The only survey exhibition of its kind in Northern California, YBCA’s signature triennial Bay Area Now returns in its eighth manifestation as a key component of YBCA’s 25th anniversary season.
At a time when the challenges facing artists in the Bay Area continue to mount — from rising rents and displacement to too few venues that can elevate and support emerging artists — an exhibition that focuses on what is being created in studios across the region is not just desirable, but vital.
Selected through a process of studio visits conducted from fall 2017 through spring 2018, the exhibition showcases visual artists in a broad range of creative practices, including painting, photography, ceramics, textiles, video installation, and digital media. For the first time in its history, Bay Area Now also includes architects and designers working at the leading edge of environmental, landscape, and housing design.
The picture that emerges — of both the region and the artists who call it home — presents a resilient Bay Area, where humor and care come together with intimate reflections on individual and personal histories, and where bodies and geographies propose a fluid understanding of race, gender, and nature. Using materials as surrogates for gender and environmental politics, the participants point to an in-between space that, by rejecting rigid dichotomies, suggests a delicate optimism.
In celebration of the artists and curators who took part in previous editions, as well as the current state of YBCA as an institution, the exhibition research and text materials will include a look back at the history of Bay Area Now.