Recent press:
Polka Dot Sunday and Anti-Racism, Congratulations Pine Tree (podcast)
Best Up and Out for Art, San Francisco Bay Area Guardian
Art will challenge viewers senses, Jesse Hamlin for SF Gate
Bay Area Now 7: Multidisciplinary Showcase, Sura Wood for SF/ARTS
This Week’s Hottest Events, 7×7
A Future Fascination, A. Will Brown for CCA
Just Make Something, Leora Lutz for SFAQ
CORNERWAYS: Up, Down, and Below, Roula Seikaly for KQED Arts
Go see this, Heidi J. de Vries for Engineer’s Daughter
Review of Field Trip # 3, Calder Yates for SFMOMA’s Open Space blog
Consider the Alternatives: An Index of Experimental Art Spaces, Christian L. Frock for KQED Arts
2013 Looking Forward: 10 Anticipated Bay Area Art Events, Christian L. Frock for KQED Arts


February 13, 2015

Wave Pool AIR
We are thrilled to be the recipients of an Art Space is Your Space artist residency and exhibition at Wave Pool, a new art center in Cincinnati, OH. During our residency this summer, the Wave Pool gallery will function as a research lab, screening room and hub for activities surrounding our eighth Field Trip, our first outside of the Bay Area. Stay tuned for more in the coming months!

Our Next Field Trip
We’re currently planning our next Field Trip, set for May/June in the East Bay. For this (our seventh!) Field Trip, we’ll explore a new stair-related route with the help of the generous donations from Oakland Stock diners. Stay tuned for more details, including Guest Field Trip leaders, location teasers and a date in the weeks to come!

Support Stairwell’s
Thanks to all of the Stairwell’s donors who contributed to our year-end fundraising in December. Consider making a 100% tax-deductible donation of any amount through our Fractured Atlas page. All donations directly benefit the artists we work with for Stairwell’s Field Trips and exhibitions. We really appreciate your support.

Congratulations Pine Tree
Our friends Maysoun Wazwaz and Kate Rhoades are on to something great with their podcast Congratulations Pine Tree. Not only did they interview Stairwell’s, they put up a new episode each week, interviewing artists, covering exhibitions and arts-related issues, earning them the well-deserved and self-appointed title of the “Bay Area’s number one art and culture podcast!” Listen to this great show!

Blog for us
Ever come across a particularly intriguing set of stairs? How do you feel about waterpark slides? And what about that scene in that movie, you know, when someone goes down some stairs? We want to hear from you! Our website features writing not just about Stairwell’s activities, but ruminations on all things stair-related. Email us at to find out how you can contribute.


December 23, 2014

2014 was a rip-roaring year for Stairwell’s. We released a publication featuring 11 former Stairwell’s contributors with our friends at Little Paper Planes to commemorate our LPP+ Residency. We worked with 8 artists, put on 2 exhibitions (one as part of the YBCA’s Bay Area Now 7), and co-led 2 Field Trips, one on each side of the Bay. We won the votes at Oakland Stock, a micro-granting dinner series with funds going towards future Field Trips.

If you’d like to jump on the Stairwell’s bandwagon, consider making a tax-deductible donation of any amount.* Your contributions will go directly towards artist honorariums, exhibition materials, production of future publications and our 7th Field Trip, set for Spring 2015 in the East Bay.

Help us spread the stair gospel, one step at a time! We look forward to discovering new vistas with you in 2015. Thanks for your support. Contribute $20 or more for a copy of our compilation publication: Stairwell’s Takeaway Issues 1–4.


October 14, 2014

Join Stairwell’s and three special Guest Field Trip leaders on Saturday, October 25 for Short and Longcuts, a new, one-day-only interactive walking tour traversing pathways and passages in San Francisco’s Financial District.

Explore cobblestone alleyways and empty fountains! Climb stunning stairways, enjoy expansive views and take part in artist-led activities! Tickets are $15.

Led by Stairwell’s Co-Directors Sarah Hotchkiss and Carey Lin and featuring Guest Field Trip leaders Em Meine and Lauren M. Taylor, this 3-hour group excursion includes both indoor and outdoor stops and concludes with a picnic lunch. We will begin and end the walk near the Embarcadero BART stop. Field Trips routinely sell out – purchase your ticket today!


October 2, 2014

Short and Longcuts: A Stairwell’s Field Trip
Saturday, October 25, 2014

The 6th Stairwell’s Field Trip, Short and Longcuts is an interactive walking tour exploring pathways and passages in San Francisco’s Financial District and surrounding areas. Join us for a journey through cobblestone alleyways and around empty fountains: together we’ll tread the line between public and private to find stunning stairways and expansive views.

Led by Stairwell’s Co-Directors Sarah Hotchkiss and Carey Lin and featuring Guest Field Trip leaders Em Meine, Lauren M. Taylor and Zoe McCloskey, this 3-hour group excursion includes both indoor and outdoor stops and concludes with a picnic lunch.

Em Meine is an artist whose work encompasses drawing, painting, sculpture, performance, video and text. She is interested in the simultaneously fragile and over-inflated ego that an art practice requires. Lauren Marie Taylor is the Bay Area Director of Educator Associates for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Her artwork was included in The Art of Astrophysics at MIT’s Kavli Institute and she was the first Artist in Residence at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Zoe McCloskey is a conceptual, performance and social practice artist who engages in collective and science-informed art. Her themes reflect upon and re-evaluate the authority of the artistic.

Last days! Amy M. Ho & Mike Rothfeld in YBCA’s Bay Area Now 7 through October 5
The Stairwell’s installation is on view for just a few more days. Don’t miss Mike Rothfeld’s paper-mâché intervention into YBCA’s pristine staircase, or Amy M. Ho’s photo-based projection, large-scale vinyl and transparency work.

Press for Stairwell’s & BAN7:
Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle
Sura Wood, SF/ARTS
Mark Taylor, KQED


August 28, 2014

Stairwell’s Walk & Talk @ YBCA, Saturday, September 13, 2–4 PM

Stairwell’s (Carey Lin & Sarah Hotchkiss), Amy M. Ho and Mike Rothfeld invite you to join them on Saturday, September 13 for a conversation and interactive exploration of the Stairwell’s installation at YBCA. Together, we will expand our notion of stairs, stair-related structures and the possible category of un-stairs. Activities will include: competitive stair climbing, the digital teleportation of an artist from Japan to San Francisco and Mike Rothfeld discussing both the suspension of paper-mâché and disbelief, among other fascinating subjects.

We have a LIMITED number of free tickets* for those of you who want to attend. Email with the subject line “BAN7” and we’ll reserve a spot for you. * Otherwise, regular admission to YBCA is typically $10

SAVE THE DATE! Next Stairwell’s Field Trip October 25

The date for our next Field Trip is now set! Join us on Saturday, October 25 in San Francisco for an interactive walking tour and some casual outdoor group dining (OK, let’s just call it a picnic).

As we’re currently deep in the planning phase of this next adventure, details on the exact location of our route and the identity of our guest Field Trip leaders cannot yet be revealed. Advance tickets will be available for $15 about a month before the event. Stay tuned for more info and get excited!


February 10, 2014

Upcoming Field Trip: From the Ground Up
Tickets are now on sale for the fifth Stairwell’s Field Trip, From the Ground Up, set for Sunday, March 2 from 11 AM to 2 PM in North Oakland.* This outdoor group excursion, led by Stairwell’s co-directors along with guest Field Trip leaders Elizabeth Bernstein, Kari Marboe and Stacy Martin, will cover East Bay history, esoteric rituals, geology, pyramid architecture and more.

What’s Along the Way:
• Secret histories, hybrid spaces and unexpected views
• Presentations and group activities from 3 guest Field Trip leaders
• A picnic lunch (BYO or purchase food nearby)

* Exact meeting location will be sent to all participants the week before the Field Trip

Tickets: $15 via Brown Paper Tickets
(Space is limited to 20 participants)

Stairwell’s to participate in Bay Area Now 7 at YBCA
We are thrilled to be one of 15 organizations that will be included in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ upcoming Bay Area Now triennial. Stairwell’s will work with artists Amy M. Ho and Mike Rothfeld to create site-specific work in and around a staircase in the YBCA galleries. BAN7 will open July 18 and continue through September 28, 2014. Stay tuned for more on what we’re planning with Amy and Mike in the coming months!


December 3, 2013

Dear Friends of Stairwell’s,

Stairwell’s is two years old! In 2011 we got off the ground with an Alternative Exposure grant and we haven’t slowed down since. So far, we’ve…
• Organized exhibitions in 5 different stairwells from the Outer Sunset to West Oakland
• Commissioned new site-specific artworks from 12 local visual artists
• Published 4 Takeaways and 1 spiral-bound collection of diverse content from 12 writers
• Embarked on 4 public Field Trip excursions with 4 guest leaders and an a capella group to explore stairs, ramps and escalators
We need your help to keep doing what we’re doing in year 3. Make a 100% tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor today and receive not just our thanks, but a copy of our newest publication (for gifts over $20).

Thanks so much for your support!
– Sarah Hotchkiss and Carey Lin, Co-Directors

Publication launch Wednesday at Rock Bar, 6:30–8:30 PM
Celebrate the launch of our first spiral-bound publication, a collection of the first four Takeaway issues from our first two years of programming. Join us for drinks and get your very own copy ($12) at Rock Bar (80 29th Street, San Francisco) on Wednesday, December 4, 6:30-8:30 PM!

Published with Colpa Press and featuring writing by: Marion Anthonisen, Tom Comitta, Michael Flannery, Emily Gable, Dana Goldberg, Kayla Graham, Aaron Harbour & Jackie Im, Sarah Hotchkiss, Carey Lin, Susannah Magers, Stacy Martin, Mike Rothfeld, Zoe Taleporos and Tay Wiles.

Bonanza this Friday at n/a in Oakland
See you at the Temescal art space n/a (4304 West Street, Oakland) this Friday, December 6, 7-10 PM for the closing reception of bon/anza 3: dress for this and the book release of n/a’s first publication, some type of way. The publication features work from twenty artists, performers and curators asked to respond to the idea of collaboration. Stairwell’s, along with other contributors, will be present to discuss projects amidst the exhibition by the collaborative Bonanza (Conrad Guevara, Lindsay Tully, Lana Williams). Issues will be available for purchase – stop by!


October 25, 2013

A brand new publication
Thanks to the excellent Colpa Press, we’ve compiled our first four Takeaway publications into one beautiful spiral-bound package. Featuring essays, poetry, drawings and interviews in response to the settings and themes of our first four exhibitions, Takeaway Issues 1-4 is a document of our first 1.5 years of programming. Buy your copy online today or find one in-person at an upcoming event!

Stairwell’s at The Lab
On Tuesday, October 29, beginning at 7:00 PM, Stairwell’s will participate in Thoughtluck at The Lab with other artist-run and artist-centered organizations from the Bay Area. Discussion and audience participation is welcomed, so come down and join in the conversation!

Other participants include:
Joel Dean of Important Projects
Aaron Harbour of Et al.
Michelle Mansour of Root Division
Evan Reiser of City Limits Gallery
Emma Spertus of Real Time & Space
Katherine Worel & Emmanuelle Namont Kouznetsov of Off-Space

Double Double: Success!
The fourth Stairwell’s Field Trip took place on the morning of Sunday, October 20. The outdoor group excursion began with a bus ride from the Haight to the Twin Peaks foothills. Among the morning’s many activities, participants were given kazoos, a guided tour of secret stairs and a history of the popsicle (invented in Oakland). Guest Field Trip leader Sarah Thibault provided a curated Double Double playlist for notable landmarks along the route. The outing ended with attempts at double dutch in the Panhandle and a sunny picnic.

Check out pictures from the Field Trip here and stay tuned for our next excursion in February 2014!


August 5, 2013

LPP+ Residency in San Francisco this month
Our residency at the Little Paper Planes store begins today, August 5, and runs through the end of the month. During the residency we will focus on the smaller, portable versions of the staircase, such as the step stool, the pet stair and the rolling stair.

A Stairwell’s-in-residence media station is open during store hours (Tuesdays – Saturdays, 12-7 PM & Sundays, 12-6 PM) and we’ll have two in-store events (details below).

Stairwell’s Residency Events
Events take place at Little Paper Planes, 855 Valencia Street, San Francisco

Draw Your Dream Stair
Sunday, August 11, 1 – 4 PM
Participate in our one-day collaborative art project “Draw your dream stair,” enjoy famous stairs in cinema, and sample some edible stair snacks.

Stairing Contests
Saturday, August 31, 6 – 8 PM
Join us for an evening of stair games: a variant of Pictionary, a twist on the age old “staring contest,” a singing competition and other classics! There will be prizes.

Stick with Stairwell’s: Like us on Facebook!
Help us reach 500 fans by Labor Day. Like us on Facebook and stay up to date on all of our events, exhibitions, Field Trips, publications and other opportunities.


June 9, 2013

CORNERWAYS gallery hours this Sunday
Thanks to all who came to our opening reception and BBQ last weekend. CORNERWAYS: New works by Seth Curcio & Dan Swindel will be on view again during our gallery hours this Sunday. This is your second (of three) chances to see the show, so stop on by!

When: Sunday, June 9, 12-5 pm
Where: 1050 47th Ave. Unit #6, Oakland, CA (in the Boise-Cascade Building)
FREE – Takeaway Issue #4 – Limited Edition

We will have a limited number of FREE copies of our Takeaway Issue #4 on hand during gallery hours this Sunday. For the first time, our publication is not photocopied, but instead printed on the Risograph by our friends at Colpa Press. Come get yours before someone else does.

Issue 4 features:
“Rethinking Your Gold Mining Plans” by Stacy Martin
Historic photographs from the Oakland History Room of the Oakland Public Library
“This is Not a Stairwell” by Zoë Taleporos
“A Year in Stairwell’s” visual diagram by Carey Lin
“A Note on Caves and Mirrors” by Sarah Hotchkiss

Upcoming Stairwell’s Events
June 5-31: Just Make Something at Interface Gallery (Oakland)
Stairwell’s takes part in an exhibition curated by Colpa Press asking curatorial teams to make artwork collaboratively. Featuring Sarah Hotchkiss & Carey Lin (Stairwell’s), Jackie Im, Aaron Harbour & Facundo Argañaraz (Et al.), and Nate Hooper & Andy Hawgood (The Popular Workshop). Opening reception for Just Make Something is Friday, June 14, 6-10 pm at Interface Gallery.

July 10: Stairwell’s at DiverseWorks (Houston)
A long distance conversation between Stairwell’s and Hélène Schlumberger as part of the programming for L’esprit de l’escalier, an exhibition at DiverseWorks in Houston.

August 5-31: Stairwell’s residency at Little Paper Planes (San Francisco)
Stay tuned for details on two events we’re planning for our August residency at the new Little Paper Planes store at 855 Valencia St. and find out how you can get participate.

September 28: Save the date for Field Trip #4 (SF Bay Area)
Location, theme, and guest presenters for our 4th Field Trip are still in the works but registration will open in late August.


May 22, 2013

New Format: Stairwell’s Takeaway Issue #4
For our fourth Takeaway publication, we’ve decided to break the 11″ x 17″ mold (and color scheme) for alternative printing pastures. Colpa Press will take charge of printing our expanded-format publication on their amazing Risograph, allowing us to use colored ink on colored paper to our hearts’ content.

Takeaway #4 will feature essays by Stacy Martin (contributor to Takeaway #2), Zoë Taleporos, Carey Lin and Sarah Hotchkiss. Pick one up at the opening reception for CORNERWAYS on June 1, during gallery hours on June 9, or at the closing reception on June 30 (while supplies last).
Image courtesy of the collection of the Oakland History Room,
Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.

New works by Seth Curcio & Dan Swindel
June 1 – 30, 2013
1050 47th Ave. Unit #6, Oakland, CA 94601 (see map)

Opening reception (w/ potluck BBQ): Saturday, June 1, 12 – 5 PM
Also on view: Sunday, June 9, 12 – 5 PM
Closing reception: Sunday, June 30, 12 – 5 PM

Stairwell’s is pleased to present CORNERWAYS, an exhibition of new site-specific works by artists Seth Curcio and Dan Swindel inside a live/work space in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. Curcio and Swindel respond to the architectural elements of the former warehouse with photographic and sculptural works that are installed under, above and on the stairs of Unit #6 of the Boise-Cascade Building.

Donations to Stairwell’s now tax-deductible
Stairwell’s is now fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas! Click here to make a 100% tax-deductible donation and help keep Stairwell’s programming alive and well.

What is fiscal sponsorship?
Fractured Atlas acts as a surrogate non-profit for Stairwell’s so we can receive tax-deductible donations and apply for grants without our own 501(c)(3) tax status.

Does Fractured Atlas provide Stairwell’s with funds?
Nope, they just receive donations and grants on our behalf and then redistribute them to us, minus a small processing fee. We need your help to continue to put on exhibitions, provide artists with honorariums, organize Field Trips with fantastic leaders, and provide the snacks.

Thanks for your support.


May 9, 2013

New works by Seth Curcio & Dan Swindel
June 1 – 30, 2013, opening & BBQ June 1, 12 – 5 PM
1050 47th Ave. Unit #6, Oakland, CA 94601

Stairwell’s is pleased to present CORNERWAYS, an exhibition of new site-specific works by artists Seth Curcio and Dan Swindel inside a live/work space in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. Curcio and Swindel respond to the architectural elements of the former warehouse with photographic and sculptural works that are installed under, above and on the stairs of Unit #6 of the Boise-Cascade Building.

For CORNERWAYS, Seth Curcio transposes multiple images into a complex 2D collage, altering the angle of perception to the horizontal plane of the stair step. The piece expands on Curcio’s interest in ‘hard-to-see things and places,’ a category that includes the bottom of the ocean, distant icebergs, video game landscapes and most recently, caves. Trained as a photographer, Dan Swindel creates sculptures that transcend the flatness of the photographic plane with folded geometric shapes. Expanding on his library of materials for CORNERWAYS, Swindel’s hard-edged and reflective pieces mirror the edges and corners of the space itself.

Coinciding with the exhibition, Stairwell’s will publish its fourth Takeaway publication, printed by Colpa Press and featuring writing by Stacy Martin, Zoë Taleporos, Carey Lin, and Sarah Hotchkiss.

Congratulations to us!
We are proud to announce that we are now fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas. Stairwell’s was launched by artists Carey Lin and Sarah Hotchkiss with the help of a 2011 Alternative Exposure grant from Southern Exposure. In 2012 we mounted four exhibitions with ten artists, led two field trips, and produced three publications with content from twelve writers.

Help Stairwell’s continue to bring great art and experiences to the Bay Area by making a tax-deductible donation to us through Fractured Atlas in any amount. If you choose to contribute $25 or more we will send you a complimentary package of all Stairwell’s publications to date. We truly appreciate your support.

Stairwell’s featured on SFMOMA’s OPEN SPACE
We are thrilled to be featured on SFMOMA’s OPEN SPACE blog with a review by Calder Yates of our third Field Trip in February. We embarked on an exploratory trip beginning at the Sutro Baths in San Francisco, focusing on our movement through the Lands End landscape. Activities and topics presented included group measurement, environmental observation, and a history of stair building and stair carpentry methods. The winners of our stair counting challenge received copies of Stairway Walks of San Francisco and Secret Stairs East Bay: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Berkeley and Oakland.


January 28, 2013

Join us Sunday, February 10 for the third Stairwell’s Field Trip. We will embark on an exploratory trip beginning at the Sutro Baths in San Francisco, focusing on our movement through the Lands End landscape.

  • Field Trip is 11 AM – 2 PM and FREE
  • Topics may include: Group Measurement, Parks & Recreation, Environmental Observation, Unexpected Aquatic Life, and Historic Leisure Facts
  • Wear good walking shoes


January 7, 2013

2012 in Review
As Stairwell’s concludes its first year as a curatorial project, we are excited to build on what we’ve begun. 2012 was a year of first steps (ha!). We organized four exhibitions (one in conjunction with S.H.E.D. Projects), led two Field Trips, and released three issues of the Stairwell’s Takeaway publication. So far we’ve worked with ten artists, twelve writers, and an a capella group. If you missed anything, photo documentation and downloadable PDFs of our publications are available on the website. Finally, Stairwell’s now has a Support page where you can help fund future programming!

Upcoming Events
We are thrilled to be included in Christian L. Frock’s KQED Arts article “2013 Looking Forward: 10 Anticipated Bay Area Art Experiences”. More specifically, in February we will lead our third Field Trip, a mediated group excursion to explore pre-existing stairs and stair-related structures in the Bay Area. Check the Stairwell’s website later this month for updates on where we’re headed and how to join in. Our fifth exhibition will open in April at a yet-to-be-determined site. Have a spot in mind? Get in touch and share your ideas with us.

Support the future of Stairwell’s
Stairwell’s was launched with the help of a 2011 Alternative Exposure grant from Southern Exposure. More than half our budget goes directly to the artists commissioned to make work for our exhibitions and we are quickly running out of funds.

Please consider making a donation of any amount to help Stairwell’s continue to bring great art and experiences to the Bay Area! More info can be found here. We appreciate your support.


November 5, 2012

Next Exhibition
Our next exhibition is right around the corner (and up the hill). We hope you can make it to the show, featuring new site-specific work by Aaron Finnis, Christine M. Peterson and Emma Spertus. A WELL STIRS will be our longest-running show, with opportunities to view the work after the opening reception on Friday, November 16. Mark your calendars for an artist talk on Thursday, November 29, starting at 7 PM or stop by during gallery hours.


Aaron Finnis
Christine M. Peterson
Emma Spertus

November 16–December 2, 2012

8 Samoset Street (Bernal Heights)
San Francisco, CA 94110

Opening reception: Friday, November 16, 6–9 PM
Artist talk: Thursday, November 29, 7 PM
Gallery hours: Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays 11 AM–4 PM (excluding November 22)

A WELL STIRS extends the bounds of a stairwell in a domestic setting atop Bernal Hill. Using projected light and architectural illusion, these new site-specific works occupy the stairs as well as the spaces the stairs connect.

Aaron Finnis transposes a view of San Francisco from a vantage point beyond the exhibition site. Working with photographic imagery and computer tape, he reframes the view within a set of parameters dictated by the upstairs installation space. In the darkened garage, Christine M. Peterson highlights the underside of the house’s stairs by tracing its structural edges with reflective tape. An accompanying slide projection abstractly mimics the movement of ascending and descending stairs, with each slide representing a step. Emma Spertus expands upon and confounds the architectural elements of the stairwell and its domestic fixtures through a series of photographic reproductions and interventions. As part of her piece, Spertus provides a free poster to be given away during the span of the exhibition.

A WELL STIRS is accompanied by a takeaway publication featuring new writing by Tom Comitta, Dana Goldberg, Kayla Graham and Susannah Magers.

Guest Bloggers
The Stairwell’s blog is chock full of great pieces on various stair-related themes, including Hillary Wiedemann’s ruminations on Bruce Nauman’s staircase at Oliver Ranch, Jane Long’s profile of the Winchester Mystery House, and Philip Leers’ discovery of The Second Longest Escalator in Nebraska. Would you like to contribute as well? Contact us at to join the blogging team.

Field Trip #3
Save the date for the 3rd Stairwell’s Field Trip in January 2013. Stay tuned after the holidays for details on our forthcoming adventure. Have an idea for a Field Trip destination? Get in touch!


September 6, 2012

Field Trip #2: Berkeley Walking Tour
On Sunday, September 23, Stairwell’s will lead a Field Trip to investigate how people and sound move through stairway structures. Join us in Berkeley for a walking tour of music, art, and architecture.

  • The Field Trip will begin at 11 AM and will last about 3 hours, including a picnic lunch (weather permitting)
  • B.Y.O.B.L. (bring your own bag lunch) and comfortable shoes
  • Free admission to the Berkeley Art Museum will be provided
  • Field Trip moderators will include Collin McKelvey, Spot the Octopus, and your pals at Stairwell’s

Please note: spots are limited! RSVP for the Field Trip by emailing us at by Monday, September 17. Confirmed participants will receive more details on where to meet by Friday, September 21.

New Guest Bloggers
For those of you who avidly follow the Stairwell’s blog, you may have noticed a new voice in the mix. Our inaugural guest post by Emily Gable documented the indestructible Fort Point stairs. Upcoming posts by Jane Long and Maggie Haas explore the Winchester Mystery House and a step pyramid in Egypt, respectively.

If you would like to contribute a stair-related piece of writing for inclusion on the blog, email us at

Stairwell’s Takeaways #1 and #2
Have you read our Takeaway publications? Typically distributed at our exhibition openings, PDFs of both issues are also available for download.


August 2, 2012

Stairwell’s is excited to take part in “House Show,” organized by our friends at S.H.E.D. Projects. “House Show” is comprised of 9 micro-exhibitions that include collaborations between 11 curators and over 20 artists. The exhibition opens Saturday, August 4 from 7–11 pm and is on view through August 17 at 1506 Peralta Street in West Oakland.

Departing from typical stair settings for “House Show,” Stairwell’s invited artists Emily Gable and Calder Yates to create new site-specific works in two areas of the house. In the street-facing bedroom just inside the front door, Gable creates an installation within and around a wall’s exposed 2-by-4s. At the rear of the house, Yates constructs a viewer-activated experience in the glass window box over the kitchen sink.

“House Show” is a welcome expansion on the goal of Stairwell’s: to create new models for local audiences to engage with art beyond traditional gallery settings.

A GOOD WAY AWAY photos and Takeaway #2
In case you weren’t able to make it to the Outer Sunset on July 13, we’ve updated our website with photo documentation of our second exhibition, A GOOD WAY AWAY. You can also download a PDF of Stairwell’s Takeaway #2, featuring short essays by local writers Marion Anthonisen, Michael Flannery, Emily Gable, Stacy Martin, Michael Rothfeld, and Tay Wiles.

Call for writers
If you are a Bay Area writer and would like to blog or write for future Stairwell’s endeavors, drop us a line at


July 2, 2012

The second Stairwell’s exhibition is just around the corner. A GOOD WAY AWAY features new works by Matt Kennedy, Noah Krell, and Collin McKelvey. Hosted by the Carville Annex, this one-night-only show of video, sound, and installation is not to be missed. Read below for more information. We hope to see you there on July 13, 6-9 PM!

New works by Matt Kennedy, Noah Krell, and Collin McKelvey
One night only: Friday, July 13, 2012, 6 – 9 PM

Carville Annex
4037 Judah Street
San Francisco, CA

A GOOD WAY AWAY, the second Stairwell’s exhibition, features new site-specific works by three artists exploring the Carville Annex, the Outer Sunset, and varying notions of distance. Matt Kennedy places himself in a humorous struggle for physical achievement, making a personal challenge public. Noah Krell meditates on the ubiquity of sand and considers its steady eastward movement from Ocean Beach into the city. Collin McKelvey manipulates locally-gathered sounds and smells and documents the downward momentum of stairs from a unique perspective.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a free takeaway publication includes essays by six Bay Area writers: Marion Anthonisen, Michael Flannery, Emily Gable, Stacy Martin, Michael Rothfeld, and Taylor Wiles.

Stairwell’s is a curatorial project by Sarah Hotchkiss and Carey Lin, supported by a 2011 Alternative Exposure grant from Southern Exposure. A GOOD WAY AWAY is hosted by the Carville Annex, home to artists’ studios and lecture-based programming. The Carville Annex is run by Sarah Fontaine, Alexis Petty, Katherine Fontaine and Lana Porcello.


April 10, 2012


Fresh off our first exhibition, DEEP DOWN AND BUILDING UP, we’re more excited than ever for how this project is coming to life. If you couldn’t make it out to the Noonan Building for the show, we encourage you to check out the album on our website, where the first Stairwell’s takeaway publication is also available for download.

Field Trip #1 on April 22
Our inaugural Field Trip is quickly approaching. On Sunday, April 22, Stairwell’s will guide a group though an exciting indoor stairway structure in San Francisco. We can’t give away the precise location of this site, but it is accessible by public transit and we estimate the adventure will last from 11 AM – 2 PM. There are only fifteen spots for this event, so if you would like to attend please fill out the attached permission slip (an editable PDF) and email it back to us by Wednesday, April 18. We will then contact you regarding your status. Act fast!

Call for submissions: artists and writers
Stairwell’s is looking for artists for future shows and writers for future publications and blog posts. If you are a Bay Area artist or writer and would like to submit your work for consideration, email 3-5 images or 1-2 writing samples. Include a link to your website, along with a few sentences about your work and how it would fit the aims of the Stairwell’s project.

Stairwell’s and you
Check out our website for news on studio visits, stair-related points of interest, and more. Do you have suggestions for future exhibition sites? What are your favorite stairs in your city? Email us or visit our Facebook page to stay in touch.


March 8, 2012

Welcome to Stairwell’s!
Stairwell’s is a curatorial project by Sarah Hotchkiss and Carey Lin, supported by a 2011 Alternative Exposure grant from Southern Exposure. Over the next year, Stairwell’s will mount short-term temporary exhibitions throughout the Bay Area. The first exhibition will take place in a former shipyard office built in 1941 now housing studios for artists, musicians, and filmmakers in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch neighborhood.

Join us on March 23 for the opening reception of the inaugural Stairwell’s exhibition featuring new site-specific works by Maggie Haas & Carrie Hott. Through sculpture, drawing, and installation, Haas and Hott expand upon their individual practices within the shared space of a stairwell in Pier’s 70 Noonan building. Their works address material accumulation, the measurement of spaces real and imagined, and the stairwell as a space in which we both move and rest.

New works by Maggie Haas & Carrie Hott
Opening reception: Friday, March 23, 6 – 8 PM
On view: Saturday & Sunday, March 24 & 25, 12 – 5 PM
Noonan Building / Pier 70 (Third Street @ 20th Street) / San Francisco, CA

Publications and Field Trips
In addition to temporary exhibitions, Stairwell’s programming includes off-site excursions around the Bay Area and short takeaway publications, the first of which will feature contributions from local curators Aaron Harbour and Jackie Im. Pick up a free copy of our first publication at DEEP DOWN AND BUILDING UP and save the date for our first Field Trip on Sunday, April 22.

Call for submissions
If you are a Bay Area artist and would like to submit your work for consideration, email 3-5 images to Include a link to your website, along with a few sentences about your work and how it would fit the aims of the Stairwell’s project.

Stay in touch with Stairwell’s
Check out our website for blog posts on other art in stairwells, updates on works-in-progress by Stairwell’s artists, details on upcoming Field Trips, and more. Do you have suggestions for future exhibition sites? Would like to get involved as a volunteer? Email us at or visit our Facebook page.