SAN FRANCISCO, CA (May 12, 2020) — While the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) remains temporarily closed in accordance with public health guidelines, the museum will commission six creative collectives to take over the museum’s homepage for one-week residencies through its new Community in Residence program beginning May 18. Each collective will produce a digital “mural” and will share links to additional resources and materials related to their practice, including some family-friendly activities. They will all respond to the same timely prompt: What does it mean for artists to work collaboratively in the time of social distancing? As part of the residency and ongoing efforts to encourage audiences to #MuseumFromHome, each collective will also produce a virtual engagement on SFMOMA’s YouTube channel. Audiences are invited to tune in to these weekly broadcasts (Thursdays at 6 p.m. PDT), which will range from multidisciplinary presentations to artist-led projects.
“Now, more than ever, it is crucial for the museum to continue to support local creatives and explore the ways that art can bring us together during challenging times,” said Chad Coerver, Leanne and George Roberts Chief Education and Community Engagement Officer at SFMOMA. “The history of artmaking during past pandemics shows that artists will be vital contributors to the process of imagining our collective future in the wake of the coronavirus. We are excited to see what the collectives create.”
Organized by SFMOMA’s public engagement department, the new Community in Residence program awards paid residencies with the museum to local, national and international community centers, nonprofits, publishers, collectives and individuals. This program seeks to collaborate and share space, resources and platforms with socially engaged artists and organizations working both within and beyond the boundaries of art. Residencies will vary in scope and duration — from one week to several months in length — and will result in wide-ranging programs including exhibitions, events, publications, workshops and artistic commissions. While the inaugural series will take place online, the program will continue not only digitally but also in the community or onsite in SFMOMA’s Koret Education Center after the museum reopens to the public.
CTRL+SHFT Collective is a community-initiated arts organization with exhibition space and studios in West Oakland. Its priority is making studios and exhibition opportunities accessible to LGBT+ Artists of Color. The collective is a majority Gender Variant, Black, Indigenous and People of Color cohort that is building on CTRL+SHFT’s foundation to create a sustainable, financially healthy arts space.
May 25–31: nure collective
A compassionate group of artists exploring time-fluid concepts of Blackness, nure’s core mission is to support, empower and provide resources to Black artists within the Bay Area and beyond. Members of the Oakland-based collective, in partnership with their ancestors and peers, actualize moments of artistic revelation and transmute them into culturally agile productions that affirm their right to be, to become and to inspire.
June 1–7: Heavy Breathing
Heavy Breathing launched in 2015 as a summer program of weekly seminars sponsored by Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Award. Co-produced by artists Sophia Wang and Lisa Rybovich Crallé, Heavy Breathing continues as a series of experimental movement workshops designed by artists combining physical activity with group discussion on ideas related to their creative practice. These events invite the public to consider how conversations change when we are in motion and the new modes of thinking that movement enables.
June 8–14: Prison Arts Project
The Prison Arts Project (PAP) began in 1977 and offers in-depth, long-term experiences in the visual, literary and performing arts inside California state prisons. By 2017 each of California’s 35 prisons had a fine arts program. At San Quentin, membership in the collective is as much driven by self-selection, as mandate or happenstance. It is by nature made up of strange bedfellows and auspicious connections. At its best the studio is an oasis, a respite, a place where inquiry, exploration and expression germinate.
June 15–21: Work MORE!
Work MORE! provides a platform for collaborative artmaking that utilizes drag to disturb traditional notions of beauty, femininity and masculinity while promoting interdisciplinary collaborations among artists who co-create rather than compete. In mainstream culture, drag is framed as a solo performance created by one male artist, traditionally in clubs and bars. Work MORE! builds on San Francisco’s long history of drag as a community-building strategy.
June 22–28: Bik Van der Pol with Museum Studies Students at City College of San Francisco
Bik Van der Pol is an artistic team comprising Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol. Through their work they aim to understand how art can produce a public sphere. Take Part, their 2019–2020 project with SFMOMA, anchors expansive conversations about San Francisco’s past, present and future to a physical object: a thousand-square-foot scale model of the city in 1938 built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In lieu of a planned June 2020 exhibition of the model in its entirety, which has been canceled due to the COVID-19 virus, Bik Van der Pol will work with City College of San Francisco’s Museum Studies class (currently meeting virtually) to rethink the project for a digital platform.