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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deemed "Too Serious", Ritual Coffee Bans Artists' Work

That's one SERIOUS cabinet!
There's a storm brewing, with Ritual Roasters owner Eileen Hassi at its eye. The article that is creating all the caffeine-buzz first landed on SFist.

Although this is all happening at the Valencia St Ritual Roasters shop, I mention it here for a couple of reasons. First, photographer Varese Layzer is a member of SF Camerawork, a gallery space that is supporting the opening of a show tomorrow at the Bayview Opera House (read more about it here). Second, the owner of Ritual Roasters operates a store inside the Flora Grubb nursery on Jerrold St, and so policies regarding artist-relations and content at one location can logically be assumed to apply to another. Third, our neighborhood is home to Hunters Point Shipyard Artists, one of the last remaining artist communities in the city, and so relations between that community and local businesses are important.

I for one do not want "tapestries of heavy metal lyrics" and other, "fluffier stuff" to be the only art that I see when I go into a local coffee shop that has gallery space. I want to see it all - stuff that makes me smile, wince, wonder.  I especially want art that makes me think.  I really like to see our privately owned spaces providing wall space to artists who may otherwise not have a venue to display their works, and hope we don't only get to see the fluffy stuff, needing instead to step through the doors of SFMOMA to get anything thought-provoking.  Thank goodness we have spaces like ART94124 and Javalencia to display pieces we may otherwise not get to if we only were to go into Ritual.

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