The first time I walked into the 111 Minna Gallery I knew it wasn’t the typical upscale gallery or bar in downtown San Francisco. There were far too many people walking around with drinks, sketchbooks and backpacks. There was a full bar. There was hip music. There were tables upon tables of people sitting around drawing.
I arrived on a Tuesday night which coincided with their monthly Sketch Tuesday meetings. Sketch Tuesdays are a live-sketching event – meets the third Tuesday of every month – where invited artists spend the evening sketching/painting/collaging and then selling their work. Many drop-in attendees were also making art as well. Amid the merriment it was easy to forget that this was an art gallery, but I did take time to look at their current show, Scream With Me, which featured art work by a variety of musicians mixed in with internationally known tattoo artists.
The interior space is expansive; it consists of a large 4000 sq.ft. L-shaped gallery with 16 feet high walls leading the eye high up to the exposed piping of an urban industrial warehouse. There are floor to ceiling windows facing out on 2nd Street where window shoppers can fully view the gallery’s eclectic mix of modern and antique furnishings, and, of course, art.
111 Minna Gallery transforms itself every 6 weeks with rotating exhibitions of contemporary art. This place is well worth checking out, though I have heard the atmosphere changes radically based upon the event of the night, or the crowd. It is located at 111 Minna Street in San Francisco, in the SOMA district of downtown San Francisco.