Event: Black X SF / APEC Art Evening featuring Adrian L. Burrell: Venus Blues
Date: November 17, 2023
Location: Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco
Photography: Adam Turner
Despite the rainy weather, Bay Bridge lane closures and the hugely popular Tony! Toni! Tone! (The Masonic) and Lauryn Hill/Fugees (Chase Center) concerts this past Friday evening, over 250 guests including APEC attendees and local art lovers found their way to San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. The occasion – a private reception featuring the work of artist, Oakland native and Kehinde Wiley resident alum, Adrian L. Burrell, organized by Black X SF with the generous support of the Minnesota Project. Black X SF is a recently formed collective of Black event producers who have come together to create moments where people can connect, network and thrive. This reception was the first in a series of upcoming collaborations.
In his exhibition, Venus Blues, Burrell explores the idea of history as a living phenomenon in the face of duress and erasure. The exhibition highlights Burrell’s large-scale sculptures and life-sized photographs created specifically for the exhibition, as well as the debut of a new iteration of the artist’s ongoing film project, The Saints Step in Kongo Time. [Read more below the photos…]
“I was thinking about these ideas of the blues as a modality of storytelling, but also a form of agency,” Burrell explained. “We all come into this world with a song, and sometimes people get to sing it and sometimes people don’t.” – Adrian Burrell via SF Chronicle Datebook
The evening included remarks by Dr. Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander, Co-Director, Asian American Art Initiative, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford; artists Reniel Del Rosario and Adrian Burrell, and co-host Jonathan Carver Moore, moderated by Rachel Sample, MSP Foundation Director.
In addition to Moore, the event host committee, lead by Tyra Fennell (Director of Community Relations, Office of Mayor London Breed and a Black X SF founder), included Lisa Blackwell (real estate professional, avid art collector and advocate), Michael D (Managing Editor, Bay Area Registry), Paul Henderson (Executive Director, SF Department of Police Accountability) and Vas Kinris (Executive director, Fillmore Merchants Association and the Director of Business Development at the San Francisco Council Of District Merchants Associations).
The exhibition, curated by Dr. Tiffany E. Barber and presented with the generous support of the Paul L. Wattis Foundation, is on display through December 3 at the cavernous if not daunting Minnesota Street Project space at 1201 Minnesota Street. It is the first exhibition to utilize the entire MSP Foundation since its May 2023 debut, including both its 17,000 sq. ft. interior and 3,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art screening gallery.
Also on display Friday evening at the adjacent Rena Bransten Gallery (1275 Minnesota Street) was Hung Liu: Capp Street Project, 1988. This collection of paintings and artifacts re-imagines the 1988 exhibition Hung Liu: Resident Alien, the culmination of Liu’s two-month artist residency at the Capp Street Project in San Francisco.
In addition Jenkins Johnson Gallery (1275 Minnesota Street) presented Kevin Cole’s solo exhibition, Same Song Different Beat Circles with Ladders. Cole utilizes abstraction to explore themes of social oppression, conveyed through a rich tapestry of symbolism, and expressed across various mediums including painting, drawing, and sculpture, on display through through December 22.
Ungrafted, a nearby Dogpatch restaurant owned by Christopher Gaither, one of only four Black master sommeliers in the world, along with Piccino and Besharam, made for the perfect “after” venues for event attendees lucky enough to find an open table.
Located in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch district, the Minnesota Street Project offers economically sustainable spaces for art galleries, artists and related nonprofits. Inhabiting three warehouses, the Project seeks to retain and strengthen San Francisco’s contemporary art community in the short term, while developing an internationally recognized arts destination in the long term.
• Nov 19, 2023 | Adrian L. Burrell’s ‘Venus Blues’ bridges Senegal to Oakland through family journey – SF Chronicle Datebook
• July 20, 2023 | Oakland artist to create new multimedia installation in S.F.’s Dogpatch – SF Chronicle Datebook