In the "Mission 17" gallery, there had been a performance art happening/opening the night before, and the detritus of the project remained.
A couple of young guys were checking it out...
...along with their very sweet dog.
The email Clark sent out explaining the show started as follows:
Jonathon Tellier employs performance, installation, and mail-art techniques to explore nationalism, the ideological value of “unity,” and the purported division of the U.S. into “red” and “blue” states. Dressed as “Uncle Sam,” he has used balloons to distribute surveys in both “blue” (i.e., urban, coastal), and “red” (rural, inland) areas of California, with questions about America, faith, modernity, politics, fear, beauty, and violence.
The collected responses will be presented at Mission 17, and visitors to the gallery will be invited to contribute to the discussion with answers of their own. A video projection will show the artist as “Uncle Sam,” conducting his survey in San Francisco, Stockton, and on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento.
As part of the Open House, one artist was showing off sculptural forms that she had sewn together. "Is that a waterfall with heaven above?" I asked, and the artist replied that the clouds and the waterfall were two different pieces, but I was free to look at it that way.
Further down the hall in the final cul-de-sac, Jennie Ottinger (pictured above) was showing off her wonderful paintings.
Again, I'm not sure why I liked them so much...
...but they really stood out...
...even when it was just a painting of a dog pooping (entitled "Expulsion").
In fact, the quality of the art and the atmosphere of the space had improved exponentially over last year's event. It was quite fun.