Ana Teresa Fernández, CE artist Rory White, Leticia Hernández Linares, CE artist Jesus Huezo, and Vanessa Sanchez at the opening celebration.

CE community celebrates Of Here From There | De Aquí Desde Allá

Posted on March 18, 2020

On March 6, Creativity Explored celebrated our first installation of the Of Here From There | De Aquí Desde Allá project with a private opening at the San Francisco Art Institute. A long-running project in partnership with artist Ana Teresa Fernández, this first installation includes sculptures, multimedia projections activated by performances celebrating CE artists and their journeys. 

The components of the installation are inspired by CE artwork created during collaborative workshops led by Ana Teresa Fernández. Over the last year, Fernández led over a dozen workshops with CE artists and community members, exploring themes of home and migration. She captured brushstrokes and mark making on film and brought in performing artists who empowered CE artists to experiment with new mediums like dance and poetry.

You can explore this collaborative process on the Creativity Explored Tumblr, where we've documented the workshops, poems, and artwork.

The result is a dynamic and electric installation weaving together the images, words, and symbols by CE artists. Core to the installation are sculptures based on works created by CE artists, painted gallery white.

Six large flowers based on work by Elana Cooper sprout from the center of the room. Makeya Kaiser’s 5-footed, cowboy boot stars hang from the walls. Enkh-Amar Shagdarguntev’s house illustration presides over the space while Kevin Roach’s iconic eyeballs flurry across another. A cloud, created out of rope by Charlie Barthelet and Fernández, add a textural element upon which animations dance.

The sculptures are illuminated by looped, digitally-mapped projections of CE artists’ mark making: energetic abstract gestures by Kaocrew “Yah” Kakabutra and the process behind a classic Vincent Jackson portrait adorn the sculptures, taking form over time. The projections create a feeling that the artists’ processes are unfolding in the present moment, extending beyond the CE studio and the moment of creation to honor the creative spirit itself. 

During the opening celebration, the installation was activated by three performers. Poet Leticia Hernández Linares performed three poems based on her workshops with CE artists and her reflections on calling the Mission District home, referencing conversations she had with CE artists Peter Cordova and Kevin Roach about colonization and San Francisco history.

Responding to the verses, dancer Vanessa Sanchez (La Mezcla) performed a mix of Mexican zapateado and tap dance, reverberating rhythm throughout the space. Afterwards, Tommy Guerrero and his band played a musical set. Guerrero’s guitar sang in harmony with the glowing projections.

A special element of the installation was a paleta (popsicle) cart created by CE artist Jesus Huezo with support from Fernández and CE teaching artists and volunteers. Huezo painted a list of paleta flavors on the cart. The flavors were invented by CE artists during a record-making workshop with Fernández. Flavors included “Love,” “Hot Dog,” and “Never Can Say Goodbye.” Guests were asked to write paleta postcards to CE artists, responding to the artists’ work and sharing encouraging words. 

Stay tuned for two more public installations for Of Here From There | De Aquí Desde Allá. The installation at SFAI is currently closed due to public health recommendations and ordinances. We look forward to finding more opportunities for the community to access the exhibition digitally. You can view more photos and videos from the opening celebration here. Visit our Instagram story highlight for even more behind the scenes footage.

Flower sculptures by Elana Cooper and eyeballs by Kevin Roach come alive with animations.
A cloud sculpture by Charlie Barthelet and house by Enkh-Amar Shagdarguntev serve as vehicles for CE artists' mark-making.
Text art by Nathan Jeung and illustrations of a busy Shanghai by Andrew Li fill the sculptures' surfaces.
The flock of eyeballs by Kevin Roach expose colorful marks by Tonya Lewis.
CE artist Rory White and his mother hold up paleta (popsicle) post cards.
CE artist Kaocrew
CE artist Jesus Huezo and a CE volunteer show off Huezo's original paleta cart.
Tommy Guerrero and his band groove out to the artwork being created in large scale.
The installation at SFAI surrounds visitors with a fantastical world of CE artwork come to life.
The house illustration by Enkh-Amar Shagdarguntev is slowly filled in by his marks in a final crescendo of light and sound.

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