Arc Gallery offers affordable art at ‘Impulse’ 

In November, Francis Bacon’s painting “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” broke the world record for the most expensive artwork ever sold — $142.4 million.

In contrast, “Impulse,” a show and sale of works by 75 Bay Area and Northern California artists at Arc Gallery in The City, offers a more approachable price point: $250 or less.

“We used to do a similar thing we called a guerilla show” Arc Gallery co-founder Stephen Wagner says. “We noticed almost everything that sold was $250 or less, so we made that the highest price this time.”

The show is on view today, and it closes Saturday with a last-chance sale.

“This is a consumer-friendly show,” says Wagner, an artist himself. “Part of the fun is that you can take the art home with you, then and there, so when we sell the first piece, we replace it with the second one. The beginning of the show versus the end of the show is completely different because the art keeps getting replaced.”

Wagner recently has noticed buyers preferring handmade works, such as paintings and collages, and Bay Area artists, frequently using found objects and incorporating assemblage into their work, meeting the demand.

“Many artists that we work with also make large-scale works,” Wagner says. “They can cost over $1,000 and only so many people can buy them. But I think with these shows we can help artists realize that they need to also make affordable art.”

Wagner, whose mother is an artist who ran her own gallery, also founded the San Francisco Artist Network, a nonprofit that offers lectures, mentoring and one-on-one career guidance and counseling for artists wanting to improve their business skills or simply expand their horizons.

On Feb. 12, the gallery hosts a career workshop for artists covering topics such as drafting biographies, résumés, cover letters, exhibition history and mission statements.



Where: Arc Gallery and Studios, 1246 Folsom St., S.F.

When: 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday, noon to 2 p.m. Saturday

Admission: Free

Contact: (415) 298-7969,

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Lauren Gallagher

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