Featured: Ship of Dreams: Artists, Poets and Visionaries of the SS Vallejo
What happens when you decommission a ferry boat, anchor it off of Sausalito and stock it with a generation’s worth of writers, thinkers, and artists? Cultural relevance. From 1949 through 1969, the S.S. Vallejo hosted a vast array of mid-twentieth century artists, including Allen Ginsberg, Jean Varda, Jack Kerouac and many others. The works ideated or created on board this seaborne cultural incubator sealed the ship’s place in NorCal history. Come see—and hear—the results from the original low-cost venture space at Howl!, a Beat-era poetry reading and open mic night on March 16. Or check out Ship of Dreams: Artists, Poets and Visionaries of the S.S. Vallejo through March 17 at the Bolinas Museum.
From January 19
Families are given an opportunity to learn about STEM in action against the backdrop of a replica Harley-Davidson — and even hit a (simulated) open road.
Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito)
Ship of Dreams: Artists, Poets and Visionaries of the S.S. Vallejo
Through March 17
How one ship, moored off Sausalito, became a cultural incubator for forward thinkers like Allen Ginsberg, Jean Varda and Alan Watts.
Bolinas Museum: (Bolinas)
Marin History Museum (Novato)
Numerous collections with historical articles, documents, artifacts and photographs commemorate the traditions, innovation and creativity in Marin.
Viola Frey: Her Self
Through April 21
Mounted 15 years after Frey’s death, this exhibit traces the artist’s career with a focus on self-portraits in multiple mediums. From drawings to oil paintings to ceramics, the show presents a more personal view of the artist and includes her work gloves and boots too.
Marin Museum of Contemporary Art (Novato)
Through March 10
Artist Kim Heecheon uses letters from his girlfriend, images of Seoul and data from his late father’s smart watch to come to terms with his father’s death.
Asian Art Museum (SF)
Ink, Paper, Silk: One Hundred Years of Collecting Japanese Art
Through April 14
A selection from BAMPFA’s Japanese art collection, featuring woodblock prints, lacquerware and more.
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley)
Giants of Land and Sea
Discover the forces that make Northern California a place unlike anywhere else. Step inside an immersive fog room, feel a jolt in an earthquake simulator, and explore marine mammal skeletons and models.
California Academy of Sciences (SF)
Behind Peanuts: The Little Red-Haired Girl
Through August 4
Introduced as a Peanuts character on November 19, 1961, the object of Charlie Brown’s unrequited love was inspired by Charles Schulz’s real-life first love, Donna Mae Johnson-Wold. The exhibit tells he backstory via photos, art and interviews.
Charles M. Schulz Museum (Santa Rosa)
Show Me as I Want to be Seen
Through July 7
Artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, video and 3-D animation examine the fluid ideas of self and identity.
Contemporary Jewish Museum (SF)
Monet: The Late Years
Through May 27
Spanning 1913 to 1926, the final phase of Monet’s career, this exhibition presents 50 works painted in his garden at Giverny.
de Young (SF)
Building a Different Model: Selections from the di Rosa Collection
The works by 40 artists address the world by offering generative visions of transformation and repair through social, physical, and ceremonial relationships.
di Rosa (Napa)
After Dark: Pi(e)
Adult lovers of math puns, don’t miss this museum’s made-up holiday and chance for a taste of the transcendent.
Through June 30
Twenty-nine works by San Francisco artist Charles Hobson reframe the notion of a book into a shape that corresponds to its content.
Legion of Honor (SF)
Through April 14
The museum is taken over by highlights from the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Museum of the African Diaspora (SF)
Wanxin Zhang: The Long Journey
Through July 14
An installation of monumental clay figures for which artist Wanxin Zhang is known includes traditional shapes and iconography from Chinese history threaded with contemporary California funk and pop culture influences.
Museum of Craft and Design (SF)
Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline
Through March 17
Art and science come together through fantastical renderings by Ray Troll and the research of paleontologist Kirk Johnson.
Oakland Museum of California (Oakland)
Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory
Through March 31
SFMOMA welcomes this global debut — the first North American retrospective of the artist’s work in 25 years — featuring renderings of the natural world, from ocean waves to desert floors.
Richard Shaw and Wanxin Zhang
Through April 7
An exhibit of recent clay works from two Bay Area artists, focusing on exploration of the cultural exchange between China and the West.
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art (Sonoma)
People, Paper Power: Building Community Through the Tenderloin Times
Through March 31
This exhibit explores the collective power, amplified by the neighborhood newspaper, of the diverse voices — Khmer, Laotion, Vietnamese and others — that call the Tenderloin home.
The JCCSF Katz Snyder Gallery (SF)
The Walt Disney Family Museum (SF)
Exhibits highlighting Disney Studios artists and the life and times of Walt Disney.
Bay Area Now 8
Through March 24
This survey exhibit features visual artists specializing in a range of mediums, as selected through a series of studio visits, to present a picture of the Bay Area in the present tense.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF)
Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her childrens’ schools, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.