As I prepare for my residency project about mapping Golden Gate Park with recycled paper scraps, I have been thinking a lot about the historical perspectives that informed the development of the park. Planning a big urban park in San Francisco not only offered public access to nature, but established the city’s claim as one of the nation’s great cities, aiming to compete with New York’s Central Park and Chicago’s Lincoln Park. In 1870, when construction of the park began, San Francisco was already suffering from several decades of rapid growth, and the park was to provide an escape to an idealized view of nature. The influence of Romanticism loomed large here, as did older pastoral visions, and I have been interested in trying to better understand that background, however disconnected it might have been from the reality of the park site itself.
The scraps of toile wallpaper samples that have been floating around my studio seemed relevant and I have started preparing my own ‘Golden Gate Park Toile’ as a backdrop for one area of the gallery.
Were you one of the lucky few to hear Ted Purves talk about Steven Leiber’s basement and the enigmatic and delightful artist J H Kocman? My curiosity about Kocman was peaked and the hour we spent talking about him wasn’t nearly enough. I could only imagine locking myself in the archives and uncovering all of its quirky treasures.
Before she left, Streetcolor yarnbombed a bike rack. The entire process took four months from spinning the wool, knitting the pieces, and then assembling it together onto the rack. Like its fellow street art, the yarn changes the way we see an everyday place/thing. It will remain in front of the de Young museum as long as nature allows.
Ian Everard was born in St Ives, Cornwall, England, where the waves crash over the housetops. It is a place that sounds fantastical in many ways like something you would hear about in the film Big Fish. He revisits this place through his work by recreating historical photographs in meticulous detail – accurate, but incomplete.
Searching through his own history, he began to think about birthplace and our connection to our first home, about memory and imagination, reality and reconstruction. What do we truly remember of our birthplaces and how have we adjusted those memories over the years?
During his residency at the de Young museum, Everard will create and present finished works and works in progress about where he is from. Yet, his story is just a starting point; the artist is interested in creating a space open to other peoples’ stories. Museum visitors will be invited to share their connections to their own origins as part of the installation. Thoughts and memories will become a visual and multimedia installation through drawings, written and spoken word, and video.
On Saturday, December 6, knitters and crocheters gathered round in Streetcolor’s studio to fashion new creations together.
The studio garden grows daily as visitors to the museum also participate in felt flower-making. Each day, during open studio hours, visitors learn the process of felting, from selecting colors to turning the wool into felt to finally transforming those tufts of wool into a flower blossom.
The flowers, worn as pins, are making their way into the museum and Golden Gate Park. Some flowers remain behind to grow with Streetcolor’s installation throughout the month.
Songs of Sorrows: Dias de los Muertos 20th anniversary at Oakland Museum of California is on view October 8, 2014-January 4, 2015.
By digging through twenty years of archives and photos, and conducting interviews with longtime stakeholders, Lexa Walsh made an archive-based installation meets offrenda.
On December 17, the artist will give a pop-up talk in the galleries at the Oakland Museum of California on “Forces of Change” as the final component in her artist fellowship.
Lauren Bartone isn’t attached to traditional map making. While she does spend her fair share of time studying maps, her recent work, The Take Out Project, retranslated cartography from a visual capture of space and geography to a display of food justice and socioeconomics. Bartone collected discarded food trash – paper plates, take-out containers, plastic bags – and repurposed them into map markers. Just as importantly, the artist engaged the community’s participation. Instead of a street name, you might find the local Farmers Market on the map by locating the blue mushroom container, purchased from the market by a community member that morning. A man harvests vegetables from the community garden, then contributed the bag used to carry them, which is then placed on the map to represent the garden. Bartone’s map shows us what people are eating in which neighborhoods and how food access is distributed throughout the region. Through it, we can gain a new understand of the place we live in and, indeed, redefine space.
In February 2015, Bartone will take up residency at the de Young museum where she will continue to explore this idea of repurposing discarded paper trash to represent a place – this time, the museum and its environs, in A City in Maps.
Streetcolor covers bike racks, objects, and walls with her hand-knit graffiti. Too eccentric for her hometown of Rochester, N.Y., she migrated to the Bay Area, leaving behind a rigorous, technical training in ceramics to take up sculpting and painting in knits and felts. In addition to knitbombing, Streetcoor creates large urban textile installations that cover buildings and towns.
In December, as de Young Artist-in-Residence, she will take up feltbombing people and composing tactilely rich paintings that exercise the pliability of her handmade felt.
Streetcolor derives inspiration from Hockney’s drawings, Diebenkorn’s layered surfaces, Thiebaud’s patterns, Stella’s dimensionality, Chamberlain’s confidence, and ceramist Betty Woodman’s boldness and rhythm. She has been delving into the museum’s Explore the Art function to study working proofs for Wayne Thiebaud’s Steep Street and, her favorite, Touched Red by Diebenkorn. For an artist whose canvas is often architecture, Streetcolor loves the museum building itself. “It makes my mouth water to walk around the outside and look at the metal patina.”
“I am grateful for all of the great art I’ve seen over the years. It’s like eating a great meal. Looking at lots of art is really critical for being able to make lots of art.”