Tendergold Gallery

Tendergold Gallery was first introduced to IAMA in early 2018. The name pays homage to our ever-so-funky neighboring Tenderloin District. While it can undeniably be seen as dark and gritty, it also hosts some of San Francisco's most exciting underground art scenes and nightlife. #tendergold celebrates this by bringing art to the light of day from emerging artists, both internationally and from the Bay Area .



Tanya Herrera and Sherri Lu


Opening Reception: Friday, March 8, 5 - 8 PM

Live Printmaking and Pyrography Demonstration with Children's Art Activities: Sunday, March 31, 2 - 5 PM

March 5 - April 2, 2019 

Celebrating Women's History Month this March will be artists Tanya Herrera and Sherri Lu.

Tanya Herrera is a first generation Costa Rican American born and raised in the Bay Area. Herrera has experimented with traditional mediums from a young age, constantly challenging herself to the question, "what’s next?" She continued testing a wide variety of modern art techniques until the age of 25 where she discovered pyrography by trying to make the impression of a stencil on a piece of wood using a different medium. In 2016, Herrera developed a medium she calls "Fire Stenciling" and "Fire drawing". The medium mimics the feeling of a painted or stenciled piece but instead of brightly colored paint, the material is burned and appears monochromatic. Her most recent medium has been a yearlong series of heat molded vinyl records and gold leaf. She has burned pryography in the traditional method for 9 years on wood, 6 years on leather, and 4 years on bone.

Herrera strives to keep alive antique techniques by recreating them for a modern age, all the while intentionally reducing her carbon footprint through repurposing materials. In an age where 3D printing and laser burning are prolific, Herrera sees value in making art by hand, with every piece she makes a reflection of herself.

Ling Sherri Lu is a visual artist and printmaker who currently resides in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. Her artwork primarily consists of linocuts: carving linoleum blocks and turning them into prints.

Sherri was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a Bachelor's Degree in Film & TV Productions. She has previously edited the "Parts Unknown" CNN travel show starring the late Anthony Bourdain. After a series of life changing events, Sherri moved to the west coast and began living her dream as an artist in the fine arts. "And I gotta tell ya, the West coast really is the BEST coast!"


James Hutchison and Adriana Cuevas

Raw and Tender

Opening Reception: Friday, February 8, 2019, 5 - 8 PM

February 7 - March 3, 2019

In celebration of our Tendergold Gallery’s 1 year anniversary in February, IAMA will be bringing the spotlight back to our original inspiration, the Tenderloin. James Hutchison, an artist and resident of Tenderloin, will showcase a series of abstract paintings fueled with haunting imagery and passion. His work will be juxtaposed by sharp black and white photographs of the neighborhood and its people by Adriana Cuevas. Our exhibition, Raw and Tender, gives us a glimpse behind the curtains of a historical neighborhood well-known for its underground art scene and nightlife.


Chinese Floral Arts Foundation

A Flower’s Tale of a Thousand Years

Reception with the Chinese Floral Art Foundation on

Friday, April 5, 5 - 8 PM

April 5 - 30, 2019

Petals, scents & colors; flowers have appeared in art for thousands of years. fTraditional Chinese flower arranging began in the fifth century during the Six Dynasties period around the same time when Buddhist floral offering was created.

The word “scholar” in the Ancient Chinese Dynasties meant extreme high social status.  Being a scholar not only required personal academic achievement but also high moral standards for the Chinese society.  In order to achieve such high status, scholars spent years seeking the true meaning of life.

The first activity they engaged in every morning in order to stimulate their five senses was practicing the four arts or “4 rituals/arts”.  They burned incense 焚香, hung paintings 掛畫, brewed tea 點茶, and arranged flowers 插花.  After the initial preparation of carefully learning this state of mind, they would spend the rest of their lives to perfect the four skills, such as “Qin 琴, qi 棋, shu 書, hua 畫”. 

Therefore, arranging flowers was initiated by the Literati aka Scholar; they would go out to the yard and select the vegetation that grows in that season.  Day in and day out, they would continue to fully understand the alteration of the cosmos and how plants respond to nature and seasonal changes. Then the vegetation was brought indoors and the literati transformed them into extraordinary creations.  This process is what we now call “Chinese flower arranging”.

The art of Chinese flower arranging has a long history and encompasses a great number of styles.  Generally speaking, there are 4 different styles: Realistic, Intellectual, Expressionist & Formative Arrangements in conjunction with six basic constrains: vase, dish, jar, bowl, cylindrical tube and basket.

All aspects of these creations are beautiful enough to where there is no need for extra garnishes besides the flowers themselves.

As John Berger wrote in The White Bird, “The notion that art is the mirror of nature...Art does not imitate nature, it imitates a creation, sometimes to propose an alternative world, sometimes simply to amplify, to confirm, to make social the brief hope offered by nature.”

The Traditional Chinese Floral Arts embraces this art form in all its glory by weaving together different methods, ideas, and visions in order to bring formality, symbolism, and aesthetics to life. "Hands On Culture-Be A Scholar For A Day" - Song Scholars (960-1279) believed in enhancing quality of life by building strong character through the disciplines of the four daily ritual/arts:  reflecting on painting/practicing calligraphy, brewing tea, infusing incense and arranging flowers. These practices go against the grain of our hurried popular culture yet they also help bring balance and harmony in our modern world.