Living In The Past: An Artist Residency Project with Jeremy Fish

March 17, 2021

  Photo by Jon Dragonette

  Photo by Jon Dragonette

Living In The Past Opens April 17 @ 4pm at Haight Street Art Center

Jeremy Fish has become, over the last twenty-five years, one of San Francisco’s most recognizable and beloved artists. While Fish is usually based in North Beach, he spent the end of 2020 living and working in the Doolan-Larson Residence and Storefronts, a national historic landmark at the corner of Haight and Ashbury. In partnership with San Francisco Heritage and San Francisco Grants for the Arts, the Haight Street Art Center is proud to present Living in the Past, which includes the sketches and drawings Fish made while in residence.

The Upper Haight is at once one of San Francisco’s best-known and most troubled neighborhoods: the former epicenter of the 1960s counterculture that has since then been both a bustling commercial and residential area as well as a magnet for people experiencing addiction and homelessness. Compounding epidemics in healthcare, systemic racism, and economic inequality have made a difficult situation worse, and like many neighborhoods in San Francisco, the Upper Haight, its businesses, and residents are facing existential threats.

Fish’s artwork is a testament to the history of the Upper Haight – its most famous residents and meeting places; its architecture and character – and the stories that hover over every foot of ground there. His living at the corner of Haight and Ashbury at this moment infuses the poignancy of these images: the fear and hope we all feel now. How can we best serve the people and the places that make the Haight unique, and central to San Francisco?

About Jeremy Fish:

He/Him/His

Born in Albany, New York in 1974, Jeremy Fish has become a favorite child of San Francisco. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Fish has worked as an illustrator, printer, and designer in a wide range of materials and across many fields. He got his start in the skateboarding world in the ‘90s, and has continued to design for skateboarding, apparel, and toy companies while also displaying his work in galleries and museums. Fish was San Francisco City Hall’s first Artist-in-Residence in 2015 and has published numerous books of his work. Haight Street Art Center is proud to be the permanent home of Fish’s Bronze Bunny, which can be viewed by the entrance to the Center.

About Mrs. Brown:

Mrs. Brown Cat Fish is Jeremy Fish’s long-time companion and inevitably the star of any show. She is five years old and suffers no nonsense. During her brief time at the Doolan-Larson, she was promoted to house manager.

Mrs. Brown Photos by Jon Dragonette

About the Doolan-Larson Residence and Storefronts:

The Doolan-Larson Building has been a witness to and survivor of many important moments in San Francisco’s history. Built in 1903 and then lifted in 1906, post-earthquake, to install storefronts at street level, the Doolan-Larson building became most famous as a backdrop to some of the most iconic photos of the hippie counterculture movement in the 1960s. Its location at the corner of Haight and Ashbury has made it a famous site of pilgrimage; today, it is on the National Register of Historic Places and San Francisco Landmark No. 253. The Doolan-Larson Residence and Storefronts was gifted to San Francisco Heritage by Norman Larson (1938-2018), known affectionately as the Duke of the Haight.

About San Francisco Heritage:

With a mission to “preserve and enhance San Francisco’s unique architectural and cultural identity”, San Francisco Heritage has spent the last fifty years advocating for San Francisco’s buildings, landmarks, and people’s right to enjoy them. San Francisco Heritage also manages two properties: the Haas-Lilienthal House and the Doolan-Larson Residence and Storefronts, both of which speak to seminal moments in the city’s history.

With a mission to “preserve and enhance San Francisco’s unique architectural and cultural identity”, San Francisco Heritage has spent the last fifty years advocating for San Francisco’s buildings, landmarks, and people’s right to enjoy them. San Francisco Heritage also manages two properties: the Haas-Lilienthal House and the Doolan-Larson Residence and Storefronts, both of which speak to seminal moments in the city’s history.

About San Francisco Grants for the Arts:

Grants for the Arts has given more than $400 million to hundreds of San Francisco nonprofits focused on the arts and culture since its inception in 1961. With revenue derived from a hotel tax, Grants for the Arts distributes funds to support a more equitable, diverse and inclusive artistic and cultural landscape in San Francisco.

About the Residency:

San Francisco Heritage makes the Doolan-Larson Residence available to select artists and activists for short-term residencies. Are you or an artist or activist you know interested in a residency at the Doolan-Larson Building? Contact ngille@sfheritage.org.

SHARE WITH FRIENDS

Jeremy Fish and the HSAC hope that you will support the businesses of the Upper Haight that are struggling to survive right now. This map identifies the businesses featured in some of Fish's drawings as well as other businesses in the neighborhood.