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.
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.
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.