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

SOMArts Cultural Center Announces
The 2019–2020 season of the SOMArts Curatorial Residency

August 7, 2019, San Francisco, CA–SOMArts Cultural Center is excited to announce the ninth season of the Curatorial Residency Program. The program is a year-long incubator for curatorial research, mentorship, planning, installation, and realization. A cornerstone of SOMArts’ programming, the Curatorial Residency supports emerging and established Bay Area artists to take big risks — creating multi-faceted exhibitions focused on local, national, and global concerns in one of San Francisco’s largest gallery spaces.

Residents are selected by an advisory panel through a proposal process that includes a series of information sessions, and access to individual consultation from SOMArts’ staff. In conjunction with the creative strength of the proposal is praxis–what is the exhibition’s call to action and how can it be implemented beyond the gallery space?

As SOMArts Creative & Executive Director Maria Jenson affirms, “The 2019–2020 Curatorial Residencies cohort embody the cultural diversity and creative risk-taking that is part of the Bay Area’s radical artistic legacy. I am proud of the mentorship and organizational support SOMArts provides to nurture the next generation of socially-engaged curators.”

Alie JonesCurator, Unbound Roots Toshia ChristalCurator, Unbound RootsLindsey Dolich FeltCurator, Recoding CriptechVanessa ChangCurator, Recoding CripTechFred AlvaradoCurator, Future Relations: A Resource for Radical Teaching presents F.T.P.David PetrelliCurator, Future Relations: A Resource for Radical Teaching presents F.T.P. Thomas JonesCurator, Future Relations: A Resource for Radical Teaching presents F.T.P.

The 2019–20 SOMArts Curatorial Residency Advisory Committee included Maria Jenson (Creative & Executive Director, SOMArts Cultural Center), Karen Seneferu (artist and founding curator, The Black Woman is God), Matthew McKinley (McKinley Art Solutions), James Fleming (2017 Curatorial Resident, Touch On), and Melanie Elvena (Artistic Director, APICC)

The following residencies will each culminate in a month-long exhibition and are integral to SOMArts’ exhibition programming in 2019–20:

Future Relations: A Resource for Radical Teaching presents F.T.P.
 centers lesson plans, artworks, and actions from artists, teachers, and activists exploring creative practices that teach towards the eradication of oppressive environments.

Recoding CripTech showcases artists who crip and hack creative technologies to challenge enshrined notions of disability. By creating new kinds of social and sensory interactions with technology, these artists portend a crip aesthetic for media arts that dismantle barriers to access and reclaims disability representation.

Unbound Roots challenges the self-care industry by expanding discussions around Black wellness practices rooted in mental, spirituality and community care. Unbound roots transcend through acceptance, pleasure, and liberation providing a safe space that encourages individual awareness, generational healing, and high vibratory engagements.

Selected curators receive a stipend of $5,000, and more than 100 hours of support from SOMArts staff including planning & installation assistance, community engagement support, technical assistance, grants consultation, and ongoing project support. Many past residents cite the experience as pivotal to their professional development.

All calendar listings are free, all ages, and open to the public unless otherwise stated

Curated by Fred Alvarado, Thomas Jones, David Petrelli

Opening Reception: Friday, November 15, 6-9pm
Exhibition Run: Saturday, November 16–Sat, December 21, 2019
Public Program: Thursday, December 5, 2019, 6–9pm
Closing Reception: Thursday, December 19, 2019, 6-9pm

Curated by Vanessa Chang and Lindsey Dolich Felt

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 23, 2020, 6–9pm
Exhibition Run: Friday, January 24– Tuesday, February 25, 2020 
Public Program: Thursday, February 6, 2020, 6–9pm
Closing Reception: Thursday, February 20, 2020, 6–9pm

Curated by Alie Jones and Toshia Christal

Acceptance, opening reception: Thursday, March 12, 2020, 6–9pm
Exhibition Run: Friday, March 13–Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Pleasure Pt. 1: Thursday, March 26, 2020, 6–9pm
Liberation, closing reception: Thursday, April 16, 2020, 6–9pm


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 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.

Image credit: David Petrelli, Because White men can’t police their imagination, Black men are dying, image courtesy of the artist.

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