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April 1 - July 31, 2020

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

A Digital Art + Civic Experience

Color Checker (Pileup) 2 by Stephanie Syjuco, 2019

The planned exhibition at YBCA has been transformed into a digital art and civic experience going live on April 1. See ybca.org for more info. We encourage our community to take the census at home here.

Artwork by CE artists Andrew Li and Antonio Benjamin was licensed for use in this national campaign. Join the movement: Access the Come To Your Census Toolkits and Resources here.

Download the coloring sheet featuring Houses by Antonio Benjamin here.

We are proud to announce that seven CE artists are included in Come to Your Census: Who Counts in America? at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) — an art and civic experience that examines the issues around the 2020 Census and its direct impact on each individual living in America. 

About the Exhibition
During the four months that the 2020 Census will be open, this participatory experience will feature artworks and activations by over twenty-five Bay Area artists whose work investigates identity, public life, and belonging to educate and inspire the Bay Area’s diverse communities about what’s at stake in this critical population count.

YBCA will present more than twenty-five Bay Area artists working across a range of disciplines to offer art-based explorations of identity, visibility, and citizenship against the backdrop of a city that many historically marginalized and undercounted communities call home. Ranging from site-specific and participatory installations to paintings, films, ceramics, and photographs, the works interrogate the social, political, and cultural implications of being counted. There are more than twelve opportunities for the public to touch, respond to, or co-create work on a daily basis.

Featured CE Artists: Linda Davenport, Daniel Green, Camille Holvoet, Vincent Jackson, Bertha Otoya, Kate Thompson, and Gerald Wiggins

Participating Artists: Mark Baugh-Sasaki, Micah Bazant, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Lukas Brekke-Miesner, Cece Carpio, Yueqi Chen, Rodney Ewing, First Exposures, Guillermo Galindo, Ana Teresa Fernández, June Grant, Chris Hamamoto, James Hosking, Vida Kuang, Liz Lerman, Bijun Liang, Richard Misrach, Takeshi Moro, Leah Nichols, Joan Osato, Maria Paz, Yesica Prado, Jerome Reyes, Dorothy R. Santos, SF Urban Film Fest, Lava Thomas, Sanctuary City Project, Arleene Correa Valencia

Informed and Inspired
YBCA will offer multiple census-taking stations throughout its galleries and lobby where communities can safely participate in the census as well as printed directions in four languages—traditional Chinese, English, Spanish, and Tagalog to assist with digital completion of the census which predominantly is presented in English. Staff will be on hand to provide assistance and information about how the census impacts individual rights, neighborhoods, and cities.

YBCA invites families to join us for weekly storytelling hours and self-guided art-making stations that will allow youth to experience art and civic engagement. To learn more about the events and activities, visit here.

The Campaign
Come to Your Census: Who Counts in America? is part of COME TO YOUR CENSUS, an arts-driven citywide campaign led by the Art+Action coalition—headquartered and incubated at YBCA and commissioned by the City of San Francisco’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA)—mobilizing around the 2020 Census.

Artwork by CE artists Andrew Li and Antonio Benjamin was licensed for use in this national campaign. Join the movement: Access the Come To Your Census Toolkits and Resources here.

About Art+Action
Art+Action—San Francisco’s first coalition for civic participation that spans art, creative, community, business, technology, philanthropy, activist, and government sectors—has launched a city-wide arts-driven campaign that positions artists as catalysts to humanize the issues around the 2020 Census. In partnership with trusted institutions and messengers, including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA)—their Headquarters and a Lead Partner—and ignited by support from San Francisco’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA), they’re galvanizing communities to participate in the 2020 Census to receive their fair share of resources and political representation. Although the movement is starting locally, the goal is to set off a national spark.

Opening Celebration
Saturday, March 28
Join the community for a day-long opening celebration, including a myriad of activities and programming. More details about the event will be available at ybca.org

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

June 25 - September 3, 2020

Creativity Explored

San Francisco, CA and Online

Untitled by Douglas Sheran, 2005 © Creativity Explored Licensing, LLC, mixed media on paper, 16 x 16 inches

And as you learn the magic, learn to believe it
Don’t be ‘surprised’ when it works, you undercut
your power.
– Diane di Prima, Revolutionary Letter #46

How great a surprise can you tolerate?
How small a surprise can you recognize?

The work of Creativity Explored artists is full of surprises, large and small.

Join us as we fall down the rabbit hole and explore a rich selection of artworks from over 20 past and present CE artists with disabilities in a group exhibition curated by artist and Visual Arts Instructor Ajit Chauhan.

Including a guest appearance by Bay Area painter Alicia McCarthy.

The park "a darling walk for the mind" is dedicated to long-time CE artist José Campos, who passed away in May 2020. 

The exhibition will be on view virtually with artworks available for purchase on the Creativity Explored Artsy page beginning June 25.

Through September 3, any supporters who purchase any artwork from Creativity Explored or make a donation of $5 or more, will be mailed a limited edition booklet commemorating the exhibition. While supplies last!

Featured Artists

Mary Belknap, José Campos, Anne Connolly, Linda Davenport*, Samedi Djeimguero*, Walter Kresnik, Claus Groeger, Jay Herndon*, Makeya Kaiser, Melody Lima*, John Patrick McKenzie, James Miles, Paul Moshammer, James Nielsen, Yolanda Ramirez*, Evelyn Reyes, Lance Rivers, Douglas Sheran, Hung Kei ShiuAna Maria Vidalon

*Online exclusive

About the Exhibition

Curator Ajit Chauhan describes the exhibition as “a collection of shared intimacies.” In the spirit of intimacy, the exhibition is physically installed in the gallery space at Creativity Explored – it's tradition – despite facilities being closed. The act of installation is an act of intimacy and understanding, and that is something our community needs now more than ever. Though the public will have limited access**, the storefront window on 16th Street offers an installation of selected artworks for passersby.

The exhibition was conceived of as a mixtape made for a friend. Careful selection of contrasting works intend to take the viewer on a kind of journey with peaks and releases, not a single emotional note. Punctuating the wall space, Bay Area artist Alicia McCarthy offers a light sprinkling of marks and gestures that informs all of the work.

The artworks in the exhibition are ethereal and meditative; the selection explores various phases in past and present artists’ careers with some works dating back 20 years. Chauhan’s careful curatorial process was “mostly intuitive.” Diving into the Creativity Explored archives and exploring work by former artists, Chauhan had a unique opportunity to make the archival novel again – plus, our once bustling studio, a sacred space in and of itself, was empty.

The meditative curatorial process informs how we might experience the art. He continues, “Choosing a compelling work of art feels like it’s speaking to you in some really personal way… It’s not just something on the wall. It’s also looking back at you, and there is a really powerful experience that feels completely external and internal at the same time.”

Each artwork in the exhibition beckons the viewer to slide deeper into the artists’ minds and individual practice. A Walter Kresnik drawing with a black and white cat in a field acts as a prompt to the show, much like the white rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s classic. Bold shapes and carrots by Evelyn Reyes remind one of the suits from playing cards. Reyes would create her iconic designs with intricate rituals – taking the artwork to all four compass points in the studio before declaring a piece finished.

A work by Hung Kei Shiu feels like “painting the roses red” scene from Alice in Wonderland with hatched lines and circles of red and green that build a field of color into a garden. An illustrated book created by Douglas Sheran acts as an abstract travel journal. Claus Groeger's enveloping abstractions fold in on themselves creating textured layers, and fibrous drawings by Mary Belknap are a literal walk for the mind and heart.

The curation establishes a dialogue between the artworks. A piece by Evelyn Reyes, Fence with Bell, placed next to James Miles’ Circus is a pairing that transforms Reyes’ fence into a circus tent under which Miles’ performers perform. Ana Maria Vidalon mirrors José Campos’ dissolving surfaces that seem to disintegrate before our eyes like cotton candy - colorful and playful, but also metaphysical. 

The exhibition invites everyone to center the practice of artists with disabilities by giving space for contemplation and reflection. We hope you let the artwork and artists hold your metaphorical hand as we take a walk together, looking at one another in recognition.

Exhibition Programming

Virtual Curator Talk and Exhibition Tour with Ajit Chauhan
Creativity Explored's YouTube page and Instagram (IGTV)
available starting Thursday, July 9

**We hope to offer private tours of the exhibition by appointment starting in August, depending on safety recommendations for the city of San Francisco and best practices for the safety of our staff and community.


About the Curator

Ajit Chauhan lives in the sanctuary city of San Francisco. He reads a lot, listens to music, plays with cats, and practices tai chi. He is part of a small collective of poets and painters "SF's #1 Gallery! 'Right Window'" as forever member Kevin Killian would say. You can view Ajit's website here.






The park "a darling walk for the mind" by Lorine Niedecker, 1965.
From Lorine Niedecker Collected Works by Lorine Niedecker and Jenny Lynn Penberthy. Berkeley. University of California Press © 2002.

Revolutionary Letter #46
From Revolutionary Letters by Diane di Prima. San Francisco. Last Gasp of San Francisco © 1971.



Wo bin ich? – Where am I?

July 5 - October 4, 2020

Kunsthaus Kannnen

Münster, Germany

Untitled by James Montgomery, 2006-2007 © Creativity Explored Licensing, LLC, multimedia on paper, 15 x 22.5 inches

We're excited to announce that artworks by Daniel Green, John Patrick McKenzie, and James Montgomery are included in an exhibition at Kuntshaus Kannen, a museum of outsider art in Münster, Germany.

While we won't be able to travel to enjoy the show ourselves, we're thrilled to be included in this international show.

About the Exhibition
What is visible and what is perceived? Where exactly am I?
The new exhibition “Where am I?” unites an array of illustrations and drawings from Kunsthaus Kannen (Münster) and two Californian studios, Creativity Explored (San Francisco) and Creative Growth (Oakland), which are engaged with the titular question.
The artworks, despite the geographic distance between North Rhine-Westphalia and California, show how they explore the same theme of place, orientation and contextualization. Place is not just understood as a tangible location, but is
transformed into the perception of place, or space, which is communicated across borders. The artists begin to answer how these spaces can be understood through their unique and individual viewpoints of documentation and storytelling.
In the artworks, textual elements and writing are used as pictorial mediums. Some artworks contain completed thoughts in the form of journal entries, lists, and postcards, while others express incomplete thoughts, repetitive words, or fragments of lyrics. Some artists have simplified singular words, letters, and numbers which present space as concept. The rare crossover of physical and mental space conveys the artists’ ability of capturing the “here and now” and their relationship between person, place and the present.
Artists: Robert Burda, Heinrich Büning, Daniel Green, Hans-Georg Kastilan, Hermann König, John Patrick McKenzie, James Montgomery, Laura Jo Pierce, Fritz Tobergte
Curator: Stephanie Trujillo, M.A.
The exhibition is on display from July 5th – October 4th, 2020.
Kunsthaus Kannen is a museum for Outsider Art and contemporary art. The Kunsthaus is a part of the Alexianer Campus in Münster-Amelsbüren.


Featured Events

Part 1: What You Do Curated by Dena Beard
March 26 - May 31, 2020
Available March 26

What You Do is Creativity Explored's first all video and digital exhibition, curated by Dena Beard, Executive Director of The Lab. Part 1 will be available on CE's YouTube page&nb...

Part 2: What You Do Curated by Dena Beard
April 16 - May 31, 2020
Available April 16

What You Do is Creativity Explored's first all video and digital exhibition, curated by Dena Beard, Executive Director of The Lab. Part 1 will be available on CE's YouTube page&nb...