Unfolding in two parts throughout 2018, Be Not Still: Living in Uncertain Times addresses concerns of the present social and political climate through a radical new model of experimentation and inquiry. Assembling a diverse intergenerational mix of artists with ties to the Bay Area, the exhibition evokes a call to action, inviting participants to identify and respond to a theme of their choosing through the production of new work, on view in di Rosa’s newly renovated Gallery 2. In Gallery 1, a guest-curated installation of works from the permanent collection joins the matrix of themes found throughout the exhibition. Together the commissioned artist projects offer viewers multiple lenses to reflect on and engage with prescient matters affecting our local and global communities.
Central to Be Not Still is an extensive education and civic engagement program including community partnerships and artist-centered programming, providing many opportunities for visitors to interact with the long-term, institution-wide exhibition throughout its run. For Part I, a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley will use the exhibition as a platform to increase leadership skills for teens while addressing issues relevant to their everyday lives through an artist-led project. di Rosa is also partnering with Napa Valley College Theater Arts to provide an intensive theater making workshop based on the themes explored in the exhibition.
This exhibition is organized by Curator Amy Owen and Assistant Curator Kara Q. Smith, with Andrea Saenz Williams, Director of Education and Civic Engagement.
Part 1 (January 27—May 27, 2018)
Artists & Projects
San Francisco-based authors Dodie Bellamy & Kevin Killian explore the topic of surveillance through a curated presentation of works from di Rosa’s permanent collection that evoke a sense of vulnerability, danger, and foreboding through imagery, mood, or form. Their selections reveal the collection’s heightened relevancy amid the upheaval of a divided nation.
Ala Ebtekar responds to the theme of citizenship through an elaborate ceramic floor installation that transfers a field image from the Hubble Space Telescope onto a tile grid. Viewers will gaze downward to find no visible distinctions between stars, planets, space, or time, participating in a universality of existence and exploring what it means to be a territory without borders.
Allison Smith debuts a series of sculptural installations investigating the rise of white nationalism and how patriotism might be viewed, from various perspectives, in a different light. The artist anchors her project through an assembly of cast iron Tiki torches evoking those recently used in protests in Charlottesville, VA and takes current debates on the removal of confederate monuments as a point of departure for discussions on the potent materiality of sculpture.
Rigo 23 explores the concept of American exceptionalism and the long-term impact of contemporary leadership through an immersive, three-dimensional rendering of the American Flag. Viewers will be able to walk in and around this metaphor for territory, with the installation’s stripes-as-walls configuration suggesting the physical and ideological boundaries that may come to define this country.
Major support for Part I is provided by Stags’ Leap Winery and Darioush & Shahpar Khaledi. Generous support is provided by Wanda Kownacki and Phil Schlein. Additional support is provided by the di Rosa Producers Council and Patrons Circle. Interpretation Fellow for Collections and Exhibitions generously supported by Leslie Rota.