Noe Valley Voice October 2003

Short Takes

An Open-Art Policy

San Francisco Open Studios is back, showcasing artists from all over the city on weekends in October. Noe Valley's weekend to shine is Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11 and 12.

(The Richmond, Sunset, Marina, Pacific Heights, Haight, Hayes Valley, Buena Vista, West Portal, Diamond Heights, Twin Peaks, and Mount Davidson neighborhoods are featured on Oct. 4 and 5; South of Market, Potrero Hill, North Beach, Fort Mason, Russian Hill, Tenderloin, Bayview, Portola, and the Excelsior on Oct. 18 and 19; and Hunters Point and Hunters Point Shipyard on Oct. 25 and 26.)

Sponsored by the nonprofit group ArtSpan, Open Studios gives people a chance to meet artists in their home studios and to view their artwork in a less formal setting than a traditional art gallery. More than 800 artists will participate in this year's event, now in its 28th incarnation. In Noe Valley, at least 25 artists will open their doors.

"I do enjoy it. It's a chance to meet people and talk about my work, expose people to the studio, plus I do sell some work," says Michael Markowitz, an artist and teacher whose live/work studio is at the corner of Chattanooga and 23rd streets. A specialist in figure drawing using charcoal, pastel, and pigment, Markowitz was featured in the September 2002 issue of American Artist. This is his 11th year of welcoming visitors as part of Open Studios.

Painter and collage artist John Claude Hundt, a Sanchez Street resident, joined Open Studios in 2001. "People can see my studio from the street, and a lot of my neighbors know I paint." In describing his work, Hundt says, "Some of it is semi-autobiographical, and some of it is like a social commentary, with dark humor." Besides collage, he does watercolors and oils, in formats that are "everything from super-small-scale to wall-size canvasses."

The studios of Hundt and Markowitz, and of all the neighborhood artists participating this year (see Noe Valley list at right), will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. A map will be printed in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and ArtSpan is publishing a free magazine guide, which will feature samples of artwork by the artists. For more information, and for details about the Oct. 2 preview and the Oct. 3 exhibition opening at SomARTS on Brannan Street, check the Open Studios web site at

Castro Street Fair Turns 30

A short walk north over the Castro Street hill on Sunday, Oct. 5, will lead Noe Valleyans to the Castro Street Fair, celebrating its 30th year as a neighborhood festival. Admission is free, but a portion of the money spent at food, beverage, and crafts booths is donated each year to causes important to the Castro/Eureka Valley community.

This year, there will be entertainment at four different stages, provided by such acts as the Ethel Merman Experience, Acid Housewife, Pepper Spray, the Aqua Velvets, the Woodyz, and Donna Sachet. Also featured is a rock-and-roll tribute to Sylvester, a popular entertainer who died from AIDS.

The fair runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is centered at Castro and Market streets. Pictures of the performers, details about the beneficiaries, and a history of the fair can be found at To get more info, call 841-1824.

NERT Holds a Fire Drill

Our local citizens' rescue squad, the Noe Valley Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT), will conduct a three-hour training on Saturday, Oct. 11, starting at 9:30 a.m.

The San Francisco Fire Department, along with a group of concerned citizens, created the NERT program after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, to provide a backup for city fire and emergency medical workers. The training teaches residents how to be self-reliant and to assist neighbors during the first few days following a major disaster, when emergency crews may be unavailable.

"We will be conducting the drill at Dolores Park in the area of the steps," says coordinator Maxine Fasulis. "We will be doing several modules where we will practice standard NERT training skills, including exercises with fire extinguishers, communications, and PG&E utilities, [learning] when and how to shut them off and when to leave them alone."

Fasulis says the drill is open to the public and that the local team will have handouts about NERT as well as PG&E. If you'd like more details, give her a call at 641-5536.

Take a Hike, Historic That Is

Between the Presidio and Mission Dolores is a route formerly called the old Mission Road. It is a 3.5-mile stretch, and on Sunday, Oct. 12, National Park Service rangers will lead walkers on a historical hike along this same trail. The strenuous walk begins at 10 a.m. at the Officers' Club in the Presidio, site of the former Spanish military garrison El Presidio de San Francisco. It ends with a bell-ringing welcome at the old Mission Dolores at 16th and Dolores streets. Along the way, you will learn about San Francisco's early days and the impact of Spanish colonialism, through stories about native Ohlone, Spanish, and Mexican settlers.

After you've rested your feet for a spell, you might enjoy stopping by the Mission Dolores Fiesta. The festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, Oct. 10 to 12, will include tours of the mission and cemetery, carnival games, live musical entertainment, international cuisine, a raffle, and a silent auction.

Both the walk and the fiesta are free. Phone the Presidio Visitor Center at 561-4323 to register for the walk. For the scoop on the fiesta, call 621-8203.

Know What a Balk Is?

The Northern California Umpires Association is recruiting new members. Specifically, the association is looking for people who can umpire baseball and softball games at San Francisco city schools and for San Francisco Recreation and Park leagues.

"We'll have a baseball clinic on Sunday, Oct. 12, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the USF Memorial Gym," notes Dan Rumpff, chairman of the membership recruitment committee. A softball clinic will follow in February.

No experience is necessary, but knowledge of the game of baseball is helpful. (A balk, by the way, is a misleading move made by the pitcher.) Umpires are paid per game as independent contractors, and the hours are flexible. Compensation ranges from $21 to $46 per game, depending on who the sponsor is.

If you're willing to don a uniform and enforce rules, call Tony Patch at 664-5514 to sign up. He's the one who will be running the clinic and can answer your questions.

You Must Remember This

St. Paul's Church, at Church and Valley streets, is hosting its sixth annual dinner dance and auction on Saturday, Oct. 18, and this year's theme is "A Night in Casablanca." The parish is countin' on you, kid, to show up at the United Irish Cultural Center, which will be transformed for the evening into Rick's Place, complete with a piano player crooning songs from the classic 1942 movie Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

"The three dinner selections are Beef Tangiers, Chicken Marrakesh, and Vegetarian Morocco," notes Katie O'Shea, one of the event's organizers. "For prizes, we have a weekend at a ski lodge in Lake Tahoe, a dinner for eight at the rectory, with Father Mario and Father Tony. They prepare the dinner, and Father Tony actually is a very good cook. We have a whole week in Sonoma, and sports things like a Barry Bonds ball, Joe Montana memorabilia, tickets for 49ers' and Giants' games. The local merchants are great. They've given us certificates for dinners, services, and products. Incanto, Regent Thai, and Yianni's have all given us certificates."

Rick's opens for cocktails and a silent auction at 6 p.m. Dinner follows at 8 p.m. The Irish Cultural Center is at 2700 45th Avenue, at Sloat. For more information call Katy O'Shea at 648-7538. This could be the beginning of a beautiful fundraiser.

Art and Beauty at Chatterbox

Chatterbox Gift Gallery, a store and gallery dedicated to creative and imaginative art, is featuring six local artists this month in conjunction with San Francisco Open Studios. The exhibit will run through Oct. 31; artists will be on hand during designated Open Studios hours Oct. 11 and 12 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, a reception will be held on Oct. 11 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The featured artists have exhibited their work previously in San Francisco; some have exhibited nationally and internationally as well. They are Sharon Tehan Anderson, who is presenting new abstract oil paintings; multimedia artist Tim Christianson; Hsiu-Ling Hwang, who works in a variety of media; Ian Campbell-Jones, who terms his work surrealist cave paintings or "spherical cubist"; Selene Ogden, a ceramic artist; and Rebecca West, a multimedia artist.

"I'm about building community in a fun creative way around art and beauty and subtlety, and really supporting local craftspeople and artists," says the shop's owner, Julie Anderson.

Chatterbox is at 1185 Church Street, at 24th Street, and Anderson offers a different gallery exhibit every month. November will feature a women's craft fair, and in December she'll put on an ornament show featuring the work of about 50 artists. For more information, call 647-0900 or visit

This month's Short Takes were compiled and written by Laura McHale Holland.


Here's a list of the 25 Noe Valley artists who are participating in Open Studios on Oct. 11­12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Artists in surrounding areas--Glen Park, the Mission, the Castro, Eureka Valley, and Bernal-- --Heights--are also opening their studios to the public on the same weekend. They are not included here, but may be within walking distance for you. For a complete list, go to

Leonard Amaral--Painting, Drawing-- --276 Jersey Street

Sharon Tehan-- --Anderson--Painting
1185 Church Street

Susan Bistline--Mixed Media,-- --Furniture
1357 Church-- --Street

Lita-- --Blanc--Printmaking
4089 25th Street

Donna Blow--Wearable-- --Art/Jewelry
10 28th-- --Street

S.F. Christo--Painting, Drawing
513 Liberty Street

Ian Campbell-Jones--Painting, Drawing,-- --Mixed Media
1185 Church-- --Street

C.Z. Chang--Painting, Printmaking, Drawing
657 28th Street

Tim Christianson--Printmaking,-- --Photography,-- --Painting
1185 Church-- --Street

Terry-- --Connor--Painting
814 Duncan Street

Dennis Gardner--Painting
1320-- --Castro Street

Mark-- --Garrett--Drawing, Mixed Media, Installation
4385 25th Street

John Claude Hundt--Painting, Drawing,-- --Mixed Media
1375-- --Sanchez-- --Street

Hsiu-Ling-- --Hwang--Ceramics, Glass, Installation
1185 Church Street

Josie Iselin--Photography,-- --Technology/New-- --Media
601 Diamond-- --Street

Sharon-- --MacDougall--Painting, Sculpture, Wearable Art/Jewelry
151 Vicksburg Street

Michael Markowitz--Drawing,-- --Mixed Media,-- --Sculpture
3747-- --23rd Street

Renato-- --Martinez--Painting
4244 23rd Street

Elizabeth McCarthy--Drawing, Painting
4003 24th Street

Albert Monferrato--Painting
4022 21st Street

Jim Myrick--Painting, Drawing
1303 Castro Street

Selene Ogden--Ceramics, Sculpture
1185 Church Street

Augusta Talbot--Drawing, Sculpture, Mixed Media
1055 Church Street

Roberta Weisenberg--Wearable Art/ Jewelry
571B Eureka Street

Rebecca West--Drawing, Mixed Media
1185 Church Street