Fight and Flight: Crafting a Bay Area Life
Presented by Museum of Craft and Design
Date & Time:
Sunday, April 23, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Art Market San Francisco Theater
The Museum of Craft and Design presents an interdisciplinary exploration of today’s Bay Area arts ecosystem through the lens of MCD’s current exhibition, Fight and Flight: Crafting a Bay Area Life. Co-curators Jacqueline Francis and Ariel Zaccheo join exhibition-featured artists Ala Ebtekar, Alexander Hernandez, and Libby Black in conversation around the struggle of living and working in an untenable city– from the joy of finding chosen communities and families, to the loss of affordable housing and studio space. This timely discussion focuses on consciously uplifting communities that are historically underserved and underrepresented in museum collections and exhibitions, sharing the perspectives of the educators, artists and arts institutions for whom the Bay Area is their creative home.
Jacqueline Francis is an art historian, curator, and educator. She is the author of Making Race: Modernism and “Racial Art” in America (2012) and co-editor of Romare Bearden: American Modernist (2011). She is a co-founder of the Association for Critical Race Art History. Her curatorial projects include “side by side|in the world” (2019, San Francisco Art Commission) and “Where Is Here” (2016, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco). She is the Chair of the Graduate Program in Visual & Critical Studies at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Ariel Zaccheo has been proud to call San Francisco home since 2011. She has worked with MCD since 2013, assisting with 40+ exhibitions. She has been MCD’s curator since 2020. Zaccheo is also co-curator of the Artists’ Television Access (ATA) Window Gallery since 2013, and now serves on the ATA Board of Directors. Her research focuses on contemporary craft applied to queer and feminist studies. Recent curatorial projects include Mode Brut (2021, Museum of Craft and Design) and Interior/Exterior (2019, Museum of Craft and Design). Zaccheo served as juror for Craft Nouveau (2022, Blue Line Arts), and Bridging the Gap: Contemporary Craft Practices (2019, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts). Her writing has appeared in Surface Design Journal, Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles, Art Practical, Fiber Art Network, and American Craft Magazine.
Ala Ebtekar is a visual artist who works in the mediums of painting, drawing, collage, alternative photography, text, ceramic, and installation. His work has been widely exhibited internationally and are in public and private collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Devi Art Foundation in India, Orange County Museum of Art, de Young Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco International Airport, and Berkeley Art Museum among others. He is the founder and director of Art, Social Space and Public Discourse, a global initiative on art that investigates the multiple contexts that shift and define changing ideas of public space. This ongoing critical framework of conversations, newly issued art projects, and exploration of various cultural productions and intellectual traditions looks at recent transformations of civic life. He has been a lecturer at Stanford University since 2009 in the Department of Art & Art History, Institute for Diversity in the Arts, ITALIC, Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, the Hamid & Christina Program in Iranian Studies, and Stanford Global Studies.
San Francisco-based artist Alexander Hernandez uses textiles and found objects in his mixed-media art practice. Having been born in Mexico and raised in Colorado, the Bay Area evokes a nomadic sense for Hernandez, but he is inspired by the grit of the city and community he has found. Craft is a safe space where his love of U.S. pop culture and Mexican culture coexist. His work explores intersectional identities rooted in immigrant experiences, gender expectations, HIV+ survival, and queer sensibilities. He received his BFA (2007) in Painting and Drawing from Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in Denver, CO, and an MFA in Studio Art (2012) from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. Hernandez has participated in many notable art residencies, including MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA; San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA; Root Division in San Francisco, CA; Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC; Mark Rothko Art Center in Latvia; ACRE Residency in Steuben, WI; and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, among others.
Libby Black is a painter, drawer, and sculptural installation artist living in Berkeley, CA. Her artwork charts a path through personal history and a broader cultural context to explore the intersection of politics, feminism, LGBTQ+ identity, consumerism, addiction, notions of value, and desire. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with such shows as “California Love” at Galerie Droste in Wupertal, Germany; “Bay Area Now 4” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; “California Biennial” at the Orange County Museum of Art; and at numerous galleries in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Black has been an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA; Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA; and Spaces in Cleveland, OH. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, Flash Art, and The New York Times. She received a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1999 and an MFA at the California College of the Arts in 2001. Libby is an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University.