|Jen Rosenstein||Emmett Ramstad|
This year’s exhibition, Defying Gravities, asks artists: In these unstable times how do you and your community rise up and thrive? What do you create that grounds or defies? How do you ground yourself in the midst of instability? What connections do you rely on or seek out? How do you find relief through humor or outrageousness? What do you dream of for yourself or your community? Queer history is full of acts of defiance. How do you find inspiration today in these histories?
Defying Gravities features work by Francesca Alaimo, Sid Branch, Bobby Cheung, Tristan Alex Crane, Nova Darkstar, Asher Hartman, Eva Hayward, Dorian Katz & Marlene Hoeber, Jackadandy, Zohar Weiman Kelman, Bo Luengsuraswat, Karen Massing, Aaron McElroy, John Miller, Emmett Ramstad, Rory Hejtmanek, Jen Rosenstein, Lex Non Scripta, Tuesday Smillie, Strangelfreak, Rae Strozzo, Gwendolyn Molly Madeline Sund, Adelaide Windsome and GB Woolf.
Defying Gravities is curated and organized by Fresh Meat Exhibitions Coordinator Jillian Soto and the Fresh Meat in the Gallery curatorial collective: Jillian Soto, Bobby Cheung, Sean Dorsey, eddie gesso, Stacy Nathaniel Jackson, Billie Mandel, Emmett Ramstad and Shawna Virago.
Fresh Meat in the Gallery VI: Defying Gravities is presented in conjunction with the 2009 Fresh Meat Festival, an annual festival of transgender and queer performance (see June 18-21 listings). Defying Gravities is presented by Fresh Meat Productions, the Queer Cultural Center and the San Francisco LGBT Community Center.
Fresh Meat Productions is an award-winning Bay Area arts organization that creates and presents year-round transgender and queer arts programs. More info at: www.freshmeatproductions.org.
Fresh Meat in the Gallery Curating Team:
Jillian Soto (Exhibitions Coordinator) received her BA in Art from San Francisco State University. She produces multi-media installations addressing the junctions of identity, culture and social class using found and fabricated materials. She believes borders should be crossed both literally and figuratively. Soto resides in San Francisco.
Nejla Baguio graduated with a BA in music from SF State. She is a classical guitarist who performs around the San Francisco Bay Area, and volunteers with the group TIP (transgender in prison) that advocates for the rights of trans and gender variant individuals in the California prison system. She has also been involved in TIP’s prisoner visual arts project, soliciting and presenting artwork created by incarcerated transgender-identified individuals living in California. Baguio joined the Fresh Meat in the Gallery Collective in 2007.
Bobby Cheung is a mixed-media and digital artist born in Hong Kong. He moved to San Francisco at the age of 10. He holds a B.S. in industrial technology, Magna Cum Laude from San Francisco State University. He has served as a curator since 2005. www.mingster007.com
Sean Dorsey is a transgender artist, organizer and choreographer/dancer, and is the Artistic Director of Fresh Meat Productions, the nation’s first grassroots arts organization presenting year-round transgender arts programs. Sean is a founding member of the Fresh Meat in the Gallery Collective and is passionate about creating opportunities for transgender visual artists and for bringing audiences to the powerful work our community has to offer. www.freshmeatproductions.org
eddie gesso is a visual artist living in Oakland, CA, who grew up in rural Tennessee and the Pacific Northwest. eddie received his BFA, in Painting and Drawing with an emphasis in Visual and Critical Studies, from California College of the Arts in May 2008. In addition to art making, eddie loves music, cooking meals with his friends, and cuddling with his meow, meow of 18 years. Visit www.pbase.com/eddiegesso to view images of eddie’s work.
Stacy Nathaniel Jackson received a BA in Fine Arts, Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. His visual art has appeared in Los Angeles City Hall, USC’s Fisher Gallery, Cal Poly Pomona, Fresh Meat in the Gallery at ODC, Femina Potens, San Francisco’s Open Studios, the NoDa Artist Network in Charlotte, NC, and in print for Stanford’s Black Arts Quarterly. Stacy is currently the Assistant Director of the Foundation Business Office at UCSF Foundation. Stacy has been a curator for Fresh Meat in the Gallery since 2005.
Billie Mandel is a sculptor, curator and writer who lives in San Francisco. She works in ceramic, cast plaster and metals, mixed media and acrylic paint. Most of her works on canvas are also sculptural, done with sculpture tools and not paintbrushes. Billie’s work focuses on the relationships between the body and the senses, art and language. Her work has been exhibited at venues including the GLBT Historical Society, Studio Z Gallery, CityArt Gallery and Femina Potens Gallery. Billie is also a published writer and editor, and is currently working on her first novel. Billie is a founding member of the Fresh Meat in the Gallery Collective.
Anne Louise Mortenson is a mixed media artist who lives in Occidental in the North Bay. Anne Louise was born in New Jersey on the other side of the Hudson from New York City and later moved to Buffalo New York. When she was a teenager she loved abstract art, Hieronymus Bosch, Baudelaire and Thelonious Monk. She would collect posters and clip out pictures from Time magazine of Pollack, Sam Francis and Hans Hoffman, and whoever dripped and smeared. Being transgender caused her a great deal of trauma. She found that when she arted, it cut her life open, and with splotches and patches, dabs and splashes she could make it whole again with art. Anne Louise is active in the Transgender community and now a member of the Executive Committee of Transgender San Francisco (TGSF). She’s presently a graphic designer and has created artwork most of her life. Anne Louise joined Fresh Meat in the Gallery in 2007.
Emmett Ramstad is a visual artist and costume and set designer for dance. Based out of Oakland, California, Ramstad has exhibited his artwork in solo shows at Jon Sims Center for Performing Arts Gallery and Femina Potens Gallery in San Francisco, along with group shows such as Deviant Bodies at Cepa Gallery in New York, Fresh Meat in the Gallery in San Francisco, Engendered Species and Queer Craft at the Advocate Gallery in Los Angeles, and Reasonable at Hafriyat Gallery in Istanbul, Turkey. Ramstad holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. http://www.emmettramstad.com
Shawna Virago is the Director of TrannyFest, the nation’s first transgender film festival, which also presents performance programs and visual arts exhibitions. She is widely celebrated as a pioneer in transgender activism, music and film. She is recognized as one of the artists who created the new genre of ‘tranny rock’. Virago’s three films have screened locally at Festivals including Frameline and TrannyFest, as well as at Festivals throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Ms. Virago also appeared in TransSisters Live & Uncut!, one of the nation’s first theater productions written and directed by an all MTF ensemble. Virago is a songwriter whose lyrics dig deep at police brutality, the economic marginalization of transgender people and life lived on the sweet continuum of being trans. Shawna is a founding member of Fresh Meat in the Gallery. www.shawnavirago.com