Dark Beach curated by Innocnts

Saturday May 29th 5:00pm

Dark Beach exhibition statement:
Inspired by more dramatic elements within surf culture, Dark Beach is an exploration of themes, individuals, and emotions that exude grittier qualities of aesthetic within the scope of contemporary surf art. Looking beyond the waves for more than just visceral beauty or physical release, we find the genuine perspectives of individuals, whose artistic sensibilities have been shaped by their experiences in the water and along the coast. As surfers, we have witnessed both the beauty and the reality of riding waves in modern society and the stark differences between the two present an area rich with creative potential. Curated by Los Angeles based surf entity Innocnts, Dark Beach offers viewpoints of a culture whose authenticity is most accurately reflected by those endeavoring to survive within it and gives equal weight to an alternative perspective within the realm of surf-related art exhibitions, where the surfing lifestyle is often presented as existing outside the realities of everyday life.

INNOCNTS is a lifestyle-based project that manifests itself through various means including art curation, happenings, clothing, brand collaborations, and surf/skate related media. We are a mixed grouping of lesser knowns from various international environs attempting to carve out a genuine path of our own. Based in Los Angeles, INNOCNTS started as an brick-and-mortar art gallery in the Los Angeles and has gradually grown into a larger movement of friends and like minded individuals. INNOCNTS has strong connections to the art, surf, and skate communities and continues to present authentic projects and persons doing things their own way.
visit Innocnts website

Demi Boelsterli
Keegan Gibbs
DJ Javier
Matt Wessen
Susanne Melanie Berry
C.R. Stecyk III
Ben Brough
Russek Crotty
Evan Mendel
Josh Klassman
Mike Truck
Pandora Decoster

Sean Tully
Jonah Reimes
Charles Smith
Jai Lee
Stephen Milner
Chase Wolcott
Thom Gatt
Sean Bernhardt
Clay Wagner
Mia Larson
Sam Crookshanks
Scott Massey

Rite of Spring

Kirk Maxon

April 8th – May 23rd

The Great Highway Gallery is excited to present Rite of Spring a window installation by San Francisco artist Kirk Maxon.

Kirk Maxon’s work reflects his appreciation for the magic inherent in nature. This understanding was fostered by family walks and mushroom foraging with his mother growing up in Oregon. Kirk continues to forage for his botanical muses that he then turns into perfectly detailed metal sculptures. Living in San Francisco his recent work is influenced by urban plants that often go unnoticed or unappreciated. They represent a City of survivors.

Kirk manipulates metal in the same way you might see done with paper. His specimens are photographed, photocopied then cut into patterns that he uses to meticulously cut his metal herbarium installations.

Exhibition Statement
In 1913 Igor Stravinsky wrote Rite of Spring when it was premiered in Paris, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography and possibly the anti Russian sentiment caused a sensation. Many have called the first-night reaction a “riot”. In the 1980’s a Heavy Metal band named Rite of Spring was a mainstay of the D.C. Punk Scene. They where considered the first emo band but they rejected any association with emo genres. In 2011 A horror movie named Rite of Spring was released to a plethora of bad reviews with a plot revolving around kidnappings and monsters. In 2021 a group protesting the loss of Donald Trump rioted inside the capital building. 

A paganistic installation of brass prickly wildflower bushes will fill the window, referencing the protest and real horrors of these recent times. 

About the Artist
Kirk Maxson moved to San Francisco in 1992, and lived in the Mission and participated in the San Francisco Mission School art scene. He exhibited artwork in the seminal exhibition spaces of Adobe books, Scene/Asena, and ESP during the height of the Mission School. Subsequently he has created multiple permanent site-specific installation for corporate collections including ClimateWorks Foundation, San Francisco, CA, Kilroy Realty Corporation, Bellevue, WA, UBM, San Francisco, CA, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA, Morgan Stanley Corporate Collection, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Collection, Avant Corporate Collection, Menlo Park, CA and Fresh Connection Corporation, Lafayette, CA.

He has also created numerous installations for private residences. He has previously worked with Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, Eli Ridgeway Gallery and the Gensler Architecture firm in San Francisco. 

Kirk is also a part of the Ocean Beach community. His expansive sand drip castles are an impermanent gift to those who stumble upon them or lucky enough to see him at work. 

P.W.D.s Pandemic Worry Dolls

Leigh Barbier

February 26th – April 4th

Price list • Press Release

The Great Highway Gallery is excited to present P.W.D.s a window installation by San Francisco artist Leigh Barbier.

Exhibit Statement
I began making Pandemic Worry Dolls in April of this year. By sending them to my close friends, family members and front line workers, it was my way to reach out and offer support and connection in the absence of face to face contact. They are constructed out of cardboard and hot glue, painted with acrylic, further adorned with fabric and found objects. Each one is unique and each one carries a specific worry. The worry is like a prayer, silent and heart felt. I continue to make them in batches of a dozen. And I will keep making them until we can live without fear of the virus. These are a few samples.

About the Artist
I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, California, and grew up on a gravel road, running barefoot and free between neighbor’s homes. I attended a Christian Science church every Sunday and Disneyland once a year. I remember thinking as a small child that Sees candy was a religious destination and God looked like a tube of toothpaste. Later museums replaced Sees candy and I found order in the universe through art.

I am drawn to religious art, admire Thomas Hart Benton’s line and color, adore the muralist of the Mexican Revolution and can`t get the images of Disney from my 1960s childhood out of my visual vocabulary.

I have found that the work I have done to earn a living has impacted me more than anything I learned in college. From museum model-making to digital painting for the special effects industry; they have both shaped and condensed my hands on skills and sharpened my eye.The highlights have been working on dioramas for the California Academy of Sciences, being part of an all girl team to make a giant baseball mitt for the Giants stadium and digitally painting on Star Wars, Episode 2 and 3. My best freelance opportunity to date has come from my experience working with the San Francisco musical group, The Residents over the last 15 years. This has been the perfect combination of work and art, an opportunity to combine my vision with the narrative visuals of the Residents’ myth-making.

For me, making drawings, paintings and sculpture is a simple and direct process of giving emotions form. This compulsion, along with my over-active imagination that perceives peril around every corner, drives my image making.


The Great Highway is a fine art gallery and working studio featuring contemporary works in all mediums. The gallery has a deep appreciation for images and ideas that explore where lands meet water.

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Location and Hours

The Great Highway
3649 Lawton St.
San Francisco, CA 94122

phone: (415) 680-3891
email: info@thegreathighway.com

By appointment 7 days a week

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