Artist Fellows Launch at the de Young

Kimball Educaton Gallery, de Young Museum

Summer Open Studios on Friday Nights

This summer the Kimball Education Gallery at the de Young Museum has been converted into a hub for the Artist Fellows program, a new component to the hugely successful and dynamic Cultural Encounters initiative at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. For four months a collective of artists will use the gallery as their think tank and creative space for new works that will premiere this fall during Friday Nights at the de Young. The new Artist Fellows program is a paid fellowship that provides artists from a variety of disciplines with the resources they need to create new work.

The brainchild of FAMSF’s pioneering public programs department, this program’s departure from business-as-usual brings together community partners to advance the artistic and professional careers of local artists through meaningful, long-term collaborations. Fellowships are for one full year. Over the next three years, a total of 12 artists will be awarded fellowships. Each of the 2011 Artist Fellows is closely affiliated with a host organization that was instrumental in the fellows selection process. A new set of fellows will take up residency in 2012 and again in 2013.   

What makes the Artist Fellows program unique is its partnering of culturally diverse artists from multiple media—not just the visual arts, but also theater, dance, music, film, literary arts and more—to make the museum a center for art creation. Fellows collaborate with one another and contribute to the museum’s programming. They present works-in-progress and finished works to museum audiences, and they also curate programs for the museum’s weekly series Friday Nights at the de Young.

History of the Artist Fellows
In January 2011, in a project that is unprecedented for the Fine Arts Museums and unique in the museum world, the de Young launched a new program that fosters fresh connections between the museum, its audiences, and local artists and arts organizations. This project is the second program at the Fine Arts Museums to be honored with a prestigious Arts Innovation grant from The James Irvine Foundation. This funding initiative was designed to support major arts organizations as they adapt to new challenges through creative and experimental strategies and organizational change.

2011 Artist Fellows
Campo Santo with community partner Intersection for the Arts
Block by Block

Resident theater company at Intersection for the Arts, Campo Santo was founded in 1996 by Margo Hall, Luís Saguar, Michael Torres and Sean San Jose. The company works in long-term relationships with writers from all genres in projects that culminate in new works for the stage. The company has produced more than 45 premiere productions.

Intersection Theater program director Sean San Jose and members of the Campo Santo familia, kick off a new series, creating and presenting new performances in surprising places and showcasing a new era of Intersection programming at 5M, its location in the Chronicle building. Block by Block features multidisciplinary pieces with hip-hop theater collective Felonious and writings from Junot Díaz.

Kevin Epps with community partner African American Art and Culture Complex

Kevin Epps is an award-winning filmmaker (Straight Outta Hunters Point, The Black Rock) who has collaborated with such partners as Google, Yahoo, Discovery Channel and Current TV. Epps expresses his passion for community advocacy through his work with various community art spaces, including the African American Art and Culture Complex, the host organization for his fellowship.

Epps’s project is a short documentary that provides a critical look at the family structure of blacks in America and how it has helped assuage societal traumas, such as slavery, Jim Crow laws and crack cocaine. His film will premiere at the de Young this fall.

Todd T. Brown with community partner Red Poppy Art House
The ITCH: Investing in The Creative Hunch, Social-Cultural Networks, and Participatory Infrastructure

Todd T. Brown's experience spans 20 years of exploring artistic disciplines and presenting small-scale art within the context of local and global communities. Brown is a founder of the Red Poppy Art House and the Mission Arts & Performance Project (MAPP).

While at the de Young, Brown is creating new works as well as exploring how social networks can join with cultural initiatives to generate new forms of civic participation in the arts. He will be creating a model network of artist-led projects that invite the general public to participate in artistic production. Through paintings, visual and audio recordings, and a pilot project of social-cultural networks, Brown explores themes of identity, civic engagement, and social transformation.