In February, San Francisco business Case for Making brings a snapshot of its incredible community of makers and painters to Axis Gallery in Sacramento.
Case for Making is a storefront in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of SF which offers handmade watercolors, letterpressed watercolor-paper, and art supplies curated for functionality and delight. Since 2020, the business has also included a collection of online workshops designed to encourage process-focused exploration in watercolor.
“The amazing thing about this institution,” says Eliza Gregory, curator of the exhibition and a member of Axis Gallery, “Is the way they honor and encourage creativity in everyone. It’s a radical act to deconstruct the hierarchies our culture uses to evaluate art-making and artists. Case for Making creates space for the artist in each of us, and for everyone to be artists.”
“I want to encourage every person to be themselves and to celebrate that,” says CFM founder Alexis Joseph. “I want every person to have time and space to reflect and be curious and make marks and figure out what their artistic voice wants to say.”
“It’s very rare to see a contemporary business be such a force for good both in its physical community and more broadly. Case for Making supports so many artists in so many different ways—financially as teachers, as employees, as paint makers but also spiritually as beginners, as experts, as makers, as individuals, as learners,” says Gregory. “I invited Alexis and CFM to exhibit at Axis because I think what they do goes so far beyond being a store. What Alexis has built is, to me, an institution as an artwork. And she and her team designed an amazing way to make that visible in an exhibition.”
This fall, CFM invited anyone who has used their supplies or participated in their classes to mail paintings back to the store. The team has then worked with those paintings to assemble quilts of images, each one showcasing a wide array of painters. Contributors are old and young, far-flung and close-at-hand, and range in experience from brand new to the teachers of the Case for Making Friends online sessions.
The art making process has been a dialogue between the business and its customers. After the call went out over 60 people mailed in their work, and Case for Making staff members each had a hand in cutting, sorting, and arranging the paintings to form the large-scale quilts. This kind of multi-layered, generous collaboration–between the business and its community, amongst the entire staff of the business, and between the founder (Joseph) and a curator (Gregory)--illustrates the open-hearted nature of this unusual institution.
“I think people who have been listened to and encouraged to be themselves go on to express their true selves and feel care for others,” says Joseph. “With care and intention, people can thrive. We can extend care to all people in our communities.”
View the exhibition February 4th-26th, 2023. Free and open to the public Sat/Sun 12-5pm
Second Saturday Reception: February 11th, 5-8 pm
Watercolor Paint Making Demonstration by Alexis Joseph: Sunday, February 26th, 3-5 pm
Closing Reception: February 26th, 3-5 pm
Sign up for classes or purchase supplies at https://caseformaking.com
Case for Making
Case for Making is a storefront offering handmade watercolors and a line of letterpress watercolor paper goods all made in-house, presented alongside a curated selection of our favorite creative supplies. We’re proud of our collection of online workshops which have been designed to encourage process-focused exploration and are all taught by our staff and friends. Our practice is to recognize the presence of creative inquiry in multiple forms, and to provide space for engaging in and valuing this work.
Our brick & mortar location is in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco at 4037 Judah Street just a few blocks from the ocean / we are open daily 11am-6pm!
Eliza Gregory is an artist and educator. She is an Assistant Professor of Photography & Social Practice at Sacramento State University. Her curatorial practice pulls from varied disciplines and interests to pair voices and spaces in unexpected ways. See her work at www.elizagregory.org