In hopes of finding the perfect piece for my living room renovation in light of the new year, about three weeks ago I attended San Francisco’s yearly Divisadero Art Walk. I specifically wanted to stop by Big Umbrella Art Studios located at 906 Divisadero Street. The small neighborhood studio is a strong supporter of young emerging bay area artists, and is a great place to find amazing pieces at affordable prices. Their shows which are held monthly, also offer free beer, wine, and delicious on the spot cooked ethnic food; always bringing together a fun and interesting crowd!! This year’s art show featured Becca Vershbow’s art work, titled; “Peeling Back the Layers” which was truly inspiring. However, what really caught my eye was the work of Ryan Vicente, a resident artist at Big Umbrella. I found his series “St. Art” particularly moving not only because of the medium used and how well the pieces collaborate, but because each piece is both something we San Franciscans can find comforting and relate to, but at the same time each piece holds our own personal stories. These stories, we can all share and laugh about over a glass of wine, or keep to ourselves as a special or personal moment to remember. Regardless, we have all walked on these streets, and when looking at these pieces our stories and memories bring us together. Having these pieces is perfect for a San Francisco home, and can be quite a welcoming moment for visitors, friends, and family.
Here is an short interview that I had with Ryan the night of the show.
What is the process to create these pieces?
Ryan: As far as process goes, I photograph the pictures and then digitally go and make separations for silkscreen.
Why do you like print making over any other medium?
Ryan: What I like about printmaking is the process, the fact that it is very hands on. I don’t get the opportunity to sit in front of a canvas with a glass of wine all day. I am in and out of the darkroom and constantly washing out screens and mixing tubs of paint. I love paper and experimenting with other mediums, printmaking allows me to incorporate so many different elements like lace, leaves, collage, and embossing. I once thought art was only for people who could draw really well. I try to make up for my lack of talent in that area in creative ways. The more that I learn about fine art print making, I realize that talent is only a small part of what it takes for a successful print. Creativity and discipline go a very long way.
What other kinds of work do you like to do?
Ryan: Iv’e also really liked doing relief prints on linoleum blocks. It’s probably the most rewarding feeling I’ve ever had; finish cutting and printing a successful relief print. I like the idea of not being able to go back and fix any mistakes, I understand why a lot of artists have referred to it as a “suicide block.”
Here is Ryan Vicente’s “St. Art” series photographed.
To check out the rest of Ryan Vicente’s art work and look at what else Big Umbrella Art Studios has to offer.