You’ve seen his work if you’ve read the Glen Park News, or perhaps strolling down Chenery Street. In the coming months you will be able to see it at the de Young museum.
Glen Park resident Michael Waldstein’s piece “Red” is one of numerous Bay Area artists whose work was chosen to be part of a 125th-anniversary exhibition. While temporarily closed due to the pandemic, it’s expected to reopen soon. The exhibit is currently scheduled through January 3 but will likely be extended, giving residents ample time to view it in person.
In the meantime, the exhibit can be viewed online, guided by curator Timothy Anglin Burgard.
|Watch the Curator Tour
In addition, you can view the 877 artworks in this exhibition online, along with thoughts from the participating artists.
A 36-year Chenery Street resident, Waldstein is a longtime artist whose work has been shown at the Open Studio and on home studio tours.
Waldstein was one of 6,188 artists who submitted work when the de Young put out a call for submissions by artists from across the nine Bay area counties. Just eight percent of the pieces were chosen to be displayed in nine galleries at the museum in Golden Gate Park.
The show is part of the museum’s 125th-anniversary celebration. It had previously been scheduled for the spring of 2021 but was moved up when the coronavirus pandemic upended the museum’s schedule. Because the museum couldn’t transport works from other places for their regular exhibits, the Open was moved up as local artists could deliver their works to the museum themselves.
To hand off his piece, Waldstein was given a time to come to the front of the museum where he was met by staff who loaded the work onto a special cart and carried it inside. Everyone was masked.
“It was very well organized,” he said.
Although COVID cut short his first museum showing, Waldstein says overall the pandemic hasn’t affected his working process greatly as his studio is at home.
“It’s made it more difficult to get supplies and the prices have gone up,” he said.
Waldstein has done photography and prints but now focuses mainly on two- and three-dimensional works featuring geometric shapes and strong colors.
“To me, reality in art is simply color, shape and arrangement or composition. Copying the natural world does not interest me now but, in my education, it was very important. Drawing from life is the way to develop a sense of beauty. It’s a building block needed to become a visual artist.
I claim no mystery in what I do. It is just how color and
composition affects the viewer, that’s a mystery.”
Living in Glen Park gives him a peaceful environment where he can work undisturbed, he said.
“I can stroll down to the coffee shop and meet up with my friends while I’m waiting for paint to dry. It’s nice to know the merchants. It’s convenient to have the hardware store a block away for a can of glue, picture hangers, nuts and bolts,” he said.
Passersby may have also seen his brightly colored sculptural bench on the corner of Chenery and Brompton which attracts children and adults with strollers taking a break.
“I made it so children would like walking on top of it,” he said.
You can see more of Waldstein’s art at www.waldsteinart.com.
Waldstein has also contributed dozens of photos to the Glen Park News over the past two decades.
In later-breaking news, the Glen Park News has learned that another Glen Park artist, Bruce Katz, has a piece in the show. You can see it here.