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About ART is LIGHT


The Drawing Room is an art gallery and studio workspace, currently at 210 Clement Street - which is our central hub, and now at 599 Valencia Street which is our most current ANNEX space. Since 2018, we've had 3 ANNEX spaces on Mission and Valencia streets which have been in partnership with building owners to find long term tenants for retail space that has been sitting dormant - before and after COVID. These big vacant spaces allow us to host large scale art exhibitions centered around a theme and with the intention to fill the space with as many artists as we can accommodate. These artists are all local Bay Area makers and their work must relate visually to the theme, accompanied by a short narrative. Our current exhibition is titled HOME and there are over 140 artists that are exhibiting at least 1 piece of art. To date, we've hosted over 16 exhibitions in our ANNEX spaces, representing over 1500 artists in these three spaces. We've sold a ridiculous amount of art; but sales alone can't support our staff, rent and production  - so we raise money through donations to cover the costs that are essential to our model. 

In this location, we opened an art gallery not only to give exposure to artists in a high profile space, but also to illuminate this corner in the Mission which has been sitting dark and neglected for almost 4 years - a canvas for tagging and a negative ripple effect on surrounding businesses. Having a relationship with the owners has allowed us to work together to restore the outside, taking the boards down and restoring/replacing the beautiful glass windows, and getting the lights on at night so that there is always illumination. We did a lot of work inside to make the space safe and open to the public as the building has been asleep for quite a while. 

This project was made possible by the work of many young people - high school and college students and graduates that we fundraise separately to employ. These young people were hired through funding via our UnderStudy Program which is generously supported by private donors and 540 Rogues - our neighbor on Clement street. Part of our magic sauce is employing young people who want to get hands-on experience in the arts - from building and creating space, to art installation and handling, gallery prep and maintenance, and interacting with the public. We provide work that is relevant, challenging and inspiring because we bring people together through art and provide access to it and its local makers. We can do this best through creating these large ANNEX spaces in tremendously beneficial, high traffic locations. 

We are grateful to the relationships we have made in both the Mission and Richmond districts and the support from the community. This is not easy work,  what we do, but it is essential work, especially right now. 

Donating to Art Is Light will raise funds to cover our operational expenses - rent and staff -- staff being the most critical because without them, we cannot exist. These projects are far more work than one or two people can manage and in order to be successful, we need to be OPEN and our staff equipped with the tools they need to help us with administrative tasks. We also need to hire our young helpers as this work is physical and requires a lot of help and extra hands. 

Donating to this fund will help us find a home for the ANNEX for 2-3 years where we can start to host more events, and open the other 2500 square feet of space behind our exhibition space for work space, classes, workshops and resident artists with a focus on DRAWING and paper media. 

Donating to this fund will provide something on Valencia and tied to Mission that is central and accessible to all. It will be a community space - it already is. Help us keep it.

Thank you,
Renée