In the spring, in response to pandemic-related restrictions and closures of public spaces, a group of Los Angeles galleries banded together to form Gallery Platform L.A., an online home for virtual viewing rooms and curated projects presented by local art enterprises on a weekly basis. Now, a set of Bay Area galleries is joining forces as part of a similar effort called 8-bridges, a virtual platform launching on October 1 and named for the eight bridges that connect the San Francisco Bay.
Founded by a committee including Altman Siegel, Fraenkel Gallery, Friends Indeed, Gagosian, Jessica Silverman, Pace Palo Alto, Ratio 3, and art-market operatives Sophia Kinell and Sarah Wendell Sherrill, 8-bridges will offer monthly rotating exhibitions by Bay Area galleries. For the month of October, founding committee members and guest gallery Rebecca Camacho Presents will have presentations on the platform. The platform will also spotlight San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora as its first institutional beneficiary, directing visitors to learn about and donate to the institution throughout October.
Micki Meng, president of Friends Indeed, told ARTnews that the founding committee intended to create a “unifying platform for the gallery scene here in the Bay Area” through 8-bridges, which plans to present exhibitions by eight galleries per month, showcasing four committee members and four guest galleries during each cycle. While the platform was established largely in response to pandemic shutdowns, Meng said that founding members envision it existing after lockdowns ease.
“We primarily wanted to provide a space for people who are interested in what’s happening here in art and culture to look at art, see exhibitions, and basically be aware of and support our artists here,” she said, adding that 8-bridges is already planning a virtual gallery week in January in lieu of the Fog fair, which has been canceled.
“We wanted to form a brain trust and work together,” Meng said of the galleries’ collaboration on 8-bridges. “It’s really about coming together and supporting each other in this uncertain moment.”