The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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Sadie Barnette: The New Eagle Creek Saloon

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Untitled (For Sammy), Collage by Sadie Barnette, 2019

Untitled (For Sammy), Collage by Sadie Barnette, 2019

Sadie Barnette’s installation reimagines her father’s bar – the first black-owned gay bar in San Francisco. From 1990-93 Rodney Barnette operated the New Eagle Creek Saloon, a family-run business which served a multiracial gay community marginalized by the racist profiling practices of San Francisco’s bar scene at that time.

Sadie Barnette’s project is two-fold: to re-present The New Eagle Creek Saloon as an archival installation via her own vernacular aesthetic, and to host a “bar” and queer social space where everyone is invited to participate in ongoing acts of resistance, celebration, activism, and community building.

Glowing somewhere between a monument and an altar, the glittering bar structure emanates light as if a dream – a daughter’s dreaming about what she considers one of her father’s most loving achievements: creating space for folks to shine. Objects, photographs and a new ‘zine by the artist provide a very alive meditation on the history of the New Eagle Creek Saloon.

Barnette’s installation was activated at The Lab with a series of free events during May and early June and will culminate as a float in the SF PRIDE Parade on June 30, 2019. As part of The Lab’s artist commissioning program, Barnette will get keys to our space, the login for our website, and the option to revise every aspect of The Lab’s operations.


May 11, 5pm: Opening and Press Preview
Panel talk with Sadie and Rodney Barnette and Stephen Dorsey, Emperor 38 A.N. of San Francisco, with music by DJ Jihaari

May 17, 7pm: Screening
The Black Aesthetic and Marvin K. White present a night of film, moving images, and performance to honor the power of black queer nightlife.

June 1, 7pm: Evening of Dance
Rashad Pridgen’s Global Street Dance Masquerade is a site specific dance ceremony. Pridgen says: "Humans have used the masquerade (dance under cloth & adornment) to embody ancestors, angelic beings, spirit animals, earth elements and energies from the unknown for thousands of years. The power of the Global Street Dance Masquerade articulates this otherworldly experience to bring it forward into the 21st century."

The New Eagle Creek Saloon will be open for viewing every Wednesday in June from 5-8pm

June 30, 10:30am: Sadie Barnette’s The New Eagle Creek Saloon gets wheels and goes to Pride!

Sadie Barnette is from Oakland, California. She earned a BFA from CalArts and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally and is in the permanent collections of museums such as LACMA, Berkeley Art Museum, the California African American Museum, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, Studio Museum in Harlem (where she was also Artist-in-Residence), Brooklyn Museum and the Guggenheim. She is the recipient of Art Matters and Artadia awards and has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Artforum, and Vogue. She lives in Oakland, CA.

Sadie Barnette: The New Eagle Creek Saloon was commissioned with support from the California Arts Council, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Fort Point Beer Co., Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the members, and Board of The Lab.