Over spring break I visited San Francisco for the first time. The city was beautiful and the food was incredible. My favorite parts of my trip were the DeYoung Museum, the Jewish Contemporary Museum, and The Pirate Supply Store.
The architecture of the DeYoung Museum was beautiful with the landscape surrounding. I sat outside for awhile before exploring inside. They had a very good exhibition on Georgia O'Keeffe. The exhibit focused on her works and life on Lake George with her husband Alfred Stieglitz. I was not very knowledgable about O'Keeffe before the exhibit. I loved her use of color and her alternate perspective. Of course her close up paintings of flowers were beautiful, but I enjoyed looking at her "Licking Cow." She painted the cow vertically — every person (including myself) turned their head in front of the painting to view it horizontally. O'Keeffe made the decision to paint and display the image vertically but it was hard for the viewer to accept this change of perspective. I love how the painting looks the way she created it because it takes the viewer out of the idea of the form as a cow to a composition of beautiful colors and shapes.
The Jewish Contemporary Museum had some really outstanding exhibits. One on "Arthur Szyk: The Art of the Haggadah," "Jason Lazarus: Live Archive," and "Frog and Toad: The World of Arnold Lobel." I loved looking at Arthur Szyk's Haggadah illustrations. I had seen similar illustrations in Haggadah before but have never looked at it from a design standpoint. The way he incorporated imagery and typography is much different than the typography I've studied in school. The Jason Lazarus exhibit had one piece that really stood out to me called "Too Hard To Keep." The artist receives photographic donations and displays them in exhibits and on the project blog. Digital photos can be emailed or texted to Lazarus but are requested to be deleted from all of the sender's devices. I found it interesting that he provides a safe haven where the photos can be kept but releases the burden of someone having a traumatic photograph one can't bear to look at. It was haunting to look at the images and not know the story behind them. Finally, the Arnold Lobel exhibit was much more up-beat. They displayed his sketches and mock-ups for Frog and Toad and illustrations he completed for other authors. It was fun to revisit stories from my childhood from an artistic standpoint and how see how he illustrated life lessons so beautifully.
While walking around the Mission District my friend Rachel and I discovered 826 Valencia, a non-profit tutoring organization disguised as a Pirate Supply Store. Their goal is to get kids aged 6-18 excited about writing and inspired to write. The store was really fun, the walls were covered in jokes, the store was full of activities, and they sell everything from wooden legs to eye patches. I purchased their Tenth Anniversary Quarterly composed of students' writing and a foreword by Lemony Snicket. All of the store's proceeds go towards the tutoring services they offer. We spent awhile speaking to the man working there about volunteering and possible internship opportunities. The courses they offer for students all sound incredible, as does volunteering. I mentioned that I live in Ann Arbor and he said they have a store there, The Robot Supply Store, which I had heard of but did not realize the connection. I went home to do more research and discovered that the co-founder of 826 Valencia is a TED Prize winner and has similar stores all over the United States. I'm very interested in becoming more involved with the organization.
This was only a brief summary of my trip. I loved San Francisco and am beginning to search for jobs in the city. To read more about my trip, please visit my travel blog.