It's been seven months since we first brought word that Parcel O may become a temporary arts space, and now the paperwork has been signed and the ball is officially rolling. Called "Hayes Valley Art Works", the new project at Laguna & Fell has gotten the go-ahead to use the plot of land, and is looking for volunteers to help develop the space.
Former Hayes Valley resident and business owner Russell Pritchard helped launch the idea earlier this year, after meeting with both the mayor's office and Supervisor London Breed to present the idea of a community arts space. The plot of land will eventually become low-income housing, but the planning and paperwork mean that ground won't be broken until late next year at the earliest. In the meantime, the neighborhood is welcome to use the space.
In an email sent out by the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association on Friday, the plan for the parcel was described as "a place to come together to discuss, learn, teach, share and express artistic vision for the betterment of the neighborhood."
A sculpture garden, art gallery shipping container, free workshops and site-specific installations are just a few ideas dreamed up for the parcel so far. Jay Rosenberg, former organizer of The Hayes Valley Farm, is currently heading up the project.
Rosenberg tells us that the first month or so will include getting structures set up and ready for use as exhibition spaces, seating areas, and a visitor's center. Wheelchair-accessible paths through the space will also be put into place.
After some basic infrastructure is in, Hayes Valley Art Works will be whatever the community makes it. "A big part of this whole project will be the work of artists, and those who appreciate art," Rosenberg told us. "There's not much to do, except for what we want."
If you have ideas for the space and would like to get involved, you can email hayesvalleyartworks [at] gmail [dot] com. There's no firm timeline for when the community space will debut, but you can stay in the loop by checking the schedule of volunteer work parties on the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association's website, or grab brunch at Suppenkuche on Sunday morning for a brainstorming and planning session.