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Field Trips

A visit to Intersection for the Arts

Posted on July 26, 2011

Creativity Explored artists Moses Brown, Marcus McClure, and Walter Kresnik, accompanied Visual Arts Instructor Mara Poliak on a field trip to visit Intersection for the Arts’ latest gallery exhibition, Chico & Chang.

While visiting the exhibition, the CE group was able to explore the space on their own and engage in an activity with Intersection interns that involved using a large-scale map of CE’s neighborhood, the Mission, to discuss space, place, and community. After locating the Mission neighborhood on a San Francisco neighborhood map and pinpointing both CE studios on the more detailed and large-scale Mission neighborhood map, an Intersection intern asked the CE visitiors about the sorts of things they saw in their neighborhood everyday, their memories of the neighborhood, and finally, to imagine that they are a city planner with the power to design, alter, or influence the neighborhood, whether structurally, aesthetically, or culturally, and to show us what they see. 

CE artists answered this question in a wide variety of ways – Walter added more trees and beautiful old antique cars to the Mission, Marcus expressed his desire for an aquarium marine world in which community members would be able to be exposed to underwater life, and Moses emphasized his love of Dolores Park and desire for more movie nights to occur in addition to a greater community emphasis on providing access for people with disabilities.



Moses wrote, “In my neighborhood there is groceries, restaurants, movies, and rentals. I care about access for the disabled.  Dolores Park is a special place.” CE Arts Instructor Mara and Intersection interns participated as well, with Mara drawing a house and backyard with the caption “affordable housing with yards,” and Intersection interns Alex and Wren added more trees and flowers to the Mission. The modified Mission map turned out beautifully, with additions of a marine world, more trees, affordable houses, fancy car shows, more movie nights at Dolores Park, and more steps towards providing access.

I asked Moses, Marcus, and Walter about their favorite aspects of Chico & Chang and what that meant to them:

What was your favorite piece in Chico & Chang and why?

Moses: The miniature town. Because you see different movie clippings and around the whole thing and inside there are so many different streets. 

Tracey Snelling’s miniature city sculpture envisions the hybridized world of “Chico” and “Chang” and the imbued Latino and Asian cultural influences and references. She creates a beautifully intricate and detailed sculpture, featuring video, billboards, streets, interiors of homes as seen from street side, changing city lights, roads, and buildings to imagine one world as Chico and Chang.

 

Marcus: I like the music piece. I like the noise it makes.

Angelica Muro Piece in collaboration with Juna Luna-Avin creates a fictional narrative in which the Mexican and Vietnamese cultures interact in the space of an entertainment venue in San Jose, the Lido Night Club, where downstairs is a Mexican cantina and upstairs is a Vietnamese dance club featuring drag performers. The piece combines a large flippable book of drawings and a music piece playing through headphones that visitors are invited to listen to while flipping through the book. The music is a combination of the Mexican cantina songs and the Vietnamese dance club music in a medley with overlapping and complementary sounds.

Walter: The installation. I like all the decorations, glasses. It reminds me of breakfast. Of being at home. I like the wallpaper.

Ana Teresa Fernandez’s installation is a kitchen interior covered in the plaid nylon shopping bags as those, which are commonly used by immigrant communities as a multifunctional material. Investigating the commonalities between immigrant communities, specially Latino and Asian, and commenting upon the rendering of immigrant communities as ubiquitous, yet invisible.

At the conclusion of the gallery tour, Creativity Explored was asked to pose for Intersection, holding the map they had created and re-envisioned and reflecting upon the fun and insightful past hour.  Upon leaving the gallery, Moses was overheard to say, “You guys made me feel really good today,” a sentiment that seemed to truly resonate for everyone involved in using art to imagine the everyday and the possibilities for the future.

Text submitted by Alex Fine, Oberlin College intern 


Image captions (top left to bottom):
Intersection intern Wren Balkus and CE artist Walter Kresnik participating in the installation; CE Visual Arts Instructor Mara Poliak; Moses Brown; Marcus McClure; and Walter Kresnik. 

 

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