In the house


Our own Kay Ryan will be in the house- the White House on Wednesday, July 10 to receive the National Humanities Medal. She is being honored “for her contributions as a poet and educator. A former poet laureate of the United States, her witty and compact verse infused with subtle wordplay, reminds us of the power of language to evoke wisdom from the ordinary,” the White House said in its press release. Inaugurated in 1997, the National Humanities Medal recognizes individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities.

Electric Works is honored to have collaborated with her and Tucker Nichols to produce a broadside of her poem Blandeur.


If it please God,
let less happen.
Even out Earth’s
rondure, flatten
Eiger, blanden
the Grand Canyon.
Make valleys
slightly higher,
widen fissures
to arable land,
remand your
terrible glaciers
and silence
their calving,
halving or doubling
all geographical features
toward the mean.
Unlean against our hearts.
Withdraw your grandeur
from these parts.

Two for one Museum admission

An Exclusive Discounted Offer to View
Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought
at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
February 16 through May 28, 2012

The CJM is pleased to extend you an exclusive two-for-one Museum admission offer while Do Not Destroy is on view February 16 through May 28, 2012. When you purchase one Museum admission at full price, you receive a second for free. Ticket prices are: $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for students and senior citizens with a valid ID, and $5 on Thursdays after 5 PM. Youth 18 and under are always free. Mention the “Electric Works” when purchasing your Museum admission in the CJM’s Grand Lobby.

Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought is a provocative and thoughtful two-part exhibition that explores the subject of the tree in both contemporary art and in Jewish tradition, offering fresh perspectives on our connection to the natural world.

First is a selection of local artists including David Tomb, Lucy Puls, and Tucker Nichols to name just a few and international contemporary artists—including Rodney Graham, April Gornick, Yoko Ono, and Roxy Paine. These works—sculpture, video, photography, and painting—provide entry into their makers’ visions of an idealized world—one of enchanted forests and whimsy, where the natural beauty of the tree is evaluated, deconstructed, and monumentalized.

Then, the Dorothy Saxe Invitational builds upon the Museum’s long-standing tradition of asking artists from a variety of backgrounds to explore a Jewish ceremonial object, holiday, or concept within the context of their own mediums and artistic philosophy. This year, fifty-five artists, working in a range of media, have incorporated reclaimed wood into new works of art, inspired by the themes of the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat (New Year for the Tree). Many artists reference Jewish tradition while others use the tree as a means of exploring more universal themes such as environmentalism, transformation, nostalgia, and renewal.

The Museum is located at 736 Mission Street (between 3rd & 4th streets), in San Francisco, and is open daily (except Wednesday) 11 AM–5 PM; Thursday, 1–8 PM. For general information, visit or call 415. 655.7800.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays!

A big thanks to all who helped to make Electric Works especially bright this season!

To all the folks who filled the gallery with laughter and applause!

To the McSweeney’s McMullens crew!

To the artists and illustrators!
Jordan Crane, Matt Furie, Walter Green, Lisa Hanawalt, Ian Huebert, Jason Jägel, Amy Martin, Brian McMullen, Tucker Nichols, Scott Rideout, Scott Teplin.

To the artists who hosted our Reading and Drawing Hours!
Matt Furie & Aiyana Udesen
Scott Rideout
Christian Robinson

To Sarah Klein for curating Imagine That our animated film program
and Christian Robinson for charming the audience with his animated Dinosaur Song!

To all the kids young and old, inspired by the Robert Barnes 1032 Illustrated Lunch Bags, who decorated their own!

Join us on Saturday January 7 from 2-4 for hot cocoa and cookies for a closing reception. This will be the first “First Saturday” organized by the San Francisco Art Dealers Association (SFADA). Galleries in San Francisco and Oakland will be hosting special events every first Saturday. For a complete listing of participating galleries visit

McSweeney’s McMullens: Artwork from Children’s Books, plus 1,032 Illustrated Lunch Bags

December 3—January 7, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 3, 4:00-8:00 PM
Many, many events throughout the show

Electric Works is pleased to announce McSweeney’s McMullens: Artwork from Children’s Books, plus 1,032 Illustrated Lunch Bags, a group show celebrating the artwork of McSweeney’s McMullens, the children’s book imprint launched by McSweeney’s earlier this year.

IN THE MAIN GALLERY: the exhibition will focus on the original artwork from the first several books in the series, as well as sneak peeks at the artwork from a handful of books in progress. The main gallery will feature work by Jordan Crane, Matt Furie, Walter Green, Lisa Hanawalt, Ian Huebert, Jason Jägel, Amy Martin, Brain McMullen, Tucker Nichols, Scott Rideout, Scott Teplin and many others.

THE READING ROOM: for this exhibition, we are transforming our Project Space into a Children’s Reading Room. The space will feature a wall with hundreds of hand-illustrated paper lunch bags by visual artist Robert Barnes. Additionally we will be providing deluxe reading stations for our smaller visitors complete with a bookcase holding current McMullen’s releases, Electric Works and McSweeney’s staff favorites.

EVENTS: Throughout the exhibition there will be many many events. Stay tuned for exact dates and details, but we will be hosting a series of celebrity story times for the little ones. On each Saturday and Sunday, we will feature a different notable from the Bay Area to read aloud their favorite stories to kids. We will be presenting Imagine That, an animation screening curated by Sarah Klein that features kid-made cartoons suitable for adults and adult-made animations suitable for kids.

STORE: Imagine our bookstore. Now imagine it overflowing with many copies of all the latest McSweeney’s McMullens titles. Now add on a bunch of new items for the holiday season: fish-scrubbing gloves, banana slicers, books about East German toy design and you’ve got what awaits you this winter at Electric Works.

Please note a change of hours for this exhibition: in addition to our regular hours, we will be open on the following Sundays, noon-5 PM: December 4, December 11, and December 18th.

Special Gallery Hours
Tues-Fri 11-6 PM
Sat 11-5 PM
Sun noon-5 PM

Pulitzer Party

Blandeur, a poem by Kay Ryan with artwork by Tucker Nichols

How Birds Sing, a book by Kay Ryan illustrated by Tucker Nichols

In an interview in The Wall Street Journal, Kay Ryan talks about The Best of It, the power of rhyming and terminal cancer and how she found out about winning the Pulitzer Prize.

Kay Ryan and friends celebrate the Pulitzer last night in Fairfax, CA