Fight and Flight: Crafting a Bay Area Life

Curated by Jacqueline Francis and Ariel Zaccheo, Fight and Flight is about the struggle to live and work in the Bay Area where, despite the lack of affordable housing and studio space, the participating artists’ histories are nuanced expressions of the determination to remain. Over several months, Francis and Zaccheo visited artists in their studios and via Zoom, engaging in conversations about their Bay Area lives and careers and asking: “How, if at all, does your art practice relate to the Bay Area?” In dialogue with the artists, they discussed the relevance of “home” and “place” in their work. The artists spoke of conflicting and complex feelings: grief and frustration over erasure and invisibility; enjoyment of and inspiration from the Northern California landscape; and gratitude for friends, peer groups, and chosen families.Francis comments, “For a long time, artists have ingeniously crafted a life in the Bay Area. For some of those who decide to move on, the careers and relationships started here are central to their sensibilities as makers.” Consciously uplifting communities that are historically underserved and underrepresented in museum collections and exhibitions, Fight and Flight primarily features African American, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, and AAPI artists.

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