Friday, June 05, 2009

Eminent Domain Awareness at Varnish Tonight

Varnish Fine Art
77 Natoma Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 222-6131

The Eminent Domain Awareness Group Show features some of the 200+ artists whom Varnish Fine Art has been proud to exhibit since opening in April 2003, including Stanislav Szukalski, Jose Fernandez, Carlos Huante, Beth Bojarski, Michael Page, Lex Lucius, Jennybird Alcantara, Ron English and more. In May of 2003, co-owners Jen Rogers and Kerri Stephens first learned about a Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) neighborhood-devastating project in an SF Business Times article titled, “The Wrecking Ball is Swinging.” Few people know that this San Francisco agency is eliminating 33 small, local businesses, including Varnish Fine Art, and numerous residences in order to demolish all properties and later resell the land.

Eminent domain is the tool this government agency is using to accomplish the land-grab and tenant evictions. The TJPA is forcing Varnish, among the first tenants and years before the end of the lease, to vacate this September for an October 2009 demolition of its nearly 100 year old building. The gallery and wine bar will have to vacate 77 Natoma Street, but the owners hope that by raising awareness about the eminent domain threat they can stop its abuses on this and future San Francisco projects. The Eminent Domain Awareness exhibit is the final group show, but two solo exhibitions by painters Kevin Peterson and Michael Page will be displayed before the current location of Varnish is demolished.

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