Root Division is a San Francisco arts organization that seeks to ”improve appreciation and access to the visual arts by connecting personal inspiration and community participation.” Among other cool things, they provide below-market rate studio spaces for 18 artists. Saturday night, the in-house artists were joined by other local elves for Misfit Toy Factory II, a live art-making event featuring toy art and small sculptures.
The 35+ artists took shifts at card tables, using their own materials and existing toys to create works priced at $40. About a dozen artists were working at any given time, and they switched to allow new artists to sit in according to a time schedule and the signal of a Root Division volunteer. The vibe was not unlike Sketch Tuesdays at 111 Minna, except that all of these artists were new to me (which is not a bad thing).
In light of that, it was cool to walk around the space and see examples of the Root Division studio artists’ more ‘traditional’ work to get a sense of if/how their styles played into their toy making. Generally speaking, most of the completed Misfit Toys were existing toys that had been combined or accessorized with some amount of beads, fur and googly eyes–and people were having fun (and making purchases). So you can see, there’s still room in the art world for wholly original toy art objects (resin, vinyl, plush)–it’s simply a matter of someone organizing an like this one. Unsold pieces from Misfit Toy Factory II will be available through December 14th. Contact Root Division for more information.