Back in January, we walked into Southern Exposure gallery, which is never a bad idea. But that day was even better than most because it was a party for a group of people who had just been given a bunch of money on account of their being amazing. This is our idea of fun.
The Alternative Exposures program at SoEx, with a big heaping spoonful of help from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, exists to fork cash over to "Bay Area-based unincorporated groups, burgeoning art and gathering spaces, publications, websites, collectives, events, and projects that fall outside the traditional frameworks of support." Translation: Even if you're too weird for regular art-world grant setups, Southern Exposure still loves you.
And now the stone foxes who run SoEx want more. More conceptualizing, highfalutin, funky, intergenre, and hardworkin' art makers to fund. Here are some of the projects from the past, with commentary by SoEx associate director Jeanne Gerrity. "A lot of the purpose of the grant is community building," she told us:
"David Wilson does these maps with drawings, making a little journey people can take with him. We want to fund smaller arts groups, and I think his project involves lots of other people and brings people together in a nice way."
"This is a space started by two artists in Oakland; this particular photo comes from '21 Projects in 21 Days.'" Gerrity told us the marathon's intent was to stretch the range of what could be done: "It could be a lecture or a game, or there was a food tasting."
"Alula Editions is an art subscription service; you get four different pieces of art that are made from fabric and are also functional. It's like a magazine subscription."
"We're interested in supporting innovative ideas that help foster the arts community in the Bay Area," Gerrity says, and they're looking for ideas that are "informal but still rigorous, bringing together the arts community and the general public."
From the last round of grantees, she says a good example of the kind of concept they're excited about is the Invisible City tours, a series of one-hour audio files, each exploring a different part of the Bay Area: "They integrated visual art, and writers that would read stories, and there was original music."
If this sounds like you, the deadline is September 14, and between now and then the gallery is holding information sessions -- it's like they want you to succeed -- at several locations. Go to it, and maybe we'll see you at the party.