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Artist conversation between Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo & David Wilson

Wednesday, June 23, 6 pm PT
In Person & Online

Join us for an intimate artist conversation between David Wilson and Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo on Wednesday, June 23 at 6pm. Drop by in person, or tune in on Instagram Live @500cappstreet. David Wilson is the resident artist of The David Ireland House while artist Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo is the curator of Southern Exposure’s current exhibition, We use our hands to support. They have previously collaborated with one another and now find themselves in the same neighborhood doing collective exhibition work. Join the artists as they check in on each other, share stories and, exchange experiences of their work processes in an intimate one-on-one dialog.

This program will take place outdoors on The David Ireland House terrace. Free and open to the public.

Doors: 5:30 pm PT
Program: 6:00 pm PT

Links to the shows:
We use our hands to support, Curated by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo at Southern Exposure @southernexposuresf

Sittings, David Wilson exhibition after 4 months of residency at The David Ireland House @500cappstreet

About the artists:

Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo is an artist, activist, educator, storyteller & curator who lives/works between Ohlone Land [Oakland, CA] and Powhatan Land [Richmond,VA]. Their work has been included in exhibitions and performances at Konsthall C [Stockholm, Sweden], SEPTEMBER Gallery [Hudson, NY], EFA Project Space [New York City, NY], Leslie Lohman Museum [New York City, NY], San Francisco State University Gallery, Signal Center for Contemporary Art [Malmo, Sweden], Yerba Buena Center for the Arts [San Francisco, CA] and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive [Berkeley, CA], amongst others. For the past 5 years, Lukaza has been the Lead Curator at Nook Gallery [Oakland, CA], collaborating with over 80+ artists, writers, performers & musicians, in a gallery located in their apartment kitchen. They are currently enrolled in an MFA program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.


David Wilson creates observational drawings based on direct experiences with landscape and orchestrates site-based gatherings that draw together a wide net of artists, performers, filmmakers, chefs, and artisans into collaborative relationships. He organized the experimental exhibition The Possible at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) and received the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) 2012 SECA Art Award. He has exhibited his work with SFMOMA, was included in the 2010 CA Biennial, and presented a Matrix solo exhibition at BAMPFA. Wilson has received grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation, Southern Exposure, The Center for Craft and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. He is based in Oakland, CA.


Domestic Affairs: Protocols For Living Together

On May 18th, 2022, join us for a conversation on the protocols used to organize and catalyze collective living projects. Protocols encapsulate the often invisible forces that underlie collective living projects—from land acquisition and tenure models, to economics and resource allocation—these protocols form the critical foundations for commoning practices. During this conversation, voices from residents in collective living communities will be joined by Zarinah Agnew from District Commons, Sunny Angulo from the City of San Francisco, Saki Bailey from the San Francisco Community Land Trust, and Kate Conner from San Francisco Planning. This event is supported by the CCA Architecture Division and organized by The Urban Works Agency, and is presented in association with the House of Commons exhibition at The David Ireland House that is on view through May 31. 

Please note that this event will be taking place outside on the terrace. Doors open at 6pm, program begins at 6:30pm. 

Reserve your spot here : https://www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/MTUwMDU2

Remembering Constance Lewallen (1939-2022)

*Constance Lewallen with (from left) Trustee David Wilson, Advisor Rico Duenas, and longtime friend and supporter Jim Melchert during a fundraiser dinner organized by Board Chair and Founding Trustee Jock Reynolds, September 2021

The David Ireland House warmly remembers Constance Lewallen (1939-2022). She was a champion of conceptual art and was an advisor, mentor, and friend to so many. As a prolific curator in the Bay Area Art scene and master collaborator, Connie wrote about and produced over 100 exhibitions, including the works of David Ireland, Jay DeFeo, Bruce Nauman, Larry Sultan, and Dewey Crumpler. She authored 500 Capp Street: David Ireland’s House, published by UC Press in 2015. Connie served as our Interim Executive Director in 2018, leading the organization through a transitional period of growth, and has sat in the formal role of an advisor to the organization since then.

Connie’s most recent work includes Editor-at-Large for The Brooklyn Rail. A few of her groundbreaking curatorial works include the 1980 chronology for SFMOMA, Space, Time, Sound: Conceptual Art in the S.F. Bay Area, the 1970’s; her essay, “Metaphor, Matter, Canvas, Stage: Conceptual Art, 1968-1995” from the de Young Museum’s Facing Eden exhibition; and the 2011 BAMPFA exhibition, State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970.

As a beloved member of our community, Connie will be deeply missed. Our condolences are with her daughter Nina, son Jonathan, and close friends at this time.

Artists in Conversation: Amy Berk and Georgia Horgan.

The week starting March 28th saw the inaugural Spring Break Intensive for youth aged 13-18 at the David Ireland House. In this interview, participating artist Georgia Horgan talks to SFAI City Studio Director Amy Berk about why 500 Capp Street is such a rich resource for youth and artists alike.

Amy Berk pictured here with teens in the dining room of the house. Image courtesy of Christian Casillas.

Georgia Horgan: From your perspective as an educator, why do a program aimed at teenagers at the David Ireland House?

Amy Berk: Thank you for that question Georgia!

GH: It’s big isn’t it…

AB: It is a big question, but it’s one I feel really passionate about. When I walked into that house for the first time I thought it was magical; it offers a counterpoint to the rigidity that many teens and tweens experience at school or in day-to-day life. They often exist in environments where there is a right answer or a wrong answer. There’s no answer in the house. It’s extraordinary in its ordinariness and that’s why it offers a portal to really think about what art can be.

GH: And I think this offers a path to question everything, right?

AB: Absolutely. It opens up a path to criticality in general, giving them the tools to question the status quo. It’s not necessarily about art-making, it’s about thinking differently. And that’s my whole ethos with City Studio. I’m not out to make artists. I want thinkers.

GH: I completely agree. My own practice is based on how we know things, how we learn, the methods through which this is achieved, and how, in turn, this impacts society. Art offers new approaches to these questions; from its very foundation in language to how we interpret popular culture or apply teaching methods. I think the house is an amazing resource to prompt these questions. This leads me to ask: why do you think David Ireland offers this gateway versus any of his contemporaries in the Conceptual art movement?

AB: I think it’s the house itself. It’s a really intimate space, a space that everyone can connect to. Everybody has a home, or we hope so, at least. This extraordinary ordinariness makes the house very approachable. A lot of Conceptual art is pretty austere whereas, David Ireland’s work has a warmth. Even literally speaking, the golden color of the walls has warmth in a way that embraces you rather than pushes you away. There is often something tomb-like about the environment other Conceptual practices are shown in; the David Ireland House is almost womb-like.

GH: Right! I think that’s a really interesting observation. Many of the artworks from this era are presented in institutional settings on epic scales. They’re edifices, whereas the domesticity of David Ireland is part of what makes his work so approachable. I think this is the case from multiple perspectives. From my own observation of youth education projects, there tends to be a bit of a pervasive attitude that only certain types of art practice lend themselves to education programs. I think we’ve established that David Ireland’s practice indeed does, but it’s so multilayered that there are many ways to enter the work. I think this creates a nice opportunity for artists that maybe aren’t such obvious choices for youth projects to come in and do something, using David Ireland’s work as a lens.

AB: I love that! And I know that the David Ireland team has worked really hard to facilitate that. David Ireland is very multifaceted, so you can access his work in a lot of different ways, be it through different media, perspectives, or capacities. It’s a challenge for artists and educators to create workshops that represent their work and David Ireland’s, kind of honoring him rather than copying him. I think that’s when teens can see that they’re being given the agency to form their own interpretations, as opposed to being told what’s right or wrong.

GH: Right, and ultimately, I think this further exposes them to different ways of making art, to different ways of thinking, encouraging this criticality that we already identified as key. 

AB: Exactly. It’s empowering them to think differently.

GH: Before we wrap up, anything else you’d like to add?

AB: Yes – it was really great to see institutional support, not just from the David Ireland House, but from the new partner Park and Rec. It’s a pretty out-there collaboration from a city department, so it’s amazing to have them on board. It bodes well for the future of San Francisco, at least in regards to art education.

Image courtesy of Stephanie Dolores Rose

Amy Berk is an artist and educator based in San Francisco. She is the Director of City Studio, SFAI’s program to engage underserved youth in their own neighborhoods through art classes that are both rigorous and joyous.

Georgia Horgan is a British artist based in Mexico City. She makes videos, textiles, and texts that explore feminist methods of writing history.

Announcement: Our Latest Resident Artists

Megan Lowe and Johnny Huy Nguyen

The David Ireland House is proud to announce Megan Lowe and Johnny Huy Nguyen as the recipients of the 2022 Artist Residency Program focused on the performing arts. The duo’s residency begins this month and will culminate in June with site-specific performances at The David Ireland House and collaborative partner Minnesota Street Project. Expanding the potential of their new collaboration, the duo will explore the intersection of dance, sculpture, and performance as they investigate the meaning of home. 

After receiving more than 60 applications for its 2022 Artist Residency Program focused on the performing arts, The David Ireland House at 500 Capp Street is pleased to announce the selection of Bay Area dancers Megan Lowe and Johnny Huy Nguyen. ​​The duo’s 10-week residency begins this month and will culminate in June with site-specific performances at 500 Capp Street and collaborative partner Minnesota Street Project. Expanding the potential of their new collaboration, the duo will explore the intersection of dance, sculpture, and performance as they investigate the meaning of home.

Jurors for the selection process included Aay Preston-Myint, Program Manager at Headlands Center for the Arts; Julie E. Phelps, Artistic & Executive Director of CounterPulse; and María Elena González, Sculpture and Ceramic Department Chair at the San Francisco Art Institute. 

The decision to focus the 2022 Artist Residency Program on the performing arts was inspired by a January 2021 report from the NEA that stated, “…although the COVID-19 has impacted the entire arts sector, nowhere has the effect been more direct, deep, and immediate than on the performing arts.” 

“In light of the pandemic’s ongoing impact on this sector of the arts community, we felt it was essential to invite performance artists and collectives in the Bay Area to apply for the 2022 Artist Residency Program, and it was clear in the applications we received that so many Bay Area performers had faced enormous challenges over the last two years,” says Lian Ladia, Curator, Exhibitions and Programs, The David Ireland House. “David Ireland himself collaborated with dance groups including Douglas Dunn + Dancers, and the House’s archive includes costumes, props, and drawings of these collaborations. There is a rich history of performance here, and we are thrilled to add a new chapter to that history while providing needed support to two exceptional Bay Area artists.”

The residency marks a developing collaboration for Lowe and Nguyen. The two artists share a deep interest in immersive, sculptural, site-specific work and were inspired by The David Ireland House’s residency open call to investigate and heal the concept of home together. 

“In our lived experiences, both of us have had complicated relationships with home, growing up in unstable family structures shaped by trauma; Megan as a biracial Chinese American and Johnny as a child of Vietnamese refugees,” they write. “The physical features of a house—a living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and the objects contained within—they each serve practical functions, but additionally hold emotional weight for the bodies interacting with them. This acknowledgement of what is stored in our bodies and the desire for transformation is the driving force behind this work, as we both see movement as an expression of possibility. In interacting with the physicality of The David Ireland House through contact partnering, we hope to unlock new possibilities within the architecture to inspire embodied reflections on home and how we can define it for ourselves.”

The residency provides the artists 20 hours of studio time per week inside the House, access to the David Ireland archive and study center, an honorarium, and production funding. 

Details about performances and associated programming at The David Ireland House and Minnesota Street Project will be posted as they develop at 500cappstreet.org.

About the Artists

Megan Lowe is a fierce female dancer, choreographer, performer, singer-songwriter, filmmaker, teacher, and administrator of Chinese and Irish descent, creating dance art in the SF Bay Area. With an affinity for dynamic places and partners, her creations through Megan Lowe Dances tackle unusual physical situations and invent compelling solutions, opening up the imagination to what is possible. Megan has performed with Flyaway Productions, Lenora Lee Dance, Dance Brigade, Scott Wells & Dancers, Lizz Roman & Dancers, Epiphany Productions, and more. She teaches for Joe Goode Performance Group, Bandaloop, Flyaway, for contact improvisation gatherings, and for her alma mater Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley, where she currently works as the Office Manager. Megan’s artistic process thrives off of collaboration, prioritizing creating relationships of respect, generosity, and gratitude. This culture of magnanimity is infused in the dance classes Megan teaches all over the Bay Area, for organizations, schools, universities, and dance festivals, serving movers of all different ages, experience levels, body types, races, cultures, and socio-economic status—building community, connection, and understanding.  

Johnny Huy Nguyen is a first generation Vietnamese American multidisciplinary somatic artist based in San Francisco. Fluent in multiple movement modalities including myriad street dance styles, contemporary, modern and martial arts, Nguyen weaves together dance, theater, spoken word, ritual, installation, and performance art to create immersive, time-based works unraveling the complex intersections of identity through the personal and the political. In addition to his work as an individual artist, he has appeared in the works of Lenora Lee Dance Company, KULARTS, Embodiment Project, the Global Street Dance Masquerade, and James Graham Dance Theater. He has performed in the Bay Area, Oregon, Boston, and New York City and his work has been presented by the Asian Art Museum, the Chinese Historical Society of America, and SOMArts. His most recent full-length work, Minority Without A Model, premiered in 2021 as part of the 24th United States of Asian America Festival.

Spring Intensive for Teens

March 28 – April 1, 1PM – 4PM; Cost: Free

The David Ireland House will be hosting our annual Spring Intensive for teenagers 13-18 years old at the end of this month. The week-long event will give participants an introduction to conceptual art practices and the opportunity to create collaborative pieces with our resident artists. Participants will be creating works at the nearby Mission Arts Center led by artist and educator Amy Berk of City Studio. Participating artists include Hannah Yost, Megan Lowe, Michael Zheng and Rico Duenas. Registration begins on March 5, 2022

Marcel Pardo Ariza’s Orquídea/Orchid

Grant provided by the Kenneth Rainin Open Spaces Program

We’re proud to announce The David Ireland House and visual artist Marcel Prado Ariza (they/them) are the recipients of a grant from The Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s Open Spaces Program. The David Ireland House will be supporting Ariza’s work Orquídea/Orchid through their engagement with the history and activities of the trans-community here in San Francisco’s Mission District in collaboration with translatina advocacy group El/La Para Translatinas

The David Ireland House will become an inviting and inclusive space for the trans community to gather intergenerational stories, visual image making and ephemera that are focused on trans joy and artistic resilience.

The Open Spaces Program by The Kenneth Rainin Foundation supports public art projects in their early development or production phase. Grants support nonprofits to partner with artists to create temporary, place-based public art projects that reflect and engage the diverse communities of San Francisco and Oakland.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Marcel Pardo Ariza (b. Bogotá, Colombia) is a trans, nonbinary visual artist, curator, and cultural worker whose work explores the relationship of representation, intergenerational kinship, and queerness through constructed photographs and site-specific installations. Through staging and collaboration, Ariza deploys sets as a site of possibility for (re)building a story and materializing alternative and attainable present and future narratives. Ariza enjoys playing with the arbitrary rigidity that is often present in the photographic medium and the work is invested in creating long-term interdisciplinary collaborations and opportunities that are nonhierarchical and equitable.