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Art, Fashion, and Activism with Youth Art Exchange

July 30, 2022, 11:00 am4:00 pm
students looking a drawing

Credit: Youth Art Exchange

Inspired by The Obama Portraits Tour, we invite you to a daylong celebration of art, fashion, and activism with a pop-up art exhibition, hands-on artmaking, fashion show, and live music sets showcasing the creativity of Youth Art Exchange (YAX) students — DJs, designers, creatives — and faculty artists. Plus, hear from Bay Area youth activists at the forefront of today’s social justice movement. 

This event is part of a three-part series celebrating The Obama Portraits Tour at the de Young museum in collaboration with long-standing Bay Area youth organizations: Youth Art Exchange, First Exposures, and 826 Valencia, showcasing youth art, creativity, and activism in the Bay Area.


  • 11–4pm: Pop-up YAX exhibition, Wilsey Court
  • 11–4pm: Artmaking activity (all ages), Wilsey Court 
  • 11–4pm: YAX DJ sets, de Young Café terrace
  • 11–11:30 pm: Fashion show, de Young Café terrace
  • 1:30–2 pm: Fashion show, de Young Café terrace
  • 2–3 pm: Youth activism panel, Koret Auditorium

About Youth Art Exchange

Youth Art Exchange sparks a shared creative practice between professional artists and public high school students, furthering youth as leaders, thinkers, and artists in San Francisco. With over 20 years of youth-centered arts learning, YAX staff and faculty have expertise in program delivery that supports and enhances youth development, working at the intersection of arts education and youth development that expands with the needs of constituencies. YAX’s vision is that every public high school student in San Francisco will have access to meaningful, in-depth arts education that amplifies their voices.

About the Exhibition

From the moment of their unveiling at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2018, the official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama became iconic. The artists behind the portraits, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, have throughout their careers addressed the lack of Black representation in Western art history, using portraiture to explore complex issues of identity. Wiley and Sherald are the first African Americans to be commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to create official portraits of a president or first lady. The Obama Portraits Tour is a nationwide tour expected to reach millions who might not otherwise have an opportunity to view these remarkable paintings.

COVID-19 Guidance 

Masking is strongly recommended but no longer required for members of the public or employees while in the museum.

Ticket Information

This is a free activity, taking place during The Obama Portraits Tour.

Contact Information

Public Programs
(415) 750-7694