It was the beginning of the Chinese New Year and San Francisco’s North Beach was awash in red decorations. Spontaneous fireworks added excitement to our walk down Jackson Street, through Chinatown, toward the 472 Gallery.
My wife and I were on our way to attend our first Open Show Social Screening event. The topic was Relationships and a friend of ours was going to be presenting his work.
A Brief History
The Open Show concept started in 2008 when Tim Wagner saw many of his friend’s projects going unseen and unpublished. He and two other people organized an event in San Francisco called SlideSlam to get the work out into the public eye.
SlideSlam relaunched as Open Show and in October 2010 it expanded to Los Angeles. A month later it spread to Egypt and India, and then onward to Europe in 2011.
Today, Open Show is in 31 cities in 15 countries with 25,000+ participants. Anyone can get involved or start a show.
And Now, On To Our Show
Five artists presented projects of 20 photos apiece over the course of the evening. Each presenter had 10—15 minutes to show their work, comment, and answer questions.
We saw photos of wildlife in Argentina and Utah. There were behind-the-scene photos of athletes at Stanford University. One presenter showed us a brief documentary video about a Rabbi. Two people provided a look into their own lives using personal photos and commentary.
The feedback between the audience and the creators gives the Open Show a relaxed tone. Our experience was much like that of spending a night out with a large group of friends. People talk, someone asks questions, responses follow, food is available to knosh on. We gain Knowledge along the way and find new insight by seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.
If you are a Photography enthusiast, I recommend attending an Open Show if there is one in your area. There are links at the end of this post to assist you.
Inserted below is the documentary that we watched last week. It is about Leo Trepp, the last living Rabbi who led German Jewish communities in Nazi Germany. At the time of this video, in 2010, Rabbi Trepp was 97 and living in San Francisco with his wife, Gunda.
The Last Rabbi