We in the Bay Area think of ourselves as being on the cutting edge of culture. Yet when it comes to presenting and marketing visual art, it’s lately fallen to others to generate fresh ideas. A case in point is Maria Jenson who three years ago moved here from LA. She mapped out a vision for an alternative art fair based, in part, on the time-honored formula of injecting art into a neglected neighborhood. The site she chose was the rock ‘n roll-storied Phoenix Hotel, located in the Tenderloin. The immediate area may be the picture of urban dereliction, but the hotel itself is an oasis: swaying palms, swimming pool, outdoor bar, DJs, performances, installations and video projections – plus 38 galleries stationed in the hotel rooms which, from May 16-19, are transformed into micro salons. Below, Jenson talks about the project.
–David M. Roth
What is ArtPad and how did it begin?