Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It is sometimes difficult to explain your perspective or truly hone in on a clear idea. Tonight was just filled with learning about artists. I want to make them human. I want to know where they were born, what their father and mother did for a living and where they first moved for school or had a minimum wage job. I want to see where they had worked tirelessly just to get to the next day. I want the exposure of their work. In my young years, I have been exposed to some pretty harsh environments, the desperate poverty of Malawi or even suburban America. But, my actual experience with viewing visual art is fairly limited. There is vast world of objects, paintings and portals that I have not experienced. They are famous pieces, popular pieces of artwork that I have only seen on or in the pages of a used book from my brother. Many of my colleagues have championed Western European museums and New York City. They tell me the stories of frescoes or great halls of the Louvre. I sadly, have not yet had my opportunity to view such Masterworks. I was striped of this joy during my adolescence. I thought art was a hobby and not something to be taken seriously. It was never taught as a serious subject or spoken of in a legitimate manner. Yet, I am starting to see how vital a role it has played in our humanness. This is where I found how important educating the human character is and believe art has the power to make us better. We have to be better for the sake of the desperate situations of our times. We have to look to these valued pieces and use them as portals of dreams. And those who do not dream anymore, do not know the value of the journey. We must each speak our mind to others so that they may know you and be true yourself. Every moment is an opportunity. What is your favorite portal?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lady Gaga at Google. Watch it. Create your shadows.

Gaga at Google.

"From reading the Bible, I got a real sense of moral obligation. I think that's why I believed I got a late start in art because I did it didn't heal bones, didn't have people shelter, I wanted to be a social worker. Art was about communication.

Then the art, infected my teaching. In effect, I was saying that art I do is what I am talking about in the classroom. Look between the art. We prioritize how we look. "
-John Baldesarri

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Call of the Times - Student Showcase at the de Young - 4.22.11

New Generations: Student Showcase

Call for student artwork to be featured at the
de Young Museum on April 22, 2011

TITLE: Where to? The Call of the Times

DESCRIPTION: Our communities are responding in different ways to the social issues of our times such as the recession, human rights or climate change. The challenges ahead are dynamic and often troubling, yet, we will continue to find solutions through activism and art.

Where are we now and where are we going?

What do you see as the urgent social issues? What do these mean to you? How does your work reflect what is happening?

Public Programs at the de Young Museum invites you to submit a proposal of visual art, film, music, or performance art, for “Friday Nights at the de Young” on Friday, April 22, 2011. Members of the de Young Museum’s New Generations Student and Faculty Advisory Committee will jury the proposals.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Monday, March 14, 2011
JUST ANNOUNCED - CASH PRIZES -1st ($300) 2nd ($175) 3rd ($75) !

Please send the following required information to the address or email listed below:
- Full name, university/continuing education program
- A one-paragraph description of your piece, film, or performance
- Drawings, collages, or other visual references and support material
Please read the attached materials list that outlines museum restrictions and limitations on mediums of art.

ATTENTION: Public Programs at the de Young Museum
Re: Student Showcase Proposal
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
Or by e-mail:

Required Mandatory Orientation: All artists/performers who are notified of inclusion in the exhibit are required to attend an orientation in order to participate in the Showcase.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

dyInterpretations iPhone App - Available 2.11.11 (9am-9pm PST) on iTunes

dYInterpretations: A Journey through the de Young with Filmmaker-in-Residence Lise Swenson

The iPhone app dYinterpretations is a journey through our museum space, its collection, and its history as seen through the perspectives of various artists who have been invited to enter and interpret the site. Lise Swenson, the de Young’s filmmaker-in-residence, uses her camera and her understanding of and relationship to the museum to guide the visitor on an inquiry that is lyrical, content-rich, and multilayered.

The App will be available free in the iTunes App Store on February 11 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (PST). After this preview, the App will be available for $2.99 on March 1st.

*We really encourage everyone to download the app before coming to the museum. Time for download varies depending on WiFi network.*

This is by far the largest and longest project that I have been lucky enough to be a part of it's entirety. I am extremely proud of Lise Swenson for her perseverance, Spotlight Mobile,Inc. for their brilliant software development, and the leaders of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Education/Public Programs department that had the vision to put artist's process at the forefront of our museums.

I would love any kind of feedback in your experience of the app. It could either be enjoyed at the museum and for those across the world, this will give you a beautiful experience of the museum that you may never be able to visit in person.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Radiant Child: Jean-Michel Basquiat

I think I have hesitated learning more about Jean-Michel Basquiat. I have a bias towards Keith Haring. His art is at the heart of everything I do. I was competitive in my art love. I get defensive of Haring's work because both of them were in the same crowd. They did have a healthy competition and both looked to Warhol for much needed guidance. I realized after watching "The Radiant Child," that Jean-Michel was troubled in a different way than Keith had been. They were both unique, full of life and both taken from us too soon.

Jean-Michel had a keen eye for the complexity of our culture. His need for approval as a person of color and the love of his father seemed like a daily struggle for him. Also, the need to express his anger, resentment, and individuality seemed like an addiction (as it is for most artists). This documentary opened the world of Basquiat to me. I am grateful that I can now learn more about him and his quest to be famous, to articulate his struggles and his amazing skills. I don't know if I would have been able to key into this group of amazing artists in the early 80s in NYC. I imagine myself as one of their assistants and what it would have been like to observe this genius. For me, I usually look towards the past for inspiration. Basquiat had perfected seeking inspiration from his mind, pushing the mind to new limits in the present. What a gift to the world his art will continue to be for those who struggle with the challenges of life. His art makes me grateful that I have been able to realize a dream of sharing him with others. All artists live on in their work.

Monday, October 11, 2010

WTA: Why the Attitude? Please, don't miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

It seems as if articles are being posted every week of stories of unsuccessful, doubting 20-somethings all stuck in "fun-employment." There is a severe lack of decision-making capability in my peers and what I believe, pure laziness. Watch out! I might have just called out our own laziness.

Constantly, these sentiments make me sick to my stomach. More than ever before, my generation has had the opportunity to travel the world with amazing ease. I know far more 20-somethings that have traveled and had some crazy, "life-changing" trip that they brag about. We have spent thousands of dollars on travel and used millions of gallons of oil to get us there. What was so "life-changing" when we traveled? I rarely talk about my travel because of the fear of sounding too privileged, but then I realized, I am a white privileged young person!

In my travels, I think I was given a gift, a large dose of humility and a new perception that the world was not created to be raped and pillaged for my country's benefit. This gift was the hope I saw in these other people's reality. It was the manifestation of hope. We need more examples of this philosophical idea that people have so easily thrown around after Barack Obama's successful Presidential campaign. Do we really want nihilism to take over in this country? I do not believe that will benefit the American society or world.

I am not ignoring the statistics or the reality of this country's unemployment. It is terrible. While I was gainfully un-employeed, working a part-time job to make scraps, defaulting on student loans and asking my parents for money; I was miserable. I will admit that it absolutely sucks and I was hungry at times. I can't necessarily afford to eat enough, yet I still do triathlons. I guess that makes me a member of the privileged poor.

But, I have had a choice. That is what makes my peers and I different than the actual poor who I believe suffer most in our society. They are the forgotten. We have an opportunity of a lifetime to change our attitude. I could have continued to dwell on my belief that my country has turned on me or find out what I loved and go do it. Howard Thurman once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

I have chosen to seek out four un-paid internships, while working a full-time retail job, and I started my own blog. I have found interests and committed to them for now. Find what brings you alive in this time of perceived lifelessness. We are not of the assembly-line age, but we are of the technological revolution. We have new opportunities and we have a new space to do something good for our country and world. It doesn't mean we won't have to work as hard as those assembly line workers. We may just have to think a bit harder to see where solutions are hiding.

This positive attitude is not bullshit. It is not special or for the "chosen." It is something you must choose. We must do this together. I will not apologize for our generation, not yet. We are still young and were fed a myth. Don't miss this opportunity. Throw it up and eat something new (just make sure it is organic).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Independent Arts and Media Expo 2011

I will be on two panels for the 2011 Independent Arts and Media Expo this coming Saturday, September 25.

Check it out if you are in the neighborhood...

Sept. 25, at the Expo, 11:45am-12:45pm
Social Networking
CELLspace, 2050 Bryant St. x 18th St., SF
Powerful new tools for online community building and promotions have emerged in the last ten years. Now social networking is changing how we talk to each other and work together. How can you harness social networking for your art?

* Emily Goligoski (, @emgollie,
* Therese Davis ("Networking, In Person and Virtually"; Songbird Festival Founder)
* Kwan Booth, Oakland Local, Legba Digital
* Johnny Funcheap, founder, FunCheapSF
* Gregory Stock, arts promoter

Two panels will be located at SPORTS BASEMENT!

Sept. 25, Sports Basement, 1590 Bryant St, 2:30-3:30 pm
Community collaboration and project documentation
* Wendy Testu, Project Director, Welcome to the NeighborHOOD
* Lise Swenson, filmmaker
* La Constance Shahid, Project Coordinator, Welcome to the NeighborHOOD

Sept. 25, Sports Basement, 1590 Bryant St. St., SF, 3:45-4:45pm
Online Fundraising

* Michael Stoll (SF Public Press,
* Lisa Lee (Publisher, Hyphen Magazine,
* David Hunt, co-founder, Circus Bella
* Irene Kao, Hyphen Magazine