The San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries presents
The Point: Kirk Crippens collaboration with the Bayview-Hunters Point Community,
a photography exhibition presented in partnership with Rayko Photo Center.
On view November 13, 2014-February 27, 2015
San Francisco City Hall
Ground Floor Exhibition
North Light Court Banners
Special Events (free and open to the public)
Thursday, November 13
Opening Reception with Curator-led Walkthrough
San Francisco City Hall, ground floor
Tour: 5 p.m.
Reception: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
In 2010, Bay Area artist Kirk Crippens was invited to photograph the neighborhood of Bayview-Hunters Point. He was initially an outsider circumambulating the community with his camera. If the photographs were going to authentically represent the people and the neighborhood, he needed to connect to the community in a more significant and personal way. In early 2011, Crippens walked into Providence Baptist Church, established in the neighborhood in the early 1940s. The congregation immediately welcomed him into the fold, making efforts to shake his hand and remember his name. The artist says, “Attending services each week, the church became the foundation through which I learned about and connected with members of the community.”
Crippens soon found himself describing his photography project to the pastor, and subsequently meetings were set up with pillars of the community who invited Crippens to photograph both themselves and their homes. The resulting images became a body of work entitled The Point, a photographic celebration of the community of Bayview-Hunters Point. Twenty-four images from Crippens’ photographic series The Point were exhibited at Rayko Photo Center in September and October 2014. For this upcoming exhibition at San Francisco City Hall, an additional dozen images from the series will be shown with the initial twenty-four, displayed alongside collections of family photographs gathered from members of the community who are featured in The Point.
San Francisco Arts Commision Galleries Director Meg Shiffler states, “While other photography projects have focused on the gritty, troubled aspects that have resulted from oppression and economic struggle in the area, The Point honors and celebrates the people who have grown up and lived their lives in this area of San Francisco.” Primarily consisting of regal large-scale portraits of individuals from all generations in the neighborhood, The Point also features poetic interior shots of homes and rooms within Providence Baptist Church. Crippens currently serves on an arts board in the neighborhood, and Providence Baptist Church has become his home away from home.
Tom DeCaigny, San Francisco Director of Cultural Affairs adds, “The Point is an incredibly powerful exhibition, as it showcases the lives of long-time Bayview-Hunters Point residents invested in the health and well-being of their neighborhood. At a time when San Francisco continues to grapple with the distressing trend of the out-migration of the African-American community, it’s more important than ever that we bring this exhibit to City Hall. ”
Located at the southeastern corner of San Francisco, the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood has been historically isolated from the rest of the city and often cited as a significant example of urban marginalization. Frequently referred to as “The Point,” the district was considered to be one of the last remaining San Francisco neighborhood left untouched by developers. However, with the completion of the Muni Metro T Third Street line in 2007, the first new light-rail line in San Francisco in more than half a century, and other plans on the horizon, Bayview-Hunters Point has recently become a focal point for recent redevelopment projects. The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a superfund site requiring years of toxic radioactive pollution cleanup, is being targeted for 10,500 new residential units and close to 4 million square feet of commercial and retail space. For those individuals who grew up and raised families in the historically working class African-American community, these changes portend not only gentrification but also displacement.
Stay tuned for information regarding special public programs.
The Point is generously supported in part by Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.