The Drawing Room began as a storefront art studio and gallery originally located at 3260-62 23rd Street. This space opened in the fall of 2018, and continued its creative journey through December of 2021. In this space, we've put the "open studios" model into play and hosted Studio Renée Carlo as the resident artist, as well as hosted over 23 exhibitions of local artists work, various workshops, poetry readings, artist talks and live drawing events.
In late 2019, we acquired the keys to a much larger retail space (2675 Mission St) to activate and assist the building owner in finding a long-term tenant, while providing exposure to local artists. We were unaware of the impending arrival of COVID; however, having this additional space enabled The Drawing Room to continue hosting exhibitions for the public, albeit in a limited capacity. Additionally, we were able to accommodate an artist residency and a small summer camp as the space was large enough to safely support these activities. This ANNEX facilitated collaborations with Curated State/Courtney Norris and allowed us to host seven large, multi-media exhibitions, connecting us to over 150 new artists, numerous organizations, and a multitude of new collectors and supporters. We returned the keys in November of 2020.
Our smaller home and studio remained closed for several months due to COVID and a substantial renovation project that directly impacted our space, necessitating closure. Finally, in January of 2021, we resumed business and a full-time studio practice on 23rd Street.
In November of 2021, we found it necessary to reassess our location on 23rd Street. Various challenges throughout the year led us to the decision of seeking another permanent venue. High rents and personal hardships ultimately compelled us to close our doors in late 2021. However, the possibility of temporarily activating 780 Valencia emerged as an option. This temporary space allowed The Drawing Room to continue curating large and inclusive exhibitions while revitalizing that section of Valencia through the display of local art.
Concurrently, we secured a permanent location on Clement Street, where Studio Renée DeCarlo and our smaller boutique gallery now reside.
Our time on Valencia Street afforded us the opportunity to host a series of eight exhibitions centered around climate justice, women's justice and body rights, young teen artists, and various other topics. In total, we welcomed over 1,400 visual artists and 450 musical performers, sharing this experience with thousands of passersby over a span of 15 months. Our live music events featured esteemed acts such as GG Symphony and Orchestra, The Community Music Center, Sarah Cahill, Diana Gameros, Allison Lovejoy, Elektra Schmidt, Artist Migration, Classical Revolution, high school musicians, and the Gamelan Orchestra.
During this time, we successfully sold the works of over 130 artists, providing many collectors with their first-ever original art purchase. Our mission is to facilitate accessibility and connection through art. We owe our gratitude to the generosity and support of 2BLiving and Baskin Investment Group, as well as our collaboration with Curated State and Courtney Norris. Thanks to their contributions, we eagerly anticipate six more months of remarkable programming and curation.
In addition to our efforts in activating spaces and showcasing art and its creators, we have also established a partnership with SFUSD. Through this collaboration, we are able to offer work experience to local high school students in grades 11 and 12, teaching them the ins and outs of maintaining the space at 780 Valencia. These young interns, referred to as "Understudies," assist us in creating exhibitions, organizing live events, developing an upcoming art supply store, and maintaining the overall building. In return, we provide them with the opportunity to contribute to something that holds cultural significance and importance to our community and its creators. We believe in the interconnectedness of all things, and we strive to make art more accessible in our daily lives.