This first institution-wide exhibition comprised of new commissions and guest-curated projects utilizing work from the permanent collection. Unfolding in two parts from November 4, 2017, through 2018, Be Not Still: Living in Uncertain Times addresses concerns of the present social and political climate through eight large-scale and immersive artist-led inquiries.
Part 1 of Be Not Still is anchored by the selected topics and projects of each of the exhibition’s participants which are presented to open a dialogue around prescient matters affecting our local and global communities.
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.
di Rosa collection artist 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.
di Rosa collection artist 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.
Organized by Curator Amy Owen and Assistant Curator Kara Q. Smith, with Andrea Saenz Williams, Director of Education and Civic Engagement, Be Not Still is the inaugural exhibition under the newly renamed di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, emphasizing the organization’s renewed focus on artist-driven collaborations. The ambitious exhibition came together through a series of internal dialogues examining how to bring new relevance to the permanent collection and support artists working in the Bay Area by providing platforms for experimentation while also being socially engaged with the local community and the world at large. “If ever there was a moment that the world needed artists, it is now,” Owen said. “Their visionary creativity and ability to imagine new ways of thinking about the most pressing issues of our day are critical to society.”
Central to Be Not Still is an extensive education and civic engagement roster to provide multiple opportunities for visitors to interact with the exhibition throughout its run. “We believe that engaging the public in dynamic and creative ways is essential to a thriving center for contemporary art,” Saenz Williams said. As a result, di Rosa is presenting a wide array of artist-centered programs including a series of artist talks, a symposium addressing the issues explored in the first rotation of the exhibition, and a book club. di Rosa is also partnering with several community-based organizations throughout the Bay Area to further its mission of providing inspiring experiences with contemporary art of Northern California. di Rosa Executive Director Robert Sain said, “The power of the artists’ projects coupled with the impact of compelling educational experiences allow us to show why art and artists matter.”
di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art
5200 Sonoma Hwy
Napa, CA 94559 | USA