San Francisco

New art lending library loans works to Tenderloin neighbors for free

Starting next week, a new free art lending library will be available to Tenderloin residents, courtesy of local theater CounterPulse.

Launching September 4, the Tenderloin Art Lending Library (TALL) is a queer-artist-run project that will lend artwork to neighbors free of charge for up to one month, according to Rick Darnell, CounterPulse’s community arts manager. 

"Untitled" by Stan Rowe is one of the artworks available through TALL. | Images: CounterPulse

The theater will open its lobby on the first Tuesday of each month for residents to select a framed artwork to borrow. The art is due back the following month, when another piece can be borrowed. 

The program is open to all Tenderloin residents, including renters and those living in single-room-occupancy hotels. To participate in the program, residents must share a photo ID, proof of residence in the Tenderloin, and a reliable way for TALL to contact them. 

"Tranny and Hippy" by Robert Honig.

The majority of the artists donating pieces to TALL are homeless or formerly homeless and live and/or work in the Tenderloin, Darnell told us. 

“TALL is predicated on the belief that each person in the Tenderloin community, given the opportunity, will appreciate and understand paintings, prints, drawings, and all forms of visual arts expression."

"Untitled" by Jean Sanro.

Community and social engagement has always been a part of the 25-year-old organization’s mission. Since moving to its current location at 80 Taylor St. in 2016, CounterPulse has specifically worked to engage with the Tenderloin community, offering an Artist Residency and Commissioning program and a regular Friday Block Fest, the next edition of which is scheduled for September 7.

Those interested in borrowing an artwork can stop by CounterPulse’s lobby on Turk Street between Mason and Taylor every first Tuesday, starting next Tuesday, September 4. Lending hours are from noon to 2 p.m.

For more information, contact

Never miss a story.

Subscribe today to get Hoodline delivered straight to your inbox.