SF Agenda: Design and Arts Events in the Bay Area

Plastic is typically associated with items that don’t have much esthetic, like bags, water bottles, and Tupperware. But, in earlier years, plastic was a sought-after material used to make many exquisite housewares and furnishings. The SFO Museum is currently hosting an exhibit of “Classic Plastics” from the 1870s to the 1970s. In the last century, man-made plastics began taking the place of ivory, tortoiseshell, wood, and shellac, and started to be incorporated into everyday life. Items like record players, mid-century furniture, unbreakable dinnerware, and jewelry are now on display at the SFO Museum exhibit. Runs through January 2014, San Francisco Airport International Terminal Main Hall.

“Composition #2 after Caravaggio” by Charley Brown. Courtesy of Dolby Chadwick Gallery.

Charley Brown’s bold abstract paintings are a sharp departure from his earlier work. Up until now, Brown had been a figurative painter. His provocative new body of work, titled Divergence, can now be seen at San Francisco’s Dolby Chadwick Gallery. While abstract, Brown’s high-contrast paintings are still reminiscent of figurative objects, such as tree branches and architectural structures. Opens July 11 and runs through August 31, opening reception July 11, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., 210 Post Street, Ste. 205.

Jonathan Kline sculpture at March. Courtesy of Mullens Public Relations.

Best known for his spectacular woven baskets, Jonathan Kline brings this same exacting and delicate touch to his sculptures. And now, San Francisco retail shop March is hosting an exhibition of his most recent work. Besides some of his beautifully crafted baskets, the store is also showcasing a couple of sculptures woven from black ash trees, which are his primary medium. Runs through September 7, 3075 Sacramento Street.

“Muhammad Ali in 1966” by Gordon Parks. Courtesy of Museum of the African Diaspora.

Any exhibit with photographs by Gordon Parks is not to be missed. One of the most legendary photographers of our time, Parks’s images are not only stunning but also thought-provoking and cover an important period of American history. San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora is now honoring what would be Parks’s 100th birthday with an exhibition of some of his most significant work. Parks was Life Magazine’s first African American staff photographer and snapped photos of everything from Paris fashion shows to the Black Panthers to everyday Americans. Runs through September 29, 685 Mission Street.

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