Mysterious Art Project Takes Over Entire Block of Divisadero

If you've visited the block of Divisadero between Hayes and Grove in the past couple of days, you've probably spotted a lot of white walls and some mysterious messaging.

"THE FUTURE IS YOURS TO CREATE. 08.24.2013"

What does it all mean, and who's behind it?

Well, the typeface is one clue.

It's called the Open Canvas initiative, and it's sponsored by Absolut Vodka.

The company has commissioned about 20 artists to fill the block with murals, sculptures, projections and even crochets. The open air art installation will take shape on Saturday, August 24th.

Since this past weekend, crews have been priming various sites along Divisadero for the event. The southern side of Rare Device, the lower half of the Independent, and the entirety of the Harding Theater have all been painted white in preparation.







So have Bean Bag Cafe and Cara Glass on the west side of the street.





Meanwhile two sides of the Alouis Auto Radiator shop have been turned into canvases.





Other spaces that will be involved in the event include La Urbana, the Mojo Cafe parklet, and even the street's median.



The main challenge between now and the 24th will be preventing the walls from getting tagged. Kelly Reynolds, who is working on the project, told us yesterday that they've hired private security guards to keep an eye on the walls during overnight hours.

The full lineup of artists is still under wraps, but most are from LA, New York, or San Francisco. Some of the SF-based artists include Mat O'Brien, Alicia McCarthy, and Madrone owner Michael Krouse.

All day on the 24th, the artists will be creating their works up and down the block, with some of them inviting public interaction. All pieces should be complete by the night of the 25th. They won't feature Absolut branding, Kelly told us, though the sponsorship will be highlighted at various parties which will coincide with the installation.

Kelly says that this block of Divisadero was chosen because it fit various criteria. It's a dynamic street which seemed appropriate for a creative project like this, there were plenty of windowless building facades to serve as canvases, and the street's busy foot and auto traffic should ensure good visibility for the artwork. Plus there's The Independent, which will host one of several parties associated with the project.

The art will be up for a week. After that, the various landlords involved can either keep the art if they want to, or the Open Canvas team will restore the buildings to their previous condition.

To get a sense of what's in store, you can watch this video from June, when Absolut sponsored a similar event in Brooklyn:

Otherwise, you might want to mark your calendar for the 24th, as it should be quite a scene.