next event

Thursday, August 1st
6:00 - 8:00 PM

SF Camerawork
1011 Market st.


Creative Mean is proud to bring you our summer event. On Thursday, August 1st, we will be at SF Camerawork with an amazing panel of curators, directors, and producers; celebrating those working behind the scenes and their commitment to our Bay Area community.

The night will feature a discussion with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) curator Susie Kantor, artists and MACRO WAVES collective members Robin Birdd and Dominic Cheng, and director of SF Camerawork Heather Snider.

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Curator Susie Kantor has worked at he Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, Richard L. Feigen & Co. in New York, and currently is the associate curator of visual art at YBCA. She has helped bring world-class exhibitions to one of San Francisco's best institutions. She co-curated this year's Bay Area Now 8, the only annual survey of Bay Area artists of its kind.

Robin Birdd and Dominic Cheng are both artists and organizers of the MACRO WAVES collective. When not creating their own work, they are producing, organizing, and supporting the work of their collective mates and the larger Bay Area community. Most recently, MACRO WAVES collaborated with Red Bull Music on creating immersive environments.

Since 1974, SF Camerawork has supported innovative and exciting photography. Since 2014, Heather Snider has led the gallery as the director. In her almost three decades in the photography world, her work has included curating, arts administration, fundraising and grant writing, art-critical writing, and artists and organizational development.


Wednesday, April 10th
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Heath News Stand
2900 18th St, SF


The first Creative Mean event of the year is finally upon us. On April 10th from 6:00 - 8:00, we are joining up with Heath for their Articles and Anecdote series.

The night will feature talks and a panel conversation with writer Rita Bullwinkel, artist Sam Vernon, and writer/curator Pete Brook. The theme for the night will explore all things “Relationships.”

*Tickets include admission, Tartine Manufactory bites, Fort Point beer, Alter Eco treats, and a special gift from Aesop.

Pete Brook is a writer, curator and educator focused on prisons, photos and power. Primarily, his interest is in the United States’ prison industrial complex and issues of visibility, propaganda, and agency.

Pete’s work has appeared in Aperture, The British Journal of Photography, NY Times, LA Times, The Atlantic, ICP, The Marshall Project, and more. Pete also curates shows, including Prison Obscura (2014 - 2016) which presented images outside of traditional documentary photography.

Sam Vernon, featured on Huffington Post’s “30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know,” combines xeroxed drawings, photographs, paintings and sculptural components in an exploration of personal narrative and identity.

She has exhibited with Ashara Ekundayo Gallery, We Buy Gold, Interstitial Gallery, Coney Art Walls curated by Jeffrey Deitch, Brooklyn Museum, Queens Museum, Fowler Museum at UCLA and Seattle Art Museum. Sam lives in Oakland, CA and teaches printmaking as an Assistant Professor at California College of the Arts. 

Rita Bullwinkel is the author of the story collection Belly Up, which won the 2018 Believer Book Award. The Paris Review says Belly Up “...absolutely heralds an exciting new talent, takes place at a four-way crossroads between the mind and the body, the reality we can know and the reality adjacent to our own, which we can only glimpse through fiction.”

Additionally her writing has been published in Tin House, Conjunctions, BOMB, Vice, NOON, and Guernica, and she is an editor at large for McSweeney’s. Both her fiction and translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes.

The Ruby

Tuesday, September 16
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Always FREE

Join us for a night of art and community conversation with Sadie Barnette, Cristina Kim, Andria Lo and Valerie Luu, with moderator Jillian Knox. The theme for the night will be “Narrative.” 

(***note!*** While the event is free it does require a ticket. We will send the exact address to those who RSVP on Eventbrite one day before the event)

Sadie Barnette is a multidisciplinary artist from Oakland who uses drawing, photography and large-scale installation to create visual compositions that engage a hybrid aesthetic of minimalism and density. Her work relishes in the abstraction of city space and the transcendence of the mundane to the imaginative. Most recently, she was included in YBCA’s Bay Area Now 8 triennial. 

Cristina Kim is a radio producer and oral historian. Her work centers around Asian American & LatinX racial formations, food, and transnational cultures. She currently is a producer for KQED’s Forum and before that has worked with Reveal, Storycorps, and Berkeley’s Oral History Center. 

Photographer Andria Lo and writer Valerie Luu are the brains and heart behind Chinatown Pretty, the blog and instagram celebrating street style of seniors living in American Chinatowns. Together they tell the stories behind those unique and vibrant outfits. 

Our moderator for the evening with be Jillian Knox, an interdisciplinary creative based in San Francisco.

SF Camerawork
1011 Market st.

Wednesday, August 15th
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Always FREE

For the 2018 season Creative Mean is hosting a series of conversation events. We are excited to introduce a new panel format for these events that will encourage lively interaction between the speakers and audience.

Join us for a night of photography and community conversation with Wesaam Al-Badry, Rian Dundon, Kierra Johnson, Jessica Chou, and Adrian Walker. The theme of the night will be “Community."


Wesaam Al-Badry is an artist and documentary photographer. His work uses reportage and multimedia art to challenge and investigate social norms.

Rian Dundon is a photographer, editor, curator whose work has been shown in galleries and publications around the world.

Kierra Johnson is an artist and photographer fresh off her first solo show at Betti Ono Gallery where she explores the body’s ability to hold on to culture and takes visitors on a journey through the American South to California.

Jessica Chou is an editorial photographer who splits her time between LA and SF. She is a member of the Authority Collective whose goal is to empower and build networks for women of color.

Adrian Octavius Walker is a mixed-media artist based in Oakland, CA. His work is inspired by his investigations of the black body, dynamics of the black family and archival work related to the African American experience.


December 14. General Assembly, San Francisco


General Assembly 
225 Bush Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104

Thursday, December 14
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Always FREE

In this month's installment, Creative Mean will co-produce the event with General Assembly celebrating creativity and technology. We have organized an amazing group speakers featuring San Francisco Magazine contributing writer Summer Sewell, head of design at Hustle Matthew Ferry, and merchandising and design team at Betabrand Margie Benford & Bethany Meuleners.

To RSVP for the event head over to General Assembly.

Summer Sewell is a former editor at The California Sunday Magazine and a contributing writer at San Francisco Magazine. She will discuss the feature story she wrote for San Francisco Magazine's December issue - their annual Power issue - about Oakland-based nonprofit Black Girls Code and the state of black women in the tech industry.

Matthew Ferry is Design Director at Hustle, the first peer-to-peer texting tool designed to empower campaigns and advocacy groups. Hustle’s tools help organizations build relationships, recruit volunteers, and raise money. Every day, Matthew tackles how to design for impact.

As Merchandising and Design Director for Betabrand, Margie Benford is a skilled product strategist, brand leader, and cat-wrangler. Together with Head Designer, Bethany Meuleners, they are using a community of fans to crowdfund the future of fashion.

September 27. Athen B. Gallery, Oakland

Athen B. Gallery 
1525 Webster St, Oakland, 94612

Wednesday, September 27
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Always FREE

We are thrilled to hold the next Creative Mean event at Oakland’s Athen B. Gallery, September 27th 6:30-8:30pm, featuring Berlin based chefs Joshua Lange and Sophia Rudolph, comedy writer Brian Janosch, and members of the Black Mail Collective, along with our guest curator Nina Mehta


Berlin based chefs Joshua Lange and Sophia Rudolph helm the innovative Panama restaurant. Together they are trying to achieve a balance between closeness and distance. Panama‘s cuisine connects familiar ingredients with exotic accents and techniques, embracing influences from other countries and cultures to create new flavors and contemporary richness. 

Black Mail Collective is a message based collective made up of black Bay Area artists. They formed as a way to tackle issues of what it means to be black in America, show their diversity, and break down negative media portrayals. Each artist has their own perspective and purpose but they all come together around the common goal that through unification they will enhance the culture, community, and creativity.

Brian Janosch is a comedy writer and producer. He recently learned of the buzzword "multi-hyphenate," and as annoying as that sounds, it's probably the best way to describe him. He spent five years at The Onion, created a site for Adult Swim, co-founded a company (Cultivated Wit) and event series (Comedy Hack Day), recently helped develop the personality for Google's AI, and he just finished shooting a pilot for a TV show.

All of this was brought together by guest curator Nina Mehta. As a veteran designer Nina has lead design at Pivotal Labs in Berlin and San Francisco and currently is a product designer with Stripe. Additionally, she runs workshops on cross-discipline collaboration often bringing art, music, and tech communities together.


July 27. 826 Tenderloin Center, San Francisco

826 Tenderloin Center 
180 Golden Gate Ave,  SAN FRANCISCO

Thursday, July 27
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Always FREE

We are thrilled to hold the next Creative Mean event at 826’s new Tenderloin Center and King Carl’s Emporium, July 27th 6:30-8:30pm, featuring a reading of the best youth writing from 826 Valencia, designer Ashley Tillman from IDEO, and the team behind Anxy Magazine.


For 15 years 826 Valencia has been inspiring youth writers in under-resourced communities around the Bay Area and beyond. They will be kicking the night off with a reading of student prose from their 826 Quarterly journal.

Anxy Magazine is the new hit magazine that tackles mental health and sheds light on our inner worlds. Their editorial team will share their insights and thoughts with us and talk about what drives them to bring Anxy to the world.

As a designer with OpenIDEO, Ashley Tillman works with communities to tackle some of the world's biggest problems. She will share insights into large scale problem solving and human-centered design.


April 20. SF Camerawork, San Francisco


Thursday, April 20
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Always FREE


We are excited to be back at SF Camerawork in San Francisco on April 20th, 6:00-8:00pm, featuring: photographer Lucas Foglia, photographer Erica Deeman, and illustrator George McCalman.

. . .

Photographer Lucas Foglia spends years slowly building stories rooted in rural America. His work feels simultaneously allegorical and uniquely specific. He will discuss his work and give a preview of new a project. 

Illustrator and art director George McCalman will discuss deeply personal work about his estranged fathers near death sickness that changed the source of his studio practice.  

Erica Deeman’s large format portrait projects - Silhouettes, and Brown - tackles issues of race, identity and gender. She will sit for a conversation with host Jeff Enlow.


February 23. VSCO, Oakland


Thursday, February 23
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Always FREE


We are psyched to hold the next Creative Mean event at VSCO in Oakland, on February 23rd, 6:30-8:30pm, featuring: photographer Trent Davis Bailey, the owners of Athen B. Gallery, writer Meagan Day with photographer Hannah Klein, and avant-garde saxophonist Daniel Means.

. . .

Photographer Trent Davis Bailey will discuss new work around the the 1989 United Flight 232 crash landing in Sioux City that killed over a 100 people including his mother. He explores the way media views tragedy along with his own connection to the events.

The gallerists behind Oakland's Athen B. Gallery will discuss their street mural program and how they are leading the way in a new wave of contemporary street art. 

Writer and photographer duo Meagan Day and Hannah Klein will perform a reading from their recent book Maximum Sunlight published by EM Wolfman books. Maximum Sunlight, takes readers to to the strange desert town of Tonopah Nevada. Told through a series of candid interviews and observations of town life, the book attempts to get beyond the stories people want to tell about a place—or don’t want to tell—into some kind of truth.

We will be starting the 2017 season off with something loud and cathartic. Educator and avant-garde saxophonist Daniel Means will open the night with an improvised experimental performance. 


October 26. SPUR, Oakland

1544 Broadway,  Oakland, CA.

Wednesday, October 26
6 - 8 PM


We are thrilled to hold the next Creative Mean event at SPUR in Oakland, October 26st, 6-8pm, featuring presenters: photographer Wesaam Al-Badry; filmmakers Kevin Wong, Todd Sills, and Sasha Hauswald; and radio producer Sam Greenspan.

. . .

As a young boy, photographer Wesaam Al-Badry escaped Gulf War Iraq with his mother and siblings. After spending years in a refugee camp they relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska where he grappled with the disconnect between his experiences in Iraq and his new reality.

Today, his work uses reportage and multimedia art to challenge and investigate social norms.


Managing producer of podcast 99% Invisible, Sam Greenspan, thinks a lot about “the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.” Greenspan will share one of 99% Invisible’s immersive audio pieces.  


“Home is a Hotel” follows the lives of Huan Di and her daughter Jessica and their life in a 8ft x 10ft Single Room Occupancy Hotel. Following the documentary short will be a discussion about housing in the Bay Area with the filmmakers Kevin Wong, Todd Sills, and Sasha Hauswald.



August 28. Western Editions, Emeryville

1420 45th Street #40 Emeryville

Sunday, August 28, 2016
12 - 3 PM

We pride ourselves in putting together eclectic events and the next Creative Mean will not disappoint. Sunday August 28th, we will be at Western Editions featuring presenters: Printmakers Erin Fong and Taylor Reid; Artist Jenny Odell; and photographer and filmmaker Mancy Gant.

. . .

With “The Bureau of Suspended Objects” Jenny Odell turns trash into art in an attempt to reveal the inner workings and past lives of those objects we often overlook. Interested in being part of her project? Is there something you've been meaning to get rid of? Bring your unwanted object to Creative Mean for a “pre-trash” collection and become part of Odell’s expansive project.

Photographer and filmmaker Mancy Gant is a rising talent in the Oakland art scene and counts musicians Kamaiyah and Duckwrth as collaborators. He will share his "Powerful Beyond Measure" project that deals with self-confidence and understanding your own power.  

Printmakers Erin Fong and Taylor Reid print cute shit. They will discuss their love of analog, and show off their 1960s Vandercook press. They will be making prints on site to give away. 

June 21. SFCamerawork, San Francisco


TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2016
6 - 8 PM


We are thrilled to hold the next Creative Mean event at SF Camerawork, June 21st, 6-8pm, featuring presenters: Chinatown Pretty blog photographer Andria Lo and writer Valerie Luu; San Francisco Chronicle filmmakers Tim Hussin and Erin Brethauer with Jesus Guillen; and journalist and radio producer Annie Brown.

. . .

“Last Men Standing” is the first feature-length documentary from the San Francisco Chronicle. The film follows the lives of eight men who lived through the AIDS epidemic of the 80s and 90s. A preview of the film will be featured followed by a discussion with the filmmakers Erin Brethauer and Tim Hussin with Jesus Guillen..

Photographer and writer duo Andria Lo and Valerie Luu share a soft-spot for Chinese po-pos (grandmas) and their unique fashion sense. Together, the two created celebrating street style of seniors living in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Journalist Annie Brown will discuss her recent piece in the California Sunday Magazine about sex-reassignment surgery inside the American prison system.

April 16th. Werehaus Studios, San Francisco

Werehaus Studios
1661 Tennessee st. Suite 2u

Saturday, April 16, 2016
6:30 - 9 PM

We are super excited to announce the launch of Creative Mean, a cross-medium meet-up and speaker series that brings together inspiring artists and thinkers from around the Bay Area. 

. . .

For our first event we have an amazing group of presenters: 
Industrial designer at Specialized Bikes, Brian Szykowny, presents his unique custom frames; a Q&A with photographer Talia Herman about her intimate family portrait 'West County;' and interdisciplinary artist Lizzy Brooks talks about her transmedia sculpture 'Rotary X;' plus music videos from director Tyler McPherron.