Fouladi Projects- “The Fortune Teller”, a Hipcentric Gallery Opening in SF!

On Friday evening, 11/10 I parked in a lot on Valencia St., just past 14th Street.  With the helpful direction of art associate, Hope Bryson, at Fouladi Projects Art Gallery at 1803 Market Street,  I walked up the hidden bike path and crossed Octavia, drawn by the art in the window and ambient lighting.  A handsome couple were headed in the same direction.  This was an art reception with buzz.  I could feel it already.

Sitting at a long farm table was tarot card reader and gallery assistant, Ginger Murray, offering free readings to those brave enough.  A nice touch, since the theme for this opening featured an impressive body of work by artist, Russell Tyler aptly named “Fortune Teller”.  This is his first solo show with Fouladi Projects running from November 9th through December 15th.

I sought out and chatted with Russell Tyler and his lovely wife, Trudy Benson, who both reside, have their studios and paint in Brooklyn, NY.  “Trudy is an accomplished painter in her own right”, according to Holly Fouladi, Gallery owner, “Do you know they met at Pratt Institute when they were both in school.”  What a charming story, 2 painters, man and wife, living their dream.  This was a 4 day trip for them, to San Francisco for the opening; and we welcomed them with lovely weather that had just turned a little cooler that evening. 

Splashed along the main gallery walls were Russells’ works of art in bright bold, pops of color and texture, almost comic booky.  Not unlike himself, hip and handsome, cool, bespectacled & approachable.  All of his art displayed were larger works demonstrating a mash-up feeling of pop art, abstract expressionism, with each evoking a definitive feeling or spirit. He paints in a raw state, eschewing brushes for use of paints directly onto the canvas. Russell said, “I connect the lines”, indicating his approach to the structure of the peice and said, “Sometimes I have a vision and sometimes I begin and find the vision”.

Which brings me to an important philosphy in life and art ? “Is life a circle or a line?”  Or is a line a circle?  An ongoing debate in my own art class!

The piece I liked most, I photographed.  2 hands reaching toward the world with a third eye, a spider web, a cloud, woven string through fingers, items flying. Vivid pastels and primary blues, chartreuse, yellows brightly intertwining.  Rough and childlike with  mature themes.  There is definite intention in Russells’ work.  I asked Russels if he paints in only this style and he stated, “I have many styles”, which has me wanting to see his prior work and watch him closely in the future to see where this patently talented artist takes us.

Most noticibly is Russell’s committment to his work.You can see the progression of the paintings in this series.  I took a guess at which pieces came first and confirmed that I was right with his wife Trudy, who is Rusells’ greatest fan.  The last two works in the series nearly lept off the wall with their confirmation of the fortune telling theme, evoking scenes from our dream life or the idea that perhaps we can take our own future and define it or in fact design it, much like Isabelle Allende does with words.   With his final pieces in the series, it seems he reached a refinement and cleansing and completion of the theme, which is sure to take Russell to his bright future with his imagined “Fortune Teller” collection. Russell received his MFA from Pratt and has been widely exhibited on the Right Coast, Canada and now the ‘City by the Bay.’

Serving champagne and wine and a custom cake with a likeness of Russells’ painting, added an entertaining food and art twist to the reception.  The back room featured Objects D’art and ‘one of’s’, of other signifigant painters as well as mixed media pieces and two life size leaning cartoon tigers reminding me of “Snagglepuss” of the 60’s. 

Our gracious and beautiful hostess and gallery owner, Holly Fouladi was the co-owner of a gallery just a few blocks away for over 10 years when she decided to venture out on her own.  Open just about 6 months, Fouladi Projects is new and already attracting an array of clientele, from San Francisco’s hip and artcentric, art enthusiasts & art bloggers like myself, collectors, young professionals, and of course, other artists!

Holly’s choice of gallery artists feature a mix of up and coming and known artists. I love that she is bringing artists from other areas to expose and share in the sophisticated San Francisco art scene.  Holly said she chooses art that moves her keen eye and really gets to know the artists, whether emerging or known artists, it is the whole story behind the artist and their art that makes Hollys’ approach on point and current.  Keep an eye on the experienced gallerist, Holly Foouladi, her warm, hip, happening and welcoming gallery and make sure you sign up for her email notifications for upcoming receptions at  Hope to see you at the next opening, I’ll be there!




Posted in Articles, Blog, Events, San Francisco Lifestyle, SF Local News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fouladi Projects- “The Fortune Teller”, a Hipcentric Gallery Opening in SF!

City Art Gallery Reception! Great art!

On Friday November 11, I had the privelege of attending an opening and reception for more than 20 artists at City Art Gallery located at 828 Valencia St in the Mission District.

It was coincidentally the Day of the Dead with a celebration and parade in the Inner Mission, so the streets were filled with painted faces and revelers.  An exciting nite in the Mission, which comes alive at night with cafes, shops and pubs welcoming everyone!

This gallery is co-operative, so 80% of the proceeds of any sale go directly to the artists.  The gallery sells more than $100k of art per year and showcases a wonderfully diverse set of artists, that change monthly.  There is always something new to see like oil and acrylic paintings to giclees’ jewelry, handcrafted objects d’art, wood block prints, printmaking pieces.  Link to on-line gallery:

Their concept is that the artist pays to become a member, joins the group, then pays to showcase their art in any month of their choosing and contributes time to meeting before the reception, hanging their own art (placement by lottery) and /or participates in the food and beverage service for the reception.  I love how affordable this makes it for emerging artists or anyone, to show their art in a gallery.  Of course, the art must be juried first!

Make sure to stop into this hip and happening gallery and enjoy the revolving exhibitions. Support your local San Francisco artists and make a purchase.  Art is priced between $100.-$1000. – quite affordable!

I attend many art openings, always promising that I’ll keep my pocketbook closed, though the temptation is great and I feel wonderful purchasing art and supporting artists, being a painter myself.  On this night, I couldn’t resist and I purchased a wonderful ‘Vamps Gallery’ woodblock print from artist Katie Gilmartin, a successful studio artist in San Francisco.  She’s a fun character herself and her art is so ‘Pulp’ and well done., mounted on beautiful french pulp paper and framed.  Double Pulp!! She offers limited editions of her prints.


Posted in Blog, Events, Getting to know your Agent, San Francisco Lifestyle, Shopping in San Francisco | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on City Art Gallery Reception! Great art!

My mention in the Examiner – I was Co-Chair for a successful Fundraising event!

Special Examiner Real Estate Section:  I/We are in the Press. Our “Evening of Art and Fashion” at Vanguard Properties on 7/25 went off swimmingly well, raising $10,000. for Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.   We exhibited “In-house Resident Agent Art” for exhibit and sale, and had an “In-House Fashion Designer” Show and Silent Auction of Art and other objects of beauty. Check out Page 3 in the Examiners’ Digital Edition for my mention in the Press Release.  Check out my previous blog post for pics.


Posted in Articles, Blog, Erika Gives Back, Events, Getting to know your Agent, Press Releases, San Francisco Lifestyle, San Francisco Organizations, Uncategorized | Comments Off on My mention in the Examiner – I was Co-Chair for a successful Fundraising event!


I am proud of my brainchild as event organizer & silent auction Co-Chair….this event was concieved to celebrate the Realtors of Vanguard Properties, as individuals, who like myself and my Co-Chair, Mitch Laufer, Vanguard Marketing Director and event planner extraordinaire,  are also artists and designers while performing at high levels in their real estate careers.  I loved the idea of bringing together business and art while contributing to a worthy cause.  The event resonated with the participants and attendees alike as a fun, exciting and enriching evening while we raised funds and gave back in a meaningful way. (My art is in this crowd shot)

Vanguard properties one of the fastest growing Real Estate brokerages in San Francisco hosted an evening of Art and fashion to benefit Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco. Pictured right –  Deven Richardson and Daniel Smith of Habitat GSF with Erika Burke. The event was Sponsored by Principal James Nunemacher and co-chaired by exhibiting artists, Erika Burke and Lynn Brei, both agents at Vanguard Properties who liased with Habitat Events Coordinator , Arti Sharma who all planned the event with tireless determination.  Habitats’ Senior Director of Development adressed the crowd explaining all that they do in our community.

The resident Artists and Fashion designers, all Vanguard Properties agents and or employees showcased and sold their works of Art and Fashion with 30% of the proceeds benefitting Habitat GSF.

A silent auction was also held during the festivities where 100% of the proceeds from the sale of art and many objects of desire were purchased. Attendees had choices of Hotel stays, to cosmetic treatments and of course all art was donated by the artists in residence.

In addition to art there was also a fashion show,                     (pictured right – Jonathan Deason, Agent with model), orchestrated by yet another Vanguard agent. Jen Fritz, owner/designer of Warrior Within and agent, who put together an amazing show using all Vanguard Agents as models with their escorts, while showcasing her creations.

Having raised nearly $10,000.00 For Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco the successful evening is the first of what Vanguard plans to make an annual fundraising event.

Posted in Articles, Blog, Erika Gives Back, Events, Getting to know your Agent, Press Releases, San Francisco Lifestyle, San Francisco Organizations | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on VANGUARD PROPERTIES ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE – AN EVENING OF ART AND FASHION TO BENEFIT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY GREATER SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition at Fort Mason

Today I sipped wine on a dock of the Bay!  The San Francisco Chronicle sponsors the largest American Wine Competition in America, held on Feb. 6th with the VIP reception, which I attended, and public wine tasting that followed, on Feb. 18th in the Festival Pavilion of Fort Mason.  Hic!  While sampling the Best in Class and Gold Medal Winners in the VIP reception this afternoon, an attendee warned me, “You better go down to the tasting floor before the public arrives, as it will be 5000 strong”.  He wasn’t kidding.  So we did.  Sampling wines from multiple AVA’s, (American Viticulture Areas) from Lodi, Sonoma, Russian River, Napa, Glen Ellen, Santa Maria, Petaluma, Temecula, to name a few. Continue reading

Posted in Blog, Events, Uncategorized | Comments Off on San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition at Fort Mason

Vintage Show!

Amazing Vintage clothing and jewelry show at the San Francisco Concourse Sat and Sun Sept 17 and 18th.  Some of the country’s top vintage store owners and suppliers showed their wares including vintage couture clothing and jewelry. Think names like Schiaparelli and Chanel. From Vintage to Mod- they covered it all! Here is the place to channel Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn… or Kat Von D! We caught pics of San Francisco’s vintage fans and smiles everywhere. Erika picked up vintage jewelry re-purposed by Juniper Tree Vintage on Lakeshore in Oakland whose designer is incredibly talented! Plus an evening scarf bedazzled with sequins.

Posted in Blog, Events, San Francisco Lifestyle, Shopping in San Francisco | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Afternoon Tea at the Palace Hotel

Sedgwick law firm hosted an absolutely elegant San Francisco Women’s Forum Tea this Thursday. The afternoon began with passed appetizers, bubbly, and San Francisco’s powerful women mingling and networking.  After we were all seated and began nibbling on tea sandwiches and scones Regina Leeds spoke about organizing our work lives. She offers a unique week by week, month by month system to streamlining your environment and increase your productivity.

It was a delightful afternoon that we really enjoyed! Thank you Segwicks!!

Karen from Sedgwicks and our Speaker Regina

Palace Hotel in San Francisco

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Picasso at the De Young Museum

We spent a beautiful San Francisco day at the de Young Museum viewing their extraordinary exhibition of more than 100 masterpieces by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition comprises paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints drawn from every phase of the artist’s career. We recommend you check it out, but hurry it is only there until October 21st at which time it will return to Paris’ world-renowned Musee National Picasso.

Posted in Blog, Events | Leave a comment

Food & Wine Events Around the Bay Area

If you love Food & Wine- then the Bay Area is your personal Mecca! We have compiled a list of our top picks for events, let us know if we forgot your favorite!

2011 Sonoma Valley Crush — Sept. 14-18. Sixteen wineries will participate in this hands-on harvest experience, which features a behind-the-scenes look at what happens during harvest, as well as grape sampling, Crush Pad tours and winemaker lunches and dinners. Tasting passes are $35 per person. Get details at

Food Truck Frenzy: Part Deux — 5-9 p.m. Sept. 16. Guests are invited to enjoy some of San Francisco’s most spectacular views of the bay and city skyline while sipping award-winning Rock Wall wines and noshing on delicious bites from local, gourmet food truck vendors. 2301 Monarch St., Suite 300, Alameda. $5-$10. Continue reading

Posted in Blog, Events | Leave a comment

A Holiday Shopping Event – Dress for Success San Francisco!

Dress for Success truly puts on an elegant show and knows how to entertain us while we loosen our purse strings, bid on the auction items, pick up a few holiday gifts while giving to a good cause.
The Lovely Ms. Rodriguez, having benefited from the programs tutelage, was our guest speaker, letting us all know how DFS helped her define her career goals, spurned her to “get in shape” and has made her want to give back in her own life!  Truly inspirational. Continue reading
Posted in Articles, Blog, Erika Gives Back, Events, Getting to know your Agent, San Francisco Lifestyle, SF Local News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Holiday Shopping Event – Dress for Success San Francisco!

Real Estate Connect Conference

Erika and Kristina with Kristin of Avery-Hess in Virginia


Inman Connect is one of the most highly regarded real estate technology events, bringing together the biggest names in the real estate and technology industries. It was a great opportunity for us to network with leading edge companies, share ideas and connect with people in the real estate industry.  From the keynote presentations by Porter Gale of Virgin America and David Pogue of The New York Times to the in-depth workshops focusing on Internet Marketing and the Paperless Agent we were able to gain a lot of knowledge and leverage the ever changing market.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Dress for Success San Francisco

Gala and Fashion Show at the City Club of San Francisco

Erika & Kristina with one of the Hosts

We were thrilled to attend this event to promote Dress for Success San Francisco! The night started off with tastings from San Francisco’s Top Women Chefs and Kettle One martinis! After mingling with other fabulous patrons and scoping out the silent auction goodies (still wish we had won that Bobbie Brown makeup bag) we headed upstairs for the main event.

We heard from many women involved in the Dress for Success San Francisco program and were touched to hear how much the program had affected their lives. Their stories were incredibly uplifting, and they presented themselves with such poise and confidence in themselves.

Erika has experienced first hand what the power of donating clothes to those less fortunate. Just a few months ago Erika gave all of her shirts away to a young lady who was absolutely thrilled and told her that she had changed her life- and that now she felt she had the power to go out and change the world!

This is an event that we will be sure to attend again! We met so many wonderful people, enjoyed a great fashion show and left knowing that we had helped out an amazing cause.

For more information on Dress for Success please visit:

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Marin Headlands Center for the Arts Benefit and Auction at Herbst Pavillion

Held on Thursday June 14th 2011, Erika Burke of the Estates Group at Vanguard Properties and her husband Fergal Burke were the esteemeed guests of Marin Healdands Center for the Arts Board member Cynthia Lohr and her husband Sam Lucente.

This well attended event included a silent and live auction of hand picked artworks in all mediums from the center’s resident and aspiring artists.

It was an exciting night with tremendous biding and a true show of support our Bay Area creative collectives.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Rose and Red Velvet event tonight!

Red Velvet Cupcakes from Mission Minis

I am hosting a fabulous event tonight to showcase 179 Douglass #2. Come enjoy the San Francisco sunshine in this light filled apartment with outdoor garden while indulging in cupcakes and wine. As the apartment is within walking distance of the Castro and UpperMarket we are hoping you will stop by for a pre dinner beverage and snack! Try not to spoil your appetite, those mission mini cupcakes are addictive!

The price on this unit is newly reduced to $599,900- and won’t last long!

Posted in Blog, Events, Local SF Real Estate News, Press Releases, San Francisco Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Champagne and Chocolate

The Estates Group at Vanguard Properties sponsored an event at this gorgeous understated luxury home in the Lake District. See the pics at and then go to the website for more information about this property.

Posted in Events, Press Releases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment