FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Part Documentarian, Part DJ
Amy Ahlstrom, Urban Quilter

(San Francisco, CA – January, 2011) – Quilting: it's not typically a fine art medium, but there is a growing trend of ultramodern fiber-based art going mainstream and catching people off-guard. Amy Ahlstrom, Urban Quilter, is at the forefront of this trend. The quilts she creates, in which she acts as “part documentarian, part dj”, are pop-art postcards of her favorite urban places.

Amy grew up in a family of quilters, sewers, and knitters. Sewing, along with drawing, was just one of the many languages she learned and used to express her creativity.  “(Quilting is) the most unique way that I can visually speak to the world,” says Amy.

The Mission District was Amy’s home in San Francisco for several years. The vibrancy of the signs and the graffiti in the neighborhood spoke to her. She began taking digital photos of the pieces she liked best. It was the word chief spray-painted on the side of a building in the Haight that sparked the beginning of her current work. Both the word and the style were extremely masculine and she got a sudden urge to recreate it in gingham, a feminine (and feminist) contrast to the original. However it was Dupioni silk and plain cotton that Amy ended up using for this first creation. It was the luxurious shine and texture of the Dupioni that drew her to it. The silk paired with plain cotton is the material Amy uses for all her quilts.

Drawing on her background as a comix illustrator and graphic designer and her undergraduate and graduate education in fiber arts she set to work reinterpreting the graffiti, signs, and architectural details she loved in the city's neighborhoods. This first piece set in motion the digitally based process that she uses to create her quilts today.

The ReMix series was born in 2007. Each of the 10 pieces is a visual love letter to an urban neighborhood or city. Amy captures her experience in these urban environments through photographs of the signs, buildings and graffiti and uses these images as the base for her quilts.

To Amy process is just as important as the finished product. There’s so much put into each piece; a love of the city that she’s depicting, an anthropological study of a place in time, and the recording of temporary art and images. Keeping all this in mind she also strives to convey a sense of connection and experience.

Currently Amy is working on a piece entitled Run-On: Fruitvale which is the first in the Splice series. It is an interpretation of her experience photographing graffiti in Oakland’s Fruitvale train yards. It brings together a more traditional quilting technique called strip piecing and her unique visual storytelling. You’re left with a sense of viewing graffiti out the window of a moving train. Her future pieces will be larger-scale and will focus on other neighborhoods; San Francisco's Tenderloin district is the next neighborhood that Amy will explore. For the first time she’ll be documenting her process from start to finish. As the process unfolds she’ll be posting video and photos on her blog.

Amy Ahlstrom Urban Quilter, amyahlstrom.com. More images can be seen here http://www.flickr.com/photos/amys_urban_quilts/

For more information and to set up an interview contact Genevieve Robertson, [email protected] or 415.846.2138.

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200 Yards Sets Its Sights on Upper Haight
Call To Photographers for Third Show Now Open

(San Francisco, CA; January 17, 2011) – 200 Yards, Lightbox SF’s hyperlocal photo project, is setting it’s sights on the Upper Haight. The center point for the third show is Free Gold Watch, a gallery and custom silkscreen shop located just a block from Golden Gate Park. The concept is the same: A 200-yard radius is mapped around the final exhibit space, in this case Free Gold Watch, a call to photographers goes out to take photos within the radius and the best of the submissions are included in a public exhibition. However this is the first time the project will focus on the Upper Haight.

The area to be explored for this third show is an interesting mix of residential, retail, and public park. While there is no end to interesting details to be captured in the area, it is the people that will really make this show. “We expect more street photography and on-the-spot portraits than in past shows,” say organizer and Co-Founder of Lightbox SF, Genevieve Robertson. “We can’t wait to see what gets submitted.”

The call for the third show is currently open for photographers. Everyone, professional, amateur or hobbyists, are encouraged to submit. The show is meant to be both an exploration of community and an accessible showcase for photographers of all levels. "We wanted to create a project that would get people excited about taking photographs no matter what their level," says Robertson. "For many included in the show, this is the first time they've ever exhibited. That's pretty thrilling!"

200 Yards @ Free Gold Watch, 1767 Waller Street @ Stanyan. Deadline for submissions is Monday, February 14th and the opening reception will be held Saturday, March 12th from 6pm to 10pm.

For more information contact Genevieve Robertson at [email protected] or 415.846.2138.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

The Vibrancy of 24th and Treat Captured
200 Yards Photography Exhibit Opening November 13th, 2010 

(San Francisco, CA; October 26, 2010) – The corner of 24th and Treat has a distinct feel. The smell of corn tortillas permeate the air, a car drives by with bass thumping in the trunk, the sidewalks are busy with shoppers, vibrant murals catch your eye, another car drives by with Norteño spilling from the open windows. For the second show in the 200 Yards photography project, local photographers were asked to explore a radius of 200 yards from this spot and take photos of whatever captured their attention.

200 Yards runs an open call and encourages all photographers, professional, amateur or hobbyists, to submit. Organized by Lightbox SF, the show is meant to be both an exploration of community and an accessible showcase for photographers of all levels. "We wanted to create a project that would get people excited about taking photographs no matter what their level," says Lightbox SF Co-Founder Genevieve Robertson. "For many included in the show, this is the first time they've ever exhibited. That's pretty thrilling!"

200 Yards @ Dirty Thieves will open on November 13th and run through December 10th. This group show will feature 12 artists and 26 photographs. The individual images alone are striking examples of everything that makes this area unique. The images together paint a colorful expression of a vibrant micro-neighborhood.

200 Yards @ Dirty Thieves, 3050 24th Street at Treat. The opening reception is Saturday, November 13th from 6pm to 10pm and the exhibit runs until Friday, December 10th.

For more information contact Genevieve Robertson at [email protected] or 415.846.2138. Select images from the exhibit can be found here.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

13 photographers, 200 Yards, 35 Photographs
A Photography Exhibit Opening August 18th, 2010


(San Francisco, CA; August 2, 2010) – 200 yards, approximately one city block, is not a great distance. However, there’s a lot detail in a city block that makes it unique. Storefronts not updated in 20 years, an oddly shaped paint spill on the corner, an out of place red tile roof, and the ever evolving mural in the parking lot. There are also the people, shopkeepers that sweep the sidewalk everyday at 9:25 am, or the elderly gentleman sipping his coffee outside the café like clockwork.

200 Yards, organized by Lightbox SF, is a photography exhibit series that puts the focus on San Francisco’s neighborhoods, 200 yards a time. The concept is simple: First a venue is selected, maybe a wine bar, office lobby, or traditional gallery. Then a call is put out to photographers to explore a 200-yard radius from the venue's location and take pictures of whatever catches their eye. Each photographer then selects their best photos, up to 10, and submits them for possible inclusion in a photo exhibit held at the originally selected center point.

The first show in the series will open on August 18th at Heart Wine Bar and Gallery in the mission and run through September 20th. This group show will feature thirteen artists showing up to 5 photos each. The images range from black and white street scenes to close-up details of cracking pavement. The photographers themselves are both professionals and hobbyists.

200 Yards @ Heart, 1270 Valencia Street. The opening reception is Wednesday, August 18th from 7pm to 11pm and the exhibit runs through Monday, September 20th.

For more information contact Genevieve Robertson at [email protected] or 415.846.2138. Select images from the exhibit can be found here.

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