Linda and the Mockingbirds Screens Live in San Francisco and Virtually via Watsonville Film Festival with Free Concert

Los Cenzontles Cultural Academy and McEvoy Foundation for the Arts
Celebrating Regional Performing Arts for McEvoy Arts’ Next to You Exhibition

Roxie Theater, San Francisco • July 18, 2021
Watsonville Film Festival • September 15–18, 2021
Plus Celebrando la Cultura Concert, Watsonville • September 17, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, July 8, 2021 McEvoy Foundation for the Arts and Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy are pleased to participate in community-benefit screenings of the award-winning documentary Linda and the Mockingbirds in conjunction with the exhibition Next To You, on view at McEvoy Arts through December 4, 2021. The film screens first on Sunday, July 18 at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater. From September 15–18, the Watsonville Film Festival presents a virtual screening and joins McEvoy Arts and Los Cenzontles to present Celebrando la Cultura, a free outdoor evening concert in the Watsonville City Plaza on Friday, September 17, featuring performances by Los Cenzontles and additional Mexican-American cultural organizations.

Linda and The Mockingbirds (2020) pairs acclaimed musician Linda Ronstadt with Los Cenzontles (“mockingbirds” in the Nahuatl language), a Bay Area-based artist-driven nonprofit, band, arts academy, and production studio committed to amplifying the roots of Mexican culture. In this documentary by award-winning director and producer James Keach, Ronstadt, musician Jackson Browne, and a busload of Cenzontles journey to the little town of Banámichi in Sonora, Mexico, where Ronstadt’s grandfather was born. The film details Ronstadt’s long friendship with Eugene Rodriguez, a third-generation Mexican-American and musician who founded Los Cenzontles thirty years prior with the mission to reconnect working-class kids with the dignity and beauty of their ancestral music and culture. Along the way, the pounding feet of zapateado dancers, the strumming of jarana and guitar, the clacking buzz of the quijada, a donkey jawbone, and a chorus of soulful voices celebrate pride and self-knowledge with a solid, rootsy groove. “This is not Latin-ish ‘Dorito music,’ Ronstadt says of the film’s musical backbone. ‘This is Mexican music.’”

The Roxie Theater hosts a community screening of the film with cast and crew in attendance on Sunday, July 18 at 2pm. With the moviegoing experience disrupted by the pandemic, the event offers a first viewing on the big screen for many of the children, performers, and families featured in Linda and the Mockingbirds. Preceding the film is Good Morning Aztlan(2002) directed by Les Blank and Maureen Gosling and featuring Los Cenzontles. Tickets, on sale now, range from $9-10. Children 11 and under are admitted free while supplies last.

“We are honored that Linda and the Mockingbirds will enjoy its theatrical premiere at the Roxie, in collaboration with McEvoy Foundation for the Arts,” says Eugene Rodriguez, founder and director of Los Cenzontles. “Our community of artists and students will finally be able to celebrate its release together while sharing it with the public.”

From September 15–18, 2021, in honor of Mexican Independence Day, Linda and the Mockingbirds is available to watchonline at www.watsonvillefilmfest.org. The online screening is augmented by Celebrando la Cultura: Los Cenzontles in Watsonville, a free, outdoor concert in Watsonville City Plaza during the weekly farmers’ market at 6pm on Friday, September 17. The concert features performances by Los Cenzontles, Los Originarios del Plan (presenting Tierra Caliente and Arpa Grande music), and a dance performance by the Watsonville-based Estrellas de Esperanza, a youth folkloric group. Celebrando la Cultura is a co-production of Los Cenzontles and McEvoy Arts with the Watsonville Film Festival. Additional support is provided by the City of Watsonville and the Watsonville Campesino Appreciation Caravan. The event honors the impact of Mexican music and culture on the Bay Area’s performing arts traditions and celebrates the vibrancy of the Pajaro Valley’s agricultural community and farmworkers.

“We are thrilled to partner with Los Cenzontles and McEvoy Arts to present this beautiful program,” says Consuelo Alba, director and co-founder of the Watsonville Film Festival. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Mexican-American culture, honor our farm workers for their essential work and build bridges between urban and rural communities.”

“It’s time to sing the praises of the Bay Area’s landmark performing arts community, known around the world and yet silent throughout the pandemic,” adds Susan Miller, executive director of McEvoy Arts. “Let’s come together safely to celebrate the pleasure and delight of live arts experiences and discover how it feels to dance, laugh, and play together again.”

Next to You (through December 4, 2021) presents artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection that celebrate the joy, vitality, and healing power of the performing arts. The exhibition includes the Screening Room program Hearing Aids, a two-session program of short films about the senses and communication, guest curated by Alison O’Daniel,and a series of live engagements in collaboration with a diversity of cultural arts organizations. Additional partners include the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), CounterPulse, Kronos Performing Arts Association, and Tiny Dance Film Festival.

Community Screening: Linda and the Mockingbirds
Sunday, July 18, 2021 • 2pm | Roxie Theater, San Francisco
$10 General Admission • $9 Seniors w/ ID | Free admission for children 11 and under

Virtual Screening: Linda and the Mockingbirds
September 15–18, 2021 | www.watsonvillefilmfest.org

Celebrando la Cultura: Los Cenzontles in Watsonville
Friday, September 17, 2021 • 6pm | Watsonville City Plaza, Watsonville, CA

For registration and ticket information, visit www.mcevoyarts.org/events. All live events are presented in accordance with current health guidelines.

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Program Partners

Los Cenzontles is a grassroots artist-driven organization committed to amplifying the roots of Mexican culture through classes, events, media, and performances. Founded in San Pablo, CA in 1994 by musician and educator Eugene Rodriguez, Los Cenzontles provides the local community with a family-friendly setting for traditional arts education and cultural events. The Los Cenzontles Academy connects students of all ages with maestros of traditional Mexican genres instilling a sense of cultural pride and participation in living traditions. Our full calendar of events features performances by our students, our own professional touring group, Los Cenzontles, and well-known world musicians and visiting artists. Los Cenzontles documents this journey of continuing the long tradition of authentic Mexican art with CDs and DVDs to share with the world and future generations.

Estrellas de Esperanza is a youth folkloric group that has been performing throughout Santa Cruz County and beyond over the past 13 years. Estrellas members not only learn traditional dance steps, they also learn about the different regions the dances come from and their history, ultimately instilling pride of culture, language, and music in the youth. Founder and maestra, Ruby Vasquez has an extensive background having danced for Esperanza del Valle for 34 years. Because of her deep passion for traditional dance and music, Ruby often brings Maestros from Mexico to teach the youth authentic dances not often seen in the area.

The Roxie Theater, a San Francisco landmark in the Mission District that reopens in May 2021, brings people together to meet and connect through distinctive cinematic experiences. Guided by the passionate belief that engaging with a movie doesn’t end with the credits, the Roxie invites filmmakers, curators, entertainers and educators to interact with our audiences. The Roxie provides inspiration and opportunity for the next generation and serves as a forum for the independent film community reflecting the spirit of the diverse Bay Area population.

The Watsonville Campesino Appreciation Caravan is a volunteer-run organization providing much-needed and much-deserved supplies, information, food, and appreciation to farmworkers in Watsonville. The group is made up of community members, educators, and students who provide crucial information about health & safety regarding COVID19 and resources that are available to them in the Watsonville community. Every penny of the funds they raise goes directly to local farmworkers and their families via https://gofund.me/877ba13a.

The City of Watsonville is located ninety-five miles south of San Francisco and has 51,000 residents. It is a rich agricultural community famous for its fresh berries, apples, and cut flowers. Watsonville, located in the lush Pajaro Valley, offers an ideal climate and the small-town charm of a rural community. Watsonville is more importantly recognized for its ethnic and cultural diversity, history of activism, generations of artists, dancers, and filmmakers. More than 80% of its population is Latino, and 31.5% of its population is under nineteen years of age.

The Watsonville Film Festival showcases Latinx filmmakers and stories that illuminate our shared humanity and inspire positive change. Founded in 2012, WFF developed from a grassroots collective into a non-profit arts organization offering year-round programming that celebrates powerful filmmaking and local creativity. WFF strives to make its programs accessible to all, leveraging the power of film to build bridges, spark conversations and imagine new possibilities in the heart of the Monterey Bay.

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Exhibition & Screening Room

Next to You (May 28 – December 4, 2021) is an exhibition of modern and contemporary artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection that celebrates the joy, vitality, and healing power of the performing arts. As the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and its requisite isolation, Next to You acts as a farewell ballad to a strange and challenging time and a look towards a future where we are reunited. With the performing arts cultural sector largely inaccessible during the pandemic, the exhibition showcases dance, theater, music, circus arts, film, and other creative forms.

In the Screening Room, Alison O’Daniel guest curates Hearing Aids, a program of short films and videos that consider a new sensory sensitivity to our surroundings and a greater awareness of the body’s intricacies of communication. The films, spanning the 1970s to the 2010s, explore sensory experience in relation to topics as varied as urban surveillance, the natural landscape, and Indigenous history. Session 1 screens daily from May 28 through August 31, 2021.  Session 2 debuts September 1 and runs through December 4, 2021.

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McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents exhibitions and events that engage, expand, and challenge themes present in the McEvoy Family Collection. Established in 2017, McEvoy Arts creates an open, intimate, and welcoming place for private contemplation and public discussion about art and culture. Rooted in the creative legacies of the San Francisco Bay Area, McEvoy Arts embodies a far-reaching vision of the McEvoy Family Collection’s potential to facilitate and engage conversations on the practice of contemporary art. McEvoy Arts invites artists, curators, and thinkers with varied perspectives to respond to the Collection. Each year, these collaborations produce exhibitions in the Foundation’s gallery, new media programs in the Screening Room, as well as many film, music, literary, and performing arts events each year. Exhibitions are free and open to the public. For more health, safety, and admissions information, please visit mcevoyarts.org/visit.

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High-resolution images and additional materials are available by request to press@mcevoyarts.org or wendy@norriscommunications.biz.

Additional Press Contacts:

Los Cenzontles
Dave Millar, Director of Marketing & Communications
dave@loscenzontles.com

Watsonville Film Festival
Consuelo Alba, Executive Director
consuelo@watsonvillefilmfest.org

McEvoy Arts Announces Next to You’s Summer and Fall Performing Arts Events

With The Roxie Theater, Center for Asian American Media, CounterPulse, Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy, Kronos Performing Arts Association, and the Watsonville Film Festival

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, June 3, 2021 — Extending the themes of its current exhibition, Next to You(May 28 – December 4, 2021), McEvoy Foundation for the Arts announces a series of live engagements with a diversity of cultural arts organizations from June through December 2021. These collaborations with pillars of the San Francisco Bay Area’s performing arts communities honor their contributions to the return of the region’s live art experiences and invite the public to come together again through performance.

Next to You features a variety of painting, photography, and sculpture from the McEvoy Family Collection that explore notions of performance in collective and individual life. The upcoming events showcase film, dance, music, place, and technology in relation to ideas of sound, movement, touch, and language present in the exhibition and the Screening Room program Hearing Aids.

“It’s time to sing the praises of the Bay Area’s landmark performing arts community, known around the world and yet, silent throughout the pandemic,” Susan Miller, executive director, says. “It’s time to come together safely and celebrate the pleasure and delight of live arts experiences and rediscover how it feels to dance, laugh, and play together.”

Summer events launch on Saturday, June 12 with Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK. Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid, SOUNDWALK is a GPS-enabled work of public art that uses music to illuminate the natural environment of Golden Gate Park. SOUNDWALK features newly commissioned music by Kronos Quartet, Reid, and other musicians recorded entirely during shelter-in-place orders. Listeners can access the audio installation via a free smartphone app. SOUNDWALK is part of the 2021 Kronos Festival (June 11–18).

On Sunday, July 18 at the Roxie Theater, McEvoy Arts and Los Cenzontles, an artist-driven organization committed to amplifying the roots of Mexican culture through classes, events, media, and performances, present a community-benefit screening of the award-winning documentary Linda and The Mockingbirds. Featuring acclaimed musician Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and Los Cenzontles (“mockingbirds” in the Nahuatl language), the film documents their musical journey to Banámichi in Sonora, Mexico, where Ronstadt’s grandfather was born.

McEvoy Arts returns to the Roxie Theater on Sunday, August 15 with Jafar Panahi’s 1997 meta-narrative film The Mirror. Selected by Alison O’Daniel as an extension of her Hearing Aids program, The Mirror explores the interplay of imagination and reality when a first-grade student navigates the public transportation and bustling traffic of Tehran on a precarious, multi-sensorial adventure of the everyday. O’Daniel is expected to introduce the screening.

Fall events (September–December) include film screenings and performances with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Tiny Dance Film Festival, Los Cenzontles, Watsonville Film Festival, and CounterPulse.

Next to You’s public events are scheduled in Summer and Fall seasons from June through December 2021. Further program details are to be announced. For registration and ticket information, visit www.mcevoyarts.org/events. All in-person events are presented in accordance with current health guidelines.

June – August 2021
Performing Arts Events

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK
Presented by the Kronos Performing Arts Association in association with McEvoy Arts
Saturday, June 12, 2021 – June 2024 | Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Free, self-guided experience. Download the app at ellenreidsoundwalk.com.

McEvoy Arts joins forces with the Kronos Performing Arts Association to bring this unique self-guided, musical experience to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, launching as part of the 2021 Kronos Festival (June 11–18). Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is a GPS-enabled work of public art by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid and San Francisco’s renowned Kronos Quartet that uses music to illuminate the natural environment. SOUNDWALK is tailor-made for its setting, created to encourage calm reflection and introspection, and can be experienced while following social distancing guidelines. The user’s location triggers a live, overlapping mix of musical motifs and works performed by Kronos, Reid, and other musicians, all recorded from home in 2020 during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order. Listeners can access the audio installation via a free smartphone app. Other editions of SOUNDWALK have previously launched in New York, Los Angeles, and several other cities across the country. SOUNDWALK will remain accessible in San Francisco through June 2024.

Community Screening: Linda and the Mockingbirds
Co-produced with Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy and the Roxie Theater
Sunday, July 18, 2021 • 2pm | Roxie Theater, San Francisco
$10 General Admission • $9 Seniors w/ ID | Free admission for children 11 and under

Linda and The Mockingbirds pairs acclaimed musician Linda Ronstadt with Los Cenzontles (“mockingbirds” in the Nahuatl language), a band and music academy for young people in the San Francisco Bay Area. In this documentary by award-winning director and producer James Keach, Ronstadt, musician Jackson Browne, and a busload of Cenzontles journey to the little town of Banámichi in Sonora, Mexico, where Ronstadt’s grandfather was born. The film details Ronstadt’s long friendship with Eugene Rodriguez, a third-generation Mexican-American and musician who founded Los Cenzontles thirty years prior to reconnect working-class kids with the dignity and beauty of their ancestral music and culture. Along the way, the pounding feet of zapateado dancers, the strumming of jarana and guitar, the clacking buzz of the quijada, a donkey jawbone, and a chorus of soulful voices celebrate pride and self-knowledge with a solid, rootsy groove. “This is not Latin-ish ‘Dorito music,’ Ronstadt says of the film’s musical backbone. ‘This is Mexican music.” Good Morning Aztlan, a short film by Les Blank and Maureen Gosling featuring Los Cenzontles and Los Lobos performing the Los Lobos’ classic 2002 song, precedes the feature film.

The Mirror
Co-presented with the Roxie Theater
Sunday, August 15, 2021 • 2pm | Roxie Theater, San Francisco
$10 General Admission • $9 Seniors w/ ID

Hearing Aids’ curator Alison O’Daniel selects Jafar Panahi’s 1997 narrative film The Mirror. Panahi explores the interplay of imagination and reality in this slyly inventive meta-film marvel. When her mother is late to pick her up from school, first grader Mina (Mina Mohammad Khani) takes matters into her own hands, navigating the public transportation and bustling traffic of Tehran on a precarious adventure of the everyday. But what begins as a charming child’s-eye portrait of Iranian society soon reveals itself to be something even richer and more surprising, as Panahi turns the conventions of narrative filmmaking inside out. Like the films in Hearing Aids, The Mirror offers a multi-sensorial view of urbane life that complicates our relationship between the aural and the visual, introducing viewers to a spacious view of sound not always rooted in the ear.

September – December 2021
Performing Arts Events

McEvoy Arts’ Fall season begins in September with co-productions with CounterPulse, Los Cenzontles, and the Watsonville Film Festival. October programming features the Center for Asian American Media and Tiny Dance Film Festival. Further program details are to be announced.

Exhibition & Screening Room

Next to You
May 28 – December 4, 2021

Next to You is an exhibition of modern and contemporary artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection that celebrates the joy, vitality, and healing power of the performing arts. As the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and its requisite isolation, Next to You acts as a farewell ballad to a strange and challenging time and a look towards a future where we are reunited. With the performing arts cultural sector largely inaccessible during the pandemic, the exhibition showcases dance, theater, music, circus arts, film, and other creative forms.

In the Screening Room, Alison O’Daniel guest curates Hearing Aids, a program of short films and videos that consider a new sensory sensitivity to our surroundings and a greater awareness of the body’s intricacies of communication. The films, spanning the 1970s to the 2010s, explore sensory experience in relation to topics as varied as urban surveillance, the natural landscape, and Indigenous history. Session 1 screens daily from May 28 through August 31, 2021.  Session 2 debuts September 1 and runs through December 4, 2021.

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Partners

The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) has been dedicated for 40 years to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. As a nonprofit organization, CAAM funds, produces, distributes, and exhibits works in film, television, and digital media. CAAMFest, formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF), celebrates the world’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian film, food, and music programs.

Los Cenzontles is a grassroots artist-driven organization committed to amplifying the roots of Mexican culture through classes, events, media, and performances. Founded in San Pablo, CA in 1994 by musician and educator Eugene Rodriguez, Los Cenzontles provides the local community with a family-friendly setting for traditional arts education and cultural events. The Los Cenzontles Academy connects students of all ages with maestros of traditional Mexican genres instilling a sense of cultural pride and participation in living traditions. Our full calendar of events features performances by our students, our own professional touring group, Los Cenzontles, and well-known world musicians and visiting artists. Los Cenzontles documents this journey of continuing the long tradition of authentic Mexican art with CDs and DVDs to share with the world and future generations.

CounterPulse is building a movement of risk-taking art that shatters assumptions and builds community. It provides space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture. CounterPulse acts as a catalyst for art and action; creating a forum for the open exchange of art and ideas, catalyzing transformation in our communities and our society. It works towards a world that celebrates diversity of race, class, cultural heritage, artistic expression, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation and strives to create an environment that is physically and economically accessible to everyone.

Kronos Quartet—David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience for more than 45 years. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world’s most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than sixty recordings, collaborating with countless composers and performers, and commissioning over 1,000 works and arrangements for string quartet. The group has won over forty awards, including three Grammys, and the prestigious Polar Music, Avery Fisher, and Edison Klassiek Oeuvre Prizes. The nonprofit Kronos Performing Arts Association manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and home season performances, education programs, and the annual Kronos Festival. In 2015, Kronos launched Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, an education and legacy project that is commissioning—and distributing online for free—50 new works for string quartet written by composers from around the world.

Ellen Reid is a composer and sound artist whose breadth of work spans opera, sound design, film scoring, ensemble and choral writing. She was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera, p r i s m, and along with composer Missy Mazzoli co-founded the Luna Composition Lab, a mentorship program for young female, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming composers. Since the fall of 2019, she has served as Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Reid received her BFA from Columbia College, Columbia University and her MA from California Institute of the Arts. She is inspired by music from all over the globe, and she splits her time between Los Angeles and New York. Her music is released on Decca Gold.

The Roxie Theater, a San Francisco landmark in the Mission District that reopens in May 2021, brings people together to meet and connect through distinctive cinematic experiences. Guided by the passionate belief that engaging with a movie doesn’t end with the credits, the Roxie invites filmmakers, curators, entertainers and educators to interact with our audiences. The Roxie provides inspiration and opportunity for the next generation and serves as a forum for the independent film community reflecting the spirit of the diverse Bay Area population.

Tiny Dance Film Festival is a film festival based in San Francisco that features short dance films from across the globe. TDFF prioritizes films that upset the trend, stretch into new territory, challenge dominant narratives, and most importantly—embrace brevity.

The Watsonville Film Festival (WFF) showcases Latinx filmmakers and stories that illuminate our shared humanity and inspire positive change. Founded in 2012, WFF believes that stories matter and film is a powerful tool to connect people, spark conversations and transform communities. Located in an agricultural town along California’s Monterey Bay, the Watsonville Film Festival spotlights Latinx filmmakers who tell new or overlooked stories, weaving a vibrant tapestry of what its world really looks like. 

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McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents exhibitions and events that engage, expand, and challenge themes present in the McEvoy Family Collection. Established in 2017, McEvoy Arts creates an open, intimate, and welcoming place for private contemplation and public discussion about art and culture. Rooted in the creative legacies of the San Francisco Bay Area, McEvoy Arts embodies a far-reaching vision of the McEvoy Family Collection’s potential to facilitate and engage conversations on the practice of contemporary art. McEvoy Arts invites artists, curators, and thinkers with varied perspectives to respond to the Collection. Each year, these collaborations produce exhibitions in the Foundation’s gallery, new media programs in the Screening Room, as well as many film, music, literary, and performing arts events each year. Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Visit
McEvoy Arts is dedicated to providing a safe environment for all by following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the state of California, and the city and county of San Francisco. Admission is free by timed-entry reservation or with a walk-up reservation (limited quantities available). For more information, please visit mcevoyarts.org/visit.

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High-resolution images and additional materials are available by request to press@mcevoyarts.org or wendy@norriscommunications.biz.

‘Hearing Aids’ Explores Poetics of the Senses

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts is pleased to announce Hearing Aids, a program of short films and videos that consider a new sensory sensitivity to a world emerging from the coronavirus pandemic. On view in the McEvoy Arts Screening Room, and in conjunction with the exhibition Next to You, Hearing Aids addresses sound, movement, touch, and language in relation to feelings of community and isolation. It is guest curated by visual artist and filmmaker Alison O’Daniel and runs in two parts from May 28 through August 31 and September 1 through December 4, 2021.

Within her practice, O’Daniel often collaborates with hearing, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf composers, musicians, performers, and athletes in order to highlight the loss or re-creation of information as it passes through various channels. For Hearing Aids, sheexposes viewers to how sound can dictate the image, complicating our notions of how we comprehend the relationship between the aural and the visual.

Hearing Aids draws attention to a spacious view of sound not always rooted in the ear. O’Daniel, who herself is hard of hearing and wears hearing aids, cites the loss of taste and smell that is symptomatic of COVID-19 infection as a point of departure for the curation of the program. She asks whether the shared experience of these sensorial losses can usher society into a greater awareness of the body’s intricacies of communication.  

“Our ability to smell and taste has been noticed because it might have been lost. It has served as a daily sensory check to make sure other symptoms of COVID are not about to follow,” says O’Daniel. “When we sit back in a movie theater, will we crave someone’s cell phone to ring, or to hear the sound of the movie in the theater next door resonating through the walls? At a concert, might we want someone to spill their drink, glass shattering, everyone turning their heads at its sonic contribution?”

Hearing Aids is divided into two sessions of short video and film works in which soundtracks, voiceovers, Foley effects, pseudo-scientific tests, conversations, hidden or forgotten mics, Sign Language, forms of surveillance, voiced instructions, and structured audio cuts all function as guides for how the body of the subject or the viewer moves through the work. Spanning the 1970s to the 2010s, films by John Smith, Daria Martin, Kathrin Resetarits, Sky Hopinka, Abigail Child, Deborah Stratman, and Jenny Brady, among others, are included in the program.

The six short films in Session 1 include Jill Magid’s Trust (2004), in which the artist allows herself to be guided with her eyes closed through the streets of Liverpool, England by the police on duty, who observe her location through their monitoring of the country’s largest CCTV surveillance system. Suné Woods’ We was just talking (2017) uses constructed and found footage to explore a tactile and sensorial terrain within intimate relationships and those to the natural world while Laida Lertxundi’s Vivir para Vivir / Live to Live (2015) explores the sensations of being lost and of reaching the horizon. Sweeping views of sparsely populated mountain regions are interspersed with sensory moments like heartbeats, sound, and color patterns to probe differences between represented and embodied experiences. Together, these films construct a web of intimate connections between touch and listening, acts of following and guidance, and the seen and unseen to pose questions about accessibility and inaccessibility.

Hearing Aids: Session 1 screens daily at McEvoy Arts from May 28 through August 31, 2021. Session 2 debuts September 1 and runs through December 4, 2021. Admission is free and open to the public. O’Daniel also curates a feature-length film screening in partnership with San Francisco’s Roxie Theater, dates to be announced. Hearing Aids is the second collaboration between O’Daniel and McEvoy Arts. In 2019 McEvoy Arts presented selections from The Tuba Thieves (2013—), guest curated by Tanya Zimbardo, assistant curator of media arts at SFMOMA.

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Hearing Aids: Session 1
May 28 – August 31, 2021
Hearing Aids: Session 2
September 1 – December 4, 2021  
 
Jill Magid, Trust, 2004
Abigail Child, Mutiny Is this what you were born for? Part 2 1983
John Smith, The Girl Chewing Gum, 1976
Daria Martin, Theatre of the Tender, 2016
Laida Lertxundi, Vivir para Vivir / Live to Live, 2015
Suné Woods, We was just walking, 2017

Kathrin Resetarits, Ägypten / Egypt, 1997
Sky Hopinka, Wawa, 2014
Deborah Stratman, Hacked Circuit, 2014
Daria Martin, Sensorium Tests, 2012
Jenny Brady, Wow and Flutter, 2013

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Alison O’Daniel is a visual artist and filmmaker working across sound, narrative, sculpture, installation and performance. Her work has screened and exhibited in galleries and museums internationally, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR; Centro Centro, Madrid, Spain; Renaissance Society, Chicago; and Centre d’art Contemporain Passerelle, Brest, France. Her film, The Tuba Thieves, has received support from Ford Foundation JustFilms; Creative Capital; Sundance; IFP; Points North; Field of Vision; and Chicken and Egg. She is a recipient of the SFFILM Rainin Grant for Filmmakers with Disabilities, a 2019 Louis Comfort Tiffany award and has received grants from Art Matters; the Rema Hort Mann Foundation; Center for Cultural Innovation; the California Community Foundation; and Franklin Furnace Fund. She was included in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and writing on O’Daniel’s work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; Artforum; The Los Angeles Times; BOMB; and ArtReview. She is represented by Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles and is an Assistant Professor of Film at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. She lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

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Related Exhibition
Next to You
May 28 – December 4, 2021

Next to You is an exhibition of modern and contemporary artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection that celebrate the joy, vitality, and healing power of the performing arts. As the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and its requisite isolation, Next to You is a farewell ballad to a strange and challenging time and a look forward to a future where we are reunited. Featured artists include Mamma Andersson, Ilse Bing, Francis Cape, Sid Grossman, Michelangelo Lovelace, Lisette Model, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff, Dennis Stock, George Silk, Malick Sidibé, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lava Thomas, and Sabine Weiss, among others. With the performing arts cultural sector largely inaccessible during the pandemic, the exhibition showcases dance, theater, music, circus arts, film, and other creative forms. Next to You includes a series of virtual and live events with several dynamic partnering organizations to be announced in Spring 2021.

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About McEvoy Foundation for the Arts
McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents exhibitions and events that engage, expand, and challenge themes present in the McEvoy Family Collection. Established in 2017, McEvoy Arts creates an open, intimate, and welcoming place for private contemplation and public discussion about art and culture. Rooted in the creative legacies of the San Francisco Bay Area, McEvoy Arts embodies a far-reaching vision of the McEvoy Family Collection’s potential to facilitate and engage conversations on the practice of contemporary art. McEvoy Arts invites artists, curators, and thinkers with varied perspectives to respond to the Collection. Each year, these collaborations produce exhibitions in the Foundation’s gallery, new media programs in the Screening Room, as well as many film, music, literary, and performing arts events each year. Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Visit
McEvoy Arts is dedicated to providing a safe environment for all by following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the state of California, and the city and county of San Francisco. Admission is free by timed-entry reservation or with a walk-up reservation (limited quantities available). For more information, please visit mcevoyarts.org/visit.

Image caption and credit: Kathrin Resetarits, Ägypten / Egypt, 1997, 16mm transferred to digital, black-and-white, sound, 10:07 min. Courtesy of the artist and Sixpack Films.

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‘Next to You’ Rediscovers Community Through the Performing Arts

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts is pleased to announce Next to You, an exhibition of modern and contemporary artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection that celebrate the joy, vitality, and healing power of the performing arts. As the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and its requisite isolation, Next to You is a farewell ballad to a strange and challenging time and a look forward to a future where we are reunited. In appreciation of the recovery of our senses and the joy of reconnection, the exhibition, along with related screenings and events, showcases dance, theater, music, circus arts, film, and other creative forms.

Next to You explores people as participants in the performance of their own lives, asking viewers to consider how their interior and exterior selves once again meet in time and space now that intimacy, as we once knew it, has been transformed by social distancing, masks, and vaccinations. How does it feel to see, hear, or touch one another again? What type of world awaits us after a year of living on-hold?

The exhibition primarily includes modern and contemporary photography and painting from the McEvoy Family Collection. Works by Ilse Bing, Thomas Ruff, Dennis Stock, and others anchor the experience through representations of sound, movement, and emotive expression while images by Malick Sidibé and Sabine Weiss capture the healing role of live arts.

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s 1998 photograph of an empty, yet once vibrant, Stanley Theater in New Jersey reminds us of recent and past losses in access to American theater while Mamma Andersson’s depiction of two dancers in Ceremony (2014) captures the desire and tentativeness of coming together in rhythmic movement. Images of conventions, weddings, and pageants are longingly celebrated in photographs by Neal Slavin and Ave Pildas while moments of isolated vulnerability are seized by Guy Stricherz and Alex Prager.

The sole sculptural work in the exhibition, Francis Cape’s Utopian Benches (2011-12), is a construction of seventeen hand-made wood benches inspired by the Shaker movement and other intentional communities. The benches suggest a space of quiet communal comfort and self-reflection while referencing a time when seating in close proximity was and will be possible. Lava Thomas’ assemblage of reflective tambourines, Illuminated Anthem (2018), silently conjures the instrument in both celebration and protest. Michelangelo Lovelace, Sid Grossman, Irving Penn, and Michelle Blade further explore a range of human emotion, from joy to sorrow and loneliness to intimate embrace.

With the performing arts cultural sector largely inaccessible during the pandemic, the sensation of live experience is only a memory for many. Next to You asks: “What can live performance do to unite us—to rebuild our collective selves—after a pandemic that reminded us of the innate vulnerability of our bodies? What have we lost and what, inexplicably, might we have gained?” Next to You is a secret reverie for those longing for the energy of a crowd and a meditative space for recovering long dormant senses as a new world unfolds.

Next to You runs from May 28 through December 4, 2021. Admission is free and open to the public. The exhibition is accompanied by a Screening Room program of film and video shorts guest curated by artist Alison O’Daniel. In celebration of a year-long progression towards reopening and reuniting with live arts, Next to You includes a series of virtual and live events with several dynamic partnering organizations to be announced in Spring 2021.

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About McEvoy Foundation for the Arts 
McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents exhibitions and events that engage, expand, and challenge themes present in the McEvoy Family Collection. Established in 2017, McEvoy Arts creates an open, intimate, and welcoming place for private contemplation and public discussion about art and culture. Rooted in the creative legacies of the San Francisco Bay Area, McEvoy Arts embodies a far-reaching vision of the McEvoy Family Collection’s potential to facilitate and engage conversations on the practice of contemporary art. McEvoy Arts invites artists, curators, and thinkers with varied perspectives to respond to the Collection. Each year, these collaborations produce exhibitions in the Foundation’s gallery, new media programs in the Screening Room, as well as numerous film, music, literary, and performing arts events each year. Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Visiting McEvoy Foundation for the Arts
McEvoy Arts is dedicated to providing a safe environment for all by following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the State of California, and the City and County of San Francisco. Admission is free by timed-entry reservation or with a walk-up reservation (limited quantities available). For more information and details about McEvoy Arts’ health and safety procedures, please visit mcevoyarts.org/visit.

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‘New Labor Movements’ Offers Interpretive Visions of America and Black Life by Contemporary Filmmakers

Curated by Bay Area artist and educator Leila Weefur and presented in McEvoy Foundation for the Arts’ Screening Room, New Labor Movements is a collection of short films that explore contemporary visions of America and concepts of transnational Blackness. Through a compositional discourse played out in four hour-long “movements” featuring fifteen films by seventeen artists, the program navigates the philosophical, psychological, and emotional landscapes that manifest in the lives of slavery’s descendants and those living in the aftermath of slavery’s indirect, proximal effects. The program was commissioned on the occasion of the West Coast premiere of Isaac Julien’s Lessons of the Hour at McEvoy Arts (October 14, 2020 – March 13, 2021). Movements I and II open at McEvoy Arts on October 14. Movements III and IV premiere in 2021.

Weefur organized New Labor Movements to consider the question of “What is America today?” as inspired by Lessons of the Hour, Julien’s immersive film installation and photography exhibition on the life and impact of Frederick Douglass. The act of movement is a structurally fluid principle that shapes the program in multiple coded ways, depending on the viewer. Chief among them are movements in film construction and narrative; in the distribution of labor and power; in reference to the trans-Atlantic movements of goods, capital, and people; and as it references the one’s movement through a gallery or in a theater. Weefur’s curation of these films prioritizes displays of movement as more of an experiential truth rather than a reactive condition. Just as we are living through an unpredictable emotional landscape, the films gracefully shift pace, matching the current political unrest with a poetic volatility.

Weefur states that “the included filmmakers measure movement with distinct cinematic voices and varied cinematic instruments, from high contrast black and white celluloid and archival imagery to refined HD digital pictures. Evidenced in the selection of films are thoughtful articulations of movement that reveal the nuance of global political critique and a profound broadness of Black life across borders.” Taken together with the multi-sensorial, meditative qualities of Lessons, the program engineers a gender diverse, intergenerational dialogue amongst filmmakers that explores the creation of cinematic narrative and Black political history.

Movement I: Assembly presents five films that orient the viewer to linkages between the creation of Diasporic history and collective experience. Assembly is introduced by the 16mm black-and-white shots of an African American gospel choir in Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena Harold’s elegiac Hampton (2019) and also includes works by Garrett Bradley, Christopher Harris, Onyeka Igwe, and Mitch McCabe. Across three films by Eden Tinto Collins and Adrien Gystere Peskine, Lonnie Holley and Cyrus Moussavi, and Morgan Quaintance, Movement II: Resistance/Selfhood identifies realizations of the self within societal narratives of struggle and triumph. The struggle is acutely seen in Holley and Moussavi’s I Snuck Off the Slave Ship (2019), which finds the self-taught African American artist and dimensional traveler attempting to sneak off the slave ship America in a metaphor for Black transcendence. Woven throughout the two movements are the visions of Black ancestors, elders, and children, coalescing into a visual guide to reconsider movements as acts of power, liberation, and achievement.

Assembly and Resistance/Selfhood screen daily in 2020. Movements III and IV, as well as additional programs in conjunction with New Labor Movements, are to be announced.

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Leila Weefur (She/They/He) is an artist, writer, and curator whose work in video and installation brings together concepts of the sensorial memory, abject Blackness, hyper surveillance, and the erotic. Weefur has worked with local and national institutions including the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Smack Mellon, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Wattis Institute, San Francisco. Weefur is a recipient of the Hung Liu award, the Murphy & Cadogan award, and the Walter & Elise Haas Creative Work Fund. They are a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of The Black Aesthetic. Weefur received their MFA from Mills College and is based in Oakland, CA.

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Featured Artists
Garrett Bradley; Charlotte Brathwaite; Elegance Bratton; Terrance Daye; Adrien Gystere Peskine; Claudrena Harold; Christopher Harris; Lonnie Holley; Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich; Onyeka Igwe; Jovan James; Kevin Jerome Everson; Mitch McCabe; Cyrus Moussavi; Darol Olu Kae; Eden Tinto Collins; Morgan Quaintance

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Related Programming

Lessons of the Hour: Isaac Julien
October 14, 2020 – March 13, 2021

Lessons of the Hour is a moving image and photography exhibition by British filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien. It explores the life of Frederick Douglass, the visionary African American writer, abolitionist, statesman, and freed slave through reimaginations of his most compelling speeches and moments from his private life. The centerpiece of the exhibition, Julien’s ten-screen film installation Lessons of the Hour — Frederick Douglass (2019), offers a contemplative, poetic journey into Douglass’ life and legacy. The film installation is accompanied by Julien’s tintype portraits and mise en scènes photographs of the film’s subjects as well as a complementary grouping of works from the McEvoy Family Collection, selected by Julien and independent curator and writer Mark Nash.

Isaac Julien and Leila Weefur: In Conversation
Thursday, October 15, 2020, 12–1pm PST

Isaac Julien and Leila Weefur appear in an online conversation to discuss the poetics and architecture of cinema in their exhibitions concurrently on view at McEvoy Arts. The conversation is moderated by Greg Niemeyer, Chair and Professor for New Media in the Department of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley. It is co-produced by McEvoy Arts, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Berkeley Arts + Design.

Acknowledgments
Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass (2019) was originally commissioned by the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester in partnership with Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and with generous support from: Deborah Ronnen and Sherman Levey; Mark Falcone and Ellen Bruss; the Zell Family; Lori Van Dusen; Ford Foundation; VIA Art Fund; Linda Pace Foundation; Carol Weinbaum and Outset Contemporary Art Fund / CAF Canada; and University of California Santa Cruz. Special thanks to Jessica Silverman, San Francisco; the McEvoy Family Collection; Metro Pictures, New York; Victoria Miro, London/Venice.

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McEvoy Arts Presents Lessons of the Hour: Isaac Julien — A Portrait of Frederick Douglass

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts is pleased to announce the West Coast debut of Lessons of the Hour, a moving image and photography exhibition by British filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien, CBE RA. Opening on October 14, 2020, Lessons explores the life of Frederick Douglass, the visionary African American writer, abolitionist, statesman, and freed slave through a few of his most compelling speeches and moments from his private life. The centerpiece of the exhibition is Julien’s multi-screen film installation Frederick Douglass: Lessons of the Hour (2019) offers a contemplative, poetic journey into Douglass’ zeitgeist, a complex imagining of a man affirming his struggle for equality as a global citizen, and a forceful suggestion that the lessons of the abolitionist’s hour have yet to be learned.

Lessons of the Hour is a catalyst for conversation, reflection and community,” says Susan Miller, executive director. “With this monumental achievement that demands a physical experience, Isaac Julien welcomes art goers of all backgrounds back to the transcendence of a shared space for a discussion of unparalleled importance. We look forward to providing access to this exhibition freely to all communities in and beyond the Bay Area.”

Adds Nion McEvoy, founder and president: “Isaac is a critically important storyteller whose work has the power to soothe, provoke, and entertain all at once. We are thrilled to be working with him. McEvoy Arts is an accessible art space for all to enjoy museum-quality exhibitions that are aligned with themes in the McEvoy Family Collection. With Lessons of the Hour, we offer visitors, both new and returning, a chance to engage with a mesmerizing installation usually seen at much larger institutions. It is our absolute honor to bring Isaac’s work to the West Coast and the Bay Area.”

Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) is a pivotal figure in the history of abolitionism and social reform in the United States. An escaped and then freed slave, Douglass developed his oratorical skills as a preacher before embarking on anti-slavery campaigns across the northern United States and the United Kingdom, where he expansively documented the sensations of freedom from enslavement and other forms of racial discrimination he felt there as opposed to the United States. He was active in the women’s suffrage movement and published three autobiographies which continue to wield cultural influence. Throughout his lifetime, Douglass, the most photographed man of the nineteenth-century, was a prominent proponent of the medium as a means by which Black people could control their likenesses beyond caricature.

Frederick Douglass: Lessons of the Hour is an immersive ten-screen film installation, hung salon-style to create what Julien describes as a “moving image montage.” The work’s presentation not only echoes the picture-hanging conventions of the era but allows the artist to draw connections between many images at once without relegating any particular detail to the background. Shot with 35mm film and 4k digital technology at sites in the United States and United Kingdom that hold historical significance to the abolitionist’s life, Lessons places Douglass (portrayed by Ray Fearon, a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company) within settings alternately pastoral, domestic, and public. Lessons’ opening sequences present Douglass amidst a sublime natural landscape before giving way to meticulous recreations of nineteenth-century rooms—kitchens, living spaces, and photography studios–offering more intimate details of his life. Midway through we see Douglass as the professional orator, delivering two piecing monologues in the highly formal Royal Academy of Arts in London. Later, Julien introduces contemporary images of drone surveillance and found footage of twentieth-century American life that brings Douglass’ timely words into the present.

Working closely with the art historian Celeste-Marie Bernier on the film’s narration, Julien constructs “tableaux vivants” that reimagine Douglass’ relationships to the influential women and men in his life, among them Anna Murray and Helen Pitts, his first and second wives; Ellen and Anna Richardson, who raised funds to purchase Douglass’ freedom and supported his return to America; the suffragette Susan B. Anthony; feminist activist and translator Ottilie Assing; and JP Ball, a pioneering African American photographer. Julien’s inclusion of these historical figures indelibly ties them to our contemporary understanding of Douglass’ legacy, offering an intersectional approach to the ongoing struggle for racial justice and human rights.

Three of Douglass’ seminal speeches provide the thematic core of Lessons. “Lessons of the Hour” (1894), his final delivered speech, addresses lynching, suffrage, and legacies of slavery in the post-Civil War American South. “Lecture on Pictures” (1861), in which Douglass famously declared that “rightly viewed, the whole soul of man is a sort of picture gallery,” draws a connection between advances in photography and equality. “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” (1852), Douglass’ most well-known speech, offers a pointed critique of American democracy advanced by the condition of slavery. Employing the nonlinear narrative devices for which he is acclaimed, Julien crafts a multi-layered meditation on the historicity and contemporaneity of Douglass’ writings.

Isaac Julien’s pioneering artistic practice incorporates the moving image, photography, and installation to create open-ended narratives that invite spectators to actively interpret the work through a physical and sensorial immersion. His 1989 documentary-drama exploring author Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance Looking for Langston garnered Julien a cult following while his 1991 debut feature Young Soul Rebels won the Semaine de la Critique prize at the Cannes Film Festival. In the decades since, Julien’s body of work has touched on the iconic Brazilian-Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi (A Marvellous Entanglement, 2019), geopolitical immigration policies (Western Union Small Boats, 2007), and relationships between art and the effects of capital (Playtime, 2014), among others. His singular attention to set décor, lighting, performance, as well as editing, sonic, and visual effects creates space for reflection on global forces shaping history and culture.

McEvoy Arts’ presentation of Lessons is developed in collaboration with the Isaac Julien Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz to give a community of postgraduate students a practicum experience in curation, installation, and production of an immersive moving-image work. The Lab is taught by Julien, a Distinguished Professor of the Arts at UC Santa Cruz, and independent curator and writer Mark Nash and provides opportunities for theoretical research, curatorial debate, and artistic production. Collaboratively, the Lab and McEvoy Arts are producing a series of conversations and installation documentation for the course and select public viewing. The initiative further develops McEvoy Arts as a space for dialogue, education, and reflection in the arts by participants of all backgrounds.

The film installation is accompanied by Julien’s tintype portraits and mise en scènes photographs of the film’s subjects that explore a shared interest in photography between Douglass and Julien, as well as a complementary grouping of works from the McEvoy Family Collection, selected by Julien and Nash. A catalog on the project is forthcoming in Fall 2020. Additional programs, detailed below, are to be announced in full later this Summer.

Lessons of the Hour runs through March 13, 2021 and is free and open to the public.

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Additional Programming

In the Screening Room
Artist, curator, and educator Leila Weefur curates a video program that creates an intertextual dialogue between emerging and established filmmakers whose works function as thoughtful responses to the question, “what is America today?”Across a series of “film movements,” Weefur generates a compositional discourse that queers the historically linear Black diasporic narrative. Concepts of movement—in screens, language, borders, and history—are threaded throughout the program and Weefur’s practice at large, which explores spatial and structural complexities that influence cinematic narrative and the aesthetics of Black being.

Conversations and Events
In conjunction with both Lessons of the Hour and Weefur’s video program, McEvoy Arts is developing a calendar of virtual and in-person public programs in partnership with a diverse cohort of organizations. The events prioritize opportunities for intergenerational and intersectional conversations on topics thematically embedded in the exhibition, including memory, historical truth, civil rights, and photography’s relationship to the moving image.

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Isaac Julien, CBE RA (b. 1960) is an artist, filmmaker, and educator whose multi-screen film installations and photographs incorporate different artistic disciplines to create a poetic and unique visual language. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark; The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; MAC Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the De Pont Museum, Netherlands; Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; Pompidou Centre Paris; and MoCA Miami. He has exhibited at the La Biennale de Venezia, Johannesburg Biennale, Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, and Shanghai Biennale. Julien is the recipient of The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award 2017 and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2017. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of the Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is developing the Isaac Julien Lab. He lives and works in London and Santa Cruz.

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Acknowledgments
Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass (2019) was originally commissioned by the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester in partnership with Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and with generous support from: Deborah Ronnen and Sherman Levey; Mark Falcone and Ellen Bruss; the Zell Family; Lori Van Dusen; Ford Foundation; VIA Art Fund; Linda Pace Foundation; Carol Weinbaum and Outset Contemporary Art Fund / CAF Canada; and University of California Santa Cruz. Special thanks to Jessica Silverman, San Francisco; the McEvoy Family Collection; Metro Pictures, New York; Victoria Miro, London/Venice.

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In This Light: McEvoy Arts Celebrates Artists from Minnesota Street Project Studios with Offsite Project Space

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts has selected four Bay Area artists from The Minnesota Street Project Studio Program at 1240 Minnesota Street to participate in In This Light, a dedicated project space organized within the offsite group exhibition Invincible Summer at 1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco. Honoring the essential role that art and artists play in confronting, explaining, and living in a pandemic and shelter-in-place, works by Miguel Arzabe, Alison Pebworth, Charlene Tan, and Richard T. Walker are on view via the newly launched online platform Minnesota Street Project Adjacent and in-person by appointment at Minnesota Street Project from June 30 – September 30, 2020.

Invincible Summer began as Minnesota Street Project’s response to the circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, both in its theme and in its physical and virtual configurations. Each of the Project’s tenant galleries contributed works in response to a line from Albert Camus’ essay, “Return to Tipasa” (1953), that expresses hopefulness in the face of challenge: “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

McEvoy Arts’ contribution, In This Light, celebrates the work of four artists—Miguel Arzabe, Alison Pebworth, Charlene Tan, and Richard T. Walker—to underscore the spirit of hope and transformation that comes from periods of darkness. The artists offer a mixture of new work created during shelter-in-place, as well as pieces that were to be presented in exhibitions canceled by the pandemic and recent works that hold meaning to these new realities. McEvoy Arts invited all artists affiliated with The Studio Program, which provides affordable private studios situated within a campus environment, to submit proposals for the opportunity to present work and receive an artist fee and production funding to participate in the exhibition. In This Light is informed by a complementary passage from “Return to Tipasa” that celebrates the acts of listening, reflection, and catharsis which arrive after a period of disillusionment: “In this light and this silence…I listened to an almost forgotten sound within myself as if my heart, long stopped, were calmly beginning to beat again.”

“While In This Light was envisioned in response to an unprecedented experience of physical isolation and prior to the groundswell of protest over the violence and brutality against Black people in the United States, the artworks on view tap into a spirit of reflection, transformation, and renewed energy that resonates in multi-faceted ways,” says Amy Owen, exhibitions & public programs manager, McEvoy Arts. “We are honored to present this project as a celebration of the spirit of Bay Area creativity, diverse expression, and ingenuity and as a moment to share solidarity with our Dogpatch neighbors and artistic communities.”

In This Light is available for viewing both virtually at minnesotastreetprojectadjacent.com and in-person by appointment at 1275 Minnesota Street in accordance with San Francisco’s public health recommendations through September 30, 2020. Details about Minnesota Street Project’s reopening and visitor policies are available on its website. McEvoy Foundation for the Arts will reopen its galleries at 1150 25th Street, Building B in mid-July with an extension of the exhibitions Orlando and certainty is becoming our nemesis through September 5, 2020. More details regarding McEvoy Arts’ updated admissions plans are to be announced.

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Artist Projects

Miguel Arzabe draws inspiration from both the traditions of indigenous textiles and modernist abstract painting to question authorship, labor, and how value is created. His suite of two-dimensional large-scale works acknowledge the enduring vitality of native cultures despite the hegemony of dominant culture.

Alison Pebworth’s practice combines painting, installation, and social interaction in often long-term investigations of an idea. Pebworth contributes an installation of minimalist sculpture that coalesces feminism, futurism, and collective spirituality.

Charlene Tan offers new work that reinterprets tribal weaving patterns native to the Philippines. From her Researching and Remembering series, these investigations explore ideas of the immigrant diaspora and post-assimilation identity.

Richard T. Walker’s practice combines photography, text, music, sculpture, video, and performance to explore solitude, human nature, and dialogue. Walker presents a viewer-activated photographic sculpture that embraces the new lived experience of collective distance shared by many since the pandemic appeared.

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About the Artists

Miguel Arzabe makes colorful and dynamic abstractions to recover moments of human interconnectedness. Drawing from the cultural techniques and motifs of his Andean heritage, Arzabe produces unlikely intersections between form and content, the nostalgic and the hard-edged, appropriation and authorship, failure and redemption. His work has been featured in such festivals as Hors Pistes, Paris, and in museums and galleries including the Albuquerque Museum of Art; the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive; MAC Lyon, France; MARS Milan, Italy; RM Projects, Auckland; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has held residencies at Facebook, the Headlands Center for the Arts, Montalvo Arts Center, and Santa Fe Art Institute. Arzabe holds a BS from Carnegie Mellon University, an MS from Arizona State University, and an MFA from UC Berkeley.

Alison Pebworth is a San Francisco-based artist who engages painting, installation, and social interaction in her work. She has exhibited at Southern Exposure, San Francisco; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; the Oakland Museum of California; the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; and the New Children’s Museum, San Diego. She is the recipient of awards from The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, The Center for Cultural Innovation, and The San Francisco Arts Commission. She has held residencies at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha; Recology, San Francisco; Ucross Foundation, Wyoming; and Space, British Columbia.

Charlene Tan’s interdisciplinary artworks focus on the immigrant diaspora and its repercussions, post-assimilation identity, and investigations of nationalism and cultural heritage. Her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions in the United States, including Ampersand International Arts, San Francisco; the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art; and Blank Space Gallery, Oakland. She received her BA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Born in Houston Texas, she lived in the Philippines before moving to San Francisco.

Richard T. Walker employs a variety of media including video, music, photography, sculpture and performance. These media are often intermixed to explore and question the experience of the individual within the natural landscape. His work is in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Kadist Foundation, and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (K21), amongst other institutions. He has exhibited and performed worldwide including at The Contemporary Austin; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art; The Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro; The Times Museum, Guangzhou, China; the Witte De With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. Walker has been an Irvine Fellow at the Montalvo Art Center as well as participated in residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He received an Artadia Award in 2009. He received his MA from Goldsmiths College and lives in San Francisco.

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Zackary Drucker, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Brontez Purnell and Others Spotlight Notions of Beauty, Power, and Transformation in Orlando-Inspired Public Programs

In conjunction with the West Coast debut of the exhibition Orlando, guest curated by Tilda Swinton and organized by Aperture, New York, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents a series of events that animate, challenge, and interpret Virignia Woolf’s Orlando, as well as the film and exhibition. Balancing now-classic adaptations of the story with newly commissioned performances and cultural partnerships, the events encompass film, dance, music, and performance.

Woolf’s 1928 novel, which tells the story of a young nobleman who lives for three centuries without aging and mysteriously shifts gender along the way, is experiencing a contemporary resurgence. Drawn to the tale’s exploration of gender fluidity, timelessness, and self-transformation, artistic institutions such as the Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute are reexamining the possibilities of Woolf’s enduring story. The Orlando-inspired events at McEvoy Arts share this spirit of boundary-less exploration by inviting artists, curators, and organizations to produce experiences that foster cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exchange.

Events begin on February 25, 2020 with a rare 35mm screening at the Roxie Theater of Sally Potter’s Orlando, offering a fresh look at one of Tilda Swinton’s defining roles as the titular character. Orlando-included artist Lynn Hershman’s Leeson’s Conceiving Ada and Teknolust, also starring Swinton, are presented in a double-feature and conversation with the filmmaker at McEvoy Arts on April 4. Zackary Drucker (also included in the exhibitions Orlando and certainty is becoming our nemesis), moderates Any Other Way: Celebrating the Life and Work of Jackie Shane on March 26, about the legacy of the transgender R&B musician, with special guests. McEvoy Arts convenes It’s A Moment at Oakland’s Pro Arts Gallery and Commons on March 6 to rethink the roles of arts institutions as sites for community dialogue. Closing the exhibition on May 2, Brontez Purnell presents Brontez Purnell as Orlando as Brontez Purnell: “My” Journey, a newly commissioned immersive performance exploring the 300-year odyssey of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando through sound, visuals, movement, and stillness. Both events are organized by Ryanaustin Dennis.

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Schedule of Events

Sally Potter’s Orlando
Tuesday, February 25, 6:45pm at the Roxie Theater

Nearly thirty years after its premiere, Sally Potter’s bold re-working of Virginia Woolf’s classic 1928 novel endures as a remarkable love story, an incisive tour through English history, and a landmark work of genderqueer cinema. Orlando is the story of a journey through time and a modern exploration of gender and identity, beginning in the age of Queen Elizabeth I and ending with the speed and noise of the twentieth century. Potter’s assured direction of Swinton’s subtle performance vividly refracts the seismic historical shifts in the tale through Orlando’s fluid shifts in gender, as well as in love, war, politics, and poetry. The result is a timeless cinematic achievement that celebrates the spirit, rather than the letter, of Woolf’s book. Presented in 35mm.

It’s a Moment
Friday, March 6, 6pm at Pro Arts Gallery & Commons

Organizers Ryanaustin Dennis and Samantha Maria Xochitl Espinoza ask participants to consider questions that Tilda Swinton posed regarding Orlando in Issue #235 of Aperture magazine: “What is a society? What is a social conscience? What is social responsibility? What is a human? What future can we envisage for ourselves? What is hope?” Presented in partnership with Pro Arts Gallery and Commons during Oakland First Fridays, It’s a Moment invites culturally and artistically diverse thinkers to collectively envision a future for arts institutions as sites for community exchange, revolution, and recalibration of perspective and will. The evening seeks to connect emerging QPOC artists based in the East Bay with young creators from Oakland schools and nonprofit organizations through dance, visual, and filmic forms. A small vendors market follows the presentations and performances.

Any Other Way: Celebrating the Life and Work of Jackie Shane
Thursday, March 26, 7pm

The rhythm and blues singer Jackie Shane, who died in 2019, broke barriers as an openly transgender artist in the 1960s. This program invites special guests to honor the extraordinary life and music of the charismatic artist as an affirmation of the existence of gender-diverse and non-binary peoples throughout time. Any Other Way is organized by artist Zackary Drucker, whose practice fosters dialogue with elders in the trans community as a means of combatting the false narrative that transness is a twenty-first century phenomenon. Drucker, who interviewed Shane for her Trans Legends project in 2018, is joined by Shane’s confidantes Mark Christopher, and Douglas Mcgowan, A&R at Shane’s reissue record label Numero Group trace Shane’s trajectory through the history of soul music and gender expression. Musician Ebony Tay offers a stirring musical tribute to Shane.

Teknolust and Conceiving Ada with Lynn Hershman Leeson
Saturday, April 4, 5pm

Lynn Hershman Leeson’s films Conceiving Ada (2000) and Teknolust (2003) are two of the artist’s most celebrated explorations of the themes which have defined her multidisciplinary art practice. In the time-travel adventure film Conceiving Ada, Tilda Swinton astonishes as a mathematic genius a century ahead of her time who blurs the boundaries between past and present, virtual and real. In the science-fiction drama Teknolust, Swinton’s chameleonic abilities are on full display as a scientist specializing in biogenetics who creates three self-replicating automatons (also played by Swinton), who rely on sperm to survive. Traversing LGBTQ+, feminist, technological, and ethical concerns, Hershman Leeson’s films endure as enigmatic harbingers of digital culture’s effect on our collective experience of reality.

Brontez Purnell as Orlando as Brontez Purnell: “My” Journey
Saturday, May 2, 7pm
Tickets on sale February 28

In a newly commissioned immersive performance organized by Ryanaustin Dennis, Oakland-based artist Brontez Purnell explores the 300-year odyssey in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando through sound, visuals, movement, and stillness. The program functions as a performative excavation of Purnell’s past as a self-described “queer, black, photo essayist, author, filmmaker, dancer, musician, weed trimmer, and cocktail waitress” and as a visual annotation of Orlando (the film’s) lush production quality and behind the scenes history. Confronting the mercurial pageantry of performative queerness in the tale, Purnell employs a seemingly inexhaustible cache of creative expression to reimagine Orlando as it’s never been experienced.

All events at McEvoy Arts unless otherwise noted. Advance tickets to programs are available beginning January 14, 2020 at www.mcevoyarts.org unless otherwise noted. Ticket pricing may vary between programs. For complete Box Office policies, visit www.mcevoyarts.org/visit.

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New Media Program Amplifies Resonant Themes in the Exhibition and Novel ‘Orlando’

For immediate Release:

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts premieres certainty is becoming our nemesis, a program of experimental media works guest curated by San Francisco Cinematheque Director Steve Polta, to accompany the West Coast debut of Orlando, February 7 ­– May 2, 2020. The hour-long program runs concurrently with the exhibition with an opening reception scheduled for Saturday, February 8, 5–8pm.

certainty is becoming our nemesis presents ten short films on themes of transformation and self-invention, gender fluidity, performance, and family that are inspired by the resonances of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando in the exhibition and Issue #235 of Aperture magazine. Opening with the continuous dissolve of male and female bodies in Alice Anne Parker’s Riverbody (1970), the program traces the blurred boundaries of self-expression and how ambiguity of identity manifests as an emotional survival strategy. Zach Blas’ Facial Weaponization Communiqué: Fag Face (2012) critiques the participatory surveillance of the twenty-first century with a protestation of biometric facial recognition as it is applied to oppressed and marginalized communities. Zackary Drucker’s Unison (2013–2017), with its lush visualization of intergenerational transgender identity in rural Pennsylvania, embraces the complex fluidity of time and place as indispensable conditions of the construction of identity. While flirting with notions of timelessness and perpetuity, these works refute notions of stability in favor of transformative existence and radical gestures of intimacy.

Polta cites a section of Swinton’s introduction to Issue #235 as a framework for considering the program, in which Swinton writes “I’ve been thinking about how certainty is becoming our nemesis. […] How the once essential search for a definable, and immutable, identity has become stifling to our sense of development and the possibilities of finding true fellowship with other complex, variously wired, hesitant sensitive beings.” certainty is becoming our nemesis celebrates these assertions of the self as critically important: artistically, culturally, and politically. The international program features works from Austria, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States that illustrate a breadth of filmic practice and extends the impact of Woolf’s prescient text.

The program repeats at the top of the hour and runs continuously during McEvoy Arts’ gallery hours.

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Featured Works
Zach Blas, Facial Weaponization Communiqué: Fag Face, 2012
Nazli Dinçel, Shape of a Surface, 2017
Julia Dogra-Brazell, Between Dog and Wolf, 2018
Zackary Drucker, Unison, 2013–2017
Pere Ginard, Métamorphoses du Papillon, 2013
Rosa John, Rote Linie, 2015/2016
Alice Anne Parker. Riverbody, 1970
Rajee Samarasinghe, The Queen of Material, 2014
Karly Stark, the problem is that everything is fleeting, 2015
Antoinette Zwirchmayr, Jean Luc Nancy, 2018

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Steve Polta is a writer, archivist, historian, and Director of San Francisco Cinematheque where he has worked since 1998. He is the co-founder and current curator of Cinematheque’s CROSSROADS film festival, founded 2010, now presented annually at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 2014 he was awarded a Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for the study of contemporary and historic performance cinema which resulted in Perpetual Motion, an extensive series of live cinema performances presented in San Francisco in 2016. He holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from San José State University. He is co-editor with Brett Kashmere of Craig Baldwin: Avant to Live! documenting the film and curatorial work of the Bay Area artist to be published in collaboration with Incite: A Journal of Experimental Media in 2020. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Acknowledgments
Orlando is made possible, in part, with the support of Slobodan Randjelović and Jon Stryker. Aperture also thanks ROOT STUDIOS for supporting the production of Mickalene Thomas’ work in this issue.

Special thanks and recognition to Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Canyon Cinema Foundation, and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles for their support and inspiration for certainty is becoming our nemesis.

High-resolution images and additional materials are available by request to press@mcevoyarts.org.

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Amy Owen Hired as McEvoy Arts’ Exhibitions & Public Programs Manager

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts is pleased to announce that Amy Owen has joined its staff as the Exhibitions & Public Programs Manager. With more than two decades of experience in the regional and national arts ecosystems, Owen comes to McEvoy Arts from the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art in Napa where she has overseen the growth of its curatorial and educational programs since 2013. Working closely with McEvoy Arts’ Founder & President Nion McEvoy and Executive Director Susan Miller, Owen will guide the Foundation’s exhibitions and program and participation model, in which curators and artists with varied perspectives are invited to produce projects that engage, expand, and challenge themes present in the McEvoy Family Collection.

“We are thrilled to have Amy Owen join our staff at McEvoy Arts,” said Nion McEvoy. “Amy will bring great vision, experience, and energy to our team and we look forward to working with her.”

As Curator at di Rosa, Owen organized a range of site-specific commissions and intergenerational solo exhibitions, including Viola Frey: Center Stage, Equilibrium: A Paul Kos Survey, Robert Kinmont: Trying to understand where I grew up, Richard T. Walker: the fallibility of intent, and, Desirée Holman: Sophont in Action as well as a range of thematic group exhibitions such as Based on a True Story: Highlights from the di Rosa Collection and Be Not Still: Living in Uncertain Times. While at di Rosa Owen spearheaded the creation of two residency programs and initiated a series of exhibitions that invited artists, writers, and guest curators to engage with the collection, generating fresh perspectives and new scholarship on its remarkable holdings of Northern California art. Her last two projects at di Rosa will open in early 2020 with new commissions by Davina Semo (San Francisco) and Jim Drain (Providence) that spark a dialogue with the region’s rich artistic legacy.

Previously, she was Senior Exhibitions Manager in the Visual Arts Department at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco and Director of Exhibitions at Artists Space, New York. She received her B.A. from Southern Methodist University and M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, where she received the Monique Beudert Award for Curatorial Excellence.

In addition to her strategic planning and leadership skills, Owen brings a career-long commitment to the development of emerging artists and support of Bay Area arts communities to her new role at McEvoy Arts, which has presented seven exhibitions and welcomed over 25,000 visitors to its programs since opening to the public in October 2017. She joins the Foundation as it announces the West Coast debut of Orlando, guest curated by Tilda Swinton and organized in partnership with Aperture, New York, on view February 7 – May 2, 2020.

“It has been remarkable to witness the growth and evolution of McEvoy Arts over the past two years,” said Owen. “I’m thrilled to be joining the team as it steps into this exciting next phase of development. l look forward to further expanding the scope and reach of the McEvoy Family Collection and to working with and learning from such a dynamic host of collaborators.”

As Exhibitions and Public Programs Manager, Owen will produce programs that convey the thematic richness of the McEvoy Family Collection for diverse communities in the Bay Area and beyond. She joins Miller, Associate Director Lindsay Albert, Communications Manager Nate Gellman, and Operations Manager Alex Spoto as a member of McEvoy Arts’ staff leadership.

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