By Beth Lederer
On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 19, Simple Pleasures Coffee Roastery was transformed into a small pop-up Holiday Bazaar. There were 20 to 25 local artists from the Westside of San Francisco who participated in this event.
This was the brainchild of Brede Fuchs and Stuart Kimball, who both are employed at Simple Pleasures Cafe. Both Brede and Stuart are very passionate about the arts. Brede is an aspiring fashion designer and Stuart is an aspiring actor.
The idea was fostered as Brede and Stuart were working at Simple Pleasures during Covid, interacting with so many talented locals who often talked about their creative projects. With so many talented locals and no place to exhibit their artwork they saw the need to create a space for the exhibition of this artwork.
The longtime owner of Simple Pleasures cafe and the Roastery—Ahmed Riad—really appreciated the creativity of his employee’s and encouraged Brede to put his stuff out there.
Brede and Stuart wanted to build community and came up with the idea using the roastery space to exhibit other people’s artwork as well as their own. This is the fourth pop-up shop in the last couple weeks and Brede said “he hopes to create a collaborative community space that gives people access to pursue passions, share ideas and promote local artists.”
The Holiday Pop-up shop was a huge success. It was a very festive occasion and it was a great way to support our neighbors by having their sentimental artwork showcased.
Some of the artworks displayed were fragrant herbal soaps, scenic photography, photographs of Rock musicians, fine art painting, stained glass jewelry, hand woven earrings, crystal necklaces, hand-crafted bags from assorted fabrics and textures, holiday ornaments, cards and decorations, beautiful glittered hearts, homemade brooms, screen printed shirts.
One of the exhibitors-photographer JT, is passionate about photographing birds “I photograph all types of birds. Some people specialize in a specific type say Raptors, but I look for the connection with the animal. I’m hoping my photo’s elicit an emotion whether it’s humor or fear or joy or sadness or whatever. As long as they make you feel something I’m happy. It’s a privilege to witness and capture these moments,” said JT.
Some of the other local artists who shared this space and exhibited their artwork were Brede Fuchs, who did a live cut and sew garment performance, lighting, event organizing and the original artwork on the Christmas flyer, Stuart Kimball, who created live screen printing and event organizer, Beth Lederer, who made hand-crafted bags made of fine fabrics, Christine Preziosi, who made stained glass jewelry, Jasmin Rios, a tattoo artist visiting from Brazil, created a live art mural outside of the Roastery, Kel Flaherty, made abstract fine art and played Christmas Carols on the keyboard, a DJ-AlienPug, JT, who photographed local birds, Kristina Ruud-Hewitt, who made tonic natural organic fragrant soaps, Grayson Shell, who created woven beaded earrings, Megan Carney, who volunteered at a gift wrapping station, Sylvia Vientulis, made prints, porcelain and decorative holiday ornaments, Sarah Aineb, who made prints and screen printing, Rick Judge who displayed his photography, Anna MacKenzie, who made fine art photography, Eric Lindsey, who made eye and hand society drawings, Taufiq Azilah, who was the event photographer, Yannis Valais, who made ice dye using dharma dyes, Robin Galante, who made fine art paintings of Balboa Street, Tom Isom, who was an amazing photographer, Laura Rego, who knitted crochet hand felted stockings and Kevin McLaughlin, who created orchard plants.
All of this beautiful artwork displayed, plus the additional lighting and the festive sounds of the DJ’s music and music by Kel Flaherty, added to the festive ambience which transformed Simple Pleasures Roastery.
There were quite a few locals who strolled in to say hello, to observe the beautiful artwork or gather Holiday gifts. As one customer left, they displayed their enthusiasm for having completed their holiday shopping. Megan, a regular patron at Simple Pleasures, was happy to volunteer her time at the gift wrapping station where she used her creative talents to wrap the gifts. This wonderful and joyous Sunday afternoon on Balboa Street was made possible due to Brede and Stuart who did a great job in organizing local artists to participate.
Additionally, Ahmed’s generous donation to Simple Pleasures Coffee Roastery for this event made it possible for the Westside of SF to shop locally, enabling artists and neighbors to mingle with one another in support of our local artists. This pop-up holiday event may just inspire other artists who live in the Richmond to display their talents at future events.