Dara Katrina Del Rosario
Communications & Partnerships Manager
415-863-1414 x103, [email protected]

SOMArts Cultural Center presents



Virtual Opening, January 14, 2020
Exhibition run, January 14–February 21, 2020

December 22, 2020, San Francisco, CA–SOMArts Cultural Center launches its 2020–2021 Curatorial Residency program with multidisciplinary exhibition Bay Area Deaf Arts on January 14–February 21, 2021. Featuring a virtual gallery experience available on SOMArts website and a series of online programs, Bay Area Deaf Arts celebrates and centers the art forms and cultural expression historically rooted in the Deaf community, raising Deaf awareness in non-Deaf populations, and inspiring collaboration between Hearing and Deaf artists.

Curated by renowned performer and activist Antoine Hunter, this virtual exhibition reminds us that hearing and listening are two different acts, and invites audiences to explore the following questions: Where are the voices of Deaf and Deaf people of color? What truths are we willing to listen to?

Exhibiting artists include multidisciplinary artist Gungaa Tuvshinbat, and LGBTQ/social justice activist and social documentary photojournalist Drago Renteria who has been working to document in visual form the gentrification currently taking place in San Francisco’s Mission District. Known for his mixed media expressionist works, Jon Kastrup uses color as representation of emotional well-being, mental health, and spirituality.

Photographer Orkid Sassouni documents the Deaf community as well as her family relationships, and documentary photojournalist clare cassidy captures political issues she’s passionate about through still images. Originally working for a large movie studio as a Texture Artist, Deepa Agarwal “now likes to experiment and explore with ‘real’ paint on ‘real’ paper.” Bay Area organization ASL Love invites its artists to contribute a piece that imagines a world where everyone knows sign language.

Throughout the exhibition run, Bay Area Deaf Arts will be hosting virtual panels, workshops, performances, and DJ sets with participating artists.These programs provide an exciting opportunity to virtually meet the artists and the intersections of art and Deaf advocacy.

Exhibiting Artists
Antoine Hunter
ASL Love
clare cassidy
Deepa Agarwal
Drago Renteria
Gungaa Tuvshinbat
Jon Kastrup
Orkid Sassouni

Antoine Hunter

Calendar Listings
To learn more about the exhibition, upcoming virtual program dates, and streaming links, visit

Bay Area Deaf Arts
Curated by Antoine Hunter
January 14–February 21, 2021

Virtual Opening Reception
Celebrate the launch of Bay Area Deaf Arts with curator Antoine Hunter featuring virtual gallery tour and artist interviews

Artist Panel Discussion & Workshops
Discussion with exhibiting artists Deepa Agarwal and clare cassidy
Workshops: Yoga with Deepa Argwal, Learn Basic Photography with clare cassidy

Artist Panel Discussion & Workshops
Discussion with exhibiting artists Jon Kastrup and Orkid Sassouni
Workshops: Deaf Eyes: How We See Differently with Orkid Sassoun, Workshop with Jon Kastrup

Artist Panel Discussion & Workshops
Discussion with exhibiting artists Drago Renteria, Gungaa Tuvshinbat with performances by Jazz Dance Company
Workshops: Workshop with Drago Renteria, Live drawing and painting with Gungaa Tuvshinbat


About Antoine Hunter
Bay Area native, Antoine Hunter also known Purple Fire Crow is an award-winning Internationally-known African-American, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled, choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, Producer and Deaf advocate. He creates opportunities for Disable, Deaf and hearing artists and produces Deaf-friendly events, and founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival.

Antoine has received numerous grants and awards including the inaugural Jeanette Lomujo Bremond Award for Humanity, Isadora Duncan (Izzie) for Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival, and SF King of Carnaval.

Antoine’s work has been performed globally, most recently in Turkey, the UK, and Russia. He has lectured across the U.S. including at Kennedy Center’s VSA, Harvard and Duke University, and the National Assembly of State Arts. In 2019 alone, his company, Urban Jazz Dance Company, an ensemble of professional Deaf and Hearing dancers, performed for and engaged more than 4,200 schoolchildren. His shoe company, DropLabs, and Susan Paley just released an innovative product to help people feel music through their shoes. He is Vice President of Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA’s) Board. DCARA is a non-profit, community-based social service agency serving the Deaf community. Established in 1962 as one of the first Deaf-run agencies in the country. Hunter serves on the boards of Dance/USA, DCARA, BABDA and councils for CalArts Alumnx and UCSF Intrinsic Arts.

About SOMArts Cultural Center
SOMArts Cultural Center, founded in 1979, cultivates access to the arts within the Bay Area by collaborating with community-focused artists and organizations. Together, we engage the power of the arts to provoke just and fair inclusion, cultural respect and civic participation.

SOMArts plays a vital role in the arts ecosystem by helping activate the arts citywide. We do this by providing space and production support for non-profit events, as well as fairs and festivals throughout the Bay Area, and offering a robust program of art exhibitions, classes, events and performances that are affordable and accessible to all. SOMArts’ exhibition programs receive critical support from the San Francisco Arts Commission and The San Francisco Foundation, and are sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts.

SOMArts is located at 934 Brannan Street—between 8th and 9th—within 2 blocks of 101, I-80, Muni lines and bike paths. For public information call 415-863-1414 or visit Stay connected by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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