It’s no secret that San Francisco’s booming real estate market has made it challenging for anyone living on the margin. Art galleries near Union Square are being forced to leave and Oakland is luring working artists across the Bay, where cheaper rent is a huge draw. And then there are the local eviction tragedies, like that of two longtime Mission artists, Yolanda Lopez and her son, Rio Yañez, who are being forced to leave their duplex on San Jose Avenue after more than 30 years. This weekend the mother-son duo put on an eviction garage sale to help pay for the move. Mission Local has been covering the eviction saga of these highly esteemed Mission artists since the beginning, including a collaboration piece Lopez created with her lawyer, Adriana Camarena, transforming the mass of eviction paperwork into protest art. Mission Local editor Lydia Chávez checked in with Camarena about the garage sale:
The Garage Sale this weekend, wrote Camarena in an e-mail, was deliberately carried out in an art gallery as an art and political statement. “Probably the most valuable piece in the Garage Sale,” Camarena wrote, ”is the price sticker that reminds people that this is the eviction of two lifelong Mission artists: ‘Yolanda López and Río Yañez’s Eviction Garage Sale [$price]‘”
The garage sale protest was held at Galeria de la Raza, itself a historic San Francisco art establishment, showing works by artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The Galeria’s former director and Yolanda Lopez’ ex-husband, Rene Yanez, is also being evicted.