Southern Exposure is thrilled to introduce the Round 17 cohort of Alternative Exposure Grantees!
In Round 17 of the Alternative Exposure Grant Program, Southern Exposure is awarding $65,000 to 17 projects. 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 San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties.
This year we are honored to present the second 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, Cone Shape Top, was chosen from amongst the pool of Alternative Exposure applicants.
16 more Alternative Exposure recipients were selected from 127 applications. The 2023 grantees were selected by artist Ramekon O’Arwisters; Sarah Russin, Executive Director of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); and Vivian Sming, artist, publisher, and former AltEx grantee.
To date, Southern Exposure has awarded a total of $1,142,400 to 344 artists and projects thanks to major support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Thank you to all who applied. Our panel was impressed by the caliber and variety of work submitted.
The 2023 grant recipients are:
Afatasi the Artist: Futurism Art Exhibition
In February 2022, over 200 people participated in an immersive fashion experience and witnessed the future of fashion, culture, visual, and installation arts. Entitled Blending Worlds, the immersive experience occurred during Black History Month, and has been an annual event ever since. This experience includes an art exhibition curated by Afatasi The Artist.
Alchemy Film Foundation
Alchemy Film Foundation will support 10 curated exhibitions of innovative and immersive video art installations, photography, and performance art work by emerging young queer women and transgender artists at their space in the Mission.
BLOOM Collective Presents FEMME
FEMME is a show about femme identity and the people who create it— the Black and Brown women, trans* femmes, sex workers, and femme artists who are continually exploring and innovating their expressions of femininity. As a QT/BIPOC femme-centered arts collective, BLOOM Collective champions and celebrates the power, joy, and creative force of femininity and strive to carve out space for femmes in the local arts world. This exhibition and performance space centers our intersectional, expansive, and oftentimes contradictory experiences of femininity, allowing femme artists across disciplines to actively co-create our own artistic community.
Body Language: Poetry and Dance
Body Language: Poetry and Dance illuminates the rich tapestry of community narratives through a seamless fusion of rhythmic words and evocative movement. This collaboration celebrates local literary and dance artists who are pushing the boundaries of traditional arts. Through mutual exchange, poets craft verses that resonate with choreography, while dancers interpret the poetry’s essence. Each performance is a beacon of interdisciplinary synthesis that also seeks to amplify BIPOC and LGBTQ2SIA+ contributions to Berkeley’s vibrant arts landscape and showcase the depth achieved when diverse art forms intertwine.
Cone Shape Top – The 2023 Jonathan Bernbaum Award Recipient
Cone Shape Top aims to exist as a unique platform for the intersection of music and art, supporting local artists through opportunities for performance and experimentation and providing a gathering space where diverse communities can come together to share ideas and experiences.
Del Holton: Where is Your Body?
Where is Your Body is an exhibition and community workshop series that locates the human body as a political site of violence, resistance, solidarity, and healing. The exhibition centers the perspectives of AAPI women, trans, and nonbinary artists in negotiating the politics of embodiment to historicize and reflect on the uniquely gendered and racialized violence AAPI communities have collectively witnessed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through works in painting, fiber, installation, performance, and interactive community workshops, the exhibition imagines how we might differently relate to our bodies and those of others to resist shared conditions of oppression.
GIRLS, a Bay Area-based publishing imprint, will launch a series of collaborative publications, each focusing on recent bodies of work from a single femme-identifying artist living and/or working in California. By experimenting with various mediums – artist’s books, chapbooks, and zines – as sites for art and discourse, this inaugural series commits to providing a platform for experimental artists to document crucial moments in their practices and discuss the processes behind their work.
Inspired by the queer Asian newsletters Lavender Godzilla and Phoenix Rising that ran from the 1980s to early 2000s, Godz Rising will be a quarterly risograph newsletter centering Bay Area queer Asian artists. The project will showcase and pay artists, highlighting submitted works based on each issue’s chosen topic, from radical rest to resisting anti-Asian sentiments. Godz Rising will run 4 issues for the year 2024 and throw a launch party to distribute the first issue, honor the legacy of past newsletters, and further showcase QTAPIA artists, including musicians, performers, and book arts/vendors.
Immortal Femme Collective
Immortal Femme Collective’s Annual Fashion Art Show is a collaborative event that aims to showcase the talent and creativity of QTPOC artists. Since its inception in 2018, the show has worked with various designers and art installers to transform spaces and weave a single theme throughout the event. This year’s theme will explore the concepts of addictions, sacrifices, and prayers, with a focus on agency and the pursuit of divinity. Artists will address topics such as harm reduction, sex/substance addiction, and sacrifice/suicide. The show aims to invite agency through prayer by acknowledging the impact our choices have on ourselves, others, and future generations.
Meja Pannel – Tyehimba & Tasya Abbot: Leontyne & Me
Leontyne & Me is a new musical drama based on the life and impact of legendary African American soprano Leontyne Price. In this twofold tale, a young Black violinist struggles to shine under the same institutional bias faced by opera’s greatest diva. When a chance encounter shows her a possible future, Sabrina realizes that the oppressor’s rulebook shouldn’t determine her path or dim her light.
Muni Raised Me
Muni Raised Me is a growing community of all San Francisco born-and-raised artists, a space to celebrate, uplift, and mourn the city that raised them. Muni has long been a beloved shared experience of all who call San Francisco home. This community art project is a cultivation of the remaining, a gathering of the hyphy, the queers, the freaks, and folks, and a reminder of what they have loved and lost in San Francisco.
Planting Justice: Blooming Abolition
The employees at the Planting Justice nursery have been collaborating with three local artists to create a large-scale, farm-wide installation exploring the power of community and growing food to bolster healing, power, and belonging as people return home from prison. For almost three years weekly workshops have germinated creativity, joy, and a huge body of art that is almost ready to be installed. The project is an exploration in practicing abolitionist values and affirming leadership that reconnects community members to land after incarceration.
Rootwork Lab: Oñí Ocan
Oñí Ocan is a multimedia performance ritual that examines the transformative and healing power of desire and pleasure through an engagement with Oshun, the Yoruba orisha of rivers, freshwaters, and sweetness. In this ritual, a group of 20 black women, sex workers, and queer and trans artists are covered in honey. Rootwork Lab will develop Oñí Ocan as a long-term project that integrates performance rituals in public spaces that invite public participation.
Seiche Press is a Latinx-run small press, offering low-cost analog publishing and culturally competent zine education to marginalized writers. With Alternative Exposure support, Seiche Press will offer zine education and printing for Black zinemakers, create drop-in hours for project support, and provide free printing resources for Black zine makers to create their own zines.
Sibling: vol. 1 is a poetry + sound album with new, original work from Bay Area poets and musicians. This project will support poets and sound artists by commissioning new works to mix into an album that weaves together experimental sound and spoken word. The album will be released alongside a companion risograph-printed publication of poems and liner notes from the musicians involved. The resulting album and print publication will be shared online and in Bay Area community venues + spaces.
Sisters With Invoices: D.R.E.A.M.S.
Sisters With Invoices (SWI) is a collective that cultivates activations that connect, heal, and provide tools for cultural creatives to thrive. D.R.E.A.M.S is a collaboration between activators and long time friends Micah Morris (known as Zero Charisma), Amber Royal (FELA KUTCHii) and amelian kashiro hamilton. D.R.E.A.M.S is a space of communion that supports deprogramming sonically and through dialectical engagement. We strive to counterbalance our love for subculture and music to cultivate a space that is welcoming and healing for all.
The Things I Was Never Told Production Committee
The Things I Was Never Told: A Guidebook for Navigating Trans Affirming Surgeries is an anthology of resources compiled by transgender visual artists and writers who have received gender affirming surgeries in California, featuring documentation of artistic work to accompany the text as an inquiry into the influence of the medical-industrial complex on trans poetics.