Upcoming exhibits


January: Britt-Marie Alm and Love Fest Fibers >>>
February - April: Contemporary Irish Artists, curated by Jim Ricks >>>
May: The CCA Social Practice Workshop led by Ranu Mukherjee >>>  
June: Asian American Women Artists Association, Emerging Curators Program >>>
August: Madi Manson >>>

Help keep us running!

We always need help funding our exhibits. It’s a tenuous time for leftist cooperative used bookstores in San Francisco, as well as the galleries inside them. This is a chance to support a critical community space within the Mission district where people can still gather freely, in various manifestations of organization and disorganization, that is genuinely accessible to people from every class.

Whether it's just a few dollars to pay for some nails or enough to give stipends to artists for installations or pay for workshops and community classes, we sincerely appreciate any sort of help to keep the Backroom running. We are sponsored by Fractured Atlas, so donations are tax deductible. Make checks payable to Adobe Books or donate here.

See our recent press here

Gallery mission statement

The Adobe Books Backroom Gallery provides a space for experimental artworks inside a used bookstore that has been a hub of community connection and activity in the Mission for over 25 years. The Backroom’s mission is to be an alternative space where artists can make momentous decisions in their practice and experiment freely in the company of their peers. The cooperative is also interested in building a more explicit, dynamic connection between the bookshop and the exhibition space by encouraging artists to make site specific works that reference or engage with the bookstore.

We currently have three priorities for the work we host or co-create with artists:

  • Work that activates the space, connects with our neighborhood, and gets people in the door (to buy books as well as engage with art).
  • Work that integrates the bookstore and the gallery in interesting ways, and that leverages our site.
  • Work that connects with different, distinct sub-communities of the city. 

We are particularly interested in social practice artists, or artists who can build multi-layered projects that emphasize social engagement as a core component of the work. We sell artists' work during their show at a 60/40% split, with 60% going to the artist and 40% to the store. We also host pop-ups and artist events. 

Gallery history

Adobe Books Backroom Gallery opened in 2001 and has since become an important crucible for emerging artists in San Francisco. Originally at the long time home of Adobe Books on 16th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District, the gallery has moved with the book store to 3130 24th Street. The Backroom’s mission is to be an alternative space where artists can make momentous decisions in their practice and experiment freely in the company of their peers. The Backroom Gallery is affiliated with the Adobe Books and Arts Cooperative group that runs the bookstore.  

We sincerely thank all those who have volunteered their time over the years to program the gallery, work with artists, put together auctions, and support the bookstore. A more complete curatorial history in the works.

Curator / curatorial teams









Eliza Gregory

Heather Holt

Calcagno Cullen

Daniella Fernandez Murphy

Katie Hood Morgan

Devon Bella

Eleanor Harwood

Amanda Eicher