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1961 Bernice Bing SFAI Artist

Celebrating June PRIDE

Bernice Bing (“Bingo” to friends) got her MFA at SFAI in 1961, studying with faculty like Ernie Kim, Nathan Oliveira, Frank Lobdell, and Elmer Bischoff, and befriending fellow artists like Joan Brown, Carlos Villa, Jay DeFeo, and Wally Hedrick. Bing had a hard childhood—orphaned, shuttled between foster homes—but eventually found a place for herself in San Francisco: as a cocktail waitress at Vesuvio’s and the Old Spaghetti Factory, as a participant in the city’s queer scene (Bing had a cocktail named after her at bar/performance space The Cellar called the “Bingotoni” martini, made with 151-proof rum), and as an artist, showing her work at venues like the iconic avant-garde Batman Gallery. [BA]

In 2019 there was a terrific exhibition at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Bingo: The Life and Times of Bernice Bing:

And for more on Bernice Bing see the dvd: The Worlds of Bernice Bing

And from Carlos Villa’s Rehistoricizing Abstract Expressionism Project:

With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.


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