SF Camerawork's esteemed auction returns online this September with work by over 60 artists

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SF Camerawork's esteemed auction returns online this September with work by over 60 artists
Tammy Rae Carland, Ladybird, Ladybird, 1990/2021. Archival pigment print, 16 x 20 inches. Edition 2/5, signed, verso. Unframed. Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery. Estimated value: $4,000.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- SF Camerawork teams up with the online platform Artsy to present its 42nd annual benefit auction this September. Titled The Roof is on Fire, the highly-anticipated auction features the work of over 60 photographic artists including such critically-acclaimed established artists as Tammy Rae Carland, Binh Danh, and Larry Fink, as well as contributions from a number of important up and coming artists including Marcela Pardo Ariza, Kris Graves, Jarod Lew, and Mikael Owunna. This year’s event also features, for the first time, a collection of NFTs by pioneering artists such as Chuck Anderson, Synchrodogs, Raven Trammell, and more curated by Mark Sabb, CEO and Founder of FELT Zine.

Leading up to and throughout the two-week bidding window open September 14-28, 2021, SF Camerawork will offer several online events throughout the month that include a panel discussion by participating artists who engage with the climate crisis in their work, a dialogue with artists about the role of public art work in reconstituting communities as we return to public spaces, a conversation with participating NFT artists, an opening launch party and artist showcase, a fundraising reception in honor of distinguished artist and educator Chris Johnson, a panel discussion with Johnson and his collaborators regarding the 1993-1994 performance piece The Roof is on Fire from which the auction takes its name, and more. Two programs of particular interest will be available for SF Camerawork Gold Level Members and up including a talk by Philip Brookman of the National Gallery of Art on “Gordon Parks”: The New Tide, Early Work, 1940-50, and a presentation by Alvin Hall & Rick Wester on creating a photography collection.

The auction is SF Camerawork’s most important annual fundraiser and a critical means of support for participating artists who receive up to fifty percent of the proceeds from work sold.

Olivia Lahs-Gonzales, SF Camerawork’s newly appointed Executive Director, says, "I am excited to be joining SF Camerawork just in time for its very important and timely benefit auction, The Roof is on Fire. Auction proceeds will ensure that the institution can thrive in the coming year, continuing to provide important artist support and education programs, as well as world-class exhibitions to our community and beyond. The auction is a great source for both seasoned and novice collectors, and the diversity of featured imagemakers will surely please a wide range of tastes. We hope everyone will join us for the auction, and for the online programs and panel discussions featuring artists who have generously donated works for sale!”

For the first time this year, the auction pays tribute to the life and work of an individual artist who has had a significant impact on the field. Chris Johnson is Professor and Chair of the Photography Program at California College of the Arts (CCA) and served a transformative role in the life of SF Camerawork as its Board President from 1983 to 1987.

“Chris Johnson is a visionary artist and long-standing driving force in the San Francisco Bay Area community,” says Jonathan Calm, SF Camerawork Board member and Auction Chair. “As an artist/educator, he has devoted himself to the practice of generating art in the public realm and the importance of visual or media literacy. His ground-breaking performance work with Suzanne Lacy and Annice Jacoby, The Roof Is on Fire, featured 220 public high school students in unscripted and unedited conversations on family, sexuality, drugs, culture, education and the future. Now more than ever, as a resonating phrase and an original project, The Roof Is on Fire speaks to the imagination and captures the historical moment of a country in crisis and at a crossroads, where only genuine dialogue and community organizing can build a viable future. SF Camerawork is thrilled to pay tribute to Johnson for his years of service and for the illuminating, exemplary ways in which his life’s work epitomizes the role of the artist as educator, collaborator, and advocate.”

"As an independent, artist-run gallery, library, and source of award-winning publications, SF Camerawork has been one of California’s most important venues of fine photographic art for almost fifty years,” says auction honoree Chris Johnson. “Artists like Carrie Mae Weems and Joel-Peter Witkin exhibited at Camerawork early in their careers, and my work there both as Board President and a curator have been an important part of my service to the Bay Area art community."

Sponsors for The Roof is on Fire 2021 benefit auction include Artsy, Minnesota Street Projects, FELT Zine, Dickerman Prints, Gawain Weaver Art Conservation, Melanie Light Appraisals, and Sterling Art Services. Gallery partners include Assembly, Accomplished Art Services LLC., ClampArt, EUQINOM Gallery, Gitterman Gallery, Haines Gallery, Higher Pictures Generation, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, Jessica Silverman Gallery, LUIS DE JESUS Los Angeles, Rebecca Camacho Presents, Rena Bransten Gallery, Rose Gallery, Sarah Shepard Gallery, Sasha Wolf Projects, and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

Participating artists are Alanna Airitam, Marc Alcock, Devin Allen, Chuck Anderson, Marcela Pardo Ariza, Johnna Arnold, Moyosore Briggs, Adrian Burrell, Tammy Rae Carland, Alejandro Cartagena, Kennedi Carter, Kristiana 莊礼恩 Chan, Johnnie Chatman, Carlos Chavarría, Adam Chin, Sarah Christianson, Jennifer Colten, Binh Danh, Janet Delaney, Gene Dominique, Zackary Drucker, Rodney Ewing, Larry Fink, Andres Gonzalez, Kris Graves, Jamil Hellu, David Johnson, Vikesh Kapoor, Jarod Lew, Ken Light, Kija Lucas, David Maisel, Phillip Maisel, Aspen Mays, Forrest McGarvey, Bea Nettles, Kari Orvik, Mikael Owunna, Darcy Padilla, Marcy Palmer, Nigel Poor, Hasain Rasheed, Eli Reed, Christopher Russell, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Ron Moultire Saunders, Donavon Smallwood, Tabitha Soren, Young Suh, Synchrodogs, Raven Trammell, Rodrigo Valenzuela, Adrian Octavius Walker, Lewis Watts, Adrian White, Gunayu Xu, and Rana Young.

The Roof is on Fire 2021 benefit auction Honorary Committee includes Auction Chair Jonathan Calm with Randolph Belle, Michelle Branch, Adam Chin, Binh Danh, Rodney Ewing, Erika Gentry, Annice Jacoby, James Leventhal, Wendy Levy, Darcy Padilla, Sandra Phillips, Mark Sabb, and Lewis Watts.

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