By Egotist / / Local shop Argonaut is joining San Francisco’s 50th anniversary celebration of the summer of love with the opening of an art gallery on the ground floor of its office, located in the refurbished Avalon Ballroom. The Avalon Ballroom houses the agency now, but 51 years ago it was the site of Janis Joplin’s first-ever public performance with Big Brother and the Holding Company. “We sent out an inspiration deck to local artists with the theme, ‘Celebrate Janis,’” said Maura Heilbron, head of culture at Argonaut. “Her story is tied up with San Francisco but also with ours, as we work at the venue of her first show with Big Brother and the Holding Company. We want our first collection of art to represent the spirit of Janis.” Heilbron is working with Nicole Schwieterman, owner of Fleet Wood Gallery, to co-curate the gallery’s pieces and promote up-and-coming local artists in the space Though the gallery’s first pieces will revolve around Janis Joplin, the agency is looking to branch out for its next rotation of artwork. “Our vision for the gallery is to build a space that both inspires our team, and opens the door to greater collaboration within our own community,” Heilbron said. “We hope to give artists of all levels and mediums a place to showcase their work, continuing The Avalon Ballroom’s legacy of being a hub where people can come together and celebrate creativity.” Admission to the gallery is free and open to the public. It opens with the “Celebrate Janis” theme on July 26, with a second showing on August 3 as part of the Lower Polk Art Walk which occurs the first Thursday of each month.
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