We have plenty of fun here at SFist disparaging the Marina, scoffing at their SantaCon sloppiness, heckling Mr. Marina contestants, and remember the Marina Louboutin Skullcrusher?! But it behooves us to point out that this weekend, the Marina hosts one of the coolest annual arts events on the calendar with the stARTup Art Fair at which more than 50 local independent artists take over the vintage, 1950s motor lodge-style Hotel Del Sol, a Joie de Vivre property, and turn each room into a mind-blowing art display. Beginning today and continuing through Sunday night, the stARTup Art Fair is in its third annual incarnation but continues the “hotel art takeover” tradition that goes back decades in our fair city.

“We have over 50 artists who are coming in and taking over separate hotel rooms,” a spokesperson for the stARTup Art Fair told SFist. “It’s a really good way to experience a lot of Bay Area art in one place.”


“There’s a lot of different micro-environments that happen,” she said, noting that all three floors of the hotel will be turned into a giant walking art gallery comprised of a zillion little installations. The outdoor courtyard and pool areas will also host large-scale sculptures, including works by the HYBOCOZO collective whose dodecahedrons are currently adorning Hayes Valley. “There is going to be traditional painting and there’s going to be performance art and it’s all going to be in this tiny little space.”

The Hotel Del Sol has been hosting various artist takeovers since it opened in 1998, and you may recall the early 2010s ArtPad events at the Phoenix Hotel, also a Joie de Vivre property. While a popular tradition, these hotel are takeovers did not originate in San Francisco. “Hotel fairs actually kind of have a long legacy in the world of art,” the fair spokespeson says. “It started in the 70s at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York.”

“A hotel is a space,” she explained. “It’s a space that you can rent out and take it over. This is something that people have been doing for decades.”

Image: Mido Lee

This year’s stARTup Art Fair boasts a 3:1 female-to-male artists ratio, and the Saturday afternoon seminar “Women in Art — What Have They Done?” highlights a series of artist conversation sessions taking place all afternoon both Saturday and Sunday. Half of the proceeds from the event will go to the Bay Area arts nonprofit Root Division, and what is also unique about the fair is that the artists will generally be on hand all weekend to schmooze with in their respective taken-over hotel rooms.

Image: Mido Lee

“Normally when you’re viewing art, you don’t have the artist watching you view it,” the fair spokesperson said. “It creates a dynamic. Whether or not you love it, it’s fun to experience.”

The stARTup Art Fair runs Friday, April 28 through Sunday, April 30 at the Hotel Del Sol. Tickets here

Related: Text This Number, And SFMOMA Will Send You Images From Its Collection By Keyword

Image: Mido Lee