Imagining Home Exhibit

Faculty Curator and Organizer

April 16, 2021

SF State Creative Arts Affinity Group with support from the LCA Extraordinary Ideas Grant presents Imagining Home. (Home Page)…

Imagining Home Exhibit

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San Francisco State University Hosts Interdisciplinary Student Arts Exhibit Imagining Home

SAN FRANCISCO, APRIL 16, 2021 — On April 16, 2021, San Francisco State University launched the interdisciplinary student arts exhibit Imagining Home—a showcase of thoughtful and timely undergraduate and graduate student stories of home.

The Creative Arts Affinity Group, a team of six SF State faculty members across five different university departments, first met during Fall 2019 to discuss the possibilities of a pedagogical and creative collaboration to uplift student artwork. With support from an Extraordinary Ideas Grant from the College of Liberal & Creative Arts, faculty members collaborated on curricular design and exhibit curation to support artistic and social-justice centered practices.

“The exhibit asks students to think about and express, in the language of their own art practice, one of the most urgent questions of the twenty-first century: what constitutes home?” said Professor Colleen Daniher, in the Department of Communication Studies.

The group selected this theme for its temporal relevance, and for its dynamic and inclusive possibilities of expression. The theme of home integrates such topics as migration, gentrification, eviction, quarantine, cost of living, incarceration, and houselessness, many of which have long impacted SF State University students, faculty and staff. Many of these complex issues were central to the work students chose to create.

“Among the issues explored in student work were drug addiction, school shootings, colonial mentalities, and the school to prison pipeline,” said Professor Tanya Augsburg, in the School of Humanities and Liberal Studies.

Imagining Home was originally intended to be presented on campus in Spring 2020 with a corresponding live exhibit in a community gallery in the Bay Area. The global pandemic not only necessitated a change of plans, but also prompted novel questions regarding the meaning of home. The showcase was adapted for an online experience, and the current exhibit displays diverse, and often personal, artistic stories about home. The student artists boldly address many topics, including immigrant experiences, motherhood, taking care of family, and anti-Asian discrimination. Despite tremendous hardship and uncertainty, SFSU undergraduate and graduate students have crafted reflective and creative artworks that offer windows into individual experiences during the past year and a half.

“Around the time we were thinking about this project, a lot was happening in this country and around this world,” said Professor Sukanya Chakrabarti, in the School of Theatre and Dance. “This really made us think of home not just as a concrete structure, but as a larger concept—as a sense of belonging.”

Even through the global crisis, Imagining Home seeks to be a publicly accessible exhibit that places diverse students’ artwork and storytelling in critical and creative conversation with one another. The exhibit can be viewed publicly on the Imagining Home website.

“I think it’s incredibly important for us to listen to stories of people who don’t necessarily get prioritized in dominant narratives of media and academia,” said Professor Shabnam Piryaei, in the Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts Department. “I think that these brave stories need to be amplified.”

Imagining Home Undergraduate and Graduate Student Artists:

  • Jessica Tanya Adler (School of Theatre and Dance)
  • Hiromi Barnes (Liberal Studies)
  • Casey Beck (School of Cinema)
  • Jody Branham and Janine Sternlieb (School of Theatre and Dance)
  • Jerikka Brittani Gamboa (School of Theatre and Dance)
  • Cintya Chaves (Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts)
  • Sam Dockan (School of Cinema)
  • Janice Domingo (Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts)
  • Angelina Francavilla (Liberal Studies)
  • Alyssa Gordon (Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts)
  • Lynsey Hemstreet (Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts)
  • Jazmine Logan (School of Theatre and Dance)
  • Raissa Marchetti-Kozlov (School of Theatre and Dance)
  • Joseph Nguenti (Department of Communication Studies)
  • Brianna Rodriguez (School of Theatre and Dance)
  • Chloe Samillano (School of Cinema)
  • Rin Shiina (School of Cinema)
  • Sylvie Strum (Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts)
  • Jiselle Vigil (Department of Communication Studies)
  • Noah Weisel (School of Cinema)
  • Chris Wooten (School of Cinema)

Imagining Home Faculty Exhibit Curators

  • Tanya Augsburg (School of Humanities and Liberal Studies)
  • Sukanya Chakrabarti (School of Theatre and Dance)
  • Colleen Daniher (Department of Communication Studies)
  • Shabnam Piryaei (Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts)
  • Bethany Sparks (School of Cinema)
  • Weimin Zhang (School of Cinema)