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    Museum of Craft and Design

    By Jim Tibbs

    Sensory overload is a common occurrence in our media-saturated world. It is a rare treat to have a “breakthrough” experience that surprises, delights and challenges the senses. I had such an experience at the opening of the Museum of Craft and Design in its new permanent home in San Francisco’s burgeoning Dogpatch neighborhood.

    When I received the invitation to the Museum’s opening gala, I was intrigued and curious about what I would see, but had modest expectations about the event. If the inaugural exhibition is any indication, the Museum of Craft and Design will become a major force in the San Francisco Bay Area arts scene.

    The opening exhibition features the work of Michael Cooper, Arline Fish and Rebecca Hutchinson, three artists who produce truly unique and beautifully crafted work. Words and photographs cannot do these exhibits justice. They have to be experienced in person and in the new museum space to be fully appreciated. If you are like me, you will marvel at the artistry, creativity and ingenuity on display. There are elements of humor and fantasy that enliven the exhibits and make them appealing to art patrons of all ages. This landmark opening exhibition continues through the end of June.

    Next up is “Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller” (July 13-September 22), which explores innovative solutions for creating art with a purpose.

    The Museum of Craft and Design was established in 2004 and was originally located near San Francisco’s Union Square District.  The museum lost its downtown location in 2010, which prompted an extensive search for a new permanent home. One year after securing their new facility, the Museum of Craft and Design opened its new space on Third Street in the historic American Industrial Center building in the heart of San Francisco’s Dogpatch district. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Saturday, April 6, beginning an exciting new era for this developing institution.

    The new facility expands the exhibition space by nearly 50% and features the museum’s first dedicated workshop and programming space. A non-collecting institution, the Museum of Craft and Design explores and celebrates the active roles that craft and design play in everyday life. The Museum will originate exhibitions, host traveling exhibitions, present pop-up exhibitions and collaborate with museums from around the world to present outstanding works of craft and design.

    Designed by Gary Hutton Design and McCall Design Group, the new facility incorporates 4,000 square feet of exhibition and programming space and a street front Museum Store. The use of glass, concrete and exposed ducting maintains the industrial integrity of the building while movable walls and innovative use lighting create flexible exhibition spaces that enhance the experience of the art being shown. The Museum will be an exciting new arts destination in San Francisco and a beacon for the historic Dogpatch district.

    The Museum of Craft and Design,, is located at 2569 Third Street between 22nd and 23rd Streets. The hours are Sunday 12 – 5 PM, Tuesday through Saturday 11-6 PM and it is open until 7 PM on Thursday. General admission is $6. For seniors and students it’s $5 and, for children, $3.

    Jim Tibbs is the creative director of HDR Remodeling. If you would like to learn more, please read his blog at or follow him on Twitter @HDRremodeling1.