San Francisco

SF Museum's ‘Smoky' Art Exhibition Leaves Residents Frustrated

de Young Museum officials said the exhibition was non-toxic vapor pigment, not smoke.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A museum's art exhibition in San Francisco is receiving some mixed reaction from nearby residents, some of whom thought a large cloud of smoke was coming from a fire at Golden Gate Park.

The smoke was actually from an exhibition that happened right outside the de Young Museum.

The multi-colored show by artist Judy Chicago, called "Judy Chicago: A Retrospective, had been three years in the making, officials said, and it was actually non-toxic vapor pigment, not smoke.

Some people who live near Golden Gate Park told NBC Bay Area Saturday they didn't know the performance art was happening and were shocked to see the smoke in the area.

San Francisco resident Vincent Staupe said he lives about a 10-minute walking distance from the de Young Museum, and when he first walked outside, he thought the park was on fire, before he remembered the exhibition was happening.

“It was incredibly smoky for at least a half an hour," he said. "I had to close all my windows. My air purifier symbol went red inside my apartment.”

Staupe took some pictures of the show seen from his apartment.

“It’s just too bad we didn't get a notice from the museum that this was a possibility,” he said.

de Young Museum officials told NBC Bay Area Saturday that they sent out flyers to neighbors, letting them know the event was happening.

Officials added the event was free to the public and attracted about 4,000 visitors with another 2,500 people tuning into a livestream of the event.

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