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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"City of Awesome" Incorporates San Franciscans' Self-Portraits Into Landscapes

Posted By on Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge At Sunday Streets in the Mission, a participant shows off her self-portrait for Todd Berman's painting. - TODD BERMAN, ET AL.
  • Todd Berman, et al.
  • At Sunday Streets in the Mission, a participant shows off her self-portrait for Todd Berman's painting.

Mission Pie is our favorite kind of local business. Not only is its walnut pie (with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top, natch) among the world's perfect desserts, but since day one the shop has been devoted to sustainability and supporting regional food producers. Patrons gather around communal tables to discuss community issues, or sit by a window and watch the Mission on a Saturday afternoon. A San Francisco without Mission Pie just wouldn't be as cool a city, and we might even go so far as to say the shop is full of awesome. Appropriate, then, that Mission Pie presents the new exhibition by local artist Todd Berman: "City of Awesome." Its opening reception is Thursday.

click to enlarge The artistsasked people in Dolores Park to draw pictures of what they thought should be included in a painting of the park. He collaged those drawings into this painting, Our Dolores Park. - TODD BERMAN, ET AL.
  • Todd Berman, et al.
  • The artistsasked people in Dolores Park to draw pictures of what they thought should be included in a painting of the park. He collaged those drawings into this painting, Our Dolores Park.

A serious devotee of San Francisco since he relocated here from NYC more than 10 years ago, Berman is not content to try to capture the spirit of the entire city single-handedly. Instead, he has recruited citizens young and old to draw pictures of themselves and bring them to Mission Pie, where Berman has collaged them onto his wildly vibrant San Francisco landscapes that emphasize the wonders of our unique geography.

click to enlarge This exhibit graphic includes details of View of Bernal Hill and Dance City. - TODD BERMAN, ET AL.
  • Todd Berman, et al.
  • This exhibit graphic includes details of View of Bernal Hill and Dance City.

Berman reassures participants that they need not worry about artistic ability; he wants them to contribute something of how they help make the city great. Therefore, no deed is too small and no stick figure too rudimentary. Mission Pie has its full roster of savory and sweet goodies on offer during the opening as well, so we suggest you show up hungry.

The "City of Awesome" opening reception begins at 6 p.m. (and the show continues through Jan. 15) at Mission Pie, 2901 Mission (at 25th St.), S.F. Admission is free.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Heidi De Vries

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