Focused On Poster Art, 'Haight Street Art Center' To Open Next Month

On July 1st, the Haight Street Art Center (HSAC) at 215 Haight St. will open to artists and the general public. The arts collective promotes poster art production and education, and its grand opening will include art classes for adults, children, gallery tours, printing and demonstrations.

The space in the Lower Haight, which boasts 7,000 square feet of gallery exhibition space, was once part of San Francisco State Teachers’ College. Providing facilities for production, exhibition and preservation, the center's goal is to serve as a full-fledged hub for poster art.

During the last few years, HSAC has worked within Hayes Valley to develop relationships with neighbors and local artists.

It has attracted audiences for its events, including screen-printing demonstrations at the BottleRock Napa Festival, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and John Muir Elementary School, as well as participating in an educational panel at the San Francisco Public Library.

The back of the HSAC building.

Many HSAC artists have also contributed posters to commemorate the city’s Blue Bear Music School, the 100th anniversary of San Francisco’s City Hall, and special events for the San Francisco Giants.

“Haight Street Art Center is a game changer for poster artists," said co-founder Chris Shaw in a statement. "Not only will artists have access to the best possible equipment at the lowest possible cost, but also a huge gallery for selling their art on favorable terms." 

HSAC will also provide agency services to help its members grow their abilities, secure new commissions, expand diversity in their careers and protect their intellectual property.

The first day of the Haight Street Art Center.

When the center first opens, the print studio will focus on screen-printing, but it plans to eventually offer a range of art print techniques, including stone lithography, etching, digital printing and woodcut.

Since the center’s grand opening happens to take place during the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the inaugural exhibition, “The Art of Consciousness,” will feature more than 90 seminal works from 1965 to 1967 from July through September.

On display will be Family Dog original art from the “Big Five” of San Francisco rock poster art: Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson.

The opening ceremony will also offer a welcoming lecture from chief curator Mariusz Knorowski, and will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony of Jeremy Fish’s iconic Bronze Bunny, which was unveiled in April after a long wait.

“I am thrilled to be involved with the new Haight Street Art Center," Fish told us. "They are the heroes who are preserving the amazing local history of the San Francisco rock poster. The center is a welcome addition to San Francisco, and the Lower Haight, and I look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

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