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Painter and Muralist Ira Watkins: Sights & Sounds

Photo courtesy Ira Watkins, cropped and resized

Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Ira Watkins, the new artist-in-residence at Hunters Point Shipyard Studios, will be showing his work on October 14 and 15 during the Shipyard's Fall Open Studios. He told KALW’s Jen Chien about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.

Photo courtesy Hospitality House

The Community Arts Program at Hospitality House in the Tenderloin in San Francisco offers free classes in their fine art studio three times a week for anyone in the neighborhood, including workshops on Photoshop, ceramics, drawing and framing. There are open studio hours every weekday, with classes every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Hospitality House is also celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and will be holding a celebration on October 12 at War Memorial in San Francisco.


WATKINS: "Their program at the time, which is still there today, anyone can drop in. And they have different media that…they can give you according to your experience in the art."

The Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center is a hub for seniors and persons with disabilities in the Bayview Hunters Point community to connect with each other. The Senior Center also hosts free workshops and classes for residents and people in the neighborhood, like jewelry-making and crocheting classes. The cafe inside hosts a gift shop that sells those handmade items, like jewelry, scarves, t-shirts, and hats.

Home: The Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center and Residence from https://vimeo.com/dbarchitect">David Baker Architects on Vimeo.

WATKINS: “Anyone can come in and get involved in any of these activities that they have from exercise to computer and the jewelry class.”

Photo courtesy Asian Art Museum

The Art/Lit Living Innovation Zone is in the space between the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library and the Asian Art Museum in Civic Center. It’s part of a city initiative to “revive underutilized public spaces” and was designed by youth artists from the Youth Art Exchange. The site features an 18-foot dragon sculpture and a rotating mural. The most recent mural was a combination of floral imagery and poetry, and the next mural, Sticky Questions, will be installed on October 15. The project invites people to respond to questions on squares of paper that will cover the mural wall.

WATKINS: “This dragon is not one cut out piece of wood, this dragon is like vertebrae ... and each one of these is one of these youngsters’ interpretation, although it all fits into the dragon.”