Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Death of a Music Store - But The Library's Alive and Well

The Art, Music and Recreation Center has long had a close relationship with music stores.  We often suggest stores to our patrons looking for sheet music and scores.  We are likewise happy to have referrals from music stores for musicians looking for out-of-print and hard to find music. 

That's why we are saddened to learn of the closure of The Music Center of San Francisco.  It has long been our neighborhood music store, being located a short distance away in Union Square.

Warren Leong, the proprietor of the Music Center, attributed the demise of sheet music stores to the internet.  In a recent SF Weekly article he noted, "The online presence is too strong. Young people are used to downloading everything."

The author of the article notes, however, that internet for all of its convenience lacks the "human touch."  The Music Center of San Francisco staff had an in-depth knowledge of the musical repertoire and the music trade.  They could help the musician find the right edition or right key.  It also provided a place for musicians to browse and learn about new repertoire.  

We at the Library will continue to provide the human touch and the expertise to help the musicians of the Bay Area.  We have an extensive collection of scores and sheet music that can be perused and borrowed.  We also have an extensive knowledge of the digital resources available on the net.  Additionally we provide access to library collections across the country.  While it would not be proper to promote any business on this blog, we can also refer musicians to the music stores that remain.

Come to visit us at the Fourth Floor of the Main Library, email us, or call us at (415) 557-4525. 

Joe Eskenazi, "One Last Score: Music Center of San Francisco to Close," SF Weekly (June 20, 2012).

Doug Sovern, "KCBS Cover Story: Longtime SF Music Store Closes Up Shop," CBS San Francisco (June 27, 2012).

Friday, June 22, 2012

Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting

Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting is a wide ranging survey on the contemporary practice of painting. The international roster of artists was chosen from a list nominated by critics, curators and museum directors. The format is simple, after the preface and forward, the artists work is presented on two or four page spreads. An essay about each artist gives salient points about the work. Following that is a paragraph about where and when the artist was born, and a list of notable exhibitions. Lastly, the names of each displayed work are given in red.

The essays are printed in small type which takes up about a fifth of a two page spread, allowing the art to dominate the pages. While this concession to space considerations is understandable, for this reviewer, it limits reading the text to very good light.

The entries are arranged alphabetically. Turning the page from one artist’s style to another can be pleasantly jolting. Delicate figurative watercolors are followed by abstract process-oriented work which is followed by images  borrowed from film… Sampling from the “G” section we see the work of an American artist. Tim Gardner’s paintings look like snapshots of a rowdy weekend. The artist uses photographs that his brothers have taken as source material. In the essay on Gardner’s work Dominic Moion writes, “His work plays off the documentary function of the family snapshot in an intriguing fashion, converting his brothers’ collection of personally meaningful moments into an entirely new and highly aestheticized experience.”

In another entry, we view the work of German-born Katharine Grosse. Concisely summing up her process, Eric de Chassey writes, “she covers things with color.” The work consists of painting surfaces in at least four different modes. “In the first mode she applies a series of quick vertical or horizontal brushstrokes of one color, usually in oil on a neutral ground.” In the second mode she layers two colors in crisscrossing fashion. These can be read as different planes. In the third mode, compositional choices emerge since there are now three areas of color competing for attention. In the fourth mode, which she added in 1998, she uses a spray can of acrylic paint. Using the spray paint has allowed her to cover large areas. De Chassey states Grosse has “never has lost her ability to incite both seduction and disgust, playing off sweet colors with harsh execution."

There are many other pleasures to be seen. This survey is a fascinating look at the depth and breadth of the contemporary painting scene.
For others in the Vitamin series:
Vitamin P2: new perspectives in painting

Vitamin D: new perspectives in drawing

Thursday, June 7, 2012

San Francisco Public Library Partners With Global Film Initiative

The Art, Music and Recreation Center of the San Francisco Public Library is pleased to bring International cinema to the library patrons.

Art, Music and Recreation Center is glad to co-sponsor Global Lens Film Series with a local non-profit Global Film Initiative (GFI). The main aim of the series to is to bring to audience films from developing cinemas of the world. The Global Film Initiative was created to promote cross-cultural understanding through the medium of cinema. Under the Global Lens Film Series, San Francisco Public Library will show 10 films, picked by the GFI, with a common goal of promoting cross cultural understanding through cinema. The films to be shown in 2012 are from Albania, Brazil, Rwanda, Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Argentina, Colombia, and Iraq. San Francisco Public Library also supports a deep collection of books about International cinema on the 4th floor and film periodicals on the 5th floor. For those who wish to pursue the subject of developing cinemas around the world the following select bibliography may be of some assistance to the readers.