Lower Polk has surged forth as one of the city's more exciting hubs of gallery art. So it's no surprise that the neighborhood is expanding its quarterly art walk into a monthly event -- the Lower Polk Art Walk , which will take over the sidewalks every first Thursday, starting today.
The beauty of an art walk is that there is no start point or end point -- and there's plenty of chin-scratching and ah-oohing to be done at galleries up and down Larkin and Polk Streets. So throw away your itinerary and let your feet do the planning for you as you peruse the participating eight galleries. Just make sure to meander into the showing by Larkin Street Youth Services, a collection of works by the young people who are participants in its programs geared towards homeless youth. Here's three other gallery spaces that'll be worth a look:
Art installation in former "Leftovers" furniture store
Pretty much, there it is. Chad Hasegawa and other artists are rumored to be involved in this pop-up art exhibit in an old furniture store, repurposing the Polk Street milieu for the debut of this new monthly art event.
1300 Polk, SF
“Calamity” a solo show by Mary Iverson at Shooting Gallery
Iverson’s exhibit includes five large-scale oil paintings and six to ten smaller acrylic on panel works, and feature shipping containers superimposed on sublime landscapes. She critiques the tolls that have been taken on the environment for the sake of private profit by integrating cutouts from environmental magazines and basing much of her paintings off views of national parks. Her signature marks are the measurement lines that she leaves sprawling to the edges of the canvas.
839 Larkin, SF. www.shootinggallerysf.com 
"Young and Free" at 941 Gallery
Sun, surf, boxing kangaroos -- sorry, that's reductive, but you do get the general sense of youth and devil-may-care-ity when you think of Australia. Time to move beyond the stereotypes? Check out what is being created Down Under at this group show, which highlights the work of 13 of Oz's most talented "urban" (the new term for art traditionally on the street that's being shown into gallery) creatives.
941 Geary, SF. (415) 931-2500, www.941geary.com 
Lower Polk Art Walk
Thurs/1 6-10 p.m., free.
Polk and Larkin between Geary and Bush, SF