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For decades, the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood has been home to one of the Bay Area’s largest primarily-Black populations and the single largest artistic collective in the entire United States. The latter element, Hunters Point Shipyard Artists, has spent the last 30 years fostering work and talent from local artists through its nonprofit Shipyard Trust for the Arts (STAR).

This weekend, the public will get an inside look at what those three decades have produced as the collective opens its doors for free open studios. This will be an opportunity to explore the facilities as well as the work produced by more than 100 local artists, many who are BIPOC.

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“We are so thrilled to welcome the public to the Shipyard in person this fall,” says Barbara Ockel, president and CEO of STAR. “The pandemic has been a blow to artists everywhere as opportunities to show work and engage with the public were all curtailed. Open Studios is a wonderful chance for art lovers to support and connect with local artists directly during these challenging times and to discover something new in the process, from our unique location to the creative voices of the many BIPOC and neighborhood artists who are now part of our collective.”

The Shipyard, a former naval base, is open to the public only twice a year, which makes this opportunity for an inside look all the more rare. This is its first opening in almost two years due to a variety of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the free public open studios, private appointments with individual artists are also available. STAR will also provide online opportunities to purchase each artist’s work.

Shipyard Open Studios is open for free, drop-in visits 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, 451 Galvez Ave., San Francisco. Masks are required, and other COVID-19 protocols will be in place for visitor safety. Make reservations and find more information at https://shipyardartists.com.

Charles Lewis III is a San Francisco-born journalist, theater artist and arts critic. You can find dodgy evidence of this at The Thinking Man’s Idiot at https://thethinkingmansidiot.wordpress.com/project-type/journalism/.