Author: Rachel Davis
Incline Gallery is located in the heart of the Mission district on Valencia and 19th. Founded in December 2010, the space continues to function as an alternative art space that fosters relationships between community and artists.
Co-Directors/Founders Brian Perrin and Christo Oropeza opened the gallery with the initial desire to showcase local and emerging artists. Because both have their own artistic practice, there was an inherent need to represent a different perspective and mission than what was being done at other galleries. This objective to showcase artists outside of the normative gallery setting is empowering and dynamic.
Incline gallery dedicates itself to collaborating and creating relationships with other art organizations in the bay area such as Southern Exposure, which has provided a lot of support since the beginning to create another alternative art space.
Oropeza and Perrin met while attending SFSU in 2006. From their friendship the duo founded a collective called San Pancho Art Collective. They worked on several pop up shows and murals. It was bred from the vision to maintain a creative art practice after graduating. The many individuals involved were either attending, California College of the Arts, San Francisco State University or San Francisco Art Institute. In motivating each other to continue to make work, they all grew into new places within their practices.
With an emphasis on diversity and emerging talent, the space creates a priority for equal opportunity and also seeks out artists that are creating work that is relevant and says something about the time we are living in. In an uncertain political time, it is important for people to use the platforms they have to communicate, promote community/safe spaces and provide new perspectives.
Their last exhibition titled “823-thinking of you,” was a call to submissions asking artists to react to the realities that persist within current art communities and contexts. The show addressed the ways many different people are being marginalized. Information is so mediated that creating an environment for expression and critique is how we stay engaged and active. Similarly, in thinking about how we are giving and receiving information, the usage of different platforms (instagram, magazines, galleries) provides viewers a multitude of perspectives.
Incline’s intention and community efforts align with the rich history of the Mission district. As an area that used to house many artist studios, lofts and live work spaces, it is important to remember the historical roots of this particular region as well as San Francisco at large. Art’s role in the development of this city and it’s residents is inerasable. The gallery’s master tenant of the building, has lived in the neighborhood since the early 1990’s and understands the different contexts of the Mission’s history and believes in the importance of art’s presence.
Continuing a direction of progressive and creative community, we can all look to incline’s programming and events to broaden our horizons and engage in the rich, artistic, tradition of this city.
Find them online at https://inclinegallerysf.com
And on instagram @inclinegallery