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Bay Area Now:Triennial exhibition opens at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Christina Marie Fong, My Record Collection, 2014 Creativity Explored Licensing LLC., acrylic and ink on cardboard, various sizes. Creativity Explored.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- In its seventh edition, Bay Area Now 7 is experimenting with a new approach to curating that highlights collaborations with our region’s artists and arts organizations and pushes beyond presentation toward a multidisciplinary celebration of the diversity of artistic practices in the Bay Area. BAN7’s core idea is to decentralize the curatorial process, and centralize the public presentation of some of the most exciting artistic voices in the region today.

Bay Area Now 7: Visual Arts Exhibition:

The visual arts component of Bay Area Now 7 has been reconceived through an open and rigorous selection process. By inviting noncommercial, small- to mid-size regional visual arts organizations to curate site-specific projects with Bay Area artists in YBCA’s galleries, we are making visible the rich complexity of our many arts communities. Using an art fair style format in which the selected participants curate projects for specific locations throughout an exhibition space, BAN7 celebrates visual arts organizations as vital players in the local arts ecology. The exhibition aims to foster increased appreciation for Bay Area art, artists and organizers, and to promote a greater understanding of the vast range of practices and individual visions that make the Bay Area such a vibrant center for contemporary art.

The 15 partner organizations working with YBCA—featuring more than 200 artists throughout our galleries and campus—are [ 2nd floor projects ], San Francisco; Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, San Francisco; Bay Area Art Workers Alliance, Oakland; Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco; Creativity Explored, San Francisco; di Rosa, Napa; the Estria Foundation, Emeryville; FOR-SITE Foundation, San Francisco; Important Projects, Oakland; Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga; n/a, Oakland; Pied--terre, San Francisco; Publication Studio, Oakland; San Quentin Prison Arts Project, San Quentin; and Stairwell’s, San Francisco. These organizations were selected out of 50 proposals submitted to an open call conducted in fall 2013, and were reviewed by a distinguished panel of curators, scholars, and writers.

BAN7’s partners range from relatively new, small exhibition venues to art book publishers, from a site-specific public art initiative to an arts education program in a correctional facility—and much more. Working closely with their artists, each partner has curated an exhibition that expresses the spirit and purpose of their unique mission and vision. Of the many striking site specific projects, n/a, an apartment gallery, founded in the past year with a focus on queer experience in contemporary art practice, is curating a rotation of exhibitions and events on a variable platform in an effort to examine the evolving relationships among queer theory, historiography, abstraction and difference. Creativity Explored, which has worked for more than 30 years assisting developmentally disabled artists with the creation, exhibition and distribution of their art, showcases new installations by Christina Marie Fong, Tony Gomez, and Marilyn Wong that explore personal experience as influenced by external sources such as pop culture and nature. Some organizations will set up shop in the galleries, such as the local arm of the globally dispersed Publication Studio, whose installed print-on-demand workshop and store will give visitors a unique look inside their production and publishing processes. One of the Mission District’s cultural mainstays, Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, channels the cozy and intimate quality of its space through a group exhibition-installation that includes ambient sound, colorful geometric forms and text. Other organizations build off their ongoing programs, such as Montalvo Arts Center, which hosts local, national and international artists through a residency program built around thematic initiatives. For their project Finding Your Center, Susan O’Malley and Leah Rosenberg—artists and former residents of the program—collaborate on a distributed audio and sculpture project conceived in dialogue with Montalvo’s current multiyear theme about health and wellness, entitled Flourish: Artists Explore Wellbeing. The Estria Foundation, a catalyst for art in public spaces that works with artists, youth, educators and activists to raise awareness and inspire action related to social and environmental issues, exhibits winning murals produced during the 2013 edition of their acclaimed graffiti mural competition. In addition, Estria is working with Miguel “Bounce” Perez to create a new, site-specific mural—commissioned specifically for BAN7—to be placed on the outside of YBCA’s theater building.

Exhibiting artists include: [ 2nd floor projects ]: Daniel Case, Nicolaus Chaffin, Johnny Ray Huston, Curt McDowell; Adobe Books Backroom Gallery: Aaron Bray, Kristin Farr, Lori Gordon, Marc Kate, Jeff Meadows, Erik Otto, and Brian Tester; Bay Area Art Workers Alliance; Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco: Summer Mei Ling Lee; Creativity Explored: Christina Marie Fong, Tony Gomez, Marilyn Wong; di Rosa: Floris Schnfeld; the Estria Foundation: Bounce, Joker, Kufue, Irot, Agana, Griffin, Pemex; FOR-SITE Foundation: Nathan Lynch; Important Projects: Jason Benson, Joel Dean, Edgar Mojica, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts staff; Montalvo Arts Center: Susan O’Malley, Leah Rosenberg; n/a: A.K. Burns, Esra Canogullari, k. r. m. mooney, Bryan Morello, Joel Parsons, Lawrence Rinder, Lorna Sung, Nicholas Andre Sung, Tina Takemoto; Pied--terre: Teresa Baker; Publication Studio: Joel Dean, Matthew Endler, Kevin Killian, Oki Sogumi; San Quentin Prison Arts Project: Peter Bergne, Khalifah Christensen, Dennis Crookes, Isiah Daniels, Justus Evans, Bruce Fowler, Roy Gilstrap, Thomas Grider, Gary Harrell, John Hoskings, David Johnson, Darryl Kennedy, Joshua Locke, Samuel Marquez, Scott McKinstry, Omid Mokri, Gerald Morgan, James Norton, Eric Phillips, Steven Smith, Mark Stanley, Paul Stauffer, Fred Tinsley, Tan Tran, Kurt Von Staden, Wesley Washington, Michael Williams, Thomas Winfrey and former inmates Henry Frank, Ronnie Goodman, Rolf Kissmann, Felix Lucero, Brendan Murdoch; and Stairwell's: Amy M. Ho, Mike Rothfeld

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