Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen
A San Francisco-born curator, consultant, and project-based artist, I have 20 years experience in the performing and visual arts. Inspired by “productive discomfort” and a multiplicity of identities, my curatorial focus is on projects that push boundaries of scale, scope, medium, venue, and dialogue, and my cross-discipline personal work engages symbols, identity, communication, and the unseen. My projects have appeared in KQED, SF Chronicle, at YBCA, USF, JCCSF, Open Engagement, and many others. I sit on the board of SOMArts Cultural Center and on advisory committees for Root Division, Pro Arts, and Sites Unseen and am Founder/Director of A Simple Collective + Black & White Projects.
Curator Statement (as of right now)
I come from a perspective of “productive discomfort” and a multiplicity of identities that have placed me in interstitial spaces and offered intersectional perspectives. My practice as a curator includes a deep questioning of Imperialist formats through experiments in exhibition form and documentation—incorporating altars, ritual, movable substrates, and an unrestricted integration of artistic disciplines and practices.
Just as the role of an institutional curator is to preserve and communicate a movement, artist, or idea within the context of history, my role as an independent curator is to push forward and communicate a movement, artist, or idea within the context of right now.
I am inspired when I can tie a thread from artist to artist to audience, to communicate an idea, while offering an opportunity to showcase under-recognized and under-exhibited mediums and artists who are pushing formal and contextual boundaries: artists pushing scope, scale, medium, and venue; artists creating content-driven work, strong or surprising imagery and social or political subject matter; project-based works emphasizing deep research; artworks that manifest across multiple platforms, and projects that are ephemeral or intangible; projects affording alternative means of distribution through creative publishing and subversive models; and projects that reflect, interact with, or create community.
I want to encourage audiences to feel comfortable with being uncomfortable, to see the world around them clearly and differently, to navigate space and interact with works more intentionally, and to reflect on those things that both divide us and make us all the same.
Extended Bio (if you really want more)
Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen is a curator, consultant, facilitator, and project-based artist, born and based in San Francisco. With 20 years experience in the performing and visual arts, Rhiannon is deeply influenced by her own, and her communities’, intersectional identities and by her pursuit of “productive discomfort.” “Through open exchange and collaboration, I tug at the threads that connect our human experiences.” Her curatorial focus is on projects that push boundaries of scale, scope, medium, venue, and dialogue; and her cross-discipline personal work engages symbols, identity, communication, and the unseen.
In 2013, Rhiannon founded A Simple Collective: an organization dedicated to fostering creative independence for professionals, and professional independence for creatives, and Black & White Projects: an experimental project space in San Francisco’s Mission District that offers programming to facilitate conversation, experimentation, cultural and professional enrichment, and collaborative projects. In its first five years, Black & White Projects (originally ASC Projects) presented 29 group and solo exhibitions, exhibited the work of 50+ artists, hosted seven residencies and two guest curators, hosted dozens of talks/events, and continued to experiment with different business models—to find one that is equitable, sustainable, and allows for the full creative freedom of the artists and the program—while being a welcoming space for humans to connect and experience creative space together. It is now in its 8th year.
Rhiannon has curated exhibitions in New York and the Bay Area, including Bodies on the Line at Berkeley Art Center; Great Worry, or Great Freedom at Headlands Center for the Arts; Hiraeth: 3.9 Collective Searches for Home at the Thacher Gallery at USF; 2×2 Solos: Leah Rosenberg at Pro Arts in Oakland; Bay Area Digitalists at Root Division in San Francisco; and Issued ID: Minority as Brand, which received an Alternative Exposure grant. Her recent exhibitions include What is Fragile, a solo exhibition at Adobe Books Gallery, and Seen × Unseen group exhibition at Radian Gallery, both in San Francisco. Her shows and words have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, SF Weekly, KQED, The New Asterisk Magazine, SFArts, and Art Practical, among other publications.
Deeply involved with community-building through the arts, she serves as President of the Board of SOMArts Cultural Center, as well as being on the San Francisco Racial Equity in the Arts Working Group, Curatorial Committee for Root Division, Advisory Committee for Sites Unseen, and board of directors of Rocky Mountain Participatory School. In September 2015, she launched the inaugural RE[FRAME] Arts Industry Conference at the Museum of the African Diaspora—a professional conference that centers the knowledge and work of Black artists and arts administrators. In addition to her curatorial work, she is the Director of Emerging Arts Professionals San Francisco Bay Area; founder of Society of the Smokey Mirror, founding member of Pacific Felt Factory arts complex and the Invisibility Collective, and an emeritus member of 3.9 Art Collective—a collective dedicated to promoting the visibility of Black San Francisco-based artists and curators.
Or email me at rhiannon|at|oacsf.com