Developing Environments

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This week marks the fortieth anniversary of Developing Environments, the first legal artists cooperative in San Francisco and they’re celebrating with open studios all weekend.

DE offers affordable, spacious housing to artists who would not be able to live and work in San Francisco otherwise, like John Chiara who makes huge prints with an oversize camera.

As rents have skyrocketed in San Francisco places like Developing Environments, which is owned by a trust (making it essentially a non-profit) have become crucial to maintaining an artistic community.

And it’s not just photography and painting. Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampling technology, and video. Miranda Caroligne creates wearable art from salvaged textiles. There are also clowns, and filmmakers, and tap dancers.

Over thirty (forty?) artists live and work in the space. If you’re in San Francisco this weekend you’ll want to check this out.

Artwork from the Developing Environments community after the jump.


Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books, including the memoir The Adderall Diaries and the novel Happy Baby. He is the founding editor of The Rumpus. His feature film debut, About Cherry, was distributed by IFC. His second movie, based on his novel Happy Baby, is forthcoming. More from this author →