Address: 3041 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Open Hours: Sundays 12-4 pm and check our website for updated times.
How is the project operated?
Will Brown is an ongoing collaborative project that currently takes form as an experimental exhibition space in San Francisco’s Mission District. Will Brown is Lindsey White, Jordan Stein, and David Kazprzak.
How long has it been in existence?
Our first exhibit opened on January 27th, 2012.
What was your motivation?
Lindsey had the chance to take over the lease on this storefront and jumped at the chance without knowing what the initial outcome would be. She contacted Jordan and David to start having conversations about what could be done with the space. It kind of happened backwards in this sense–we had a space first and came up with a concept second. We knew we didn’t want to represent artists or show “art” in the traditional sense–so we started brainstorming from there. Also, we were interested in adding a new energy and dialogue along with the often over-looked element of fun.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
Three: Lindsey White, Jordan Stein, and David Kazprzak.
How are programs funded?
We’re a business. On paper. Because it’s easier that way. But we don’t sell artworks or represent artists. You might say it’s something of a challenge. Or something of an impossibility. We raise money through a variety of fundraisers, but our largest effort is through our Supportfolio #1, a limited edition boxset of photographs by emerging artists; Gregory Halpern, Dru Donovan, Sean McFarland, and Emily Prince. There’s still some available! Check our website for details.
Who is responsible for the programming?
All three of us! It’s a democracy! We vote on every aspect of our programming.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
We rotate shows every 4 to 6 weeks. Since, we just started we don’t know how many shows we’re gonna fit in! Probably 8 to 10…
How is your programming determined?
We function more like a micro-museum in a way. The three of us curate and fabricate all of the exhibitions ourselves and with collaborators. We also organize thematic programming that accompanies all of our exhibitions. In simple terms we are an experimental exhibition space that also hosts a variety of events that don’t really fit into other venues–a lecture on how to count cards, for example.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
We mostly take suggestions for one-night or weekend events.
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
We’re all interested in creating a critical space that hovers somewhere between artistic and curatorial practice; a space that dissects how and why exhibitions function and have come to define so much of what we consider “contemporary art.”
What’s working? What’s not working?
We’ve hit the ground running with this project and the response has been really positive. However, our biggest problem is the financial burden.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
We just felt like something was missing in our neighborhood (besides a decent late-night restaurant). We were really looking for something to do, a place we’d want to hang out all the time and for our friends to hang out at all the time–that’s a big reason we were driven to do this in the first place. But we also wanted to keep our eyes on some larger prize without somehow selling out on our neighborhood or forgetting where we are. We chose not to represent our talented friends making art because we didn’t want to be salespersons. And rather than wishing to expose new and exciting works of art, we thought there was a bigger job to do–especially in the Mission–of inspiring a serious yet unpretentious dialogue around art. We just couldn’t find a whole lot of discussion about the things we cared about outside of graduate schools and museums, and, naturally, that truly bummed us out. We admire many galleries in the neighborhood, to be sure, but they don’t tend to host artist talks or film screenings or anything of that nature; events that gather and excite and further overall understanding of what it is that art means in contemporary culture.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
Honestly, we never know what’s next. When it comes to programming, we fly by the seat of our pants. We like to leave the excitement (and stress) at an all time high!
Photos courtesy of Lindsey White.
Sarrita Hunn is the managing editor and co-founder of Temporary Art Review. Over the last decade, she has worked with many artist-run and alternative spaces and projects across the globe including recently at Koh-i-noor (Copenhagen, Denmark) with sponsorship from the Danish Arts Council. www.sarritahunn.com