Whether you’re in the market for some affordable studio space or just looking for something cool for your wall, Big Umbrella Studios is worth a visit. We stopped in to chat with Gallery Manager and Art Director Harrison Love to learn a bit more about the place.
Big Umbrella Studios (BUS) first started as a shared art space in 2007, and has evolved into an artist-run studio/gallery/boutique over the past three years. Love, an artist himself, is a New York City transplant who recently took over the role of Director this past January. He manages BUS along with Sarah Woodward and Matt NaSal.
The place is rented from a Christian community organization upstairs. Love notes their continuing commitment to keeping the space affordable, while many other creative spaces (and artists) are being forced out of the city due to skyrocketing rents.
Much of what BUS does is geared toward promoting local artists by allowing them an affordable space to create and show their art within city limits. Love says that their current show, Im-Pressed, is "a works on paper show that encourages up-and-coming artists to exhibit their work without the cost of framing and other display expenses.”
As an establishment run by local artists, Big Umbrella is all about the Divisadero community. In cooperation with The Divisadero Merchant’s Association, they are currently the folks behind the Divisadero Art Walk and are becoming more involved in mural projects around the neighborhood.
The most direct way that BUS helps facilitate local art is by providing the space and resources for people to make it. Membership benefits include full access to shared workspaces and supplies including a darkroom, a 4-color silk screening press, easels and worktables, and basic tools. Resident artists also get priority in exhibitions and opportunities for feature or solo shows with an 80 percent return on gallery sales. Additionally, members are offered priority in displaying items and receive 70 percent returns on sold items.
Both unlimited (24 hours) and abridged (business hours) memberships are available for $250 monthly and $150 monthly, respectively. Drop-in services are also available for $15 a session. Check out their website for a complete list of membership benefits.
The next Divisadero Art Walk is slated for sometime in
June July, but stop by and check out Big Umbrella before then. The current exhibition will be up for several more weeks and their next show goes up June 13th.
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