Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Local Wonder, an exhibition by Tenderloin artists challenges the stereotypes and mischaracterizations about the Tenderloin. As the exhibition’s title implies, Local Wonder focuses on all the intensely positive and wonderful ideas that spring from the diversity of cultures, people and lifestyles one has come to expect of the Tenderloin.

Local Wonder is a project of the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District in partnership with Lance Fung’s Wonderland. Working collaboratively, NOM/TL CBD and Wonderland have made it possible for scores of San Francisco artists, international artists and Tenderloin artists to exhibit work together. This is no small thing.

When I first heard about Wonderland a few months ago, I was expecting a “carpet bagger” mentality (I am from North Carolina, after all). This has not been the case. Far from it, Wonderland has worked hard to be genuinely inclusive and sensitive to the concerns, needs, and expectations of the Tenderloin community.

Local Wonder is not “riding on the coat tails“ of Wonderland, as much as it is about sharing in the possibility of what can happen when a group of like minded persons come together intent on making something local that is wonderful, insightful and worth doing.

Local Wonder includes artists from 5 years old and up. Artists submitted up to three of their best pieces in any medium. Of the three, the curatorial team selected one for inclusion in the exhibition. Any artist living or making art in the Tenderloin was welcome to submit work. After viewing this exhibition, you leave with one big idea, I’m hoping it is something like this: “Artists living in apartments with their families, solo in SRO’s or in the streets are part of the diversity that makes the Tenderloin an ever improving place to visit or call home.”

Here’s hoping you enjoy Local Wonder as much as I have.
Rick Darnell Project Coordinator


Post a Comment