In 1996/97 I was a member of the San Francisco Art Institute’s Artists Committee. As part of my contribution, I was a member of the Annual Committee that curated the 115th Annual Exhibition in the Walter/McBean Gallery. Other members included Daniel Foster, Anita Margarill, Pamela Pitt, Lori Scruggs, Jennifer Tait, and Victor Mario Zaballa.
The exhibition we curated was titled “Bridges: A Collaborative Project,” artists included:
Stephen Hendee and Peter Cole
Ian Pollack and Janet Silk
Beverly Reiser and Barbara Lee
Laura D. Schultz.
From the catalogue:
Artists have been romanticized as individuals outside of traditional society, isolated from mainstream culture. This exhibition features artists who their intimate creative processes with people and organizations beyond the art community.
These collaborative processes reflect a cross-pollination of disciplines, perspectives, communities, and produce a benign collision of cultures that create unexpected challenges to individual perceptions. The resulting projects are a unique marriage of skill and vision.
-- Curators: Daniel Foster, Anita Margarill, Pamela Pitt, Lori Scruggs, Jennifer Tait, Megan Wilson, and Victor Mario Zaballa
The Annual exhibition is one of the Bay Area’s oldest art traditions. The first Annual was held shortly after a group of artists, writers, and community leaders founded the San Francisco Art Association, the parent of the Art Institute, in 1871. Now in its 115th year, the Annual has shown the work of hundreds of artists, many of whom have become very well known.
The Annual is an exhibition curated by artists – a sub-committee of the San Francisco Art Institute Artists Committee, a group whose membership represents the Bay Area art community. These artists also create the theme and format of the show. This unique collaborative venture between artists and an institution has worn well with the test of time, producing many fine and often astonishing exhibitions.
The early Annuals were large juried exhibitions modeled after the salon-style extravaganza of Paris. In the ensuing decades many formats have been tried., both juried and invitational. The show has been national, regional, and local; it has been presented at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, at the Palace of Fine Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. All have been experiments in the best way to expose new talent, to recognize and reward achievement, and to educate and cultivate audiences for the visual arts. This vital project will continue to evolve with each successful Annual.
-- Jean-Edith Weiffenbach, Director of Exhibitions & Suzanne Dunn, Chair, Artists Committee
Catalogue Essay: Benign Collisions By Marcia Tanner