Creative in Common
September 26 - December 5, 2014
and January 16 - March 15, 2015
Family. Such a powerful word with so many meanings. For some, the notion of family is comforting, filled with warm memories of shared meals, holiday celebrations, and the knowledge that love, laughter, and support are only an arm's length away. For others, associations may be different and perhaps less positive. Family could mean shared blood lines—siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles—or it could be close friends, godparents, or something else entirely. Perhaps family is a combination of things, changing and growing as life progresses.
A search for the word "family" in the dictionary yields multiple definitions—a testament to the complexity of the term but also an acknowledgement of its flexibility. Though these definitions may only scratch the surface of the myriad ways in which family can be defined, they are nonetheless connected. At its root, family is linked by something shared—mutual interests, common characteristics, shared beliefs.
Creative in Common explores family by bringing together work by artists who share a familial connection—partner to partner, parent to child. The ten artists represented in the show are linked not only through their relationships, but through their shared commitment to art making. Each artist pursue his or her own creative work. The voice of their partner, parent, or child serves most often as a sounding board, or a point of support or inspiration rather than collaboration. Though sometimes working in similar mediums, the pieces created by these individuals are set apart from one another stylistically, aesthetically, and thematically.
By taking family as its central theme, Creative in Common seeks to open a dialogue. It invites visitors to reflect on their own experiences and associations, and to respond to the questions: what does family mean to you?
The exhibition is mounted in preparation for the de Saisset Museum's 60th anniversary in 2015. Rooted in the permanent collection, at least one artist from each familial group is represented in the museum's holdings. Through this connection, the exhibition celebrates the growth in the museum's collection since its founding gift in 1955. In addition, Creative in Common speaks to the importance of family within the museum's organizational history. It was through a bequest from the de Saisset family that the museum first opened its doors nearly six decades ago and began developing the kind of compelling programming that continues today.
Images (above): Harry Powers, Curved Time, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 28 x 22 in., Courtesy of the artist. Inez Storer, Gatherings--Anna Akhmatova, 2012, 10 x 8 in., Courtesy of Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley; Lynn Powers, Sea of Time, 2005, acrylic, oil, and silver leaf on panel, 35 x 35 in., Courtesy of The Broback Family Collection.
Image captions for printed exhibition announcement:
Cover (clockwise, top left): Kara Maria, Vortex, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 46 in. Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Clark Gallery, San Francisco; Inez Storer, Gatherings--Anna Anna Akhmatova, 2012, mixed media on panel, 10 x 8 in., Courtesy of Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley; Harry Powers, Curved Time, 2010, 28 x 22 in., acrylic on canvas, Courtesy of the artist; Fletcher Benton, Going Around the Corner with X, 2008, steel, Gift of the artist, with assistance from Paula Kirkeby, in honor of William Rewak, S.J., 2013.4.1; Andrew Romanoff, Andrew Has Breakfast with Grandmother, 2007, Shrinky Dink mounted on painted wood panel, 6.5 x 5 in., Courtesy of Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley; Lynn Powers, Sea of Time, 2005, acrylic, oil, and silver leaf on panel, 35 x 35 in., Courtesy of The Broback Family Collection; Shingo Francis, Transparence (turquoise green), 2014, gouache and acrylic on paper, 30 x 41.125 in. Shingo Francis, Courtesy Smith Andersen North.
Back: Inez Storer, Pin Stripe, 2013, oil and mixed media on panel, 42 x 30 in., Courtesy of Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley; Kara Maria, Goodbye Ultra Violet, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 26 x 20 in., Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Clark Gallery, San Francisco; Harry Powers, Beyond Galileo--Starbirth 35, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 5 x 4 ft., Courtesy of the artist.
Student Art Reviews
In Winter 2015, students enrolled in Prof. Robin Tremblay-McGaw's English class were asked to write reviews of the de Saisset Museum's exhibitions. Essays by Arya Faili, Patterson Jaffurs, Chonsa Schmidt, and Zain Umerani were selected to be uploaded to our website.