Art, Cultural Resistance &amp; Transformation
By Christine Joy Ferrer
Blanca Gotchez Melara remembers it well. The potent fragrance of basil, black melons and geraniums adorning Nativity dioramas in her hometown of Santa Ana, El Salvador.
The Nacimientos or Nativities were never just Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus but a more elaborate arrangement of clay, wax, wood, metal, fabric, and beads depicting the Christ birth. The main focus was the replication of a whole town with three-dimensional illustrations from one’s daily life in a variety of scales, symbolizing one’s connection to one’s environment relative to the Nativity. The dioramas could include, among the biblical scenes, figurines of women making tortillas, farmers milk
By Cat Brooks
My entire life has been dedicated to art and activism. As a racially-mixed child from a broken home full of various substances—I could have ended up anywhere. But in 4th grade, fate landed me in the classroom of Ms. Barbara Gerhardt. I was angry. I was troubled. I was a disturbance in the classroom. Rather than throw me away—as happens to so many Black and Brown young people in our schools—Ms. Gerhardt found a way to channel all of that misdirected energy into something else. She directed me toward a local theater conservatory. My course was set.
By Kheven Lagrone and Jarrel Phillips
We are the San Francisco no one talks about
Today, a native Black San Franciscan often hears, “An African American born in San Francisco? I’ve never met one before. You must be one of the few.”
For many of us, the questions conjure up feelings of marginalization and confront us with the reality of losing our homes. Just what does it mean to be a native San Franciscan? In response to this challenge we are creating two public art exhibitions on the theme I Am San Francisco. The first, curated by Kheven LaGrone, is subtitled (Re)Collecting the Home of Native Black San Franciscans, the second, by Jarrel Phillips, is Black Past and Presence.
Part 2. I AM SAN FRANCISCO: Black Past and Presence
City College of San Francisco—Rosenberg Library
April 16 - November 3, 2016
Part of Our San Francisco Spring 2016 Library Exhibitions
3rd & 4th Floors #IAMSF #IAMSANFRANCISCO
I AM SAN FRANCISCO: Black Past and Presence will be shown in the 3rd and 4th floor atrium galleries of the Rosenberg Library of the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) at 50 Phelan Avenue from April 16 to November 3, 2016.
Created and curated by Jarrel Phillips, the exhibit explores how black life presents itself through culture, art and organization, both historically and currently, using visual art, commentary and personal reflections from city residents and community leaders. It features art from the Three Point Nine Collective, an association of black artists, curators, and art writers based in San Francisco whose members include Phillips and Sidney “Sage” Cain.
Part 1. I Am San Francisco:
(Re)Collecting the Home of Native Black San Franciscans
African American Center at the San Francisco Main Library
December 12, 2015 to March 10, 2016.
By Alicia Garza