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Natasha Garcia-Lomas

Natasha Garcia-Lomas is closing her gallery at the end of December. Manager of the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and 2003 Goldie winner in Visual Art (very rarely do curators receive this award), Garcia-Lomas is at the top of her game. In Glen Helfand's article in the San Francisco Bay Guardian announcing her win, Garcia-Lomas received praise from Bay Area heavy hitters such as the Headlands Center for the Arts Director Kathryn Reasoner, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery Director Rupert Jenkins, and from art critic Helfand, who granted her the award.

Aside from opening the Manolo Garcia Gallery in May and winning the Goldie award in Visual Art, this year her achievements include collaborations with international art institutions - Garcia-Lomas traveled to the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Berlin, bringing an exhibition of "lc/:cr", a collaboration between the Bay Area's Liz Cohen and Catalina Rodriguez of Columbia, who met at the Akademie, a prestigious artist-in-residency program, to the Manolo Garcia Gallery. She also facilitated a collaboration between Mexico's National University in Toluca, Galeria de la Escuela de Artes della UAEM, and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. Her volunteer work
includes sitting on the jury for Genart's annual Emerge show, and on fundraising and programming committees of the Galleria de la Raza and the Headlands Center
for the Arts.

So why is Garcia-Lomas closing the Manolo Garcia Gallery? She sees her expenses as a gallery owner like rent, electricity, and monthly repairs as secondary to the artwork she has produced as a gallery director. Her working relationships with artists are as intimate and supportive as any artist could hope to imagine. While I was at the gallery to interview Garcia- Lomas on a Sunday morning, Libby Black, an artist whom Garcia-Lomas first met at Headlands Center for the Arts' open studios, called to discuss a project. Liz Cohen called to talk about another project the last time I was in the gallery (which was closed). One rarely sees a gallery director as genuinely involved and supportive as Garcia-Lomas. Unlike many gallery directors, Garcia-Lomas pays the expenses for each show. Her budget comes directly from her paycheck working as the Manager of the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. Unlike in Mexico City where she once thought she would open her gallery, or in Spain, where she was born, there is no support for galleries from the government.

And so San Francisco will lose one of its newest, most dynamic galleries at the end of this year. This summer Natasha Garcia-Lomas will also step away from the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. She plans to return to Europe to continue her studies. "If I am somewhere else and end up working in the
arts," Garcia-Lomas tells me, "I plan on tapping into other artists in the Bay Area. That's in my head. It's my plan."

"Magically Yours" is on display at Manolo Garcia Gallery, with videos Penis Envy and Alpha Rhythm Generator, a Spanglish lounge music compilation, and a large, racy digital print on-sale.

Show runs through December 28
On Display at Manolo Garcia Gallery
136 Fillmore Street
between Duboce and Waller
Gallery hours: Thursday - Sunday, 7:00 pm- 11:00 pm, and by appointment.
Phone: 415.863.6380