Allie Haeusslein, Director of Pier 24 Photography by Ry Allred.

Pier 24 Photography’s Director Shares Her Perspective on Current Exhibition

As noted in an earlier post, the second of two consecutive exhibitions celebrating the tenth anniversary of Pier 24 Photography—highlights a selection of photographers collected by the Pilara Foundation over the past decade.

With a focus on single artist galleries, Looking Forward demonstrates our belief that exhibiting photographers’ works in depth is the best way to communicate their visions for a given project or moment in time.

Allie Haeusslein, Director of Pier 24, shares her perspective on the show in this exclusive interview.

Cultural Currents: Are there any particular works in the current exhibition that will be of special appeal to ferry riders?

Allie Haeusslein: The first gallery in our current exhibition, Looking Forward, is devoted to different views of the Bay Bridge—which we are located directly underneath—including some vantage points I’m sure are well known to ferry riders. In fact, I believe a ferry or two is even depicted in the wonderful collection of ninety-nine postcards of the Bay Bridge through the years which is on display straight ahead upon entering the space.

CC: Any other details our audience should note?

Haeusslein: Yes. Further on in the exhibition, John Chiara’s stunning Bay Panel—a sequence of six, large-scale photographs—presents the San Francisco skyline from various perspectives throughout the Bay. Through John’s unusual photographic process, the familiar is often rendered surreal and otherworldly.

CC: How should ferry riders prepare for this experience?

Haeusslein: Pier 24 Photography is designed to be a quiet and contemplative space in which to spend quality time with the photographs we have on view. To that end, we only allow entry to a limited number of people per two-hour session. We ask that all guests make an appointment online at before visiting. The system will allow an individual to reserve appointments for up to four people total. And do note—visits to Pier 24 Photography are always free of charge!

CC: And safety protocols?

Haeusslein: At this time, we require all guests wear masks while in the space, so make sure to bring one on the day of your visit.

CC: Any suggestions about bringing cameras, and/or drawing materials?

Haeusslein: We welcome non-flash photography in the space, so please feel free to bring along your cameras. We’re also always happy to find people sketching in the galleries!

CC: What is the best way for visitors to acquaint themselves with the artists on view?

Haeusslein: Before trying to familiarize yourself too much with the artists on view, I would suggest making an appointment to visit the exhibition as there is really no better way to acquaint yourself with an artist than to spend time with their artworks. It is so difficult to reproduce online, or even in books, the visceral quality of physically standing in front of these photographs.

CC: Any final observations?

Haeusslein: I think you can learn a lot about an artist’s approach, interests, and perspective through sustained looking. After spending the time looking, I’d advocate finding interviews—either recorded or written—online where you can learn more about the artist and their work in their own words. If you’re eager to learn even more, or spend additional time at home perusing the works of the wonderful artists exhibited, the catalogue for Looking Forward will be available to purchase here at Pier 24 and on our website in early October.