The Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery awards the Goldies have gone through many phases since 1989, the year they first honored a group of Bay Area artists. They’ve sparked some anarchic celebrations and hosted some quiet and even tasteful affairs. They’ve honored close to two dozen people in one year and paid tribute to less than two handfuls the next. But whatever form they have taken, the Goldies have never been about courting or capturing target markets. They’ve always been a chance for the Guardian, which writes about what’s happening every week, to flip the script and do some curating of its own to set its own date to celebrate actors, artists, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, writers, and people who do things that can’t be categorized.
"FREE FREE THIS WAY TO HEAVEN FREE." So reads a bit of text captured by the camera of the great photographer William Klein. In recent years the Goldies party has been a free affair. It makes sense: the Guardian is still a free newspaper, built on the ideals of a free press, so the Goldies party should be free to everyone. Though this issue is on the stands for a week, months of effort go into it, and the best and final reward is to see the winners meet one another and discover their fellows’ work, then invite their friends and everyone that means you to a celebration.
This year’s Goldie winners were selected by the Guardian‘s Johnny Ray Huston, Kimberly Chun, and Cheryl Eddy after discussions with our writers and critics, including Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Glen Helfand, as well as a wide range of people who make, show, and see art in the Bay Area. Look through the pages that follow and you’ll find a muse of cinema, food as weaponry, and even a different definition of sex toys (in this case, toys that have sex with each other). You’ll also find 13 reasons why the Bay Area is awesome.
Click below to find out more about this year’s Goldies winners
PORTRAITS BY SAUL BROMBERGER AND SANDRA HOOVER PHOTOGRAPHY