Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
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It was established in 1998 and serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary art and curatorial practise. It is regarded as one of the leading institutions for the presentation of contemporary art in the United States.
Over the last decade the Wattis Institute has become one of the premiere venues for contemporary art exhibitions worldwide with a history of some of the most groundbreaking exhibitions organized in the United States. The local impact is equally important and the Wattis Institute is central to the vitality of the Bay Area art scene. Local residents and visitors come to the Wattis Institute to see the best work of emerging, as well as new work by established artists, and can attend any program free of charge.
The Wattis Institute also runs the pioneering Capp Street Project, founded in San Francisco in 1983, the first visual arts residency in the United States dedicated solely to the creation and presentation of new art installations. Since its inception, Capp Street Project has given more than 100 local, national, and international artists the opportunity to create new work through its residency and public exhibition programs.
Lawrence Rinder was the founding director. The current director of the Wattis Institute is Anthony Huberman who replaced Jens Hoffmann in 2013.
The Wattis Institute was located on the San Francisco campus of the California College of the Arts at the bottom of Potrero Hill in a refurbished 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) former Greyhound Bus maintenance facility designed in 1951 by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, before it moved to its new location at 360 Kansas Street in January of 2013.
The Wattis Institute is named after Phyllis C. Wattis one of San Francisco's greatest supporters of the arts who died in June 2002 at the age of 97. During her lifetime, she supported many art organizations in San Francisco and the Bay Area. She served on the board of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Opera and was as much an ideological as financial supporter of these organizations. Her vision helped to shape the art community of San Francisco to be one of the most active and most cutting edge.