While many neighborhoods strive to bring the arts to their center, The San Francisco Shipyard feels fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most talented artists in the Bay Area. The Point at The Shipyard artist, Brian Moore, shares his artistic journey with us, including risks, rewards and discovering opportunity in Bayview- Hunters Point.
Q: How long have you had a studio at Hunters Point Shipyard, and what made you decide to find yourself at “home” here? Are there particular artists within the community that you now call friends or have been outstanding to work among?
BM: About 10 years ago I decided I wanted to try my hand at fine art. No idea why as I’m an established graphic designer working mostly for non-profits. Sure I’d taken painting and sculpture back at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, but that was many years ago. I just got the urge again. My first studio was in Building 104. Joe Sam had a studio beside mine. Sam had a real positive influence on my early work and my efforts to support the Bayview community. John Arbuckle, Bruce Katz, Richard Bolinbroke, Marc Elen Hamel. We all have completely different styles, visions and skills, but in a strange way we all complement each other. Hunters Point is truly a unique artist community.
Q: On your webpage, you name Francis Bacon, Susan Rothenberg, Hope Atherton and Gary Komarin – among others as influential to your work. How so? Can you elaborate on that a bit?
BM: After I left my graphic design firm, some eight years ago, I took a big risk and started a small alternative art gallery here in San Francisco. Joe Sam, Kay Kang, Sue Coe, Laura Kimpton were but a few for the talented artist that showed at The Pigman Gallery. During the three years of being a gallery owner, curator and entertainer I really studied different professional artists that I hoped to someday represent. Reading every art magazine, visiting art galleries in different cities and refining my own skills as an artist were all part of an exciting few years. My taste in art continually changes, as does my own personal development as an artist. Today I went to the David Shrigley artist talk at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It’s always an important part of understanding an artist and their art, simply by taking the time to hear then try to explain their personal vision. My vision, much like Shrigley’s, changes with the seasons. Bacon, Rothenberg, Atherton, Komarin, Guston and lately Rosson Crow are always circling around in my artist head. Hard to explain, but they’re all there.
Q: Bayview Hunters Point is undergoing a revitalization process. How would you suggest the BVHP community become more involved in art as an expression of culture?
BM: This is a wonderful and exciting time to embrace change that is finally coming to the Hunters Point Shipyard. I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful studio in Building 101. Natural light and a decent bit of landscaping make for a very unique studio. Collectively we all need to partner more on getting the good word out about the changes to come. For years we have felt isolated at The Point. With the development now on track we all need to embrace the Bayview District much more.
Marc Ellen Hamel and I teach a weekly art class the Malcolm X Academy just up on Middlebrook. Most of the artists have no idea there is a wonderful K-5 school there, with talented young artists just waiting for an opportunity. The new artist’s studio, designed by architect David Thom is going to be stunning. Think about it, years and years of waiting and soon the new arts center will be a reality, bringing much needed vitality to the Shipyard artists community. I’ll be staying in 101, working a way on my next big experiment.
Q: Any notable new artwork or exhibitions? Can you share with us a piece or two and a description?
BC: The McLoughlin Gallery at 49 Geary showed my work recently. That was a wonderful experience that I am most grateful for. I’m currently working on a commission of my Cupcake series. These are large oil on canvas pieces, 96” by 48” that have been very well received. Getting new work ready for the next Open Studio is always an exciting time. We all dream of being in a big New York gallery some day. Possible, absolutely.