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Exploring Public Art Practices Symposium

Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM (PDT)

Exploring Public Art Practices Symposium

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Event Details

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation presents “Exploring Public Art Practices,” a free half-day symposium with artist talks, discussions and presentations by 15 local and national artists to investigate the shifting field of public artistic practice. Advance registration* is strongly encouraged—add your name to wait list.

This event is designed to bring together artists working in or who want to work in public art to share ideas and learn from each other.  The symposium aims to grow critical discourse among artists and expand Bay Area dialogue on the opportunities and challenges of working in public space.

“Exploring Public Art Practices” is part of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s Open Spaces Program, a new public art funding initiative. The program aims to support temporary place-based public art projects in Oakland and San Francisco that engage communities, showcase artistic experimentation and energize public spaces, as well as help artists build their capacity for creating public art.

Can't attend the event? This event will be documented and videos will be available online. Sign up for the Rainin Foundation arts newsletter to receive updates.

* Capacity is limited; arrive early to find seating. Your RSVP does not guarantee a seat, but is the best way for us to gauge overall attendance. We will fit as many people as possible.

1:00 PM – Welcome & Introduction
1:15 PM – Keynote Talk by Ghana ThinkTank
2:15 PM – Break
2:30 PM – Roundtable Discussion with Mildred Howard, Postcommodity, Favianna Rodriguez and Transformazium
4:00 PM – Break
4:30 PM – Lightning Talks by Michael Arcega, Kota Ezawa, Ana Teresa Fernández, Cliff Hengst, Dee Hibbert-Jones, Nomi Talisman, Alison Pebworth, Chris Sollars and Jenifer Wofford.
6:00 PM – Closing

Artists & Speakers

Michael Arcega is a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. His research-based work – directly informed by historic narratives, material significance, and geography – revolves largely around language and sociopolitical dynamics, whose subject matter deals with circumstances of unbalanced power relations. Learn more

Kota Ezawa is an Oakland-based artist who has produced public art installations in Vancouver, BC; New York City; Washington, DC; and San Francisco. His work references images in popular culture, cinema, television, and art history. Learn more

Ana Teresa Fernández was born in Mexico, and lives and works in San Francisco. She creates work that explores the politics of intersectionality, and the ways it shapes personal identity, culture, and social rhetoric through painting, performance and video. Her work illuminates the psychological and physical barriers that define gender, race, and class in Western society and the global south. Her large-scale 5W public art project in San Francisco was awarded “Best of the Bay” by 7×7 Magazine in 2013. Learn more

Ghana ThinkTank is an international collective. Their approach to public art reveals blind spots between otherwise disconnected cultures, challenges assumptions about who is “needy,” and turns the idea of expertise on its head by asking people in the “third world” to solve problems of people in the “first world.” The core artists/organizers include: Christopher Robbins, who creates sculptural interventions in the daily lives of strangers; John Ewing, a digital media artist specializing in participatory installations that emphasize social activism and cross-cultural exchange; and Maria del Carmen Montoya, who explores the communal process of making meaning through participatory art, performance, and new media. Learn more

Cliff Hengst is a San Francisco-based visual and performing artist. He is currently working with his husband, Scott Hewicker, for a show at San Francisco’s Gallery 16 in November. In April 2017, Hengst will perform Mr. Akita, a play written and directed by Asher Hartman, at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive as part of the MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art.

Dee Hibbert-Jones is a San Francisco-based filmmaker who works on film, art, and new media projects that address critical social issues and personal testimony. Her most recent film, Last Day of Freedom, co-directed with Nomi Talisman, was nominated for the 88th Academy Award Best Documentary Short and won an Emmy Award.  Learn more

Mildred Howard is a Berkeley-based artist who creates sculptural installations and mixed media assemblage work. She has collaborated with notable poets and writers to create public installation works exhibited around the Bay Area. Learn more

Alison Pebworth is a San Francisco-based artist whose work comments on contemporary culture through re-imagined prototypes of earlier histories and practices, focusing on long-range projects that combine painting, installation, and social interaction. Her most recent work focused on large interactive sculptural works that continue to merge history and social narratives, including a 42-foot climbable tower, Reconnecting to Home, commissioned by the New Children’s Museum in San Diego (2015) and Innards and Upwards, A San Francisco Wunderkammer at Recology Artist in Residence Program (2016). Learn more. 

Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist. Postcommodity’s art functions as a shared Indigenous voice to engage manifestations of globalism and the ever-expanding, multinational, multiracial and multiethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence. Their recent work, The Repellent Fence, is the largest bi-national land art installation ever exhibited on the U.S./Mexico border. Learn more.

Favianna Rodriguez is an Oakland-based interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist. Her art and collaborative projects address migration, economic inequality, gender justice and ecology.  She partners with social movement groups around the country to co-create art that’s resilient, empowering and transformative.  Learn more.

Chris Sollars is a San Francisco-based artist. His work focuses on the reclamation and subversion of public space through interventions and performance. The results are documented using photographs, sculpture, and video that are integrated into mixed-media installations. Upcoming projects include DAAAM for the Jacki Headley University Art Gallery at California State University, Chico and Hoof & Foot: A Field Study for the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis. Learn more

Nomi Talisman was born in Israel and lives in San Francisco. She is a filmmaker, freelance editor, animator and motion graphics designer. Her film projects have received multiple awards, including Last Day of Freedom which won an Emmy Award and was nominated for an Academy Award. Learn more

Transformazium is the collaborative practice of artists Dana Bishop-Root, Ruthie Stringer and Leslie Stem. Their Pennsylvania-based projects examine local systems of communication, exchange, and resource distribution. They seek to expand and connect dialogue in their neighborhood with the larger art world, and include voices currently underrepresented in more dominant arts discourses. Learn more

Jenifer K. Wofford is a San Francisco-based artist whose work plays with notions of hybridity, authenticity, and global culture, often with a humorous bent. She is also one-third of the Filipina-American artist trio Mail Order Brides/M.O.B., a collective that uses humor and camp to explore issues of culture and gender. Learn more

Have questions about Exploring Public Art Practices Symposium? Contact Kenneth Rainin Foundation

When & Where

Oakland Museum of California
James Moore Theater
1000 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM (PDT)

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Kenneth Rainin Foundation

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation enhances quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy, and supporting research to cure chronic disease.

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