Black Lives Matter: Self-Empowerment through Art

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295; Katherine.Jardine@sfpl.org

Black Lives Matter: Self-Empowerment through Art
New Exhibit: My Art Makes My Life Matter

My Art banner image 

San Francisco, CA –
Curator Kheven LaGrone wondered what the Black Lives Matter movement means in the San Francisco Bay Area, and asked several local black artists to depict how they use their art to make their lives matter. In the new exhibit, My Art Makes My Life Matter, on view June 17 – Aug. 10 in the Main Library’s African American Center, several artists share personal stories on how artwork empowers them.

On Saturday, June 17 there will be an artist talk and discussion at 1:30 p.m. in the Main Library’s African American Center.

“Creating art cleanses my mind of ugly or useless thoughts by dredging them from my subconscious into a permanent form that forces me to acknowledge and release them, “ says artist Adam Hernst. “It also manifests the positive, constructive ideas that I didn’t know were in me. This creates clarity, joy and hope.”

Created and curated by Kheven LaGrone, the exhibit celebrates the diversity of black artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, from people experiencing homelessness to college professors. Some of the participating artists in this exhibit came from Hospitality House’s Community Arts Program (CAP). Hospitality House serves primarily homeless and poor residents of the Tenderloin, Sixth Street Corridor and Mid-Market neighborhoods. Hospitality House’s CAP is the only free-of-charge fine arts studio and gallery space for artists and neighborhood residents whose socioeconomic struggles would otherwise prevent them from accessing the powerful artistic and cultural landscape of San Francisco.

Some of the other artists participating in this exhibit came from St. Mary’s Center.  St. Mary’s Center is a community of hope, justice and hearing that serves homeless and at-risk seniors and preschoolers in the heart of Oakland.

“I cherish the opportunity to participate in a show whose theme so closely corresponds with the role Black art has played in my life,” says college professor and artist Ajuan Mance. “For me, creating art has always served as a way to communicate the way I see and experience the world around me. In my art, I can express not only how I experience the present, but how I understand and am shaped by the people and events of the past. My art makes my life matter, because it is the means through which I express to other black people that I see you, I feel you, and I love whom we are.”

Kheven LaGrone has created and curated several shows at the San Francisco Public Library and has exhibited in New York City, Atlanta, Oakland and Richmond.

Related Events:

My Art Makes My Life Matter – On view June 17 — August 10, Main Library, African American Center, 3rd Floor

Artist Talk & Discussion – Saturday, June 17, 1:30 p.m., Main Library, African American Center, 3rd Floor