Photography by Jeff Hunt
Like many businesses, Secession Art and Design had to pivot in 2020.
In this special episode between seasons, Secession's founder, Eden Stein, shares stories of opening a gallery in the Mission/Bernal 15 years ago. Starting Aug. 4 and running through Aug. 7, Secession will celebrate 15 years of business with a four-day pop-up up the hill on Cortland. Details about the event can be found below and on Secession's site.
Eden grew up in Santa Rosa and moved to The City in 1999. In her hometown, she did a zine for many years called 7th Street. Her work on the zine helped her travel the country and to Europe.
When she moved to San Francisco, she ended up on Mission Street across from El Rio. She went to SF State and worked at The Drug Store, which back in the day was a vintage store. Eden rented a booth there and sold vintage jewelry. It was her first inspiration to working with artists as a business.
During this time, Eden became a teacher at a pre-school in The City. She got close with some of the parents, even nannying a little bit. One of the parents owned an architecture firm on Mission Street. He offered that space for Eden to do holiday art pop-ups. She was also selling jewelry, both vintage and some she made herself, at street fairs around town. These were the seeds of what would later become Secession.
The original location opened in 2007. Then, in 2014, Eden lost her lease and miraculously managed to find a new spot a little further north on Mission. There's a fun overlap with Season 4 guest of the show Emmy Kaplan in the story of Secession's move.
Earlier this year, after nearly two years of moving the gallery and events online, Eden gave up on her shift to things like 20-minute goat hugs in the gallery. The pandemic proved that her family's spot a few blocks from the gallery was too small, and an opportunity for them to move back to her hometown opened up.
But that wasn't the way she wanted Secession to go out.
As mentioned earlier, from August 4 through 7 on Cortland Street, Eden will be hosting a pop-up to celebrate 15 years of Secession Art and Design. Details:
Featured Artists: Amos Goldbaum, Andreina Davila, Dianne Hoffman, Heather Robinson, Hilary Williams, Jenny Feinberg, Joshua Coffy, Nate Tan, Nathalie Fabri, Olena McMurtrey, Phillip Hua, Rachel Znerold, Silvi Alcivar, Shannon Amidon, and Stephanie Steiner.
Thursday, August 4: 12-8pm
Friday, August 5: 12-8pm - Anniversary Party 6-8pm
Saturday, August 6: 12-8pm
Sunday, August 7: 12-6pm
Address: 307 Cortland Ave (at Bocana), SF
We recorded this podcast at Eden's home in Santa Rosa in July 2022.