By Max Otake
Quincy Stamper is making an impact in San Francisco’s art scene. In collaboration with the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, the d.tech teacher and professional photographer presented his show 5 years, One Night on Thursday, Sept 19, marking his second photography show this year. The exhibit reflected Stamper’s work from the past five years, in which he has been documenting local artists who participated in the Asian Art Museum’s Artists Drawing Club. The Drawing Club is a project that invites local artists to create and present a work of art inspired by pieces in the Asian Art Museum. The photographs gave a vivid glimpse into each artist’s world, which could not be done without his empathetic approach and dedication to truly understanding the artists.
As the final Drawing Club artist, Stamper allowed the project to come full circle. As he put it, “I’m trying to fulfill a story that was built from the beginning.” Marc Mayer, the curator at the Asian Art Museum, emphasized how much Stamper had “developed a care for each of the artists.” He also made sure to mention that, besides himself, Stamper was, “The only other person that has been to every single drawing club.”. This commitment became clear with one look around the room. Among the crowd were many of the Drawing Club artists, all there to show support for Stamper just as he had done for them. The rest of the crowd was made up of Stamper’s family, friends, and former colleagues, including former d.tech teacher, Ms. Mitchell! Stamper consistently surrounds himself with creative individuals who help him grow. “People who helped out were all artists. I never felt stranded,” he said.
The show eventually turned into an informal discussion with Stamper, Marc Mayer, and fellow artist, Eliza Gregory up front. The discussion consisted of how much the Drawing Club program had done, ideas for where it should head next, as well as praise for Stamper. Many of the artists had collaborated together at some point in the past five years, making it almost feel like a reunion. Many of them brought their families, too. Friend and colleague Clove Galilee, for whom Stamper shoots theatre performances, praised him and admitted that, “Whenever I try and replace him, it’s very, very difficult – in fact, it’s nearly impossible.” Stamper stated that the main focus of the show was on “building a community” and this could not have been better accomplished.
Stamper also made sure to credit d.tech as an inspiration to his work. With every step he pushes us, he also pushes himself. In his own words, “it’s not a one way street.”
As the title 5 Years, One Night quite literally suggests, the show lasted only one night. So after scrambling to get it all set up in time, it went down right after. However, this did not take anything away from the night. In fact, it made it more special for everyone in attendance, as no one else will be able to see Stamper’s work. As he put it himself, “One night up, one night down.”