I knew I would be having an artfully art-filled weekend at ArtPadSF when I saw that the exterior of Phoenix Hotel, decorate by Zio Ziegler of Wallspace. The VIP Preview on Thursday was a benefit for the upcoming San Francisco Museum of Modern Art SECA Art Award exhibition. SECA, Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art, brings together art enthusiasts, collectors, curators, and arts professionals through a variety of events that strengthen members’ knowledge of contemporary art. Founded in 1961, SECA began its award program six years later, and has since given awards to over 70 artists and provided hundreds of finalists a platform to speak about their practice. While SFMOMA undergoes expansion, the SECA Awards have moved beyond the traditional museum walls to commission works that will be placed throughout the Bay Area.
ArtPadSF co-founder and executive director Chip Conley, ArtPadSF (he’s the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality) and Maria Jenson, Founding Director of ArtPadSF had brought together forty national and international galleries showcasing new and emerging artists at the Phoenix Hotel. For the SFMOMA SECA benefit they created an evening designed to stimulate all the senses, adding to the immersive art experience. Synthpop and chillwave band Altars played, followed by a DJ set by Altars’ Bertie Pearson. The San Francisco Tsunami Swim Club–a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight-friendly masters-level swim team–performed a synchronized swim in the Phoenix Hotel pool, and video artist Andrew Benson programmed an astounding array of visuals. Taste buds were stimulated by Food for Thought‘s conceptual-based concessions–they replicated the taste of “sun, sand, and sea” on mini surfboard styled sticks, debuting their flavor, “Belly Flop.”
The entertainment was grand, but really we came for the art; seeing art it this unique, intimate environment makes for a more intense connection, especially important with new and emerging art. This is just the first post about ArtPadSF–we have two more coming including a write up from Isabel Samaras!