By Maggie Ortins
City College student and San Francisco native Shane Menez hosted the closing night of his first art exhibition at Mamá Art Cafe Friday Sept. 12.
Mamá Art Cafe, located in the Excelsior District, is a family-owned independent coffee house that has hosted local art exhibitions for over a decade.
“It was supposed to be a solo show for me but I have a lot of creative friends so I thought why not get everyone together,” Menez said. “Some of the artists I met through networking others I have known for a while.”
Originally intended to be a photo show, the exhibition turned into a collaboration of photographers, painters and musicians. The local band Dirty Boots performed a live set for the closing night.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the work will go to Transitional Age Youth San Francisco, an organization introduced to Menez by the cafe owner Paulo Acosta Cabezas.
An artist himself, Cabezas supports local artists, writers and dancers. He thinks it is unfortunate that many artists are drawn to the Inner Mission to showcase their work instead of staying in the less hip Excelsior.
“With housing being the way it is, people are being pushed this way. Somebody like me sees the need for a place like this to support the artists and the youth,” Cabezas said.
Supporters came out to enjoy drinks, the music and the art. Attendee Manuel Arrendondo, a social worker living in San Francisco, said, “I could advocate for a million institutions in this city but anytime I hear something that has to do with College, of course I am going to come out.”
The work will remain up inside Mamá Art Cafe until Sept. 21 while Cabezas curates his next exhibition.
On Sept. 28, the cafe will host the work of 40 Cuban female artists for a preview show to a larger exhibition in October.