The creative people and programs at San Francisco Heritage's Doolan-Larson Building
Ali Blum & Calixto Robles (Artists)
AIR dates: March 2023
Artwork by Ali Blum
Ali Bluum (she/her) received a BFA from Cornell University in Painting and MFA in Printmaking from Washington University in St Louis. She has undertaken residencies at Curtiduria Print shop in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Selected group and solo shows include: the De Young Museum, Cornell University Hartell Gallery, San Francisco Public Library, Museo de la Filatelia de Oaxaca, Ligne Roset, Front Gallery, Somarts, The Mission Cultural Center, and the The San Francisco Jewish Library. She has led workshops and live art demonstrations at the SFMOMA, De Young Friday Night Events, The Academy of Sciences, Asian Art Museum intern program, and The Jewish Museum.
Ali has taught art at Drew School in San Francisco for over 25 years, and her students serve as a constant source of energy and inspiration. She likes to teach by doing what she teaches—making art and engaging in activism through art work. This is an essential part of her work from the endangered species series to the COVID journals, to her Climate Change and Nature Makes a Comeback series.
Calixto Robles in front of his artwork at Gallery 1506.
Calixto Robles (he/him) is from Oaxaca Mexico and moved to San Francisco in 1983. He is a painter, printmaker, and ceramic sculptor who is inspired by Meso-America and First Nation people’s culture as well as sacred imagery of ancient Eastern and Western cultures. He uses natural and supernatural figures such as angels, eagles, jaguars, horses, hearts, and moons.
He creates work around issues that he has personally invested in his entire life: social justice and climate change. He makes art to empower people to find strength to fight for justice. His work is positive and shows symbols of cultural history, survival, and strength. Select exhibits include The Legion of Honor in San Francisco, The de Young Museum In San Francisco, The Oakland Museum in Oakland, and Museo de la Estampa in Mexico City. His work is in the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. He has received two San Francisco Art Commission Individual Artist Grants, and has conducted public and had a residency at the de Young Museum. He has given workshops and artist talks at the De Young Museum, San Francisco Art Institute, Academy of Art, Millersville University, SFMOMA family Day, Museum of The African Diaspora, and Yerba Buena Center for the arts.
AIR dates: April-May 2023
SF Heritage hosted Zoltron (he/him), the city’s own anonymous art-bomber, as our Artist-in-Residence in April and May 2023. Zoltron cross-pollinated art and commerce during a 3-week retail experience unlike any other. During his residency, he dropped stoney Armageddon safety kits, Molotov cocktail ignition supplies, shirts, hats, and Norwegian Death Metal hoodies for the kids as well as fresh multi-layered silk-screen prints made personally for Debby Harry and Iggy Pop, the punk king and queen of catastrophe. The exhibition Apocalypse included his recent serigraphs, letterpress prints, and limited-edition acid blotters, all sundry markers of the end times.
Artistic Cult leader Zoltron is followed by a rabid horde of devoted fans who compulsively collect his posters and art – exclusive, limited editions made only for followers who have their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. He is the creator of the secret visual sauce of Primus, and the confidante of collectors of concert-posters made for Ween, Foo Fighters and Pussy Riot.
Zoltron's Promotional Poster for the Pop-up Shop at Gallery 1506.
AIR dates: January-February 2023
From his studio in Oregon, Emek (he/him) conjures collisions of the organic versus the mechanical. He hand draws then silk screens images on paper, and also works with other media such as metal, glass, and plastic. His creative works are filled with humor, social commentary, and fantasy. Even in the smallest details of his work there are messages to discover.
Emek also is renowned for painting album covers for rock stars from Neil Young to Pearl Jam to Erykah Badu. In his book Emek The Thinking Man’s Poster Artist: Collected Works of Aaarght! he explores a retrospective of his rock-and-roll art, editorial illustrations, and protest posters.
Emek at his exhibition at Gallery 1506.
Blake Slonecker (Scholar/Researcher)
AIR dates: July-August 2022
Blake Slonecker (he/him) is a Heritage University professor. Through a three-week residency, SF Heritage supported his archival research in the Bay Area for his project on the broad political agenda of the Sexual Freedom League (SFL), originally founded in New York City in 1963. The group, which went on to establish largely independent local chapters in several other states in the midwest and west coast, played a dynamic role in the Bay Area’s sexual revolution of the 1960s.
Chibueze Crouch (Multimedia Artist, Writer, Curator)
AIR dates: June-July 2022
Chibueze Crouch performing “Time of Change” in the Haight-Ashbury, September 2021. Courtesy of Chani Bockwinkel.
Chibueze Crouch (she/they) is a Nigerian American multimedia artist, writer, and curator working across ritual theater, song, movement, and film. Chibueze is the cofounder of the directorial and performance duo OYSTERKNIFE, an SF Heritage artist in-residence and creative force behind September 2021’s “Time of Change” in the Haight-Ashbury. During their residency at the Doolan-Larson Building, Chibueze produced writings about the recorded audio and research OYSTERKNIFE conducted on Black histories in the Haight, including short profiles of the interviewees, poetic musings, and (where permission is granted) excerpts of additional material that wasn't included in "Time of Change."
Mark Dean Veca (Visual Artist)
AIR dates: May 2022
Mark Dean Veca, 76, 2022. One-color screen print on Coventry rag vellum 320gsm, 53 x 39.5”, edition of 10.
During his one-month residency at the Doolan-Larson Building, artist Mark Dean Veca created a new set of drawings and paintings inspired by the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood’s past and present. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, for over thirty years Veca has produced murals, paintings, drawings, installations, sculptures, prints, designs, and other sundry inventions. During his residency, Veca ran a concurrent exhibition, Mark Dean Veca: Ornamental Illness, at SF Heritage’s Gallery 1506, located at 1506 Haight Street on the groundfloor storefronts of the Doolan-Larson Building. Running from May 7, 2022 through May 29, 2022, the exhibition featured a new suite of screen-printed editions originally created during a residency at The Space Program in San Francisco in 2021. Veca also hosted an artist talk on May 14, 2022 with Renny Pritkin, former curator at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
Linda Kelly (Journalist)
AIR dates: February-April 2022
Linda Kelly, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Haight Street Voice, served as SF Heritage's first Journalist-in-Residence at our 1506 Haight Street pop-up gallery from February to April 2022. Kelly used the gallery as an office space, and a place to host interviews with Haight-Ashbury neighbors and passers-by for articles in her quarterly magazine, social media posts, videos, and her monthly newsletter. Learn more about the Haight Street Voice here.
Linda Kelly stands in the doorway of 1506 Haight Street. Photo courtesy of Linda Kelly.
Ben Juodvalkis (Musician)
AIR dates: January-April 2021
Ben Juodvalkis composing in the attic of the Doolan-Larson Building, 2021.
San Francisco composer Ben Juodvalkis created a multi-room "audio documentary" to support future public tours and events at the Doolan-Larson Building. He combined spoken content of Counterculture participants with original music composed onsite, creating compositions unique to selected rooms. Among the work Ben wrote and recorded was "The Duke of the Haight," a ballad to Norm Larson.
Since 2007, Ben has composed for more than fifty organizations, ranging from avant-garde museum installations to corporate keynotes. Additionally, he has released five albums and toured extensively with his rock band, Battlehooch. Juodvalkis' residency directly preceded his collaboration with Joe Goode Performance Group, whose Heritage-supported piece Time of Change debuted in September 2021.
Jimmie Fails (Actor/Writer)
AIR dates: June-August 2021
Jimmie Fails inside the Doolan-Larson Building, 2021.
During his residency, Jimmie Fails (The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) compiled a collection of poems, short stories, and journals, as well as continued his work on a script about his experience growing up in a group home. While he is most known for acting, he has been eager to get his personal writing out to the public, and took inspiration from the Doolan-Larson Building and other Haight-Ashbury historic properties. Fails also collaborated with Haight Street legacy clothing shops on a photo exhibition, co-presented with ValueCulture and hosted at the SF Heritage pop-up space at 1506 Haight Street.
Melecio Estrella (Choreographer)
AIR dates: September-December 2021
Melecio Estrella inside the Doolan-Larson Building, 2021.
The Doolan-Larson Building served as an artistic home for the creative forces behind Time of Change, SF Heritage's collaborative performance piece with Joe Goode Performance Group (JGPG) in September 2021. Co-director Melecio Estrella, the associate artistic director of famed aerial company BANDALOOP and member of JGPG since 2004, served as SF Heritage artist-in-residence while working on the show. He brought in his aerial expertise to activate the Doolan-Larson Building’s exterior architecture, alongside explorations of personal family histories, spirituality, and psychedelia.
Gabriele Christian and Chibueze Crouch (OYSTERKNIFE, Choreographers)
AIR dates: September-December 2021
OYSTERKNIFE: Gabriele Christian and Chibueze Crouch
Choreographers Gabriele Christian and Chibueze Crouch (OYSTERKNIFE), two of the creative forces behind Time of Change, served as SF Heritage artists-in-residence while working on the show. OYSTERKNIFE are a queer Black duo who create works rooted in traditions from the African Diaspora. They choreographed one of Time of Change's primary sites, exploring the Black narrative of liberation in the larger context of this show’s historical timeframe.
Explore Gabriele and Chibueze's (coming soon) individual residency projects:
Jeremy Fish (Visual Artist)
AIR dates: September-December 2020
"The Queen of Jeans" by Jeremy Fish, celebrating Peggy Caserta and her clothing shop Mnasidika.
San Francisco visual artist Jeremy Fish inaugurated SF Heritage's Artist-in-Residency program at the Doolan-Larson Building in September 2021. During his three-month residency, Fish interviewed Haight-Ashbury residents, Counterculture figures, and historians to imbue his art with depth and authenticity. The resulting series of intricately-detailed pen and ink drawings celebrated the Haight's rich Counterculture history, and paid homage to San Francisco's poster-art tradition made famous by artists including Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, and Victor Moscoso. Fish's artwork was displayed and distributed in various formats and venues, including the free exhibition "Living in the Past" at the Haight Street Art Center.
AIR dates: June-July 2021
Tina D'Elia as Peggy Caserta in a performance of "OUT of Site: Haight Ashbury" in front of 1506 Haight Street (SF Heritage photo).
EyeZen Presents' OUT of Site: Haight-Ashbury premiered in June 2021, with performances anchored at the Doolan-Larson Building. This queer-history tour celebrated the Haight-Ashbury's contributions to the Gay Liberation Movement. Award-winning actor Tina D'Elia portrayed two key figures from the era, Peggy Caserta and George Harris III aka Hibiscus, while steering audiences on a series of virtual and live-street theater performances throughout the Haight. Caserta, an openly bisexual woman, owned and operated clothing store Mnasidika in one of the Doolan-Larson Building's storefronts from 1965 to 1968. As the first “hip” store in the neighborhood, Mnasidika was instrumental in the development of Haight-Ashbury as a hippie enclave. Hibiscus founded the pansexual theater collective known as the Cockettes, and left a lasting mark across the worlds of drag, theater, music, and fashion.
Joe Goode Performance Group
AIR dates: September 2021
Dancers from Joe Goode Performance Group perform in the finale of "Time of Change" at the Doolan-Larson Building, September 2021 (photo courtesy Chani Bockwinkel).
Time of Change, SF Heritage's exciting artistic collaboration with San Francisco legacy business Joe Goode Performance Group (JGPG), was created by co-directors Joe Goode/Joe Goode Performance Group, Melecio Estrella, and OYSTERKNIFE (Chibueze Crouch + Gabriele Christian). This innovative in-person performance guided small audiences through the streets of the Haight-Ashbury to experience several moments of movement, music, and monologue, culminating in a vibrant finale at the Doolan-Larson Building with singers, aerial dancers, and video projections on the building's façade.