Weather-wise, it was a typical early evening in the Richmond, with a foggy mist, gray sky and slight wind. But the warmth emanating from the studio spaces, retail shops and other establishments participating in Thursday’s Clement Street Art Walk offset the chill in the air. 

“We’re sort of a unique art walk because unlike the Tenderloin or Castro or North Beach, we’re a much more residential area,” said artist and Clement Street Art Walk organizer Kate Campbell

Kate Campbell, a San Francisco mixed media artist, creates work focusing on sexuality and femininity. Campbell is the founder of the women’s co-op Clement Creative and organizer of the Clement Street Art Walk. (Courtesy JL Odom)

At the recent walk from 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 17, business owners and artists propped open their doors, set out sidewalk signs and welcomed visitors inside their Inner Richmond Clement Street addresses between 11th Avenue and Arguello Boulevard. 

The event stemmed from conversations Campbell had with Clement Creative women’s co-op members Renée DeCarlo, artist and founder of the gallery The Drawing Room, and Nico Schwieterman, owner of Fleet Wood, a boutique.  

She says, “We were all just like, ‘We would love to have an art walk!’” 

After the first official Clement Street Art Walk in October 2022, subsequent walks have been on the third Thursday of each month ever since. Not yet at the one-year mark, the event continues to evolve, with thoughtful components added and considerations about attendees’ interests ongoing. 

Campbell explained, “We’re in the process of determining what kind of artwork this neighborhood really gets excited about. And that’s been pretty fun, honestly.” 

On Thursday, DeCarlo greeted visitors to her gallery and spoke about the array of art on the walls, the San Francisco art scene and the importance of giving local artists the opportunity to showcase their work.  

Artist Bussie Parker Kehoe, whose pieces are in The Drawing Room, stopped in to say hello. In the parklet outside the gallery, San Francisco’s Sunset Sketchers continuously glanced up and then back down at their drawing pads, observing and sketching their surroundings.  

While the Drawing Room is the sole gallery on Clement Street, local artwork appeared in other locations along the walk.  

Artists Hollis Callas, left, and Kate Campbell pose with their disco-themed mannequin art project in the Clement Creative art studio. (Courtesy JL Odom)

Fleet Wood featured Britt Henz’s art as well as the “Lost Art: Remnants of a Past Life” group show, with proceeds of the latter going to Maui Fire Relief. San Francisco artist and designer Nathan Tan’s “Wild Ride in the City” pieces were on display in the bar 540 Rogues and Lost Marbles Brewpub showcased a variety of artists. 

The event included welcoming and community-focused components, from Fabrix’s free sewing patterns, buttons and remnants to locals to Le Soleil giving a 10% discount to art walk goers who stopped in for a Vietnamese meal. 

There were also various hands-on, interactive opportunities. The leather goods shop April in Paris offered a bracelet-making activity using leather strips, with Beatrice Amblard and staff on hand to help with the wrist ware, answer questions and talk about their “Amblard Leather Atelier” classes.

In the neighborhood center One Richmond, program coordinator Rosie Wong Gillies set up a table to make cards for 200-plus seniors, in recognition of World Senior Citizens Day on Aug. 21.

And in Campbell’s Clement Creative art studio, she and artist Hollis Callas invited visitors to contribute to a fun art project by adding small silver and gold “disco mirrors” to a mannequin. 

“We’re turning it into a giant disco ball basically,” quipped Campbell. 

With all that it has to offer, the Clement Street Art Walk has captured the attention and interest of Richmond District residents who live nearby. Going forward, the aim is to get folks from other San Francisco neighborhoods to check out the event as well. 

 Campbell noted, “We’re not yet at a point where people from other neighborhoods know [about] this Richmond art walk as a destination, but that’s certainly one of the goals. 

With its unique and thoughtful setup, coupled with a palpable artist-and community-supporting vibe, the goal is achievable.