“Indispensable” is a series that asks the de Young’s Artists in Residence to describe a tool that’s essential to their work and is a monthly feature on the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco blog.
Read about Steve Ferrera’s tool of choice and hear him talk about it with Monet Oganesian of the Periscope Project team.
July’s artist Steve Ferrera is not producing your ordinary children’s book. Steve and other contributing artists are using a variety of mediums. Visitors to the Kimball Education Gallery see the process of this project on display. The set displays are very imaginative. Below are photos of the installation day. During his residency, Steve will be documenting and photographing the process for the book. In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to contribute in the project by constructing components of cloudscapes.
Earlier this year Jane worked on a project where she collected sand from different parts of Ocean Beach, San Francisco. On the shelf are jars of sand that are labeled where they were collected. Also on display is a collaboration she did with blown glass artist Jess Wainer where sand is encapsulated in glass.
For Jane, the project allowed her to explore the idea of preservation and conversation, which mean two different things. Jane shares the idea that preservation is to “keep something as is from the moment that it was conceived…it is never changing.” Whereas the idea of conservation is to protect a natural space.
While Jess was creating a glass sphere, Jane added sand inside of the glass but when they tried to seal the glass an unexpected outcome occurred. Sand retains heat therefore sand was adhering and reshaping the glass making the glass more malleable. Interestingly, sand from different parts of the beach reacted differently with the glass. For example, wet sand shot holes through the glass and formed deep crevices in the glass.
Jane shares that this project is a reminder that time is a factor and the decisions made around it effects what is made in the period around that time. Organic changes happen with the factors that are in play. The idea of cause and effect teaches us that effect can take place in any given situation. Jane shared with me that in an environment or city changes happen and we are the factors that contribute to change.
Below are photos of her project and photos of how the sand from various parts of the beach behaved differently when put in the glass.
Public Project with Jane Kim:
This project has been intriguing visitors. A drawing of a world map is on the wall with hand cut-outs across the map in various shades of blue & grey. Everyday at noon Jane Kim mixes paint the color of the sky on paper that visitors use to create their hand cut-out. It is fascinating because when people place their hand on the map they pause and think, “How does one define origin?” The artist leaves it open interpretation for the visitor.
Jane’s public project will continue during her whole residency. This post will be updated with photos through the rest of the month so you can see it growing! (all photos are in order by date.)
Where would you place your origin?
Welcoming June’s Artist-in-Residence: Jane Kim
Jane Kim is a visual artist, scientific illustrator, and founder of Ink Dwell. She has been interviewed in many publications such as, National Geographic, Oprah Magazine, and Juxtapoz to name a few. Her work includes many murals about endangered species and is a reminder to be aware and care for the environment in which we live.
During Kim’s residency she will be exploring the ecology of Golden Gate Park.
I want to share with you the process of an Artist Residency. To begin, below are photos I took of installing and preparing Jane Kim’s space.
Be sure to see future posts so you can see her ongoing process at the de Young Museum! Visit the Kimball Gallery to meet the artist and be a part of a collaborative public project. Artist Studio hours and info
Herman Mossman Tachera explains that making feather art work is tedious, calming, rewarding and, beyond creating an object, is a spiritual process. “Your heart and soul are into it and that is translated in one’s work,” he says.
After years of studying under his mentor, Paulette Kahalepuna and Mary Louise Kaleonahenahe Kekuewa, Herman received their blessing to teach this art form to others. This system is part of the tradition of creating feather art as much as the physical technique. The artist says, “In this process, you are learning and perpetuating Hawaiian feather art.” Both the finished work and the creation of it are part of the Hawaiian heritage.
In the studio, traditional pieces – like the lei – and contemporary pieces – like the headband – are juxtaposed. Traditionally the lei was worn only by women of royalty, but the artist encourages both men and women to wear it today. Headbands came later in the tradition. When the missionaries came, they introduced fabrics, which were incorporated into the hats. Although both objects stem from a different moment in time, spiritually and in technique, the process of creating the two are much the same and, for both, the process is a repetition of knotting one feather after another onto a base material. Making a lei requires 30-40 feathers per inch or 24-40 painstaking hours of work. It it no wonder why one may feel attached to their work, not just as an object, but because, through the process, it becomes something sacred. Tachera stresses that the body and spirit as a whole happens in creating these objects and others have experienced this transcendental energy.
On my first entry into Tachera’s studio, I could feel the spiritual energy and noticed the positive reaction from strangers and students, however it is the artist’s own energy and warm encouragement that unified the space.
Last Friday night was our first artist-led tour of the galleries. We had a great time seeing Ruth Asawa’s sculptures, wandering through the contemporary galleries and Wilsey Court, and finishing up in the James Turrell sculpture in the garden. During each tour we will be performing quotes gathered from visitors who participated in our residency. The tour adds the voices of the museum patrons to experiencing the art collections at the de Young. Tours leave from the Kimball Education Gallery on Fridays at 7 p.m. Remaining tour dates are 7/17, 7/24 and 7/31. We hope to see you on a tour!
Our mobile cart was also out on Friday night with Chris at the helm. Stop by to tell us about your favorite artwork at the museum, or pick up one of our postcards featuring our artist renditions of the de Young collection and quotes from the museum visitors.
Ever wonder what goes on in the basement and the tower of the de Young Museum? Now you can find out! As part of our residency we were fortunate to be able to interview various departments at the museum and photograph in their areas. In the “gift shop” section of our installation we are featuring photographs and text showing the behind the scenes of the museum. Who are the people that create the museum experience that the public doesn’t see?
Here’s a teaser:!
Artwork is wrapped, strapped, and stored when not out on display. Racks of paintings and furniture are ready to be rotated into the galleries.
The Object Conservator is a combination of a detective and an artist. She uses various tools and pigments to restore delicate works of art for the museum.
The cafe menu is inspired by the special exhibitions at the museum. Currently they have a menu inspired by J. M. W. Turner’s paintings. And, those beautiful flowers you see in the entry and in the bathrooms? Those are all done by volunteers. The Flower Committee had 55 members that create arrangements for the museum every week. They are a passionate group that strives to enhance the museum experience for visitors.
de Young Artists-in-Residence install their work over just one day, however the first day truly is just the beginning as the installation grows throughout the month. Repeat visitor will notice the artwork filling the walls, the visitor interactions growing in number, and the project developing as the artist hoped or, sometimes, in serendipitous ways.
We snuck into the studio to view the artists installing their work to see how My Museum gets built, documented here in these photographs by Victoria Mara Heilweil.
On June 19th, a fantastic ensemble of musicians joined me for a few rounds of my improvisational game piece, Raw Shack. This was a special Friday night event in the Kimball Gallery. In Raw Shack, I use a variety of cards to cue the musicians, and they interpret the cards however they wish. During my residency, I created a bunch of new cards (UNDERWATER, Play well with others, LOOPING, etc.) which were premiered at this performance.
Shireen Amini: guitar, melodica, vocals
Sheila Bosco: keyboard
Fountainetta Coleman: percussion
Katja Davis: vocals, percussion
Ayla Xander Dozier: vocals, percussion
Tina Fagnani: drums
Altay Guvench: bass guitar
Gregory Hagan: viola, vocals
Josh Marshall: saxophone
Scott Roy: accordion
Bill Wolter: guitar