This exhibition is the second in a series highlighting contemporary Bay Area artists in our collection. The installation explores how artists relate to their environments through place: place as the physical land, place as heritage, place as the imaginary, and place as belonging.
Several artists examine climate change and its local impact. In Saif Azzuz’s Lo’op’ (It burns) (2021), he draws the color palette from maps of the 2021 droughts and fires in California. Other artists use found materials not only to address ecological issues but also to add layers of meaning, such as in Guillermo Galindo’s Ready to Go (2015), made from a broken bicycle and chair he found along the US-Mexico border. And others play with figure and ground: Clare Rojas’s Walking in Rainbow Rain (2021) is a meditation on disappearing into one’s environment. The drab cityscape is brightened by the rain’s rainbow palette, which also alludes to the history of the LGBTQ+ movement in San Francisco. The works on display, exploring themes of belonging, ecological stewardship, and social justice, are drawn from the 2022 Svane Family Foundation gift of 42 works by more than 30 local artists.