Restructuring in Progress

Mel Prest & Andrew Kleindolph

July 16th – August 16th 2020

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Artist Statement
After 20 years of discussions, we are excited and grateful to install our first significant art collaboration, “Restructuring in Progress.” This exhibit unites Mel’s color and line painting installations with Andrew’s 3D machine-made and hand-finished sculptural work. The wall drawing was made by hand, finding irregularity and warmth in hand-drawn lines. The CNC cut wood shapes are abstractions everyday objects with fluorescent auras, floating over the wall. The lines and colors we used relate to the static and luminescence of screens, the vibrance of energy and community as we’ve experienced it, and how this has permeated each day since the quarantine began.

Our initial experiments for the Great Highway’s window were inspired by the local air, architecture, colors, and the ocean. As this year has progressed, our influences have shifted to the excitement and movements to defund the police and dismantle white supremacy. As a way to support the call for change and justice, 25% of any sales will be donated to the Bay Area SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) chapter, part of a national organization whose “role as part of a multi-racial movement is to undermine white support for white supremacy and to help build a racially just society.”

Mel Prest
Mel Prest is an American abstract artist whose intricate, layered paintings mobilize color, line, and perspective to activate kinetic perceptual phenomena. She lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Prest’s work has been exhibited internationally including: The Drawing Center, New York; The Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Durham, NC; IS Projects, Leiden, The Netherlands; McKenzie Fine Art, New York; Saturation Point, London, UK; Nakaochiai Gallery, Tokyo. Prest has been awarded residencies at: Ragdale, The Sam and Adele Golden Artist Foundation (2012 and 2018), Willapa Bay AiR, (2014 and 2021) The Wassaic Project, The MH deYoung Museum, Vermont Studio Center. Her work is held in collections at Apple; The Berkeley Art Museum, The Crocker Museum of Art; Kaiser Permanente; Marin General Hospital, The Mills College Art Museum, among others.

As an independent curator, Prest has organized shows in Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich and Zagreb. She served on the advisory board of The Art Monastery Project from 2007-2010 and is a founding member of Transmitter, a collaborative curatorial gallery initiative in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York. Prest is currently an advisory board member of Root Division, a non-profit arts organization in San Francisco, an artist advisory board member of Trestle Gallery in Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn and has recently joined the board of SCRAP in San Francisco. A longtime adjunct arts instructor, she is now a program developer for City College of San Francisco Extension.

Andrew Kleindolph
Attracted to elements of sculpture, craft, and industrial design, my visual work varies from interactive electronic sculpture to digital drawing to functional objects. I look for ways to apply themes like inefficiently, malfunction, political or cultural data, spirituality, danger, and asymmetry to carefully-crafted electronic devices. I received my MFA from Mills College in Oakland and my BFA from the University of Iowa. I’ve participated in exhibitions at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Root Division, the Santa Clara Museum of Art, and the School For Poetic Computation in NYC. I was a recipient of a Creative Code Fellowship sponsored by Gray Area and Stamen in San Francisco. I was featured on KQED’s SPARK, a local program highlighting artists in the Bay Area. In 2015, I published a graphic novel of short stories about travels in Senegal, Mali, and Ethiopia. In the summer of 2016, I was a resident at 72u in Los Angeles. In 2018 I was an Artist’s Fellowship Awardee at the Eyeo Festival. Most recently I was interviewed on the Bantam Tools podcast: The Edge and participated in various art fairs in Seattle, Chicago, and Houston with San Francisco’s Open-Editions.

I’m an electronics and object design instructor in the Technical Arts Department at Lick-Wilmerding High School where I developed the LWHS Electronics and Circuits program which includes courses: Analog and Digital Circuits, Device Invention, and Design and Technology. During my time at this institution, I’ve led the department in the integration of various digital fabrication processes and tools including 3D CAD rendering, CNC machining, and 3D printing. For 7 years I was one of the leaders of the LWHS Senegal Service-Learning Trip, which gives students an opportunity to apply building skills and participate in a cultural exchange while in a rural village. I’m committed to anti-racist educational practices that de-center whiteness. I’m a repeat attendee of the White Privilege Conference, a regular attendee of our school’s “Interrupting White Supremacy” meetings, and creator of a workshop on machine learning and algorithmic bias for high school students.

About the Gallery
The Great Highway is a fine art gallery located in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset district. The gallery was founded by John Lindsey, a long time resident of the city with a deep appreciation for images and ideas that explore the intersection of land and water in contemporary work. The Great Highway Gallery’s mission is to seek, analyze, support, and promote the work of a diverse group of artists who seek sincerity, challenge conventional thinking, amuse us, and push the boundaries of today’s creative media. To learn more about the gallery, visit www.thegreathighway.com.

Original Idioms

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The Great Highway Gallery is excited to present Original Idioms – curated by Matt Wessen of the LA County Historical Society. Matt was recently profiled in Surfer’s Journal. The group exhibition will feature, installation, paintings, photography and ephemera from pioneers of surf and skate art culture.

Skip Engblom

Ned Evans

Anthony Friedkin

Mörizen “Mofo” Föche

Dan Freeman

Jim Ganzer

Ivan Hosoi

Steve Olson

C. R. Stecyk III

Curators Statement

“Original Idioms” an observation and celebration of art in the four following mediums: surf, skate, street, and beach. The fourth comprehensive survey from the LA County Historical Society.

A diverse body of artworks created in over five decades and characterized by experimentation. To be able to achieve the show’s curator Matt Wessen created a filter: the importance of years of effort spent by each artist in a particular medium, photographs, sculptures, paintings, mixed media, three dimensional objects, and installations.

“Original Idioms” features a collection of rare items that serve as documentation of self-contained retrospective of lives spent in pursuit of one’s journey of expression. The quest for a perfect wave drives the creatives and sparks friendships. All the artists of the show formed their relationships with Wessen in or around the water medium. An objective of the show is creating an immersive experience for the viewer with flexible yet considered and resolved formats used as an instrument of communication that stimulates free expression in today’s constantly shifting and evolving technological world.  “Original Idioms” is more of a documentarian mindset than a formal approach.

The show features a repertoire of practices and a collective artistic style of LA living legends and practitioners and their continuous and inescapable presence in everything from fashion to product development, street art, and the way Los Angeles culture is portrayed and distributed worldwide in film and design. Those used to justify and legitimize the elite professional skateboarding, surf, fashion, and various artistic mediums.

“Original Idioms” offers a look into the history of LA Pharaohs that shaped the world we live in while questions a highly relevant modern paradigm of the future, a memory disseminated in the seismic changes that usher in a period of one’s life.

The LA County Historical Society was founded by Skip Engblom, Anna Wessen, Matt Wessen.

Back Story

In the early 1907 George Freeth, the country’s first surfer, a part-Hawaiian, part Irish arrives in Los Angeles to create an embryonic point for the birth of surfing culture and becomes the first lifeguard of California. Known as a ‘man who walks on water’ he introduces to the public an ancient Hawaiian sport of kings formed on a belief the bigger the board, the higher class in society that person represents. Freeth teaches Duke Kahanamoku, the first person to be inducted into both the Swimming Hall of Fame and the Surfing Hall of Fame, how to swim competitively and how to surf. This was the moment surfing came to America. This was the moment surfing came to Los Angeles.

Curator Links

lacountyhistoricalsociety.com

@lacountyhistoricalsociety

@mattwessen

Reception February 29th from 6pm to 9pm 
El Tonayense Taco Truck 6:30-8:30

Join us for the opening reception and meet curator Matt Wessen.

Exhibition February 29th – March 29th

Pete’s Cafe SFAI in the 90’s

January 10th – February 16th

Reception Saturday,  January 11 6-10pm

The Great Highway Gallery is excited to present Pete’s Cafe – SFAI in the 90s. The group exhibition will being featuring works by the invited artists who attended or worked at the San Francisco Art Institute in the 90s. Patricia Kavanaugh will be recreating the Pete’s Timeline that she and Tanesha Jemison displayed on the back wall of the cafe in 1997. Andytown Coffee Roastery and Seven Stills & Hard Frescoes Tap Room that are on either side of the gallery will be participating and creating Pete’s Cafe experiences inside their establishments.

Pete’s Cafe

In the 90s I worked as the night manager at Pete’s Cafe situated on the roof of the San Francisco Art Institute on Chestnut Street. I met Pete working at Hayes Street Grill. He asked if I would work the night manager shift for him. I thought it would be fun and it had benefits. Pete created an environment that encouraged an appreciation of cooking, jazz, biting humor and all out human study. The staff beyond Pete, myself and another day manager (Ted Szczepanski) was the students. I have greatly enjoyed watching these students who worked in the cafe and others that attended SFAI during the 90’s go on to do such great things. The exhibition gives attention not only to the space Pete created but to the community that it helped foster.

Dave Arnn

Daric Cheshire

Colin Chillag

Wren Coe

Diana Coopersmith

Adrienne Eberhardt

Connie Goldman

Jeremy Harper

Gerald Hawk

Cliff Hengst

Scott Hewicker

Johanna Jackson

Xylor Jane

Patricia Kavanaugh

Yasmin Lambie-Simpson

Mario Lemos

Ted Lincoln

Lydia Linker

Linton

Jennifer Locke

Sally Lundburg

Mads Lynnerup

Spencer Mack

J Matt

Alicia McCarthy

Barry McGee

Palmerin Merges

Karla Milosevich

Ruby Neri

Eamon Ore-Giron

Maurizzio Hector Pineda

Will Rogan

Cynthia Rojas

Rocio Santillana

Christian Spruell

Steven Starfas

Keith Tallett

Rafael Vieira

Benji Whalen

Mark Wilson

About

The Great Highway is a fine art gallery and working studio featuring contemporary works in all mediums. The gallery has a deep appreciation for images and ideas that explore where lands meet water.

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Location and Hours

The Great Highway
3649 Lawton St.
San Francisco, CA 94122

phone: (415) 680-3891
email: info@thegreathighway.com

Hours:
Thursday & Friday 12pm - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 3pm
Sunday noon - 3pm
By appointment 7 days a week

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