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.
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.