Monday, May 16, 2011

INSPIRING INTERESTS: Design and Art Happenings & Events You Should Check Out

As Spring has sprung and Summer is just around the corner, we are all looking for great inspiring events to attend.  Here are some wonderful design and art events in California, and beyond in some cases, that you may not want to miss.  Some are ongoing and some begin this week, May 16, 2011.

San Francisco Decorator Showcase House @ 2950 Vallejo Street in San Francisco.  Runs until May 30, 2011.  "The San Francisco Decorator Showcase is widely considered to be the West Coast's premiere design showhouse event, renowned for featuring the work of the region's top interior and landscape designers."  Visit for more information.

Kips Bay Decorator Show House @ 163 E. 63rd Street in New York City.  Runs until May 26, 2011.  "Year after year, the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Decorator Show House consistently attracts renowned interior designers .  Each designer has the opportunity to transform a space according to his or her own vision and unbridled creatively.  The results are innovative, inspiring, luxurious designs that set trends and are remembered for years to come."  Visit for more information.

Rodarte: States of Matter @ Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles at The Pacific Design Center.  Runs until June 5, 2011.  The exhibit presents recent work in fashion and costume design by Kate and Laura Mulleavy or Rodarte.  Visit for more information.

Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories @ The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.  Runs until September 6, 2011.  "Comprising numerous formal portraits, photographs of her at home, clothing, domestic objects from her life with her longtime partner Alice B. Toklas, rare film footage, books, theater posters and more, the show explores what co-curator Wanda M. Corn calls "the complexity of Gertrude Stein as a personage.""  Visit for more information.

Balenciaga and Spain @ The De Young Museum in San Francisco.  Runs until July 4, 2011.  The exhibit "examines the profound and enduring influence of Spain on the work of haute couture master Cristóbal Balenciaga. The impact of Spanish culture, history, and traditions is explored through the recurring themes in Balenciaga’s oeuvre and organized in the exhibition in six sections: Spanish Art, Regional Dress, the Spanish Court, Religious Life and Ceremony, the Bullfight, and Dance."  Visit for more information.

Elizabeth Taylor in Iran: Photographs by Firooz Zahedi @ Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Runs until June 12, 2011.  "Though Zahedi was to photograph Taylor many times in the years following their Iran trip, none are as personal, candid, or creative as these unique images."  Visit for more information.

Supercars:  When Too Much Is Almost Enough @ The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.  Runs until October 16, 2011.  View a history of the supercar from beginning to today.  Visit for more information.

Art in the Streets @ Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles.  Runs until August 8, 2011.  "Art in the Streets is the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art.".  Visit for more information.

San Francisco International Arts Festival @ various locations throughout San Francisco.  Runs May 18 to June 5.  More than 40 performances presented by 23 arts organizations.  Visit for more information.

artMRKT @ The San Francisco Design Center Concourse Exhibition Center.  Runs May 19 to 22.  A selection of highly relevant and engaging art programs.  Visit for more information.

SF Fine Art Fair @ Fort Mason in San Francisco.  Runs May 19 to 22.  One of the top new fairs in America for museum quality post-war and contemporary art.  Visit for more information.

Marin Living: Home Tours @ various homes throughout Marin County.  May 21, 2011.  An exclusive opportunity to see some of Marin County's most cutting-edge residential projects from the inside out.  Visit for more information. 

Arroyo Terrace Walking Tours @ various homes in Pasadena.  May 21, June 18 & July 16, 2011.  Enjoy a guided walk around the historic Arroyo Terrace neighborhood, a National Register historic district that is home to 9 Greene & Greene houses as well as the works of other noted architects such as Myron Hunt, Edwin Bergstrom, Elmer Grey, and D. M. Renton. Among these are the personal residences of Myron Hunt and of Charles Greene, who added to his house over a number of years as his design ideas evolved. The tour will also visit to the elegant gates of Westmoreland Place.  Visit for more information.

The Steins Collection @ SF Museum of Modern Art.  May 21 to September 6, 2011.  American expatriates in bohemian Paris when the 20th century was young, the Steins — writer Gertrude, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael's wife, Sarah — were among the first to recognize the talents of avant-garde painters like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. Through their friendship and patronage, they helped spark an artistic revolution.  Visit for more information.

The Caltech Architectural Tour Service @ California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.  May 26 & June 23, 2011.  The Caltech Architectural Tour Service (CATS),  a special service of the Caltech Women’s Club, is pleased to announce architectural tours of the campus.  Visit for more information.

Glass Show @ Public Glass in San Francisco.  Running May 28 to TBD.  Featuring the works of Anne Hughes, Eric White, Herb Dang, Kelly Burlingham, Linda Bassett, Rene Hendrix, Renee Henderson, Robin Humphreys, Sarah Cadwalleder and Terri Ow-Wing.  Visit for more information.

Modern Fever @ San Francisco Design Center Galleria, Suite 442.  May 31, 2011.  Jeff Greenwald, travel speaker, author, and performer will speak at Modern Fever on May 31st at 5:15 PM and you are invited! One Bay Area traveler described Jeff as “the best travel speaker she has ever heard, bar none.”  Visit for more information.

New Park Design in Los Angeles; Part 1 Exhibition @ WUHO in Los Angeles.  June 2 to July 8, 2011.   This exhibition will survey six major parks that are currently being designed, that are in construction, or have been completed recently.  Visit for more information.
Picasso: Masterpieces from the Museo National Picasso, Paris @ The De Young Museum in San Francisco.  Runs June 11 to October 9, 2011.  The de Young hosts an extraordinary exhibition of more than 100 masterpieces by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) from the permanent collection of Paris’s world-renowned Musée National Picasso. Visit for more information.

Know Your Architectural Styles Walking Tour @ various locations in New York City.  June 18, 2011.  Don't ever confuse Doric, Ionic and Corinthian again!  Visit New York's famed Financial District and have fun reviewing historic architectural style.  Visit for more information.

Dwell on Design @ The Los Angeles Convention Center.  June 24 to 26.  From home tours to exhibits to educational seminars for both design professionals and consumers, attend this event centered around modern design.  Visit for more information.

Whether you are in Northern California or Los Angeles, we've got you covered.  We hope that these events inspire you just as they will inspire us.

We'll be adding more and updating this list in the near future.  Stay tuned.