Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Announce “The de Young Open”, Open Submission Exhibition to Showcase Bay Area Artists

Angelo A. Sottosanti, "San Francisco Outdoor Art Exhibit" (detail), 1941. Transparent and opaque watercolor on paper, 22 1/2 x 30 7/8 in. ( 57.1 x 78.4 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Allocated by the Federal Art Project, L43.2.926

Angelo A. Sottosanti, San Francisco Outdoor Art Exhibit, 1941. Transparent and opaque watercolor on paper, 22 1/2 x 30 7/8 in. ( 57.1 x 78.4 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Allocated by the Federal Art Project, L43.2.926

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Announce “The de Young Open”, Open Submission Exhibition to Showcase Bay Area Artists

In celebration of the de Young museum’s 125th anniversary, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco announced today The de Young Open, a juried community art exhibition welcoming submissions relating to the theme “On the Edge,” by artists from the nine Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.

“As the de Young celebrates its distinguished 125-year history in 2020, we are proud to announce The de Young Open, creating a platform for the visionary artists who enrich the Bay Area’s cultural landscape,” states Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “Amid these uncertain times, this new initiative expands the Fine Arts Museums’ ongoing commitment to the Bay Area community and serves as a celebratory sign of our community’s strength and resilience. From local artists to art lovers, we look forward to welcoming our visitors back to the de Young museum this summer with this epochal exhibition.”

The de Young Open continues the museum’s long-standing tradition of engaging the local community and showcasing the talent of Bay Area artists. The theme “On the Edge” derives from both the Bay Area’s geographic location on the Pacific Rim, but also the region’s historical reputation for leading-edge, cutting-edge, or edgy culture and creativity. Local artists were invited to submit their artworks to the exhibition June 1–14, 2020. 6,190 artists applied to be featured in the exhibition, submitting more than 11,500 individual artworks.

Timothy Anglin Burgard, Distinguished Senior Curator and Ednah Root Curator in Charge of American Art, will head a curatorial jury to select the artworks in the exhibition that includes Claudia Schmuckli, Curator of Contemporary Art and Programming, Karin Breuer, Curator in Charge of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts and Jill D'Alessandro, Curator in Charge of Costume and Textile Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, in addition to renowned Bay Area artists Enrique Chagoya, Hung Liu and Mildred Howard.

“The Museums want to support our local art communities, particularly at a time when they are experiencing the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis,” says Burgard. “This innovative exhibition will provide a unique opportunity for our visitors to view the extraordinary breadth and depth of art created in the Bay Area.”

In total, 763 artists were selected for The de Young Open with a total of 881 artworks to be on view.  Artists exhibiting work will be able to offer their pieces for sale and to retain 100 percent of the proceeds. The exhibition will be on view in the de Young museum’s Herbst Exhibition Galleries. 

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Enrique Chagoya (b. 1953)
Enrique Chagoya juxtaposes secular, popular, and religious symbols in order to address the ongoing cultural clash between the United States, Latin America and the world as well. He juxtaposes secular, popular, and religious symbols in order to address the ongoing cultural clash between the United States, Latin America and the world as well. Chagoya has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally for over two decades. He is Full Professor at Stanford University’s Department of Art and Art History. His work is in many public collections including The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, MoMA, the Metropolitan and the Whiney museums in NYC, SFMoMA and the De Young in SF, among others. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2017.

Hung Liu (b. 1948)
Known for paintings based on historical Chinese photographs, Hung Liu’s subjects over the years have been prostitutes, refugees, street performers, soldiers, laborers, and prisoners, among others. As a painter, Liu challenges the documentary authority of historical Chinese photographs by subjecting them to the more reflective process of painting. Much of the meaning of Liu’s painting comes from the way the washes and drips dissolve the documentary images, suggesting the passage of memory into history, while working to uncover the cultural and personal narratives fixed – but often concealed – in the photographic instant.  Washing her subjects in veils of dripping linseed oil, she both "preserves and destroys the image.” Liu has invented a kind of weeping realism that surrenders to the erosion of memory and the passage of time, while also bringing faded photographic images vividly to life as rich, facile paintings. She summons the ghosts of history to the present. In effect, Liu turns old photographs into new paintings.

Mildred Howard (b. 1945)
Bay Area-based artist, activist, and educator Mildred Howard has consistently engaged and served her community for more than forty years as a professional artist. Besides having taught at every major art institution and university in the area, including the San Francisco Art Institute, Howard has worked extensively in schools and with at-risk and underserved populations such as the homeless and the incarcerated. She continues to put the faces, voices, hopes and dreams of her community at the very heart of her work, whether in her extensive and highly decorated public art career or in her consistent production of sculpture, assemblage, and works on paper.

Howard is a highly visible figure in the landscape of public art in the Bay Area, with permanent large-scale works at the San Francisco Airport, in the Western Addition and in downtown San Francisco. Her Moving Richmond, a work in which a poem by Macarthur Fellow Ishmael Reed was incised into two forty-foot walls of faceted steel, can be seen at Richmond, California’s BART Station.

Howard has received numerous awards including an NEA Grant in Sculpture, two Rockefeller Artist's Fellowships, the Joan Mitchell Fellowship and an Anonymous Was a Woman Fellowship. Her work is included in major collections such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the de Young Museum, and has been widely exhibited internationally at venues in Cairo, Berlin, Paris, London, Egypt, Ghana, and Morocco. She also spent eleven years working in the Institute for Inquiry at the Exploratorium integrating and developing curriculum in Art & Science. Howard has been represented by Gallery Anglim Gilbert for twenty-five years. Her large piece The House That Will Not Pass for Any Color Than Its Own, will be mounted in Battery Park City Authority in 2020.

In 2011, the City of Berkeley proclaimed March 29th “Mildred Howard Day”; in 2012, Howard was inducted into the Alameda County Hall of Fame and received San Francisco's prestigious Silver SPUR Award.

Howard is a pillar of the Bay Area art world whose diverse outputs as an artist, educator, and activist are singularly linked by an unswerving dedication to the equally diverse communities that surround her.

Visiting \ de Young
In alignment with local and federal guidelines and social-distancing recommendations of the current public health situation, the de Young museum is currently closed.

Regular hours: Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco. Open 9:30 am–5:15 pm Tuesdays–Sundays. Open select holidays; closed most Mondays.

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are the largest public arts institutions in San Francisco. The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park and was established as the Memorial Museum in 1895. It was later renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, who spearheaded its creation. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in 2005. Reflecting an active conversation among cultures, perspectives, and time periods, the collections on view include American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art.

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