Curating

“East on West” opened March 1, 2019 at the office of Senator Scott Wiener in the State of California Building.  It showcased twenty-six San Francisco Bay Area artists who identify themselves as part of the Asian diaspora.  The artwork displayed at “East on West” reflected how artists of Asian origin from the Far East, Southeast Asia, South Asia, or the Pacific Islands contribute to enrich the arts and cultural diversity on the West coast.

The artists included Martin Hsu, Anita Yan Wong, Junjun Li, Cindy Jian, Stella Zhang, Yao-pi Hsu, Cuong Ta, Nga Trinh, Cynthia e Tom, Salma Arastu, Rachel Maryam Smith, Xunzhi Sun, Usha Shukla, Kay Kang, Sophia Lee, He Yuanming, Jamie Cristal Joaquin, Athena Kim, Xiang Gao, Phillip Hua, Tsungwei Moo, Di Meng, Alice Wu, Anoushka Mirchandani, Olivia Ting, Kenshi Westover, and Cathy Lu.

 


“Advanced” was an exhibit of San Francisco Bay Area artists at the office of Senator Scott Wiener in the State of California Building that opened December 14th, 2019. The exhibit featured the artwork of 28 artists who are advanced in their careers. The work presented includes painting, photography, textiles, sculpture, prints, and mixed media.

Participating artists included Alan Mazzetti, Ali Saif, Ann Phelan, Carolyn Crampton, Denise Laws, DK Haas, George-Ann Bowers, John Wood, Joseph Abbati, Judith Selby Lang, M. Kathryn Thompson, Marius Starkey, Michael Beckler, Miriam Owen, Mitch Nelles, Peter Keresztury, Reenie Charriere, Richard Lang, Roz Ritter, Rusty Weston, Sharon Wickham, Sofia Carmi, Stephen Santamaria, Steve Condiotti, Susan R. Kirshenbaum, Tisha Kenny, Wendell Shinn, Rusty Weston, and William Salit.

 

 

The “eARTh” exhibit I curated for the office of Senator Scott Wiener had its opening reception September 16th in the California State Office Building in conjunction with the Global Climate Action Summit.  Twenty-five artists participated by bringing work that reflected their concerns, reflections, and reactions about global warming.

 

 

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The theme for this 2018’s Pride exhibit at the office of Senator Scott Wiener I curated was “Queerky”.  The expression of the LGBTQ community is often coded with references only experienced in a queer narrative.   The artwork consists of a diverse group of  twenty-two artists from the San Francisco Bay Area including Austin Boe, Jordan Joel Pennock, Oscar Gallegos Zamora, Jeffrey Braverman, Dawn Rudd, Kevin Lewis, Charly Brown, Christopher Tandy , Jeffrey Horvitz, Terry Furry, Brett Kaufman, Karl Fjelstrom, Bruce Beaudette, Ajuan Mance, Joseph Abbati, David Spiher, Chad Berwald, Gareth Gooch, Shanon Okay, Nick Aitken, Akeem Pina, and Kenshi Westover.

The artwork of the exhibit was divided into several sectors.  The reception room included artwork reflecting icons of the LGBTQ community such as Harvey Milk and Gertrude Stein.  The open conference area was devoted to painting, installations, and a corner of photographic portraits.  One room focused on a mix of drawing and painted pieces and another on photographic based artwork.

 

 

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“Nite Life” was an exhibit of twenty-five San Francisco Bay Area artists exploring nocturnal life at the office of Senator Scott Wiener.  The artists are a diverse group in both their backgrounds and styles of expression.  They include Joseph Abbati, Nick Aitken, Tim Armstrong, Chad Berwald, Nancy Calef, Dyanna Dimick, Billy Douglas, Suzanne Engelberg, ENTROPY, Nathalie Fabri, Scott Fin, Catherine Gutierrez, Diane Heron, OLE Johnson, Judy Joy Jones, Athena Kim, Rikki List, Chloe Meyer, Stephanie Peek, Myke Reilly, Wendell Shinn, Torrey Spoerer, Deirdre Weinberg, Susan West, and Jeffrey Yip.

The reception was held on Friday, April 13, 2018 in the office of Senator Wiener at 455 Golden Gate Ave., Suite 14800 from 5:00-7:30pm.

The exhibit runs in conjunction with a bill Senator Wiener has introduced, SB 905, which will allow (but not require) cities to extend sales of alcohol at bars, nightclubs, and restaurants (but not liquor stores) to as late as 4 a.m. Nightlife is central to the culture and economy of many of our cities, and they should be empowered to choose to extend alcohol sales hours if they choose. This bill offers a nuanced and responsible approach to give cities local control to make this determination.

– Joseph Abbati, Curator, jabbati@mac.com

Some of the work that was part of the “Nite Life” exhibit:

 

 

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Housing has become a heated topic in the San Francisco Bay Area.  What once was an affordable place for bohemians, artists and free spirits who wanted to live here has become a place for those privileged enough to afford it.  It has effected long time residents as well as new residents.  At the core of this it is about what we call home. 

After discussing with Senator Wiener’s office about the key issues he is working on, housing came up as major piece of legislation he is writing to help address this issue. I then put out a call to artists in the Bay Area to address this for this exhibit.  I wanted to hear and see how artists are representing this, from a personal level or a broader level. Senator Wiener is the author SB 35 which will help California create more housing at all income levels. To learn more about Senator Wiener and his work, please visit http://sd11.senate.ca.gov/

Eighteen artists have contributed to the exhibit.  This is a diverse group of artists in age, country of origin, race, sexual orientation, and styles of expression.  They include Joseph Abbati, Chad Berwald, Julie Blankenship, Jasmin Cañas, Entrophy, Joan Karissa Gallego, Alexander Hernandez, OLE Johnson, Kevin B Jones, Diana Krevsky, Rikki List, Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh, Genevieve Pflueger, Ari Salomon, Shannon D. Schmidt, Debra Walker, Deidre Weinberg, and Termeh Yeghiazarian.

There was a reception held on Friday, October 13, 2017 in the office of Senator Wiener at 455 Golden Gate Ave., Suite 14800 from 5:00-7:30pm. 

– Joseph Abbati, Curator, jabbati@mac.com

Some of the work that was part of the “Housing” exhibit: