ArtSpan evolved from the SF Open Studios program that began in 1975 by a small group of enterprising artists who wanted to make their artwork accessible to the public. These artists decided to open their studios concurrently on one weekend to encourage collectors to visit artists' workspaces and see where art is made. Throughout the first 14 years, the event operated as a private enterprise and depended almost entirely on artist registration fees and volunteers. The event became so popular that it grew to encompass two weekends, then three, finally settling on the four-weekend model we still employ today. ArtSpan was created as a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation in 1991 to secure the longevity and consistency of the SF Open Studios program, while creating additional programming for the community, youth, and families. 2015 marks the 40th Anniversary of SF Open Studios.
934 Brannan Street, San Francisco
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"a small group of enterprising artists who wanted to make their artwork accessible to the public"
Dates of Operation
Type of Space
art gallery/open studio program
youth and professional artists
Additional Information and Resources
About this Article
This article was originally created as part of SOMArts Cultural Center's Making a Scene: 50 Years of Alternative Bay Area Spaces. To learn how to add or edit content please visit the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism's online History Collection Lab.