Within The Midway Complex

The Gallery

The Midway Gallery is unique in that it resides within a large creative complex home to music, performing arts, emerging technologies and the culinary arts - all with an aspect of education and public engagement. The Midway Gallery features emerging to mid-career artists with the mission to exhibit their work to a fresh collector base in The Midway's dynamic community. Much like The Midway itself, the Gallery puts emphasis on artists working across disciplines or mediums, and creates a stage for artists to push boundaries. 

The Space

Equal parts creative laboratory and performance space, The Midway is a sprawling 40,000 square-foot venue for the public to engage with a variety of exhibitions, workshops, performances and special events. Home to performance venues, art galleries, an emerging technologies workshop, an exhibition kitchen and cafe, and a nine studio artist-in-resident program, The Midway is a new space for San Francisco's most celebrated creative outlets to collide.

The Team:


Arts Program Director, Kelsey Marie Issel: kelsey@themidwaysf.com
Life Saver & Gallery Manager, Vanessa Wilson: vanessa@themidwaysf.com


Kelsey Issel is the Art Director at The Midway Creative Complex, where she curates and produces multidisciplinary exhibitions and events, with an eye for artists pushing the boundaries of their practice. Since 2014, Kelsey has built The Midway’s art department from the ground up, firmly centered around an ethos of community and collaboration. Through her leadership, The Midway has become the site of established programming highlighting the intersection of art and technology, including IllUM, a multifaceted festival celebrating renowned artists pushing the boundaries of emerging technologies through art and music. She continued to expand The Midway’s recognition as a refuge for creative technologists via the Binary Salon series, a bimonthly art + tech meetup featuring artist-led presentations. Her implementation of The Midway’s artist residency has served as a catalyst for artists to cross disciplines and conceive of larger events using all the resources the complex has to offer. From the residency have emerged The Midway’s immersive dinner series, including Night Fishing, a surreal dining experience produced with resident artist, Isis Hockenos, and described by KQED’s “Table Talk” as an event which “will remind you that bohemian San Francisco is still alive and well.”  

Kelsey also spearheaded The Midway’s move away from single-use plastic water bottles at the end of 2018, positioning The Midway as the first independent cultural venue in San Francisco to make such a commitment. As a continuation of that pledge, Kelsey established a growing partnership between The Midway and Lonely Whale to co-produce, Ocean-Bound, a yearly art exhibition centered around educating visitors on plastic waste and highlighting businesses that are implementing ocean-friendly practices. Additional partnerships include an ongoing collaboration with local artist and curator, Meryl Pataky, in hosting SHE BENDS, a traveling art show center-staging women neon benders. Kelsey’s dedication to supporting women in the arts is a consistent theme in her career. Her ongoing initiatives to empower women include an apprenticeship program mentoring emerging art professionals on the inner workings of exhibition production, and her in-house fostering of women-led projects, providing a unique space at The Midway for experimentation.


Vanessa Wilson is an arts professional and multimedia blogger. She holds degrees in art history (BA) and arts journalism (MA) with an emphasis in Western and Contemporary visual culture. Vanessa has collaborated with art institutions across the globe, including: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museo Inka. Her work has been published on Global PostAnnenberg Radio NewsAmpersand, and LACMA's Unframed. She also has experience with online art platforms, having worked with Artsy and Vango

Vanessa is currently the gallery manager of The Midway Gallery and founder and author of its blog where she features artist interviews, studio visits, and art events. 



For Gallery Inquires: kelsey@themidwaysf.com

Apprenticeship Program

The Midway Gallery offers an apprenticeship program from young women interested in getting involved in the arts. Concentrations can be in production, installation, curation, art-marking, or social practice. Program length can vary depending on schedule. We are dedicated to creating a platform for women to enter the art scene. For more information please email us!

The Midway - A Creative Complex
900 Marin Street
San Francisco, CA 94109