Uncovering visions with SFMAPP


Maybe we're a little too old to go searching for chocolate eggs and ginormas white bunnies in grassy fields, but last weekend there was an alternative Easter scavenger hunt for grown-ups, thanks to SFMAPP, the San Francisco Mission Arts & Performance Project. This bi-monthly art event brings together artists, musicians and poets and scatters them among cafes, backyards, and galleries for a diverse evening of music and art in sometimes the most unexpected places.

With my buddy Clairebear, we headed out into the cold April night. First we stopped at Red Poppy Art House where we listened to Benn Bacot sing some classy jazz tunes, while we mused over our recently acquired treasure map. After consulting our map we both agreed that our next stop must be the Secret Garden. I mean how cool is that -- we were off to a Secret Garden and, yes, we got lost on the way. It was that secret.

After a few wrong turns, we finally walked down a sweet smelling path to the garden and found a small crowd of people (or should we call them garden elves?) listening to Jonathan Stephen and his friend Josh play a lovely cover of a well-known mandolin piece by Chris Thile. The stage was perfectly centered under a canopy of trees draped in twinkling lights, which created a truly magical ambiance.

Back en-route, we headed to Area 2881, where we were greeted with a sign that read "Rotating Amusement Devices by Carl Pisaturo." Sweet. What the heck does that mean? When we got inside the gallery, we encountered metallic sculptures whirling and twirling at varying velocities that were incredibly entertaining to look at. With added spacey music and pink and purple light filling the room, it was a totally awesome experience.

Back to the mapp! Trotting along, we stopped at Galeria de la Raza for a movie overload in a piece called "Hollywoodpedia" by Mexican artist Artemio, that collaged together clips from thousands of popular films, based on themes like Love, Failure, and War. The project took years to make and millions of hours of movie-watching to complete, but was definitely worth the oh-so-clever final product.

By that time, Clairebear and I were hungry, but luckily there was a foodie stop on the mapp, so we headed to La Victoria Bakery for live music and snacks from "Sweet Corazon De La Mission" that included delightful edibles by local food cart vendors. We ended the evening at Precita Eyes, to gaze over the colorful mural-style art pieces filling their gallery. Clairebear and I both agreed, it was best scavenger hunt we'd even been on, despite the lack of chocolate bunnies.