Opening the gate for us is Carson Lancaster, a handsome young gentleman. I immediately noticed how despite his quiet nature, he was also genuinely warm and open. Mastermind and owner of The Book & Job Gallery, Lancaster is an influential force to be reckoned with. Having established his own artistic platform via his gallery all before his mid-twenties hit, I couldn’t help but be curious about this man’s story.
He came up with the idea of the gallery after dropping out of photography school. After working commercially for a couple years in San Francisco, he began to seek fulfillment elsewhere – as we all know, commercial work can pay the bills but is often creatively stifling. He soon came up with the idea of creating a space in the Tenderloin neighborhood – an area in SF he has called home for many years- where artists could connect and share their work. The main goal of Book & Job was to offer an outlet for up-and-coming artists rather than solely established creators.
In April 2012, Carson acquired the space on Geary and Hyde. This space made it possible to have one night shows, or zine releases. The idea was smaller scale openings to show the work of students and rising stars. In the past few years, Book & Job has grown and allowed Lancaster the opportunity to explore other interests and connect with photographers worldwide.
“Current projects I’m working on include the curation of a body of work my god father shot in 1978, east Los Angeles. The photographs are intimate lifestyle portraits of Mexican gang life. La Arizona Marvilla is published through Hamburger Eyes, a local SF publishing house specializing in analog photography,” said Carson when I asked him about what he has his hands working on at the moment. He was recently in Tokyo showing the exhibit and has upcoming plans to show in NYC, LA, and SF. “In addtion, my passion for film photography, with Book and Job as a base, led way to founding a camera club called Find Rangers.” Started with an online presence, Find Rangers is a worldwide community of film photographers. They have released two submission-based zines, with the only requirement being that all photos be shot on cellulose.
The gallery has been open for over a year and Carson’s vision for the future involves collaboration with artists he adores. “For example,” he muses, “I would love to work closely with Joe Brook, lead photographer at Thrasher Magazine, as well as the folks at Juxtapoz.” Come check out The Book & Job Gallery for yourself next time you’re in the bay area at 838 Geary St, San Francisco CA 94109.