaus Brazil, Rail unites with reciprocity in order to create a broader audience, locally, nationally, and internationally.

With San Francisco's unique and rich history Rail is bound to contribute to its vibrant future. Rail will collectively organize, Art Walks, exhibitions, events, and donate work to local non-profits. The unique qualities that comprise the San Francisco Bay Area life style are decisively influential in its expression within the arts. The nature of the life style supports value systems in which personal and professional goals can be integrated. It finds work-in-life and life-in-work to be mutually resourceful.

Rail's project spaces and galleries are located in the path of the new MUNI T train that connects the Third Street, Dog Patch, South Beach and Mission Bay neighborhoods. The longest running gallery, Ampersand International is a contemporary art space dedicated to championing and nurturing emerging and mid-career artists while promoting dialogue and collaboration. Similarly, Ping Pong Gallery, founded in 2005 by artists Vanessa Blaikie and Joey Piziali sets in motion both a literal and figurative dialogue between artists and individuals. Conceived of as a creative incubator and alternative art space Ping Pong's counterpart TART opened as an artist-run space committed to presenting experimental work by local, national and international artists. Silverman Gallery, the newest edition to the Third Street corridor considers it crucial not only to represent and promote the various languages of art, but also to provide a platform for organizing and documenting the artist's production and making it available to the public.

Rail is distinctive and challenging and through their collective experiences Rail members will ensure the growing arts presence in Third Street and beyond. While the galleries are diverse in their programming, they share an understanding of what constitutes an art experience, informed by the intimate nature of their spaces. Rail stands as an open invitation to the neighborhood and the San Francisco arts community. April 7, 2007 will see the launching of Rail's first action, a regularly scheduled Art Walk highlighting the 4 galleries and other local cultural partners. A map will accompany the first Art Walk. During 2008, a project will be developed with a Los Angeles museum, while 2007 holds local and international symbiotically curated shows.

whitehot gallery images, click a thumbnail.

Jessica Silverman

Jessica Silverman is a recent graduate of the MA Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of Arts as well as owner and director of Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. She has taken part in a Curatorial Residency at the Frankfurter Kunstverein the summer of  2006.  As an independent curator she has recently produced International Waters co-curated by artist Soo Kim for StevenWolfGallery, San Francisco and is working on exhibitions with curators Mizuki Endo and whitehot NYC contributor Jan Van Woensel.  In 2008, Silverman and Passenger Books will publish Leaving the Library a catalogue of conversations.     


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