Sarah Pritchard, 415-863-1414 x103, [email protected]

SOMArts Cultural Center Announces
The 2018–2019 season of the SOMArts Curatorial Residency

Two exhibitions center artists of color in the creation of decolonial contemporary art practices.

San Francisco, CA, May 7, 2018— Today, SOMArts Cultural Center’s Executive Director Maria Jenson announced the two newest recipients of the SOMArts Curatorial Residency. The residency, entering its ninth year, is a year-long incubator for exhibition research, planning, installation and realization. The program supports emerging and established Bay Area artists to take big risks — creating multi-faceted exhibitions focused on critical social issues 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 addition to the creative strength of the proposal, applicants must demonstrate how their exhibition serves a cultural community that has been historically marginalized in contemporary art. They must also design dynamic public engagement opportunities that foster critical inquiry and access to the arts.

The 2018–19 SOMArts Curatorial Residency Advisory Committee included: Michele Carlson (Art Practical), Kevin B. Chen (independent curator), Kelly Lovemonster (independent curator), Maria Jenson (SOMArts Cultural Center), and Matt McKinley (McKinley Art Solutions).

The following residencies will each culminate in a month-long exhibition and are integral to SOMArts’ exhibition programming in 2018–19:

In Reorienting the Imaginaries, artists of color working at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality disrupt the representations forcibly imposed upon them by Western heteronormativity. This multidisciplinary exhibition presents moments of satire, resilience and joy as they are intertwined among the complexities of confronting one’s own caricatures, insomuch as reorienting the colonial imaginary becomes both unintentionally subversive and a catalyst for navigating autonomous futures. Curated by Robin Birdd, Anh Bui, Shirin Makaremi, Renae Moua, and Lena Sok.
Exhibition: November 29, 2018–January 29, 2019

Forever, A Moment: Meditations on Time and Space is a translation of Black memory and futurity into physical space. Through tangible and intangible art forms, FAM invites you to experience the gallery space in non-linear ways: as a sustained meditation on Black Life, an exploration of its intricate histories, and possibilities. Curated by Kevin Daye and Yetunde Olagbaju.
Exhibition: February 14–April 6, 2019

Maria Jenson commented, “Now more than ever, it’s crucial to support exhibitions like these that provide a platform for self-determination through creative expression. I am proud of the mentorship that SOMArts provides to nurture the next generation of socially-engaged curators.”

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.

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 they 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 TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.


Image credit: Charlie’s Angels (of History), still from lovebang!, Việt Lê, 2016. Image courtesy of the artist.

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