San Francisco Open Studios

San Francisco Open Studios is the oldest and largest open studios program in the country, featuring an annual, month-long art event in October that showcases over 900 emerging and established San Francisco artists in their studios. Each weekend, art patrons, admirers, and collectors venture out on self-guided tours to see as many SF Open Studios artists and their artworks as possible, in the hopes of finding their next true art love. The event connects collectors with artists for engaging dialogue and a glimpse into the life of the working artist; SF Open Studios simultaneously helps artists build their mailing lists, gain new admirers, and ultimately sustain a living making art.
Year Venue Address
2016 Pacific Felt Factory 2830 20th St, San Francisco
2015 Pacific Felt Factory 2830 20th St, San Francisco
2012 21st Street Studios 2496 Harrison St, San Francisco
2011 CELLspace Studios 2080 Bryant Street, San Francisco
2010 CELLspace Studios 2080 Bryant Street, San Francisco
2009 CELLspace Studios 2080 Bryant Street, San Francisco
2008 CELLspace Studios 2080 Bryant Street, San Francisco
2007 Art Explosion Studios 2425 17th St, San Francisco
2006 Art Explosion Studios 2425 17th St, San Francisco
2005 Art Explosion Studios 2425 17th St, San Francisco
Artspan Website
Open Studios Journal
  • Where is the artist’s hand, you ask?

    “Song of the Humpback Whale:” Nov 2018 Multimedia Installation at Pacific Felt Factory in San Francisco CA featuring hand made record. A collaboration between Danny Clay and Jon Fischer, supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

    Description:Nov 2018 Multimedia Installation at Pacific Felt Factory in San Francisco CA featuring hand made records.

    Installation components:
    Celesta (pre-recorded by Danny Clay)
    3 Channel video with Microscope
    28-inch Turntable
    Three Standard Turntables

    “5.9.15” (Guitar Drone by Danny Clay)
    “Songs of the Humpback Whale”
    “Creaking Wooden Sailboat”

  • Brought Cold War To Western Hemisphere.

    “Turntable Drawing 6.1:” Live sound installation for three turntables, custom sine wave records, guitar, and piano. Indefinite duration. A collaboration between Danny Clay and Jon Fischer, supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

    Description: A loop-based composition for piano, guitar, 9-inch sine wave records, & three turntables. Designed to transform the environment of a room, this cycle of sound can be performed for an indefinite duration. It was first performed during the 2016 Open Studios visual art exhibition at The Pacific Felt Factory in San Francisco.

    Custom made records each produce nine tones, one at a time. By fine tuning the speed of rotation, the tones can be calibrated to the musical scale used in this demonstration. Turntables can be locked into one tone (by forcing the tone arm into a fixed position), or they can play through the sequence of nine individual tones. A vintage record lathe was used to create the records themselves. By feeding the lathe pure tones generated by a computer, a consistent sine wave structure was carved in the microscopic record grooves.



  • Goal for the meeting is simply to not waste anyone’s time.

    open studios scraps 2015




  • A replica of the H.M.S. Bounty sank off the North Carolina coast.

    This year  I took a literal approach to San Francisco Open Studios and held it in my studio.  Plenty of interesting people showed up and I got some good work done, too.  Joel B. and Meztli, if you are reading this: thank you.  (I first met Meztli at 2008 Open Studios when when she was in 3rd grade and drew me a picture that was so awesome, it inspired me to make a bunch of postcards.  I was so happy when she stopped by this weekend…as a seventh grader!).  Here are some snaps.

  • I feel that the questions don’t really teach you anything or prepare you for tests.

    At the time, the idea of submitting an absurdly cheap piece to an otherwise respectable art show seemed interesting and fun.

    I guess this pitiful letter  received  two months later pretty much brings my brilliant  idea full circle.

  • I was actually on the spreadsheet when you were editing it!

    Open Studios 2011 has come.  And Open Studios 2011 has gone.

    Gone fast, I should add.  I forgot that the many interesting people and opportunities that pop up during the weekend make time fly.  I even got a little photo-op at  Mission Local (not to be confused with Local Mission), thanks to blogger  Molly Oleson.  Click to slide number 5.

    My goal was to turn a  humongous  pile of scrap cardboard into an series of serious  work that anyone who wanted could afford.  And if anyone didn’t look like they could afford it, I probably just gave the piece away.  I think that’s what Open Studios is best for.  Opening your studio to the public shouldn’t just be about self promotion, but also engagement.   As a screen printer, I am lucky enough to have the means to make this sort of thing work because I can make a shitload of prints.  So I hadn’t really thought of it exactly like this until now, but I guess my goal was to make the weekend an experiment less about promotion and sales and more about art as an act of engagement. I really want to explore this aspect of printmaking further.

    Thanks to my new friends from Mexico City to City Hall to 22nd Street.  Special thanks to the old friends who showed up, Phanna, Serai, T-man, Michelle, and of course  EB.  It’s nice to be supported.

    Cellspace open studios 2011

    Cellspace open studios 2011 (click to enlarge)

    Cellspace open studios 2011

    Prints on cardboard

  • Tampa’s comeback is complete.

    Here is a sneak peak of a new series of screenprinted cityscapes on cardboard I have been working on for open studios this weekend.  They are experiments for part of a larger and presently secret public art project I am developing.  I have to say, this is going to be a  unique  chance to get some painstakingly rendered artwork at absolute rock bottom prices.   I will be offering have 4 new, different  limited  edition prints on trash; paper prints of most of my Valencia to Vermont work (24th Street cityscapes from the Mission); even a few remaining Temporary Spaces prints on wood; and some other surprises.  I hope it’s a good year.

    Cellspace Open Studios 2011
    October 1 and 2
    CELLspace: 2050 Bryant St in the Mission between 18th and 19th.

  • Sharks have reigned at the top of the ocean food chain for hundreds of millions of years.

    Like the  ephemeral  San Francisco cherry blossom, the beautiful flower that is spring open studios has come and gone. And to the extent that the passing of the weekend reminds us of the many mysterious cycles and  rhythms  of nature, spring open studios reminds us of the very meaning of life itself.  Where some may find no meaning in sitting around a mostly empty art studio for 48 hours, waiting for a tide of  approval that may never come, others will find  illumination.  Through it all, the one unchanging truth is that all shall find free wine.

    CELLspace studio artists populated the gallery space and I took the opportunity to set up one of the walls with collected works from the Two Feather Press screenprinting co-op membership.   In my mind, our unofficial motto is screenprinting improves everything and maybe that’s why I thought this spread looked so great.

    …And when I arrived at the studio on Sunday morning there was a not insignificant pile of cash under my door.  Apparently some anonymous early riser–bless your soul  whoever you are–indulged in a small shopping spree through our highly affordable offerings.

    Thanks to all my friends who stopped by in support.  I really appreciate it.  After the wads of cash, your encouragement always makes it worth it.

    Beau walks into the gallery

    surprise packs for $2 sold like hotcakes at a hotcake stand with three hotcakes available.

  • His latest off-field problem:

    mission_artists_unitedI nearly forgot, I am in a show at CELLspacethis weekend!  Actually, most of the new screenprinters at 2featherpress are involved.    We are displaying much of their fine work that has been chronicled in these pages over the last few months for Spring Open Studios run by Mission Artists United.

    Download the guide

    Saturday, April 16 and Sunday April 17, 2011
    11am — 6pm

    Join us for the Mission-Wide Spring Open Studios where more than 200 emerging and established artists using all mediums open their doors to the public for a weekend of art, inspiration and collecting.

    Stroll this exciting arts district from studio to studio following the red dots painted on the sidewalk. Admission is free.

    Art is the MISSION.

    Participating Group Studios

    Participating Independent Artists

  • Cuddy, House and members of the team join forces.

    Open Studios weekend has come and gone.   Aren’t you impressed with the power of my self promotion skills?   Well, don’t feel that bad if you didn’t know about it or weren’t there.   It was sort of a bad weekend for art.   My memory of it will forever take the form of me sitting alone in a 15,000 square foot warehouse, competing with the Blue Angels and Burning Man Decompression for the attention of San Francisco.   In other words, nothing is my fault ever.

    On the positive side, the weekend was a welcome chance to hang up lots of work from the last year, create a bottomless wine and cheese plate and take stock of my practice.   I think it looked good.   It’s too bad you weren’t there, I was practically giving shit away.   If you look closely, you can see my t-shirt rack!


  • That way I can get going on the required purchases.

    This year I was in charge of organizing Cellspace open studios (to the extent that Cellspace can be organized). We had buttons, a cardboard stage, performance installations, and smoked Gouda. Some Korean students interviewed me on tape and I ate three burritos in 4o hours.   I screen printed a one layer poster for the occasion. Some other pictures:


  • If she was ever with me or if I was ever with her.

    My apologies for the recent spate of secretive posts.   I am glad to report this entry represents a return to my self-centered general-interest ramblings.   Mission open studios was last weekend and as far as I am concerned, it was an indisputable success.   Lots of people showed up to see art, many of them to my corner of the CELLspace warehouse, where they fed my ego.   This is surely the reason I do anything.

    To pass the time, I set up a little screen printing station next to my work, which turned out to be a good way to engage people with my process–I learned that many people are interested in how screen printing works.   As they should be.   It is the ultimate in instant gratification.   I even got to print with some kids, which itself made the whole weekend worth it.   Well, that, and the hundreds of dollars people seemed to be willing to give me for my art.   But mark my words: printing with kids is my calling and some day I will see it through.

    For right now, my calling is posting digital images of last weekend.   Thanks for coming, everyone.   If you didn’t come, just wire me money and we will call it even.
    My corner:

    my corner

    Screen printing in action:

    The panels:


    Even screen printed a wall decal:


    Sold some postacrds and posters for the low rollers:


  • Part of my heritage:

    At one point the city was my best friend. We spent a lot time alone, made each other feel good, and I have many memories of being intoxicated with her beauty. (I think I almost got her pregnant back in the spring of 2004). Now I wake up at five to spend my days in Vallejo and there is the sense that SF and I have drifted apart a little. But it was a sunny weekend of wandering around town around and it felt good to remember that old, mischievous spark.

    And then, while I was wading along Ocean Beach, two tall guys from Amsterdam asked permission to photograph me for their Dutch design magazine. “We take pictures of people in the park,” they said. They had bad teeth. For fifteen minutes I posed.

    And then we surprised A-kik-o (trivia team: general knowledge, handicrafts, geography).

    And then Joe and Ana arrived in town for the final leg of their honeymoon.

    And then I skipped my open studio show completely because who cares about a bunch of postcards?