Intersections: Where Art & Activism Meet featured the work of two contemporary artists at the center of art and social critique.
April Bey's Atlantica depicts a world, beyond this earth, where Blackness, queerness and joy are respected and celebrated. Atlantica seeks to center Black opulence and pleasure when on Earth both concepts are withheld and judged perpetually through the lens of white supremacy. The Los Angeles Times describes April's work as "surreal and hilarious", "an exuberant, sense-tingling journey through an imagined planet where Black people flourish and thrive."
Oakland-based artist, Sadie Barnette, features three photographs—some of the only remaining documentation and ephemera—from her father’s The New Eagle Creek Saloon, the first Black-owned gay bar in San Francisco. Her father, Rodney Barnette, is the subject of much of her work. He was an activist and a member of the Black Panther Party. In these still life photos, roses serve to memorialize otherwise undocumented/unknown/unarchived ephemera, while sparkling rhinestones elevate these images from archive to legend.
This exhibit is in partnership with World Muse. World Muse believes Art is a powerful tool for social change. We are honored to partner with Scalehouse to explore the intersection of Art and Activism through the artwork of April Bey and Sadie Barnette.
About Sadie Barnette:
Sadie Barnette’s multimedia practice illuminates her own family history as it mirrors a collective history of repression and resistance in the United States. The last born of the last born, and hence the youngest of her generation, Barnette holds a long and deep fascination with the personal and political value of kin. Barnette’s adept materialization of the archive rises above a static reverence for the past; by inserting herself into the retelling, she offers a history that is alive. Her drawings, photographs, and installations collapse time and expand possibilities. Political and social structures are a jumping off point for the work, but they are not the final destination. Her use of abstraction, glitter, and the fantastical summons another dimension of human experience and imagination. Recent projects include the reclamation of a 500-page FBI surveillance file amassed on her father during his time with the Black Panther Party and her interactive reimagining of his bar — San Francisco’s first Black-owned gay bar.
Barnette has a BFA from CalArts and an MFA from University of California, San Diego. She has been awarded grants and residencies by The Studio Museum in Harlem, Art Matters, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Carmago Foundation in France. She has enjoyed solo shows in the following public institutions: ICA Los Angeles, The Lab and the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; MCA San Diego; the Manetti Shrem Museum, UC Davis; the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College; and The Kitchen in New York. Her work is in many permanent collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Pérez Art Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Walker Art Center, as well as a permanent, site-specific commission at the Los Angeles International Airport forthcoming in 2024. The first monograph on the artist’s work, Legacy + Legend, is available now. She lives and works in Oakland, CA and is represented by Jessica Silverman.