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What is Artspace?

Andy Warhol San Francisco Art Institute Bob Riley Howard Fried Party at Limbo Karen Finley Larry Rinder cooking at Limbo

The story of Artspace is a simple one. On one level, it is about the desire and passion of one person to add to the dialogue of contemporary culture. On another, it is how this idea was embraced by so many talented artists, writers, students and a public to change a place in time. The idea became a reality in 1986 in San Francisco’s South of Market area in a remodeled typewriter repair shop.

During the 15 years that have followed, Artspace has presented work in every medium, given grants in support of painting, sculpture, video post production, and critical writing. We have published a magazine, more than 10 books, and helped filmmakers with their projects. When necessary, we have provided travel grants to artists for everything from photographing a music festival in Cartagena to a special grant for reuniting lovers.

We have paid health care when needed, initiated an education IRA program for artists’ kids and each Christmas operated The Toy Factory, a fund raiser, where artists got together and made sculptures out of broken toys to benefit the Toys for Tots campaign. We transformed a restaurant on the corner of Ninth and Folsom and named it Limbo . It was a place where artists ate and drank and on every Wednesday night even cooked the specials. We had an advisory board that never met. We were never members of anything professional, and for our own good reasons. Our fall from grace with the NEA wasn’t by design on our part but by the nature of the original idea. We also had serious fun.

Read the rest of this amazing story here.

10 years Artspace book Shift Magazine Artspace New York Limbo artist protraits