This week, Absolut came to town and recruited a handful of local street artists to revamp the Divisadero street block between Hayes and Grove. Until recently, that part of town had been not seen the type of gentrification that is commonplace in other parts of town. Now, there’s a San Franpsycho flagship store, a Bi-Rite Creamery and a street art campaign sponsored by a major spirits company.Many residents were apprehensive about the campaign, letting corporations “infiltrate” the neighborhood. But art has always needed benefactors. Who cares where the money is coming from as long as it makes the public engaged in art and there are plenty of free cocktails to go around?
Absolut’s Open Canvas campaign, which first started in Williamsburg, was also accompanied by open bar events all week, of course. Absolut teamed up with GayCities for the opening night party on Saturday, August 24 at La Urbana, the new, large, beautiful warehouse-like venue on Divisadero that wasn’t even opened to the public yet. For the opening night event, GayCities invited our friends from Snap Yourself for a very meta photo station experience involving Instagram photos. You would tag an Instagram photo with #TransformToday and the folks of Social Print Studio would automatically print them out on the spot, then you would physically tag that photo on a cork-board and pose for another photo from Snap Yourself — that was then also printed out to take home. You could take a step further and take an Instagram photo of that Snap Yourself photo and get it printed again with Social Print Studio, basically the modern-day version of infinity mirrors. Andy Warhol would have been proud.
The weeklong Open Canvas initiative had Absolut also teaming up with Remezcla for a salsa party on Tuesday, with Vice for a DJ set on Thursday and with Flavorpill for a lunchtime dance party today. All these events were held at the nearby The Independent music venue.
Think you missed out on all the art, inspiration and Absolut cocktails? GayCities is hosting the final Open Canvas event tomorrow, Saturday August 31st from 7pm to 10pm, again at La Urbana. RSVP here for free Absolut signature cocktails all night. This time, we’ve asked local gay artist Marconi Calindas to paint a unique work of art on two giant Absolut bottles for guests to pose with (sneak peek photos below).