Through the work of artists who capture the spirit of “now,” YBCA’s signature triennial, Bay Area Now, brings to life current perspectives for both this art center and the regional art scene. For the triennial’s seventh edition, we are experimenting with a new approach to curating that highlights collaborations with our region’s artists and arts organizations and pushes beyond presentation toward a multidisciplinary celebration of the diversity of artistic practices in the Bay Area.

BAN7’s core idea is to decentralize the curatorial process, and centralize the public presentation of some of the most exciting artistic voices in the region today.

Our vision to create a platform for new work and experimentation is rooted in the belief that a decentralized curatorial process will open up an opportunity for a wider range of voices and create spaces for dialogue beyond the arts. As a common shared site for the presentation of works, BAN7 aims to create a lucid web of creative activity in the Bay Area, highlighting the energy and talent of artists in the region.

By inviting noncommercial, small- to mid-size regional visual arts organizations to curate site-specific projects with Bay Area artists in YBCA’s galleries, we are making visible the rich complexity of our many arts communities and the artists who work within them. The exhibition aims to foster increased appreciation for Bay Area art, artists, and organizers, and to promote a greater understanding of the vast range of practices and individual visions that make the Bay Area such a vibrant center for contemporary art.

The 15 organizations working with YBCA—featuring more than 200 artists throughout our galleries and campus—were selected out of 50 proposals submitted to an open call conducted in fall 2013, and were reviewed by a distinguished panel of curators, scholars, and writers.

BAN7’s partners range from relatively new, small exhibition venues to art book publishers, from a site-specific public art initiative to an arts education program in a correctional facility—and much more. Working closely with their selected artists, each organization has curated an exhibition that expresses the spirit and purpose of their unique mission and vision.