Obscura Society SF: Bum's Paradise - The Unusual Art of the Albany Bulb - Atlas Obscura

San Francisco, California

Obscura Society SF: Bum's Paradise - The Unusual Art of the Albany Bulb

Join filmmaker Tomas McCabe for a discussion and screening of his film documenting the extraordinary artistic community of the Albany Bulb

Reaching out into the bay from the shores of Albany, a unique man-made peninsula formed of the trash of generations past is the unlikely home of the Bay Area's finest collection of outsider artwork - and not that long ago, also to an eclectic community of the displaced.

Today the Albany Bulb is a fantastic place for an afternoon stroll, taking the visitor past castles of concrete, impromptu paintings, a hidden labyrinth, and massive driftwood beasts.

In 2003 Bay Area filmmakers Tomas McCabe and Andrei Rozen asked the question: "Instead of being a documentary about homelessness... What if the homeless -- the indigent, the bums -- told their own stories? "

The result is Bum's Paradise, a unusual look not just at the creative process and the special chemistry which allowed art at the Albany Bulb to flourish, but also a snapshot of a time now just out of sight.

As Executive Director of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, McCabe has a unique insight on large scale outsider art. He'll share the story of the creation of this unusual film as well as what has changed at the Bulb since it was made.

Bum's Paradise - The Unusual Art of the Albany Bulb is part of our new evening Atlas Obscura salon series at DNA Lounge, highlighting strange stories, odd places, and unusual histories near and far.


  • Tuesday, March 19 7-10pm
  • Address: DNA Lounge, 375 Eleventh St., San Francisco
  • Age 21+ with ID please
  • Tickets are $12