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Pete’s Café - SFAI In The 90’s
In the 90s, many SFAI students worked for and exhibited artwork at Pete’s Café, which was situated on the roof of SFAI’s Chestnut Street Campus. On view January 10 through February 16, The Great Highway Gallery presents a group exhibition featuring several SFAI-affiliated artists, including John Lindsey, Dave Arnn, Daric Cheshire, Colin Chillag, Wren Coe, Diana Coopersmith, Adrienne Eberhardt, Connie Goldman, Jeremy Harper, Gerald Hawk, Cliff Hengst, Scott Hewicker, Johanna Jackson, Xylor Jane, Patricia Kavanaugh, Yasmin Lambie-Simpson, Mario Lemos, Ted Lincoln, Lydia Linker, Linton, Jennifer Locke, Sally Lundburg, Mads Lynnerup, Spencer Mack, J Matt, Alicia McCarthy, Barry McGee, Palmerin Merges, Karla Milosevich, Ruby Neri, Eamon Ore-Giron, Maurizzio Hector Pineda, Will Rogan, Cynthia Rojas, Rocio Santillana, Christian Spruell, Steven Starfas, Keith Tallett, Rafael Vieira, Benji Whalen, Mark Wilson, and more!

Lighting the Council Fire: Paintings of Suiko Betsy McCall (MFA 2009)
On view through January 30 at San Francisco’s Zen Center, Suikos writes about Lighting the Council Fire: “Whether with a pencil or paint, these works on paper explore the interaction between a structure set up by an evolving, repeating system and the unpredictable chaos of the spill, smudge, or breath-initiated brushstroke. By engaging the repetitive rhythms of practice, my work also aims to reshape my life as an Artmonk.”

Image: April Martin, cali fantazies. © April Martin

Cali Fantazies – April Martin (MFA 2019)
Cali Fantazies is a multimedia art installation on view at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) through March 3, 2020. On February 13, April Martin is curating a special event, Cali Fantazies: Righteous Ratchet Joy, where performers from the legendary underground black queer party “Cali Fantazies” will be performing at MoAD. Come witness the magic, allure, and stunts of performers in a not to be missed experience. This event will be a space where queer Black folks can enjoy the many talents of BADASS Black Women. We will shout with joy and make it shower with flowers as beautiful black women pole twerk and booty bounce in a celebration of Black Women. We welcome you to immerse yourself in MoAD’s latest exhibition, groove to the electrifying sounds of DJ Lady Ryan and laugh out loud at hilarious host Ms. Bleu Sugar from Coochieliscious Entertainment as she narrates the mesmerizing performances by Cali Fantazie’s dancers.

This event will be honoring the legacy of queer black club life and the closure Bench and Bar and Club 21, the last remaining black and brown queer clubs in Oakland.

Mind / Body / Spirit / Land – Susanne Siminger (MFA 1987)
Please join Susanne for the artist reception on Friday, January 17 at the Gail Van Dyke Gallery in the MarinHealth Medical Center in Greenbrae for the opening of Mind / Body / Spirit / Land: Oils and Water Colors inspired by Our Beautiful Land.

Panel Discussion: Re-Imagining Equity in the Art World 2020, with Katherine Vetne (MFA 2015)
On January 18, Katherine Vetne joins local artists Erica Deeman and Indira Allegra, as well as curators Heidi Rabben and James Voorhies to discuss their art practices, concerns and challenges, and where the equity movement might lead in the coming years. This panel is organized by ArtTable, which is celebrating 40 years of women's advocacy and professional development. Katherine will also have work on view at the Catherine Clark Gallery booth at Untitled San Francisco, July 17–19, 2020.


Image: Michael Jang, Ramones Free Concert, Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco, 1979, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist. © Michael Jang

In Conversation: Michael Jang (MFA 1977), Sandra S. Phillips, and Nion McEvoy
For the closing of Michael Jang’s California, photographer Michael Jang and curator Sandra S. Phillips are joined by Nion McEvoy for a wide-ranging conversation about the resonances of place, person, and time in Jang’s work. This first retrospective exhibition presents a rare, immersive journey through Jang’s career, from the 1970s to the present, and is curated by Phillips, SFMOMA curator emerita of photography and Jang’s longtime collaborator.

Fresh Focus – Jordan Holms (MFA 2019)
Join Jordan Holms on Wednesday, January 14, at 4pm for a meet and greet for Fresh Focus, an exhibition featuring small-size artworks by recent and current MFA artists of the Bay Area.

Spiders from Mars – Ben Venom (MFA 2007)
Please join alum, Ben Venom for the opening reception for Spiders from Mars on January 15 at St. Joseph’s Art Society. On view January 17 – February 15, 2020.

Forbidden Illusions – Whitney Lynn (MFA 2007)
Whitney Lynn invites you to "forbidden knowledge", anaglyph collages created while an Artist-in-Residence at LightSource SF. On view through February 1, 2020.

Displaced - Spencer Keeton Cunnigham (BFA 2010)
Please join Spencer for the closing reception of Displaced at 6pm on February 9 at The Midway Gallery. He is consistently working on new ideas for art whether that is in the form of paintings, drawings, murals and installations that dive deep into topics relating to his personal relationship on Native American rights, cultural representation, social change and activsm. Spencer’s artwork has been on broadcast television, in motion pictures and exhibited throughout the U.S. and beyond. His art can currently be found on display in the Permanent Collection of the Berkeley Art museum, The Crocker Museum in Sacramento and in print form in the permanent book collection at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. Cunningham was also recently inducted into the World Congress of Art History in Bejing China by Art Historian Elaine O'Brien.


Video: A preview of Spencer Keeton Cunningham’s solo exhibition, Displaced, The Midway Gallery, San Francisco. Courtesy the artist.

“Rackets” and “Laminates” – Richard Goldberg (MFA 1987)
Opening February 1 at 1pm at Far Out Gallery, this show will feature selections from two recent groups of work: “Rackets” and “laminates”.

The “Rackets” are an ongoing group of wall mounted, mixed media sculptural works. Theses sculptures are made with a variety of found objects and materials which take on new identities and meanings as they are synthesized into a single artwork of rhyming shapes, forms and imagery. Each “Racket” work has its own engaging identity, and story to tell.

Shown alongside of the “Rackets” will be collages that are called “Laminates” These works are 2 dimensional, irregular shaped collages of images, symbols, photographs and other visual material. These shaped collages are then laminated and cut out, to become a kind of flat sculpture with shapes and voids around the perimeter of each collage but also within and throughout the entire composition. They are floated in a shadow box frame which brings out their 3 dimensionality. The “Laminates” were a product of an evolution of ideas and impulses that lead the artist to move on to the more robust 3 dimensionality of the “Rackets”.

Mike Henderson: The Black Paintings + David Simpson: Interference
On view through March 28, 2020 at Haines Gallery

  • Mike Henderson: The Black Paintings (MFA 1970): Showcasing a body of related works made primarily in the 1990s by recent Artadia Award winner Mike Henderson, the paintings included in this exhibition feature a rich palette of lush blacks, steel grays, and ultramarine blues. Set against the darkness, small shapes of bright blues, yellows, and reds flicker like jewels. Henderson’s experimental films from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s will be shown in dialogue with the paintings. Politically charged and wickedly funny, these remarkable shorts have been screened at museums and festivals around the world.

    In addition to the exhibition, The Mike Henderson Band will be performing on January 17 as part of UNTITLED, ART San Francisco. Click here for tickets and more information!


  • David Simpson: Interference (BFA 1956): Acclaimed Bay Area painter David Simpson’s exhibition takes its title from his use of “interference” pigments, which shift in color with changes in light and the viewer’s perspective. Each canvas on view is the result of up to thirty coats of paint, meticulously layered to create a deep, lustrous surface. Now in his 90s, Simpson continues to delight with works of remarkable dynamism, evoking the movement of clouds, or the play of light across water, ultimately offering viewers a powerful space of contemplation.

Shaw & Co. - Richard Shaw (BFA 1965, Martha Shaw (BFA 1966), Alice Shaw (MFA 1999), Virgil Shaw & Friends
(Extended through January 31, 2020!) Gallery 16’s exhibition “Shaw & Co.” presents a collection of work by members of the Richard and Martha Shaw Family, plus a plethora of SFAI-affiliated artists—faculty and alums—including Richard Shaw, Martha Shaw, Alice Shaw, Rebeca Bollinger, Mike Henderson, Don Ed Hardy, Bob Hudson, Sahar Khoury, Alicia McCarthy, Jim Melchert, Ruby Neri, Cornelia Schulz, Wanxin Zhang, and more!

BoundarySpan – Aaron Wilder (MFA 2017)
A group exhibition curated by Aaron Wilder and featuring the work of alums Michael Arcega (BFA 1999), Jimin Lee (MFA 1997), Paula Levine (MFA 1988), Sherwin Rio (MA 2019), and Desiree Rios (MFA 2017), BoundarySpam reopens on January 27 at the Nathalie and James Thompson Art Gallery at San José State University and will continue through February 21.

Wikipedia:Meetup/San Francisco/Black History Month Wiki-a-thon at Prelinger Library – Niki Korth (MFA 2012) Niki Korth invites you to an afternoon of exploring, discussing, researching, writing, and working together to help improve Wikipedia articles. Attendees are welcome to work on whatever they like and are inspired to from the Library's holdings. For those interested, they will have a concerted focus on working toward closing the diversity gap of coverage on Wikipedia of notable persons of African descent and their achievements and related movements, organizations, events, ideas, projects, and more. Prelinger Library founders Megan and Rick will be present to help attendees find resources from the Library's collections, and there will be experienced Wikipedians present to help Wiki newcomers to get started and answer questions.  A Mediterranean lunch will be served, so please come with both hungry minds and stomachs.


Little Rock, Arkansas

American Veterans of Arkansas – Edward Drew (BFA 2014) The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas has commissioned a year-long exhibition from Edward Drew, American Veterans of Arkansas, which uses 5 x 7 tintypes to profile African-American military veterans who are also Arkansans. “African Americans are fairly underrepresented in most sectors, including veterans and veteran contributions to this country,” Drew said. “I thought it was important tthat I speak to the narrative. Then, being a state in the South, it’s important to show tha the rick history of the Southern states has always coincided with African American contributions.”


Wilmington, Delaware

Midnight Mass – Amie Potsic (MFA 1999) Opening Friday, February 7 at 5pm: The Delaware Contemporary has invited Amie to exhibit a large-scale installation on view January 24 through April with over 250 feet of silk. Amie will be working with the museum's gargantuan atrium space to create a fresh design approach to her work.


Miami, Florida

Image: Installation view of Self-preservation (with or without applause), a group exhibition featuring work (far right) by Christopher Culver. Courtesy Primary Gallery.

Self-preservation (with or without applause) – Christopher Culver (BFA 2008)
On view through January 28, Primary Gallery is proud to present Self-preservation (with or without applause), a group exhibition featuring alum, Christopher Culver.


Chicago, Illinois

Performance - Norman Long (MFA 2001)
Please join Norman Long at Elastic Arts on Friday, January 31, for a special performance featuring LONG/ZALEK DUO.



"We the People" is a group exhibition featuring work from Aaron Wilder’s (MFA 2017) collaboration with Guta Galli (MFA 2017) entitled "Sugar & Snails," on view through January 31, 2020 at the Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Dancing In The Bardo and Human Impact: Stories of the Opioid Epidemic - John Christian Anderson (MFA 1972)
Dancing In The Bardo is a solo show by alumnus John Christian Anderson, on view through January 26 at the Boston Sculptors Gallery. The group show Human Impact: Stories of the Opiod Epidemic is on view at Fullercraft Museum in Brockton, MA, through May 3, 2020.


Baltimore, Maryland

The Breath of Empty Space – Shaun Leonardo (MFA 2005) On view January 30 - March 15, 2020 at Maryland Institute College of Art: "For the last year I have been quietly finalizing plans for The Breath of Empty Space–a solo exhibition of 6 years of drawing concerning violence by the police and American legal system, being shown together for the first time and curated by the insightful and caring John Chaich. I am proud to finally announce this traveling exhibition for 2020 and hope you can join me to witness the work." —Shaun Leonardo

The Breath of Empty Space will also be on view at Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, June 5–September 6, 2020.



Budapest, Hungary

Untitled No. 20, From Series Room ‘32’ – Michael Naify (MFA 2017)** **SFAI alum Michael Naify’s work, Untitled No. 20, From Series Room ‘32’, is featured in PH21 Contemporary Photo Gallery’s upcoming international photography exhibition entitled The self(ie) and the other: Portraiture—on view January 16–February 8, 2020.


Hamburg, Germany

Mother Tongue - Mika Sperling (MFA 2018)
Mika's practice is based in photography, and engages ideas and concepts of family. Created during the recommended Olympus Fellowship, "the current project [Mother Tongue] is born out of the idea to include my situation as a new mother into my work. I am using photography, writing and video to search for familiarities between my husband’s and my family. I am documenting the evolving bond to my daughter, the changing relationship to my mother-in-law and that to my own mother." —Mike Sperling

Check out this video where Mika discusses Mother Tongue and its familial lineages. Soon on view: Deichtorhallen Hamburg, March 21–June 14, 2020; Fotografie Forum Frankfurt, August 7–September 27, 2020; Foam Museum in Amsterdam, October 23, 2020–January 17, 2021.


Cambridge, UK

The Art of Watching Art – Patricia K. Kelly (MFA 1999)
On view January 14–26 at Motion Sickness Project Space, The Art of Watching Art is a group exhibition showcasing a broad range of artworks from artists involved in the invigilation of previous exhibitions in the project space since August 2019, including our very own Patricia K. Kelly.

Do you have an upcoming exhibition or event?
If you’re an SFAI alum, please fill out this form to be featured in our next roundup of alumni exhibitions and events.


Top Image Credit: Whitney Lynn, Song of the Sirens, 2019 archival pigment print on Legacy Etching paper, 30 x 40 inches. © Whitney Lynn Studios.

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