Guest, Amy Franceschini artist, designer, teacher & founder of FutureFarmers. Topic: Joe as a teacher and his participation in creative experimentation resulting in a series of Public, Performance Events.
Joe gave his classes unorthodoz assignments or seminars, yet each was a creative learning experience. Example, the University of Hawaii Wet Clay Action Event.
A one inch clay slab was installed on much of the courtyard in the photo below. The assignment, students could do anything they wanted with the slab of clay. Students danced on the slab, rode bicycles through the slab and some wrestled.
The slab was cut up and selectively fired. The process was captured on film.
First Performance Event – Searchlights
With the 1968-1969 San Francisco State University student led strike in progress, three art faculty members, Mel Henderson, Joe Hawley and Alfred Young, took to the streets of the City to produce three Performance Art Events . As Joe Hawley pointed out, San Francisco became our canvas
The first of three Art Events was “Searchlights”. Thirteen seachlights were installed and turned to the sky every other block from Twin Peakes to the Ferry Building.
Films of the three events are in the SFMOMA permanent collection.
The next day, June 4, 1969, the San Francisco Chronicle published a “Searchlights” article.
Second Performance Art Event – Yellow Cab
The second Performance Art Event was the “Yellow Cab” event. Students and art patrons engaged 100 Yellow Cabs to drive down Market Street to converge at Castro Street.
Third Performance Art Event – Oil
Third Performance Event in Protest of Spilled Oil in the Bay
The Cow Project
Mel Henderson created cardboard cows and oriented several cow projects along transit corridors, primarily for a commuter audience.
Surf Line Event
Another Mel Henderson and Joe’s events was Surf Line, a night time event held along the Ocean Beach Esplanade, directly in front of the Beach Chalet across the Great Highway.
Lou Lopez, a friend of Joe’s, made a film documentation of this nighttime event. It also includes footage of the artists gathering with their friends and SFMOMA audience members inside the Beach Chalet’s former downstairs tavern — which was at the time run by the Veterans of Foreign Wars — surrounded by WPA murals. The artists regularly frequented and brainstormed ideas there, observing the landscape over time.Back To Top of Page