Walking through the galleries of a Richard Tuttle exhibit is like walking through a joyfully conceived playground. More animate than inanimate, his artworks don't hang like paintings on a wall, but come alive in 3-D, dancing around the room as if they were colorful little animals made of plywood, wire, acrylic, watercolors, and sawdust. In fact, the defining quality of Tuttle's choice of medium is that there isn't one; from a brightly painted star set atop a dark background to multicolored geometric shapes placed strategically upon waferboard, every piece is a new experience. Tuttle aims to incorporate into a work the space surrounding it, so that his art is not just about the painting or sculpture, but also about the wall it presides over or the room in which it sits. Thought to have reconceived minimalism and lit the way for other experimenters like Eva Hesse and Richard Serra, Tuttle, in his first-ever retrospective, showcases more than 300 works from the mid-1960s to the present. "The Art of Richard Tuttle" opens Saturday at 10 a.m. (and continues through Oct. 16) at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free-$12.50; call 357-4000 or visit www.sfmoma.org.
-- Karen Macklin
The good old jazz 'hood
Miles Davis called jazz the big brother of revolution; Duke Ellington called it the man you wouldn't want your daughter to marry. For the Fillmore District, it's 60 years of tradition, commemorated annually at the Fillmore Jazz Festival, a weekend party across a 12-block concourse, where clubs once hosted music greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie. The 21-year-old celebration also aims to introduce the genre to a wider audience with three music stages, featuring West Coast cool, Afrocentric, and punk-jazz styles, and an equally eclectic array of local vendors such as Memphis Minnie's and Mai Thai -- culinary delights that go perfectly with the soulful sounds.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday on Fillmore Street between Jackson and Eddy, S.F. Admission is free; call (510) 970-3217 or visit www.fillmorejazzfestival.com.
-- Josh Rotter
Survivors, but not from TV
When John Bolton gets there, he'll no doubt put a stop to this kind of thing: the U.N. Day in Support of Torture Victims. The wacky international organization intends to have elected officials actually listen to torture survivors -- not exactly Bolton's speed. But since the U.N. remains in need of "reform," as Bolton puts it, Amnesty International and that no-good group of nations (not to mention City Hall) welcome Sister Dianna Ortiz and Emmy Gabriela Avilés Bretón, as well as Holocaust survivor Gloria Hollander Lyon.
All are welcome to join in irritating John Bolton starting at 6 p.m. at City Hall, Mayor's Conference Room, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is a $50 suggested donation; call 291-9233 or visit www.amnestyusa.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Backglass and Snapshots
A slightly manipulated, mildly hallucinogenic image of a cherry-red classic-car interior appears. Where are you? It's kind of a secret: You're at Scott Schroeder's "Cars and Characters" photography exhibit at the tiny, intoxicating "Trans-View" art showplace, which is inside a cult vintage-pinball salon. Schroeder's reception starts Friday at 6 p.m. at Lucky Juju Pinball/Gallery, 713 Santa Clara (at Webster), Alameda. Admission is free; call (510) 205-9793 or visit www.ujuju.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser