Artist Talk & Happy Hour to Accompany Frontrunners


What: Lesser But Vital Practices: A Happy Hour & Artist Talk

When: August 30, 5:30 – 7:00PM, talks begin at 6:00PM

Where: 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th)

How Much: Free admission, cash bar

Lesser But Vital Practices is a happy hour and public lecture accompanying Frontrunners: The San Francisco Foundation 2011 Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship Awards Exhibition which investigates the inspiration artists draw from seemingly non-arts based practices. Seven exhibiting artists will lecture briefly on a topic that may initially seem only tangentially related to their artwork. These lectures may resemble miniature TED Talks.

Lesser But Vital Practices hones in on where exhibiting artists find their inspiration and how these practices, be they artistic or otherwise, filter into the production of their artwork.  The talks are a celebration of creativity in any form and highlight the unique constellation of influences which drives each individual artist.

Arrive at 5:30 to have a glass of wine and contemplate the work of all 23 artists exhibited as part of  Frontrunners: The San Francisco Foundation 2011 Murphy and Cadogen Fellowship Awards Exhibition, August 17 – September 16, 2011.


My Mother Is a Bank Robber, Michelle Ramin
Michelle’s mother lives a life of normalcy. She walks dogs, rents movies from Blockbuster, and pumps her own gas. She slow-cooks pot roast and does her family’s laundry. She also once robbed a bank to fund a longstanding addiction, and the eldest of her four children makes art about it.

Social Work and Alternative Forms of Portraiture, Kari Orvik
Kari’s previous job as a social worker inspired her to create on-site public portrait studios. From rooftops to BART plazas, this practice helped preserve the memory of those who pass away in transient communities. She develops tintype photographs from a dark room built into the trunk of her car.

Playing with Industrial Objects, Sofia Sharpe
Sofia struggles with the ways in which the adult brain gets in the way of good work, and tries to find a groove of creative abandon that mirrors the quality of childhood imagination. She re-purposes common objects, celebrates overlooked aspects of them, and finds that when utility dictates the form, an incredible shape is born.

Collecting to Defy Death, James Coquia
James’ grandmother wore exclusively green from head to toe because a witch doctor advised her to do so or tragedy would befall her.  She also collected her own hair.  For as long as he can remember, he has collected quotidian objects, objects acquired directly from nature, items representing life in miniature and his own bodily detritus. Death is the thread that ties collecting to his creative practice.

The Art of the Archive, Maya Pasternak
Hailing from a long-line of library technicians and archive directors, Maya naturally flocks to methods of artistic practice that rationale of the archive as organizing principle.

The Tailored Body, Rachel Mica Weiss
Rachel investigates the methods of West African cloth production and the nature of wrapping and adorning the armature of the human body.  Intimate relationships with artist and artisan communities in Senegal have informed her exploration of the function of cloth as a shroud, as a proud exterior, and as an important indication of the human gesture.

The Ritual or Practice of Every Day Life, Elia Vargas
A situation is a unique moment of converging forces that create an impression. The repetition of this experience makes up our daily practice. Elia proposes our lives differ from each other because we have different rituals under different circumstances. From differing vantage points, we absorb meaning from the world. He tells us how situations, moments, rituals and impressions from every day life filter into his artistic practice.