October 2021 Design & Art Event Hotlist

INVT’s curated list of “must do” creative events is designed to inspire.

We’re all about art, art, and more art this month, as we get ready to celebrate International Artist Day on October 25. Check out our “Hotlist” below, a list of design & art events in the San Francisco Bay curated by INVT co-founders and practicing designers Arianna Orland an Dava Guthmiller. There’s much to see, do, and experience, and we hope you’ll be inspired to join us at some—or all.

BTW, thank you for sharing your creative expression with the world!

Here’s their curated “Hotlist” for October 2021.

Intro to Silverpoint Workshop.

ARCH Art Supplies is in a fantastic new location, and we love that they’re now hosting a series of workshops and classes. This event caught our eyes because we’re intrigued by silverpoint, a delicate, historical drawing medium known for its luminescent mark-making capabilities. $50. October 10, from 10:00 am to noon. ARCH Art Supplies, 1490 17th Street, San Francisco.

An Exploration of Angel DeCora’s Design and Lettering Work.

Angel DeCora (1871–1919) was a Ho-Chunk designer, artist, illustrator, and educator whose inventive lettering opens windows to the design of North American tribes. In this lecture, co-presented with San Francisco Public Library, Neebinnaukzhik Southall, founder of the Native Graphic Design Project, will examine the illustrations and lettering DeCora created for books and other publications. Free. October 19, from 12:00 to 1:30 pm. Online.

Art Battle San Francisco.

We’ll watch as artists transform blank canvases into art in just 20 minutes at this exciting live art tournament. Winners are chosen by the audience. Maybe you’ll participate as one of the featured artists? (Go for it! Apply at artbattle.com/artists) All the artwork will be available for purchase in a silent auction. For ages 21+. $15–$20. October 20, 7:00 pm. The Great Northern, 119 Utah Street, San Francisco.

Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is Back!

MoAD is welcoming visitors back with a refreshed space and a highly anticipated line-up of first-time solo museum exhibitions by critically acclaimed artists. We’re excited to experience Amoako Boafo’s Soul of Black Folks, Billie Zangewa’s Thread for a Web Begun, and Sam Vernon’s Impasse of Desires (all through February 27). $10. Reopening October 21 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Reservations are required. MoAD, 685 Mission Street, San Francisco.

Shipyard Open Studios.

Over 100 artists will open their studios in this historic bayside artist community and share their works. For this special event, local food vendors and musical entertainment will also be on hand as we wander for the eye candy and opportunities to grab pieces for our own collections. Free. October 23 and 24, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Hunters Point Shipyard, 451 Galvez Avenue, San Francisco.

September 2021 Design & Art Event Hotlist

INVT’s curated list of “must do” creative events is designed to inspire.

As students head back to school (virtually and, we hope, in person), we’re feeling the itch to learn and grow too. This month INVT co-founders and practicing designers Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller understand the ongoing need for creative inspiration. To help themselves—and you in our fab community—each month they review all the invitations they receive to design & art events in and around the San Francisco Bay Area and choose the ones they “must do.”

Here’s their curated “Hotlist” for September 2021.

Nam June Paik Exhibit.

A mesmerizing riot of sights and sounds, Nam June Paik brings together more than 200 works by the visionary experimental artist who bridged art, music, performance, and technology in groundbreaking ways, and whose influence is felt in today’s art, pop culture, music, and film. This exhibition is this artist’s first-ever West Coast retrospective. $25. Now through October 3. San  Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third Street, San Francisco.

Looking Back: Ten Years of Pier 24 Photography.

Now is your chance to get a big overview of the amazing collection this space has to offer. Looking Back—the first of two exhibits celebrating Pier 24 Photography’s 10-year anniversary—features work by nearly 50 artists, including Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Dorothea Lange, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Free with appointment. Now through December 31. Pier 24 Photography, Pier 24, The Embarcadero, San Francisco.

Mode Brut.

We’re excited to see two of our favorite organizations come together in one space. Featuring unique designs by over 50 Creativity Explored artists, Mode Brut, a large-scale exhibition at Museum of Craft and Design, challenges museum-goers to think past familiar modes of apparel by redefining what—and who—is fashionable. $10. September 4 through January 23, Museum of Craft and Design, 2569 Third Street, San Francisco.

After Hope: Videos of Resistance.

“Hope is…refuge, renewal, revolution.” After Hope explores the role of hope in contemporary art and activism, through a series of 54 short videos from over 60 artists from around the globe. (We encourage you also to check other outstanding exhibitions at the Asian Art Museum, including Liu Jianhua: Collected Letters, East West Bank Art Terrace, and the teamLab projects.) $15. September 11. Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin Street, San  Francisco.

Mix and Match: Calligraphy and Lettering as Design Tools.

How can we shape letterforms to tell different stories? In this virtual, hands-on workshop, we’ll learn different methods to create custom letterforms—by writing, drawing, designing, and mixing calligraphy and lettering techniques—and explore their expressive potential. Open to all levels, from beginners to advanced students. $360. Four Wednesday sessions, September 8 through 29, 5:00 to 8:00 pm PDT. Online at Letterform Archive.

Tools for Overcoming Creative Blocks to Create More Flow and Enjoyment.

Every creative has a big inner critic. In this workshop, psychotherapist and artist Dana Dart-McLean offers tools from somatic (body awareness based) and expressive arts therapies, as well as mindfulness, to support you as you explore your relationship with both your inner critic and inner inspiration. Through guided visualizations, somatic grounding, and painting exercises, we’ll deepen our understanding of what fuels our creativity. $25. September 19, 2:00 to 3:30 pm PDT. The Center SF, 548 Fillmore Street, San Francisco. 

August 2021 Design & Art Event Hotlist

INVT’s curated list of “must do” creative events is designed to inspire.

As practicing designers, INVT co-founders Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller understand the ongoing need for creative inspiration. To help themselves—and you in our fab community—each month they review all the invitations they receive to design & art events in and around the San Francisco Bay Area and choose the ones they “must do.”

Here’s their curated “Hotlist” for August 2021.

Design by Time.

Twenty-two artists and collaboratives from eight countries explore how the dynamic passage of time can be embodied within design objects. Guest-curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox of c2-curatorsquared, this exhibition embraces mechanical and natural processes, including the growth of plant materials, the pull of gravity, and the transformational potential of fire. Reserving tickets is encouraged, as entrances are timed. Free for MCD members, active-duty military personnel, veterans, and first responders. General adult tickets are $10. Through August 15. Museum of Craft and Design, 2569 Third Street, San Francisco.

Diane Arbus curated by Carrie Mae Weems.

Diane Arbus was an American photographer who worked to normalize marginalized groups and highlight the importance of proper representation of all people. Weems, a contemporary American artist, selected 45 powerful images that spoke directly to her, and we love these strong moments that remind us to look deeper. Free. Through August 13, by appointment or online. Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary Street, San Francisco.

Iliazd: Publishing as an Art Form.

Russian Modernist Ilia Zdanevich (Iliazd) created and published 21 artist’s books while working in Paris from 1921–1975, and included among his collaborators Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Alberto Giacometti, Max Ernst, and Joan Miró. This is the first US museum exhibition devoted to the work of this under-recognized artist in more than 30 years. Timed tickets are free for members. General Admission tickets, $6–$15. Through October 10. Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, 100 34th Avenue, San Francisco.

Typography OF/AS Content.

Lucille Tenazas, a Filipino-American educator and National Design Award winner, will reflect on what makes a thoughtful and critical designer, and how a disciplined and constrained process can help a designer invent their own typographic approach. This lecture is co-presented by San Francisco Public Library, and the cost to attend is “give what you can.” August 3, noon–1:30 pm. Letterform Archive, 2339 Third Street, Floor 4R, San Francisco.

San Francisco’s Café Society, sketch/watercolor outdoors.

Grab your watercolors (we love the ones from Case for Making) or your favorite drawing tools, and join San Francisco’s Cafe Society outdoors at select San Francisco locations. Take in scenic views and entertaining environments, and capture that special ambiance our city offers. The limited-size classes will help guide your eye and inspire your creativity. $120. Fridays, August 6, 13, and 20. At various outdoor locations.

Black Women’s Blues Festival.

We love a great music session, and these powerful, pioneering Black women are ready to bring us some summertime blues. Showcasing legendary artists, established performers, and emerging talent, this intergenerational, interdisciplinary program features some of the world’s best vocalists, instrumentalists, and poets of the blues. $40. August 22, 2:00–6:00 pm. Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley.

July 2021 Design & Art Event Hotlist

INVT’s curated list of “must do” creative events is designed to inspire.

Museums around the world are reopening, people are gathering, and creatives are finally able to share their work IRL! This month we’re soaking up all the creative inspiration we can get at in-person events—like the return of outdoor concerts at Stern Grove and NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences.

That doesn’t mean we’re going to miss out on the amazing still-virtual events, and we hope you’ll join us online for experiences at the Asian Art Museum and the Museum of Craft and Design.

If you aren’t already familiar with our “Hotlist” posts, here’s the skinny: INVT co-founders and practicing designers Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller review all the invitations they receive to design & art events and choose the ones they “must do.” Here’s their curated list for July 2021.


What is it like to be a Black person surviving a global pandemic or a Black person navigating the world after the murder of George Floyd? What does a Black artist’s self-determination look like? Twenty-three Creativity Explored artists met to examine these questions, and their answers—in the form of their artworks—appear in this group exhibition. $10 for a 25-minute, in-person Gallery Visit (which can be applied to any in-store purchase during your visit). Now through August 19. Online and at Creativity Explored, 3245 16th Street, San Francisco.

Next to You.

As we emerge from months (and months!) of social isolation, we’re going to reawaken our senses at this exhibition of artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection that celebrates the joy, vitality, and healing power of the performing arts. Dance, theater, music, circus arts, film, and other creative forms will be featured. Free (reservations are required). Now through December 4. IRL at McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, 1150 25th Street, Building B, San Francisco.

NightLife at California Academy of Sciences.

Calling all creatures of the night! These popular nocturnal events are coming back to California Academy of Sciences with live DJs, outdoor bars, ambiance lighting, and nearly 40,000 live animals (including familiar faces like Claude the albino alligator). It’s going to be wild! For adults only (21+ with ID). $22 (must be reserved in advance). Thursdays, 6:00 to 10:00 pm. IRL at California Academy of Sciences (in Golden Gate Park), 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco.

Stern Grove Festival.

The City’s beloved summer tradition is back! The first official outdoor concert in Stern Grove was given on June 19, 1932 (featuring the San Francisco Symphony), and this season, a curated mix of entertainers will grace the stage for 10 free concerts. July’s performers include Thievery Corporation, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, and X. Free. (Check the website for new CDC policies. This year, tickets must be reserved in advance.) Sundays through August 29, 2:00 pm. Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco.

Exploratorium reopens.

We can hardly wait to support this INVT partner—in person! Experience the delight of illusion in Aperture Lucida, share Stories of Change, discover the future of autonomously driven cars in Sensor Fusion, and feed your curiosity through exhibits that inspire us to explore science, art, and human perception. Children $19.95, youth/teachers/seniosr $24.95, adults $29.95. July 1. Exploratorium at Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green Street), San Francisco.

NightSchool: Color of Life.

In nature, color is way more than just an aesthetic. For example, strawberry poison dart frogs, found in Panama, have brilliant and variable skin tones that warn off potential predators and rivals for mates. At this virtual program offered through the California Academy of Sciences, we’ll learn about these fascinating animals—and butterflies and birds—and how their colors affect their everyday life and the species’ survival. Free. July 1, 7:00 pm PDT. Online.

Art Escapes: Virtual Tours Through Asia.

Dr. Fan Zhang will be leading “Rise of Buddhist Art in China,” a virtual, behind-the-scenes tour at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum. Highlights of the 20-minute tour will include the oldest dated Chinese Buddha—still glittering with gold—and a larger-than-life wooden bodhisattva that has been around for centuries. This is a great opportunity to gain insights into millennia of craft and creativity. Free for members; $5 for nonmembers. July 3, 4:00 pm PDT. Online.

MCD Virtual Speaker Series: Make Conscious and PLAYLAB.

We anticipate a lively interchange of ideas when Make Conscious’s Jessica Kung Dreyfus and PLAYLAB, INC.’s Archie Lee Coates IV join the Museum of Craft and Design to discuss how we might redesign work systems to be more nurturing, whimsical, and innately creative. Free for MCD and Phenomenal Museum members; $10 regular; $8 students and seniors. July 23, 1:00–2:00 pm PDT. Online.

June 2021 Design & Art Event Hotlist

INVT’s curated list of “must do” creative events is designed to inspire.

We’re fired up to get inspired this month!

Usually, INVT co-founders and practicing designers Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller review all the invitations they receive to design & art events and choose six they “must do.” For June 2021, eight awesome opportunities made their specially curated “Hotlist”!

Take a look and join us—virtually (for just a little bit longer)—in conversation, collaboration, and creation through conference sessions and interactive webinars.

“Get Those Creative Juices Flowing” with VMA.

In this session of the ongoing Collective Conversations Virtual Roundtable Series, hosted by the Visual Media Alliance, we’ll discuss how to keep creative ideas coming and how our teams and community inspire us. Intrigued? Check out past chats and submit hot topics for future chats here. Free for VMA members, $50 for nonmembers. June 2, 10:00 to 11:00 am PDT. Online.

Book Talk—Drama with David Rockwell and Bruce Mau.

Contemporary architect David Rockwell has long been fascinated by theater, and it has informed his work designing hotels, restaurants, and cultural institutions. Join the Center for Architecture and Curbed Senior Story Producer Diana Budds for this live webinar about David’s book, Drama, written with INVT21 Speaker Bruce Mau. Free. June 7, 1:00 to 2:00 pm PDT. Online.

The One Club for Creativity’s Creative Week.

Highlights for The One Club’s week of creative education and inspiration include an international lineup of speakers, opportunities to connect through networking and workshops, and motivation from advertising and design industry leaders. Plus, we’ll hear from The One Show, ADC Awards, and Young Ones winners. $49–$849. June 7–11. Special programming available for different time zones. Online.

San Francisco Design Week.

Thousands of attendees—from our design community and the general public—are expected to attend this popular event. Together, through talks, webinars, conferences, and virtual tours, we’ll explore how people think about power in order to understand how it can be redistributed and used equitably. $39.99. June 7–13. Online.

Abstract’s Same Page Conversation Series.

In six conversations, designers, product managers, and engineers discuss how—with radical transparency, empathy, and collaboration—we can get everyone in the product development process on the same page. June 10’s topic is “Collaborating with Context”, June 24’s is “The Art of Reviewing.” Free. Thursdays: June 10, June 24, and through July 22. 1:00 to 1:45 pm PDT. Online.

Stripe Sessions.

Stripe builds economic infrastructure for the internet, for businesses of every size. They’re hosting this conference to offer a global perspective on emerging business models through product demos, workshops, and conversations with payment leaders, developers, founders, and curious observers. Free. June 16–30 (and the talks are available on demand). Online.

Lesbians Who Tech Online Pride Summit.

Connect with representatives from the tech, business, politics, and entertainment industries to organize on visibility, intersectionality, and other pressing topics in today’s tech world. Many of the events are free for members of the LGBTQ community and their allies. June 21–25. Online.

How Traditional Design Thinking Protects White Supremacy.

Hosted by INVT partner Creative Reaction Lab, this two-hour interactive webinar will lead us to dive deeper into defining white supremacy and understanding how it’s upheld in the ideologies and practices of “traditional” design thinking. We’ll then examine how we might shift design mindsets to more equitable, diverse, and inclusive practices. $25–$119. June 22. Online.