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City Visions: San Francisco artists respond to SOMA changes


February 8, 2016: City Visions host Joseph Pace examines the "Work in Progress:  Investigations South of Market" exhibit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.  

Eight local artists delve in to the layered history of San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood.  Created on site, the works demonstrate process as well as final product. 

Join the Yerba Buena CEO and the exhibition's artists as they discuss urban planning, environmental impact, and change in this historic neighborhood.

Producer:  Wendy Holcombe


Deborah Cullinan joined Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as CEO in September 2013. With her stewardship, YBCA has sharpened its mission and vision; regrounding the organization in its origins as a citizen institution and San Francisco’s premiere art center built by the community, for the community. In addition to presenting YBCA’s groundbreaking visual art, performance, and film programs, Deborah has fostered what she calls “a culture of invitation.” From asking San Francisco residents to shape the future of Market Street, to bringing together creative thinkers of all kinds to inspire change, Cullinan has set out to prove that an art center can create the culture that’s needed in order to achieve a more hopeful and equitable future.

Armed with a contemporary definition of artistic practice, she has established successful partnerships and collaborations with organizations such as the Institute for the Future, Art Practical, ImpactHUB, Future Cities Lab, Kadist Art Foundation, Autodesk, and the San Francisco Planning Department. She says, “There is no better place to gather and organize the diverse mix of people needed to respond to the key questions of our time.” Prior to joining YBCA, Deborah served as the Executive Director of San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts. During her 17 year tenure, Intersection became a powerful arts-focused community development organization. While there, Cullinan played a leading role pioneering the 5M Project, a four acre prototype for creative urban development in San Francisco’s SOMA district.

Deborah’s passion for connecting art and civic impact has made her a sought after speaker and contributor to both U.S. and international organizations, including the New Cities Foundation, Americans for the Arts, the City Innovate Foundation, the University of Chicago Arts Incubator, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

She is a co-founder of ArtsForum SF, and a member of the Board of California Arts Advocates, Californians for the Arts, MissionHub, and the Community Arts Stabilization Trust. She is on the Advisory Board of the Catalyst Initiative, Grey Area Foundation for the Arts, Howlround, the San Francisco Arts Education Project, and the Community Visions Project/Americans for the Arts. She is co-chair of the San Francisco Arts Alliance and is a Rockwood Fellow, a Gerbode Fellow, and alumni of the National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program.

Tom Loughlin (b. 1968, St. Louis) is interested in systems of meaning and the way they operate—in particular systems related to language, narrative, ideology, and spirituality that we use to facilitate collaboration and collective negotiation of social landscapes. Loughlin is curious about how these systems fail—not just the ways they can break down, but the manner in which their proper functioning can obscure our ability to see things as they really are. How do we navigate the planet and find comfort under these circumstances?

Loughlin received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute; a JD from the University of California, Berkeley; and his BA from Dartmouth College. He has had solo exhibitions at City Limits Gallery, Oakland (2015), Spare Change Artist Space, San Francisco (2015), Swell Gallery, San Francisco (2012), Civic Center Park, Denver (2008), Town Park, Crested Butte, Colorado (2008), and Rendezvous Gallery, Crested Butte, Colorado (2006). He has participated in group exhibitions at Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, San Francisco (2014), Google, Mountain View, California (2014), SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco (2014), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2013), Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute (2013), the Old Mint, San Francisco (2013), Queens Nails, San Francisco (2012), and the Lab, San Francisco (2012). Loughlin was a 2013 finalist for the graduate fellowship at Headlands Center for the Arts, and a 2008 recipient of the Black Rock Arts Foundation Grant. He was a 2014–15 affiliate artist at Headlands Center for the Arts, and a 2013–14 studio artist at Root Division, San Francisco. He lives and works in San Francisco.

Jenny Odell (b. 1986, Mountain View, California) mines imagery from online environments, most often Google Maps, in an attempt to create candid portraits or to insist on the material nature of our modern networked existence. Because her practice exists at the intersection of research and aesthetics, she is often compared to a natural scientist—specifically a lepidopterist. She would spend 80 percent of her life in a library if she could.

Odell has an MFA in design from San Francisco Art Institute (2010) and a BA in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley (2008). She has had solo exhibitions at Recology, San Francisco (2015); Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco (2014); SPACE Gallery, Portland, Maine (2014); Mesaros Galleries, West Virginia University, Morgantown (2013); Breeze Block Gallery, Portland, Oregon (2012); and Google headquarters, Mountain View, California (2011). She has participated in group exhibitions at Art Works Downtown, San Mateo, California (2015); Haw Contemporary, Kansas City (2015); Expoplu, Nijmegen, the Netherlands (2015); Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York (2015); East Wing, Dubai (2015); SPUR, San Francisco (2014); Swissnex, San Francisco (2014); the Battery, San Francisco (2014); Futur en Seine Festival, La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris (2014); Made in NY Media Center, New York (2014); White Walls Gallery, San Francisco (2014); Worth Ryder Art Gallery, University of California, Berkeley (2013); Hillyer Art Space, Washington, DC (2013); SOMArts, San Francisco (2013); Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona (2013); Cain Schulte Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2012); FoMu (Fotomuseum Provincie Antwerpen), Antwerp, Belgium (2012); Phrame, Brussels (2012); Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco (2011); Skirball Center, New York University (2011); and Les Rencontres d’Arles, France (2011). She has had residencies at Recology, San Francisco (2015); the New York Public Library Labs in conjunction with Electric Objects, Miramonte, California (2014); and Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco (2013), and has received the San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant (2013); the Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Design+Technology, San Francisco Art Institute (2010); and a full tuition grant, San Francisco Art Institute (2008–10). Her work has made its way into Time magazine’s LightBox, The Atlantic, The Economist,Wired, the NPR Picture Show, PBS News Hour, and a couple of Gestalten books. She teaches Internet art at Stanford University, and is a contributor to the Virginia Quarterly Review. She lives and works in San Francisco.

Related Links:

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts "Work in Progress" exhibit