“Giant Love Letter to the Bay Area” Opens Soon at DeYoung Museum

The de Young Museum in San Francisco, California unveils its much-anticipated triennial exhibition, The de Young Open 2023, this fall. Building on the overwhelming success of its inaugural edition in 2020, this year’s exhibition promises an even more diverse and expansive showcase of local Bay Area talent.

Key Highlights:

  • Overwhelming Participation: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco received a staggering 7,766 submissions during the open application period held between June 5-18. From this impressive pool, 884 artworks were handpicked to be displayed in the de Young’s largest galleries.
  • Unique Salon-Style Display: Unlike conventional exhibitions, the artworks will be installed salon-style, spanning nearly floor-to-ceiling, offering a visual feast for visitors.
  • Diverse Mediums: The exhibition encompasses nine different mediums, delving into topics that shape life in the Bay Area and beyond. These include painting, photography, drawing, prints, fiber, sculpture, video, film, and digital art.
  • Themes and Topics: The artwork is organized loosely by thematic topics, shedding light on various facets of life, including historical and contemporary politics, social issues, urban landscapes, nature, abstract concepts, surreal imagery, and human figures.

A Platform for Local Artists:

Designed exclusively for local artists hailing from the nine Bay Area counties, The de Young Open serves as a unique platform for the region’s vast and varied artistic community. What makes this exhibition truly stand out is its inclusivity.

This year, to enable more artists to participate, each applicant was capped at one submission. The result? An additional 1,574 artists got the opportunity to showcase their talent compared to 2020.

Hanging artwork
Hanging artwork. Courtesy DeYoung Museum.

A Community-Centric Approach:

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, aptly described the exhibition as “a giant love letter to the people of the Bay Area.”

Moreover, Timothy Anglin Burgard, the brainchild behind the triennial, emphasized its significance in reshaping how museums are traditionally perceived. Instead of acting as gatekeepers, The de Young Open exemplifies a more democratic model, placing local artists at the forefront.

Additional Perks for Participants:

Besides gaining exposure, participating artists stand to benefit in other tangible ways. They can sell their artworks during the exhibition and retain 100% of the proceeds. Furthermore, they will be granted a complimentary one-year membership as part of the Fine Arts Museums’ new Artist Membership program.

Inclusive and Accessible:

The open application process coupled with anonymous jurying from digital images ensures a fair, community-oriented exhibition model. This year’s jury was a blend of Bay Area artists and curators from the de Young Museum.

Visiting the Exhibition:

The de Young Open 2023 will be open to the public from September 30, 2023, through January 7, 2024. In a gesture of community appreciation, entry will be free for all visitors on Saturdays. Tickets for the exhibition will be available from August 30.

In conclusion, The de Young Open 2023 is not just an exhibition; it’s a celebration of the Bay Area’s vibrant artistic community. It serves as a testament to the region’s unwavering spirit of creativity and innovation. Whether you’re an art aficionado or a casual observer, this is one event you won’t want to miss!

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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