Celebrating the art of Alta Plaza

February 19, 2020 § Leave a comment

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Mark Ulriksen | Dogs Only (1995)

A NEIGHBORHOOD GALLERY is celebrating a favorite local park in San Francisco with an exhibition of paintings and photographs, many offered for sale.

Alta Plaza Park, which sits at the top of Pacific Heights a block west of Fillmore Street, has drawn a variety of artists through the years to its sloping terraces — especially since the Thomas Reynolds Gallery opened nearby 25 years ago. Among the artists included in the gallery’s newest exhibition dedicated to the park are:

• San Francisco artist Mark Ulriksen, who has painted more than four dozen covers of the New Yorker magazine

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Michael Reardon | Legion of Honor at Alta Plaza (2012)

• architectural watercolorist Michael Reardon, who has led plein-air paint-outs in the park and imagined how the park might look if San Francisco’s Legion of Honor Museum had been built there, as founder Alma Spreckels originally intended

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John Payne | The Park (1959)

John Payne, a painter who had a studio on the park in the 1950s and captured, among other subjects, the Washington-Jackson cable car line, which ran by the park for decades

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Veerakeat Tongpaiboon | Uphill: Alta Plaza

Veerakeat Tongpaiboon, who moved near the park from Thailand three decades ago and has made it one of his frequent subjects.

VIEW THE EXHIBITION ONLINE, or make an appointment to visit the gallery, which operates privately near the park.

That city feeling

June 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

“I LIKE SPEED, I like buildings, I like cars,” says painter Veerakeat Tongpaiboon. “It’s all art.”

Painting the energy of the streets

December 19, 2014 § 1 Comment

Veerakeat in his home studio | Photograph by Jennifer Blot

Veerakeat in his home studio | Photograph by Jennifer Blot

By JENNIFER BLOT

The destiny of artist Veerakeat Tongpaiboon had a lot to do with the windows of Academy of Art University’s Sutter Street gallery in downtown San Francisco.

Though he’s now a nationally recognized cityscape painter, the first time he walked by the gallery nearly 25 years ago, he was a waiter and recent emigrant from Thailand. Captivated by the painting of a nude in the window, he set about learning more about the artist, Craig Nelson. When he found out Nelson was director of painting in the School of Fine Art, he decided to enroll at the Academy.

Fast forward a couple of years to an evening when Thomas R. Reynolds, the editor and publisher of a San Francisco legal newspaper, passed by the windows and felt a similar connection to a painting he saw. He entered the gallery, inquired about purchasing two of the works on display and left a business card for the artist, an Academy M.F.A. student who went by one name: “Veerakeat.”

These serendipitous moments happened more than two decades ago, but Veerakeat’s relationship with both Nelson and Reynolds endures — as has his popularity as a San Francisco cityscape artist.
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From Thailand with talent

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Veerakeat Tongpaiboon and his paintings at the Fillmore Jazz Festival.

Veerakeat Tongpaiboon and one of his San Francisco cityscapes.

SAN FRANCISCO ARTIST Veerakeat Tongpaiboon has a new exhibition of his dynamic cityscape paintings this month at the Thomas Reynolds Gallery, his longtime artistic home at Pine and Fillmore.

It’s the 16th year he has shown at the gallery. But this time he won’t be shuttling between his art and his day job at his family’s restaurant. Neecha, the admired and affordable Thai spot at the corner of Steiner and Sutter, closed at the beginning of August.

“I’m a full-time painter now,” he says. “It’s about time.”

Read more

A six week experiment

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Lafayette Park Light | Veerakeat Tongpaiboon

At his MFA graduate exhibition in 1994, a young painter named Veerakeat Tongpaiboon met Thomas Reynolds, a lawyer-publisher with an interest in art — and in the Fillmore neighborhood. When Reynolds learned the aspiring artist also lived in the neighborhood and featured it in many of his paintings, he rented a small space for six weeks to exhibit Veerakeat’s paintings. That six-week experiment has turned into a long-term partnership.

Read more: “From Thailand With Talent

A Veerakeat film

June 15, 1998 § Leave a comment

VEERAKEAT’S cityscape paintings are the star of this video short story.

Small rooms, vivid art

July 10, 1995 § Leave a comment

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Jack Cassinetto | Russian River Redwoods

The air is hot, the meter maids are swarming like angry wasps and I’m wandering the Western Addition to see what’s burning. My first stop is the Thomas Reynolds Gallery at 2291 Pine Street, once a private residence that’s now a well-adapted space of small rooms and vivid art.

Reynolds is a pleasant and enthusiastic mover of his artists, a favorite seeming to be Veerakeat Tongpaiboon, a Thai immigrant still overwhelmed by the sheer joy of his paints, and the architectural and line possibilities of rooftops and streets. Bold color and a strong sense of space fill these exuberant pieces of town.

Tasty pieces of furniture quietly inhabit the rooms. A small space in back, reminiscent of the Dutch Masters room of the de Young, features a collection of contemporary landscapes in turn-of-the-century style by Jack Cassinetto. These beautifully framed impressions of eucalyptus and warm foliage help define the ambiance of this friendly, intimate gallery.

— BANA WITT, Western Edition

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