Celebrate Eugene E. White Day in San Francisco July 10!

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Eugene White, the artist at work
Eugene White, the artist at work

Folks in the Fillmore and throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area are getting ready to celebrate Eugene E. White Day, honoring renowned and revered local artist, educator and entrepreneur Eugene E. White on Sunday, July 10. This day, by proclamation of Mayor Ed Lee, will be a time to pay tribute to this enduring figure of the neighborhood, an artist who continues to inspire the community through his painting and teaching.

Eugene E. White has been creating art for and about the local community for over 50 years, and his work depicts realistic experiences and expressions of Black people. The day is poised to be a landmark event that will bring people of all ages together.

It’s Sunday, July 10, noon to 5 p.m., at the African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St., San Francisco. If you don’t know Eugene White, this is your opportunity to meet a legend and learn about his beautiful and inspiring work. If he’s already a friend, you definitely don’t want to miss his big day that has been months in the planning.

Sunday afternoon, July 10, at the cultural center will be alive with music, a documentary film about Eugene and his work, great food and festivities. Original Eugene E. White artwork will be on display, and prints of his work will be available for the very special low price of $45 each.

To better acquaint you with one of the great artists of our time, here are some facts about his life:

Celebrated artist Eugene White, here with Bay View publisher Dr. Willie Ratcliff, attended a Bay View fundraiser, Our Media Matters Theater Night at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre on Dec. 29, 2011, with his wife, Lynnette. They have long been strong supporters of the Bay View. - Photo: Malaika H Kambon
Celebrated artist Eugene White, here with Bay View publisher Dr. Willie Ratcliff, attended a Bay View fundraiser, Our Media Matters Theater Night at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, on Dec. 29, 2011, with his wife, Lynnette. They have long been strong supporters of the Bay View. – Photo: Malaika H Kambon

Eugene E. White, born March 31, 1933, opened the first Black-owned art gallery in San Francisco in 1963, and he still runs it in the Fillmore over 50 years later.

Eugene’s first public art show was in Golden Gate Park’s Hall of Flowers sponsored by Bulart in 1964.

He has traveled the world displaying his work at historic and culturally relevant places like FESTAC, an international arts festival in Lagos, Nigeria, and the 1971 Black Expo in Chicago.

He has received a medallion from the city of Nashville, painted murals throughout San Francisco and published an autobiography.

Some of White’s work is on view throughout the city of San Francisco, from portraits on the walls of churches and community center murals to simple retail signs. But his personal collection, consisting of hundreds of paintings and drawings, has rarely been displayed publicly.

Each painting in his gallery is focused on the past – both historical and recent. White has amassed canvas after canvas, prints and drawings depicting Black lives, from historic figures like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman and watershed moments like the inauguration of President Barack Obama to simple pictures of everyday people.

In 2013, he received a commendation from the San Francisco Appreciation Society. Mr. White’s work, alongside the painting of Edythe Boone, was a part of the Elders Project in 2013 at the African American Historical Society celebrating the creativity, strength, perseverance and beauty of older African Americans.

To learn more about Eugene and the celebration, please contact the organizers at 415-206-1880 or admin@citizenfilm.org.

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