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Pop-Up for the Community
by Jialin Luh on Dec 30, 2009
With the gifting season thankfully coming to an end, reward yourself and local artisans with a visit to Local Patron on Grant St. in North Beach. But hurry, the two-month pop-up shop closes January 10th! Not a normal frequenter of North Beach? Ponder this: it’s the only shop of its kind in the neighborhood composed entirely of apparel, jewelry, paper goods, journals, ceramics, housewares and fine art made by Bay Area artists.
Situated on a cozy block in North Beach just up the street from the iconic Al’s Attire, Local Patron looks right at home and more like an established boutique than a temporary pop-up. Founded by Sybil Tate as a way to bring together artists and the community, the first pop-up shop opened in Hayes Valley in 2003. The second incarnation opened in 2004 on Union Street in Cow Hollow, followed by a third 6-month location on Valencia in the Mission. This year North Beach was chosen to offer a unique taste of local flavor to the neighborhood.
Due to the tough real estate market, Local Patron went on hiatus for a few years. Meanwhile, similar-minded SFGallery143 started operating a similar seasonal consignment store in the summer and winter of 2007. Local artist and jewelry-maker Gabriel Colaluca made introductions between the two organizations who then merged their artists and resources to revive the Local Patron pop-up shop this winter. Local Patron in its current form is run by Jessa Freeman from SFGallery 143 and Rebecca Uline, an original partner from Local Patron.
What can one expect to find at Local Patron? “We are not just a clothing store,” says Local Patron partner Jessa Freeman. “We have an emphasis in all areas of art and artisanal work. We are a gallery and store. We carry everything from beautiful paintings for thousands of dollars to painted rocks, photography to upcycled clothing and bags, we carry self-published children’s books to used books converted into journals.”
“Cards, ceramics, glass art, silk screening, sketches to clothing for men/women/children, jewelry, toys, and home made lotions and oils are just some of the items,” Jessa says. “We have events where these musicians play live in the store.”
Upon entering the shop, you’re greeted by a cheery tabletop display of wonderfully adorable children’s and baby’s clothing and washcloths by Yahzi Rose. Little white shirts bundled with stuffed bears and other animals ($15), with original characters printed on American Apparel onesies and shirts. A rack displays the gorgeous millinery of Jasmin Zorlu. While the fish skin aviator-style hat is not cheap at $348, it’s exquisitely hand-crafted and unlike anything you’ll find in a chain store. All of Jasmin Zorlu’s headwear is of a different caliber for the fashionable woman.
Upcycled clothing on label Onerary are imaginatively constructed and adorned with hand-drawn designs resulting in edgy, feminine and one-of-a-kind zipper dresses and flattering circle skirts. Daka’s 100% leather 100% locally made totes are stunning, with designs like hummingbirds, lotus flowers, cityscapes and cats and love birds ($189).
Fingerless gloves/arm warmers by Super Sugar Ray Ray are affordable and sassy, with lightning bolts and stars (starting at $25). On the higher end, vibrantly colored felted scarves by Harlequin Feltworks might seem a little pricy but in a city like San Francisco a scarf can get a lot of use. Feathered fascinators and headbands by Lucia McIntosh can add zest to any outfit.
Head upstairs to the gallery for home décor ranging from imaginative/beautiful drawings by Peter Max Lawrence ($15) to large oil-painted canvases to ceramics, glasswork and barware. The pint glasses and steins by Etch Your Heart Out etched with brass knuckles, grenades, gnomes, bicycle gears and bacon are hip but not painfully so and add personality to plain bar collections. Painted rocks might sound dull but those by Nikolas Allen are anything but, and fans of pinup/hotrod culture will love his mini painted canvases ($50).
Stunning angular ceramic plates by Ilana Crispi incorporate imagery and text beautifully on the table at the top of the stairs. Fine art collectors may fall in love with the large oil-painted canvases; a visitor from Long Beach had one shipped from the store for their collection.
If paper goods are your thing, check out greeting cards and sticker packs by Bees and Bears. Douglas MacNeil repurposes cloth-covered hardback library books into spiral-bound journals complete with original barcodes, due date cards and even a page or two from the original book.
In addition to some of the aforementioned artists/designers, Jessa counts Brown Banana jewelry (incorporating recycled watch-parts and typewriter keys), Becky Uline’s music, Gregory Bartning’s photography, Josie Adele jewelry, Robert Donald’s paintings, Paul Baker’s “Mercury Boxes” and Quirky Craft cards with sayings like “you put a spell on me” on the cover followed by “not in a creepy way” on the inside among her favorites.
Local Patron the pop-up store might be closing January 10, but it won’t do so without a bang: the closing party will feature local DJs, desserts from Pastry Chef Jennifer Riate of EOS, and 10% off in the store. Local Patron’s operators have provided a physical means for the public to learn about local art and design while giving back to the local community by hosting events benefiting various charities and dance companies.
Stay tuned: organizations focused on supporting local artists, economy and community are well worth following.
by Jialin Luh on Dec 30, 2009