Hunt & Gather, Inner Sunset’s Welcoming Art Space

By Tamara Odisho Benjamin

In the Hunt & Gather art space nestled on Irving Street, between 11th and 12th avenues in the Sunset District, owner DeeDee Hunt welcomes visitors with a cheerful and friendly face.

The front window gives passersby a sneak peek of what is inside. In her quaint space, Hunt has creatively maximized and designed it to feature lots of art from paintings to photography, cards to swag.

While shopping, visitors can also help themselves to a drink of their choice from the tea station. There is also a long table under the window that showcases art, but also invites you to stay, linger and engage.

The main gallery wall goes up about 16 feet and currently displays “HELLO Spring Art Show.” The curated images of flora, iconic San Francisco landmarks and landscapes are represented in an array of painting styles. The artwork ranges from bold to bright, to relaxed and calm; each artist demonstrated the ability to showcase San Francisco in nature. The wall featuring works created by local artists keeps the viewers’ eyes searching, seeing and scanning in awe. The impact on the viewer feels fresh and cool.

DeeDee Hunt, owner of the Hunt & Gather art space on Irving Street, between 11th and 12th avenues, warmly welcomes visitors to her gallery. Photo by Tamara Odisho Benjamin.

The opposite side of the main wall, what Hunt calls the “side show,” currently showcases local artist Roy Tahtinen.

Tahtinen’s photography captures images of hearts naturally occurring in nature. He has a special gift called pareidolia, which is when one sees images in everyday objects. Tahtinen decided to use his super power to look for hearts as they have such a compelling connection to San Francisco. At first, he began finding them in rocks and amassed a large collection. But when he no longer collected rocks, he began capturing hearts in other forms of nature and sharing them with the world through his photography.

Upstairs in the gallery is a hip loft space that is home to the second “side show” currently showcasing local artist Nathan Tan’s glow-in-the-dark paintings. Tan is a San Francisco native who started out as a graffiti artist in the late 1980s and developed his skill into graphic design and a clothing line called Nate1design. He loves creating anything visual. His current collection is best viewed at night when they’re glowing. He also sells sweaters and other swag featuring his designs in the shop and online. The loft also houses a professional podcast studio that Hunt offers to up-and-coming podcasters. She teaches them how to use the equipment and launch their own podcast.

Hunt’s love for San Francisco is deeply ingrained. As a young child, her family came to visit from Southern California, and she knew right away that she would be back.

“I belonged here,” she said. “San Francisco called me.”

She came back to attend San Francisco State University as a graphic design major. For her senior thesis, she was tasked with creating a business and marketing campaign which she named the CoZone. She envisioned CoZone as a comfort zone for the energetic spirit and curious soul. She knew this space wouldn’t provide her the financial security that she would need, but the idea was always near and dear to her.

In 2006, she launched her graphic design business – her “bread and butter.” Her love of CoZone continued to grow. That same year, she began hosting an annual art show in a warehouse in the Mission District. The show was going strong for 10 years. She was content with her business and passion for art – at least that is what she thought.

In 2018, her clients were moving out of their brick-and-mortar space and offered it to Hunt. She did not have much time to think about it and quickly said “yes.” She spent a few months reinventing the space to make it her own. As if things did not already feel serendipitous, the day she had her soft opening was her grandmother’s birthday.

“She was someone who was very special to me,” Hunt said.

Her grandmother’s name also inspired the “Hunt” in her store’s name.

Hunt said the neighborhood support was great.

“Folks would come in with so many pop-up ideas and we would run with it,” she explained.

She experimented with hosting all types of workshops, but she felt like she needed to narrow her focus. When the COVID-19 pandemic shelter-in-place order forced most people into lock-down, Hunt found the time to envision what she would like to see the space become.

Two ideas stemmed from her vision. The first is what she calls a business incubator, a one-stop shop that meets all the needs of a budding or veteran artist. That’s when she paired up with Tan. Between the two of them, they are offering everything from podcast workshops to business classes, all for free. The second idea was to stay true to her passion. She wanted her space to continue being an art studio.

A new art show goes on display on the main wall at every equinox or solstice. The summer and spring shows are always themed the same, but the autumn and winter shows change. The summer show is called Sunset Pride, a show all about inclusivity and diversity. Hunt wants all ages, genders and ethnicities to contribute their artwork. Her only requirement is that they attend the art opening so they can meet each other and the community. Every spring is the HELLO Spring Art Show. Keeping the show rotating at three-month intervals allows her to focus on her graphic design business which helps keep the lights on.

“All artwork is for sale and people in the neighborhood are very supportive,” she said.

The art scene in the Inner Sunset neighborhood is growing. So much so that she started an art walk in December 2022 called Sip and Shop. It attracted the community to come support local merchants and artists.

“The artists felt very loved and sold lots of art,” Hunt said.

Hunt & Gather is located at 1108 Irving St. Learn more about the studio and artists:; Nathan Tan,; and Roy Tahitien,

Categories: Art

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