Southern Exposure is thrilled to announce the grant recipients of Round 16 of our Alternative Exposure Grant Program. Alternative Exposure grants fund the unincorporated, independent work of artists and collaboratives who invigorate and transform the San Francisco Bay Area arts community.
In Round 16 of the Alternative Exposure Grant Program, Southern Exposure is awarding $65,000 to 15 projects, each receiving an award of at least $4,000. Alternative Exposure grants fund the unincorporated, independent work of artists and collaboratives who invigorate and transform the San Francisco Bay Area arts community. The awarded public projects will take place in the San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties.
This year Southern Exposure is additionally honored to present the first Alternative Exposure Award in memory of Jonathan Bernbaum. Multi-media and video artist Jonathan Bernbaum tragically died in the 2016 Oakland Ghost Ship Fire at the age of 34. The Jonathan Bernbaum Memorial Award honors his work and his commitment to the Bay Area artistic community by supporting a project that focuses on performance or multi-media work.
This year’s Jonathan Bernbaum Memorial Award recipient, black hole cinematheque, was chosen from amongst the pool of Alternative Exposure applicants.
14 more Alternative Exposure recipients were selected from 63 applications:
To the Water: Access ≠Accessibility – Exclusion from access to natural landscapes and the inaccessibility of bodies of water are sources of pain for many disabled people, causing profound sadness and grief. We are excluded from being able to access basic human needs, including pleasure and joy, that others find in bodies of water. The experimental documentary To the Water: Access ≠ Accessibility highlights and supports disabled artists while sharing cross-disabled people’s lived experiences, knowledge, and crip desires about their access to the water.
A Hxstory of Renting
700 Square Feet – 700 Sq. Ft. is a multi-platform exploration by A Hxstory of Renting Collective, led by Erina Alejo, and their family’s apartment complex and neighborhood block of 19-years in the Excelsior District, a neighborhood undergoing rapid gentrification. Through visual-ethnographic interviews, archival research, and community workshops with the intergenerational and multi-ethnic residents, neighbors, landlords, and allies, the project unearths the iconography and narratives of life and solidarity at the apartment complex and neighborhood corner, prompting questions, imaginations, and visions of our shared futures.
black hole cinematheque
black hole cinematheque is an artist-run, community-based microcinema project/archive that presented free, weekly, public screenings of experimental, artist-made, moving images and performances from 2011-2019. This year marks a return to programming following their 2019 eviction from their West Oakland home.
Abre Camino – Abre Camino is a one-day multidisciplinary arts festival curated by Club Obsidian that celebrates Queer and Trans Bay Area artists of color through a presentation of various visual and live performance offerings. This inaugural festival will showcase live muralists, musicians, dancers, poets, DJs, and drag performers. In partnership with the Transgender District and the Freedom Community Clinic, Abre Camino aims to create an experience that centers Black and Brown Queer and Trans artists and attendees as we gather to share performance work and access free healing services.
Crisis Club Gallery
Crisis Club Gallery is a diy low-brow space in north Oakland on 59th and San Pablo featuring free, rotating exhibits in order to hype local artists whose work isn’t welcomed into mainstream spaces. We host shops and community based pop-ups as often as possible.
Feral Fabric Journal highlights radical textiles in art, activism, and countercultural movements. Since 2018, our online periodical has centered artist spotlights and scholarly writing on art and cultural phenomena. In 2023, the Journal will publish two online volumes dedicated to the themes of Maximalism and Nature, and a printed publication that compiles select content from our first six issues. Feral Fabric believes that artists, writers, and curators deserve fair pay for their labor. The majority of our budget will funnel directly to our contributors for their creative work.
Labor is a Medium
Labor is a Medium (LiaM) is an exhibition project occupying a roughly 6’x7′ freestanding wall in a suburban garage in Santa Rosa, CA. LiaM hosts three exhibitions per calendar year, with an emphasis on work that demonstrates its process; that addresses the political through oblique pathways; and/or that challenges capital. Driven by a desire to create a space to connect in community, LiaM is a vehicle to offer artists, friends, and neighbors a little bit of space, a little bit of time, and a little bit of food. The pizza is always free.
Collective Futures – Collective Futures is an exhibition which aims to facilitate healing as a form of radical justice by offering a space to unlearn cemented patterns reinforced by generations of trauma. The in-person exhibition will showcase interactive multi-sensory installations following in the framework of healing justice through new media art. These “healing spaces” provide alternative modalities to wellness through guided workshops focused on breathing, sound and movement. This intersectional approach to collective wellness helps emphasize the power of community resilience.
Oakland Workers Fund
Oakland Revolutionary Billboard Project – Oakland Revolutionary Billboard Project is a public art exhibition from Oakland Workers Fund that will be presented in Spring 2024 on billboards across Oakland to center, uplift and amplify the voices, messages, and visual perspectives of Oakland born-and-raised Black, Indigenous, Latinx, or POC artists, creators, and storytellers. The exhibition will accompany a virtual unveiling event and artist panel. ORBP will weave together the stories and visions of many of Oakland’s diverse and resilient neighborhoods and reclaim the messaging that is channeled into the sacred spaces that our communities inhabit.
Queer Ancestors Project
Queer Ancestors Project RESISTS – Queer Ancestors Project will launch a new free workshop, QAP RESISTS!, bringing together 10 Queer, Trans, and Nonbinary young people, age 18 to 26. QAP RESISTS! will support young artists in creating politically oriented prints and posters. The workshop will culminate in a free event, where we’ll print on t-shirts, tote bags, cardboard, paper, and more, for community members. Our understanding of “political” is expansive — exploring three questions: What does the world feel like to me? What do I want it to feel like? How do we get there from here?
Fast-food In Focus – Fast-food In Focus is a series of photo and filmmaking workshops for local fast-food workers taught by filmmakers Leo Maco and Francisco Nuñez. This partnership gives workers the tools to create potent imagery of their lived experiences and uplift their struggle against unsafe working conditions, poverty wages, wage theft, and sexual harassment. The project culminates with a public exhibition of photos and a short documentary. Fast-food In Focus creates meaningful opportunities for artists, develops workers as leaders, produces visual art, and community events, and builds solidarity through art-making.
Sming Sming Books
Sming Sming Books is an artist-run publishing studio experimenting with books as art, discourse, exhibition, and archive. Formed in 2017, the studio designs and publishes a wide range of artists’ books, zines, and editions in close collaboration with artists whose works and ideas inform design, material, and printing choices. Sming Sming Books is committed to promoting critical discourse and advancing cultural equity through the format of publishing. The Alternative Exposure Grant supports forthcoming publications by Bay Area artists.
The Indigo Project
The Indigo Project is a series of intergenerational community events that weave the threads of Indigo, Cotton, and Denim to connect the histories and culture of the African Diaspora within the Bay Area and beyond. The Indigo Project uses the tactile relationship between art and artist to unravel stories that bring African Diaspora and Indigenous peoples back to the roots of our story telling. Grounded in academic research, decades of traditional African spiritual initiation, and the ethics of communal collaboration, this series of art activations shines the light on the capacity of Black Artists to create the worlds they dream of.
Urban Prophets Illustrated
Urban Prophets Illustrated Zine (Volume 6) – Urban Prophets Illustrated (UPI) is a vessel for imagination, critique, inquiry, activism, and rest in the form of a printed zine. UPI includes illustration, photography, prose, poetry, augmented reality, and creative interventions to center the voices of community members, cultural workers, healers, and artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. UPI was born during the pandemic out of a desire to capture the creative energy of the Mission Arts Performance Project, a series of arts, music, and activist events that have taken place in the Mission neighborhood for almost 20 years.
VR Art Camp
VR Art Camp is a social VR art residency and gathering. Womxn and underrepresented artists create and inhabit a virtual community space with care to cultivate radical inclusion, cyber-intentionality, and to elevate our digital existence together. VR Art Camp is a bridge for those whose practice is not rooted in digital media and for a diverse community with different voices and approaches. Residencies culminate in public show & tell events, when artists guide visitors through their VR spaces, and in an annual IRL camping night.
The 2022 grantees were selected by an outside panel of artist organizers and former grantees, yétundé olagbaju, Shirin Makaremi, and Nick Wylie.
To date, Southern Exposure has awarded a total of $1,077,400 to 327 artists and projects, an enormous milestone for this project, thanks to major support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.