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Mapping the Archive
July 2013-June 2014
Lexa Walsh is collaborating with Oakland Museum of California and cultural workers from local institutions large and small, as well as individual artists and archivists to develop a process-oriented map and archive of remarkable and sometimes underrepresented Bay Area art projects, venues, and opportunities, both institutional and DIY, as well as local organizations’ existing archives. As funding becomes tighter, we are seeing archives reprioritized. What does an archive mean to each of us? What tools do we use? How is it shared? What is its afterlife?
The project’s goals are to preserve and promote local culture, create networks among organizations, share practices among organizations and the public, expand ideas of what an archive can be, curate, organize and create a taxonomy from archived materials and ephemera, locate and legitimize under-recognized activities, and propose more public access to archives, offering valuable resources to local artists, scholars and the general public. As the project is collaborative and research-driven, it ultimately opens itself to discovery.
Walsh’s process includes research, roundtable discussions, interviews, and site visits to existing archives. With information in hand, Walsh is developing an online map and, yes, archive, of her collective findings, along with an exhibition of the work in progress in May 2014 at the deYoung’s Kimball Education Gallery. This month will feature public workshops and events with professionals about research, archiving and resource-sharing, connecting the deYoung and the public with the current, past and future art & cultural scene.
Lexa Walsh is an interdisciplinary socially engaged artist based in Oakland, CA. Walsh has lived, worked, exhibited and toured internationally. She was a recipient of Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Award, the CEC Artslink Award, Meet the Composer Award, and the Gunk Grant. She has shown and performed across the east and west coasts at venues such as Apexart, Smack Mellon, The Exploratorium, The Lab, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, SFMoMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Portland Art Museum and has done several international artist residencies and projects in Europe and Asia. She is a graduate of PSU’s Art & Social Practice MFA program and was recently the Social Practice Artist in Residence at Portland Art Museum. In the fall, she will be the Community Artist in Residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL and is the 2014 Artist Fellow at San Francisco’s deYoung Museum.
Image by Stuart Mullenberg, Portland Montly.
The Artist Fellows program is made possible with major support from the James Irvine Foundation's Innovation Fund and the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Museums for America program.