Friday, June 30, 2017

Studio Visit: Howard Hersh, San Francisco

Edited by Paula Fava

“I count myself lucky in many ways, but one of them has been with studios," says Howard. "Since moving to San Francisco in 1998 I’ve had three. The first was a top-floor, 2200-square-foot space overlooking the dry docks. The second was a live-work loft that I converted to all-work and then did well selling it.

Howard Hersh last year taking a step at the base of his legendary wax-dripped sawhorses

“The third and current studio for the last 10 years, at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, is perhaps my favorite. The 850-square-foot ground-floor space has good proportions, cross ventilation, privacy, quiet, and views of the skyline, water, Bay Bridge, and ships.  Last but not least, my rent has been a fraction of the market rate due to an old lease that I assumed. The 250 artists here at the Shipyard put on two massive Open Studio events every year. The Shipyard is now beginning a large redevelopment project. A new studio building is promised, which will provide the artists a continuing presence in the community.

Long view of the studio

Below: Howard's foggy-day view of San Francisco Bay from just outside his studio at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a decomissioned facility that is home to 250 artists' studios

The famous sawhorses, which supported years of encaustic painting; 
the artist standing before his current work

“Regardless of what’s new in the studio, it’s a work in progress. The configuration and arrangement of the studio evolve with my needs. Specifically, my 14-year-old sawhorses have finally left the studio. They showed in Oakland gallery for two months and were sold. I’ve been transitioning away from encaustic for some time and just don’t have a need for them. 

“Especially in these times, I so value my studio as a place of refuge and solace where my creativity can flourish. May we all have such a place, artist or not.”

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