We had the good fortune of connecting with Dianne Hoffman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dianne, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Honestly, I think it chose me. One of my earliest memories is as a small child, one Sunday morning, eagerly pouncing into my mother’s bedroom to climb under the covers, and relate in explicit detail every colorful image, sensation, movement and emotion that I had experienced in the vivid dream I had just woken up from. My mom exclaimed “Well, you have quite the imagination!” I did not know in that moment what that meant…but I knew I was proud to have it. Instinctively, I have fed and exercised my imagination so it would grow as strong and capable as my physical self. Eventually the ideas in my mind began to spill out into an expression of creativity. I realized that my heart, mind and soul had always been that of an artist and I’d better start owning it if I was ever going to find the validation and accomplishment I could equate to success. By reaching out and surrounding myself with a community of similar creative minds and spirits, I encountered encouraging support every step of the way. Soon my artworks found walls to be hung on and “sold” red dots placed next to them. My previous background in office administration came in handy for the business side of things including record keeping, brand making, marketing, client relations, goal and strategy development. I can’t imagine another career for myself that I would commit my energies, devotion and strengths to so completely, tirelessly and wholeheartedly while finding reward far beyond monetary means.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a compassionate old soul that embraces things that are broken with no intention of fixing them but rather a need to shed light and acceptance on the beauty of their brokenness. My medium is called “Assemblage” utilizing salvaged and recycled materials that are often disregarded as disposable debris. Through my art I am able to bestow a second life with new found purpose for damaged and displaced objects by turning them into perplexing characters in my dimensional worlds of metaphor and allegory. I have a tendency to personify inanimate objects and feel genuine compassion for those that are damaged or disregarded. I see potential in broken bits and find beauty in rust and erosion. The older an object, the more haunting and alluring its ghost. Assemblage art allows me to indulge these concepts by creating sculptural vignettes where tall tales are told, jokes are cracked, emotions stirred, and poems imparted. My treasure hunt is rummaging through thrift shops, flea markets, reuse centers, garage sales, junkyards, attics and basements for precious baubles, bits and boxes. Sometimes an inspired idea will come upon first sight of an object. But more often I will mull through my neatly organized piles of arbitrary things repetitively placing random items together until something visually clicks and the piece takes hold. I like to link organic objects from nature with industrial and figurative remnants by combining complementary muted color schemes to harmonize dissimilar media. The narrative facet of each piece often derives from the variety of music I am listening to, a phrase that strikes me, or a sentiment I’d like to give a visual context to. My intent is to portray a delicate balance between light and dark by depicting the sincerity found in their unified stories. As much as I strive to live in the present, I don’t discount that we all have a backstory. All of the components in my assemblages look worn and weathered with an inherent wisdom that can only come with age. By placing them together so they profoundly speak to each other, I am able to collectively grant these objects a “second coming” and an alternative, higher purpose. I do feel like every one of my completed pieces is alive with things to say, hearts to touch and a home waiting to encompass them.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Let’s pretend it is post Covid-Quarentimes and the world is a safe, pandemic free, place to roam and explore again. My favorite places to take out-of-town visitors in San Francisco are: The Beach Chalet for eggs florentine, mimosas and an ocean view. Bernal Hill to enjoy a 360 degree skyline view with plenty of happy dogs. The Chapel for an intimate live music show. 111 Minna Street Gallery for art, music and the cool crowd. The SF MOMA for 7 floors of world class art. Secession Art & Design for a taste of the local art scene and gift shopping. The Lone Palm for a martini on white tablecloths by candlelight. El Rio to dance outside with my dear queers. St Francis Soda Fountain for mid century diner chic and the best chicken soup in town. Modern Eden Gallery to blow your dark, pop-surreal art loving mind. Club Deluxe for swinging tunes and ‘tails. The Riptide for locals-only divy-ness and good times. Community Thrift for finding everything you never needed but have to have. Land’s End to take your nature loving breath away while walking a Labyrinth. Dolores Park to either nurse or cultivate a hangover while weirdo watching. The Garden Creamery for mouth watering Vegan ice cream. The Cat Club to dance like no one’s watching…even though they most certainly are. The Alemany Flea Market for Sunday morning assemblage art supply hunting and gathering. Musée Mécanique to lose yourself (and your quarters) in 20th century automata, arcade games, and musical contraptions. The San Francisco Columbarium to pay your respects. The San Francisco Pet Cemetery to pay more respects. The San Francisco Ghost Hunt tour to hear some historical lore and get a little freaked out. And the Church of Eight wheels for a Godly roll around the rink. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
ArtSpan, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to cultivating a vibrant, accessible, and world-class art community in San Francisco and to promoting the city’s unique creative energy locally and globally. They champion an inclusive art experience by providing hundreds of Bay Area artists with equal opportunity to showcase their work and make direct connections to diverse audiences and patrons. ArtSpan is guided by the belief that artists play a vital role in society and that broad public engagement with their work is essential to defining a new cultural environment for our changing city. My life and career exploded with positive influence when I became a member of the ArtSpan community in 2013. I was provided exciting exhibition opportunities and connected with artists and collectors alike. I believed so strongly in their Mission and the power of art to enrich lives, that I was soon hired as a programs assistant. Five years later I am ArtSpan’s Artist Services Manager advocating for emerging and established artists who contribute to San Francisco’s inimitable creative energy, and encouraging the public to engage in preserving and furthering our vibrant art community. It’s the best “day job” I could hope for and I’m proud of it.
Youtube: Dianne Hoffman